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The Best WhatsApp Extensions You Should Be Using

You can do more than you might think with WhatsApp in your browser.

The Best WhatsApp Extensions You Should Be Using
This emoji is not exclusive to WhatsApp, as it is also included in other messaging services. Photo: LR composition

Its ease of use, end-to-end encryption, and cross-platform support have helped WhatsApp rack up a ton of users, and if you use it on the web, there are a growing number of browser extensions you can install to help you get more out of the platform. All of these add-ons are compatible with both Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge, and you should find at least some of them are useful.

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WAToolkit offers two tweaks for WhatsApp on the web. First, it enables background notifications, so alerts about your messages come through via your web browser whether or not you have WhatsApp open. Second, it expands the text bubbles to the full width of the chat panel. You can have both or neither feature enabled, or just one of them. Click the small WAToolkit icon that appears above the conversation list to find the settings.

WA Web Plus has a few different WhatsApp tricks that you can play around with. You can blur messages and images, view statuses secretly, hide your typing status, pin conversations to the top of the list, apply custom chat wallpaper, add emoji reactions to messages, and more. Open up the extension panel by clicking on its toolbar icon, make all the changes you feel inclined to, and they’re applied straight away.

WhatsApp is another collection of tools rather than a single utility. After you install it, you can get faster access to text formatting options, download all the media files in a conversation, and convert typed emojis into actual emojis. Perhaps the most useful feature available in WhatsApp is the ability to create preset messages (saying you’re late, or you agree, or whatever) that can then be accessed with a click from the text input box.

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Zapp is a bit more of a niche WhatsApp web utility, in that it enables you to change the speed and the volume of audio recordings that you’re listening to through the app. It adds a new button to the toolbar, which you can click to view the interface. Volume can be adjusted between zero and 100 percent, and recordings can be read from 0.5x speed up to 2x speed, which is very helpful if you have a lot of them to get through on WhatsApp.

WAIncognito deals with those pesky read notifications that appear when you’ve looked at other people’s incoming messages. With this extension installed, you can look at chats without anyone being able to tell you’ve looked at them. You’re able to mark messages as read after a certain number of seconds or not at all, and the add-on also blocks the ‘last seen’ updates that WhatsApp sends, as well as enabling you to restore deleted messages.

WhatsApp says its mission statement is to be to “make your web WhatsApp work friendly” and that’s a good summary. The main way that it does this is by giving you the option to hide various bits of the interface—you can get rid of the clutter to leave only the current conversation visible if you want. Anyone who takes a close look at your office computer isn’t going to be fooled, but nevertheless, it can help you with some sneaky WhatsApping.

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Web Sender is a bit more of a business-focused WhatsApp tool, but there are features here to interest plenty of normal users as well. You can customize a series of quick responses that appear above the text input box, for example. You can also schedule messages to be sent at a certain time in the future, and you can message multiple people at once. It’s not an extension that everyone will need, but plenty of people are going to find it very useful.

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Written by Christina d'souza

Proofreader, editor, journalist. I have been doing my favourite thing for more than six years.

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