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WhatsApp Chat Lock will get the security feature you’ve been asking for

Published Apr 2nd, 2024 9:10PM EDT
iPhone 15 Pro showing the App Store ahead of iOS 17.4 beta release
Image: José Adorno for BGR

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WhatsApp is an end-to-end encrypted chat app, but those conversations can’t be protected if someone gains access to your phone or if you don’t lock the app with a password.

That’s where the Chat Lock feature can come in handy, a feature that WhatsApp introduced about a year ago. It’s especially useful if you combine it with a Secret Code that makes those sensitive chats disappear from the app unless you enter the code into the search bar.

But what about other devices? You connect to WhatsApp on Mac, PC, and tablets. The good news is that all your chats will be available on those devices, and they’ll continue to be encrypted. However, the Chat Lock feature isn’t available anywhere but in the mobile app.

WhatsApp is aware of this glaring security issue of its own making, and it’s working on bringing the Chat Lock feature to linked devices you might be using with WhatsApp.

If you use Chat Lock on WhatsApp, those chats will be placed into a password-protected locked folder at the top of the screen.

Anyone with access to the handset would be able to see that you lock chats on your phone.

That’s where the Secret Code functionality comes in handy. That extra layer of protection hides the locked chats folder. Nothing to see anymore unless you link a device to your WhatsApp account.

Anyone with access to that linked device will see the entire chat history, including the locked chats.

According to WABetaInfo WhatsApp is already testing adding support for Chat Lock to linked devices.

WhatsApp beta hints Chat Lock support for linked devices is coming.
WhatsApp beta hints Chat Lock support for linked devices is coming.

The following screenshot hints at how the functionality will work. A WhatsApp user will create a Secret Code on the primary device to lock the chats. The same code will then be used on linked devices.

It’s unclear when the feature will roll out, however. Not everything tested in beta releases graduates to the main app. Then again, adding support for Chat Lock on linked devices is a major security feature, one that should be a priority for WhatsApp.

Also, it’s unclear how long it’ll take until the feature is ready for a wider rollout. But when WhatsApp does the feature, you’ll see it on iPhone and Android.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.