WhatsApp privacy settings

Controls & Settings guide

WhatsApp privacy settings allow you to restrict who can see your child’s messages and location. There are also ways to block delete or report users on the platform.

What do I need?

A WhatsApp account

icon Chatting
icon Downloading file sharing
icon Location sharing
icon Privacy
icon Privacy and identity theft

Step by Step instructions

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Control who sees your information

You can set your last seen, profile photo and/or status to the following options:
Everyone, My Contacts and Nobody:

Open WhatsApp and go to your Settings, tap Account, then tap Privacy.

Next, tap your selected option, then choose from either option: ‘Everyone’, ‘My Contacts’ or ‘Nobody’.

The changes will be applied automatically.

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How to block contacts

You can stop receiving messages, calls and status updates from certain contacts by blocking them.

Open WhatsApp, choose the person you want to block either by searching or scrolling through your chat list.

Tap on their name, then scroll down and tap Block Contact.

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How to report a contact

Open WhatsApp, choose the person you want to block either by searching or scrolling through your chat list.

Tap on their name, then scroll down and tap Report or Report and Block Contact.

Please note, if you report and block, your chat with this contact will also be deleted.

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How to change group privacy settings

You can decide who can add you to groups by selecting your preferred option.

Open WhatsApp, go to Settings, tap Account, Privacy then Groups.

Next, choose from either option:’Everyone’, ‘My Contacts’ or ‘My Contacts Except…’

Admins who can’t add you to a group will have the option of inviting you privately instead.

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Disable automatic photo or video downloads

The default settings for WhatsApp is that photos and videos you receive are automatically saved to your camera roll. To disable this:

Open WhatsApp, go to Setting, tap Chat, next to Save to Camera Roll, slide to toggle off.

If prompted, tap DONE or press OK.

Group privacy settings aren’t available on WhatsApp Web or Desktop.

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Enable Screen Lock

When enabled, you’ll need Face ID to unlock WhatsApp.

Open WhatsApp, go to Settings, tap Account, Privacy then tap Screen Lock.

Swipe to switch the feature on, then tap the time you want to apply.

These changes will automatically be applied.

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Disable Live Location

Live location requires background location which can be managed from your device settings:

Go to your device Settings, then scroll down to WhatsApp, tap this then tap Location. To turn off location select the Never or Ask Next Time option.

Go back to WhatsApp to check the location is switched off. Go to Settings, Account, Privacy then Live Location.

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