26 Jan 2016

4 Ways to Use Whatsapp Messenger on Your Computer

I have recently written about the Telegram Messenger, the secure way to exchange messages with your friends via Internet using your mobile device or computer.

However, Telegram is not the market leader in the world of mobile messengers. Who is? I think you guessed it right: Whatsapp.

Whatsapp was initially designed to work on mobile phones. As in Telegram and other mobile messengers, your account with Whatsapp is your phone number. But does it mean that a mobile device is the only way to use Whatsapp? As in the Telegram case, the answer is "no".

There are several ways to use the Whatsapp messenger on your computer. I specifically don’t mention "Linux" here. I will explain later why.

1. Web-version

Whatsapp developers allow you to use their messenger via the web interface of any modern browser. "Modern" means actually modern. Internet Explorer 9 is not supported. Simply navigate to http://web.whatsapp.com and start the login process.

You need to have your phone with you, because the authorisation process involves scanning of the QR code shown on the web page.

2. Chrome extension

There are several Chrome extensions available for Whatsapp. They are all easy found by typing "Whatsapp" in the search field in the Extensions manager. Neither of these extensions is official, so you need to understand the security risks. If the convenience overweights the possible risks of using unofficial extensions, then go ahead and install it.

The authorisation process for Chrome extension that I tried was similar to the web interface. You cannot even tell whether the extension is actually a full-featured development, or simply a web interface for Whatsapp wrapped into the special frame.

3. Firefox add-on

As for Chrome, there are several Add-ons for Firefox that allow using the Whatsapp Messenger in the browser.

I will not repeat the text that I wrote about the Chrome extension here. It is also valid for the Firefox Add-ons.

4. Pidgin plug-in

Pidgin is famous for its plugins. There is a plugin for Pidgin that allows you to chat with your Whatsapp contacts from the Pidgin interface. Collect all your messengers under one roof, so to speak.

The plugin developer gives you the source code and also compiles it for some of the most popular OSes: Ubuntu, Debian, Fedora, Arch, Windows.

Unfortunately, I could not find Whatsapp plugins for other popular messengers Kopete and Empathy.

As you can see, every way of using the Whatsapp messenger on your computer is based on the cross-platform tools: browsers and instant messenger. It means that you are no longer dependent on the operating system you use, but on developers who support the cross-platform tools for the specific OS. Isn't it the way that modern computing is going?

Do you use the Whatsapp messenger on your computer?


  1. You won't mention Linux, but you do?
    And then you say you'll explain why, but you don't?

    Also anything not officially WhatsApp or WhatsApp-Webb is considered "third party" and liable to be blocked from the WhatsApp servers, and anyone found using third party WhatsApp clients is liable to be banned from using WhatsApp, temporarily or permanently.

    And this is no empty threat. Use the methods in this post at your own risk.

    1. I only mentioned Linux in the beginning. And there is an explanation why Linux is not relevant here: all the tools are cross-platform.

      Thanks for the warnings!

  2. As for Chrome, there are several Add-ons for Firefox that allow using the Whatsapp Messenger in the browser.