WhatsApp may be massively popular, but the app has always lagged behind when it comes to multi-device support. It wasn’t long ago you couldn’t even transfer your chats when setting up a new phone, let alone access your WhatsApp account on other devices, like a laptop or tablet. Another consistent sticking point: The inability to use your WhatsApp account on more than one smartphone. Luckily, that’s now old news too.
WhatsApp announced the change Tuesday on the app’s official blog, touting it as a highly requested feature by users. (Accurate.) The move means you can now log into WhatsApp on smartphones other than your primary device, be they iPhones or Androids, alongside the existing ability to access your account from tablets, computers, or browsers. (You do have a four-device limit, so choose carefully.)
How to set up WhatsApp on a second smartphone
Setting up WhatsApp on another phone is about as easy as ever. Grab your new phone, install WhatsApp, then begin setup. However, you don’t want to choose the usual option of entering your phone number. Rather, you’ll want to choose the new “link to existing account” option that appears. That button will present a QR code, which — you guessed it — you scan on your other smartphone.
Launch WhatsApp on your primary phone, then head to Settings and choose “Link a Device.” Then, scan the QR code on the other phone to establish the connection.
How to choose a new “primary” device
Another thing to keep in mind is which phone WhatsApp considers your primary device. WhatsApp treats the original smartphone you signed in on as the “primary,” which doesn’t matter for most use cases. However, if you don’t use WhatsApp on the primary device for 14 days, the app will log you out on all connected devices.
If you want to swap out your primary device, download a fresh version of WhatsApp on the new phone, then log in using your phone number rather than the linking setting discussed below. WhatsApp will automatically treat the new phone as your primary.