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WhatsApp will finally let you silently leave a group chat

Updated Oct 18th, 2022 10:37AM EDT
WhatsApp update will let you leave group chats silently.
Image: WhatsApp

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With over 2 billion users, WhatsApp is the most popular mobile messaging app in the world. One of the reasons WhatsApp has stayed so popular is its commitment to privacy. This week, the company is introducing a few new privacy features, including the long-awaited ability to leave a group chat without alerting everyone.

WhatsApp update adds silent group chat exits

If you use WhatsApp regularly, you have probably experienced the drama that comes along with someone leaving a group chat, because no one could leave quietly.

Previously, WhatsApp would send a notification to the entire group whenever someone left. If you weren’t expecting that person to leave, everyone would inevitably have something to say about their departure. It was a strange and pointless distraction.

In the next update, WhatsApp will put an end to the drama. Later this month, only the group admins will receive a notification when you leave a group chat. The rest of the group will find out when they check the list of participants or try to tag you.

For years, I’ve wondered why this wasn’t the default behavior or even an option in settings. Now we can all finally leave group chats without prompting a slew of DMs asking us why we left. Undoubtedly my most highly-anticipated feature in months.

Hide online status and block screenshots

In addition to letting users leave group chats silently, WhatsApp will also let them hide their online status. This is a feature that has been in testing for some time. Later this month, you will be able to choose who can see when you are online.

Once the feature arrives, you can effectively enter “stealth mode” on WhatsApp. If you set your Last Seen status in the Privacy section of the Settings menu to “Nobody” and set your online status to “Same as Last Seen,” you will effectively be invisible while using WhatsApp. This is a feature that users have been requesting for years.

Finally, WhatsApp is enabling screenshot blocking for View Once messages. Previously, it was possible to take a screenshot of a photo or video that the sender only wanted you to see once. WhatsApp will now block you when you try to take a screenshot.

More coverage: WhatsApp will soon let you block screenshots of ‘View Once’ messages.

Jacob Siegal
Jacob Siegal Associate Editor

Jacob Siegal is Associate Editor at BGR, having joined the news team in 2013. He has over a decade of professional writing and editing experience, and helps to lead our technology and entertainment product launch and movie release coverage.