WhatsApp is testing a new mute function for Android that lets you quickly silence conversations by tapping “Mute” directly from the system notification, rather than having to mute from within the app itself. There’s also a new “always mute” option coming too, replacing the “mute for one year” option. It’s perfect if you just don’t want to deal with certain chatty people…ever.
The new notification settings are still in beta, so you’ll have to download the latest WhatsApp Android beta if you want to try them out now. The stable version of the app should be updated with the new silencing options within the coming weeks.
However, even with the beta installed, you probably won't see the new "mute" shortcut in your notifications at first. The option only appears after you've racked up at least 51 unread messages from a single WhatsApp chat. Here's how it works:
- Once you've passed 51 unread messages, swipe down on your Android device's screen to open the notification tray,
- Tap "Mute" from the WhatsApp notification. If you try this prior to hitting that 51 message threshold, you'll see a "mark all as read" shortcut instead.
- Tap your desired mute duration, then tap "OK" to apply your selection.
Luckily, there are other ways to silence WhatsApp chats. The other methods aren't as quick as muting from a notification, but they mercifully don't require a hitting certain number of unread messages first.
How to mute notifications within WhatsApp
- Open WhatsApp.
- Long-press on the chat you want to silence.
- Tap the "mute" icon at the top of the screen (it looks like a crossed-out speakerphone).
- Select the mute duration. The current options are 8 hours, 1 week, or 1 year.
- Tap "OK" to save the changes. Muted conversations will have a "mute" icon displayed to the right of the name.
- You can unmute a chat at any time by long-pressing a silenced conversation, then tapping the speakerphone icon.
Mute from your Android settings
The ability to mute specific chats is great, but if you need to silence all WhatsApp notifications, you can do so in a few different ways. To specifically mute WhatsApp notifications on Android:
- Open the Settings app
- Go to "Apps & Notifications."
- Tap "See all apps"
- Scroll through the list and tap WhatsApp, then tap "Notifications."
- Turn off the specific type of notifications you want mute. You can disable group chat notifications, new message alerts, and a bunch of system-related messages. You can also turn off "Show Notifications" to disable all WhatsApp notifications.
Aside from messing with your notification preferences, there are also device-wide settings like silencing your phone or turning on Do Not Disturb Mode that can quickly quiet over-active chats " though these will silence notifications from all apps unless you've specifically configured certain ones to ignore Do Not Disturb mode. Finally, there's always switching on aeroplane mode or turning off your phone entirely. That last option may be the best for your mental health.