Use WhatsApp’s ‘Chat Lock’ Feature to Hide Your Sexts

Use WhatsApp’s ‘Chat Lock’ Feature to Hide Your Sexts

It’s stressful to hand your unlocked phone to someone else—you never know what’s going to happen. Maybe they’ll stick to the single photo of your dog you’re trying to show them, or maybe they’ll see a private message you’d rather keep to your eyes only. While many messaging apps can’t help with that, WhatsApp can: “Chat Lock” allows you to hide any chat you want and keep it safe from prying eyes.

Chat Lock works exactly as you think it does: When you lock a chat, it hides it from anyone who happens to be looking at your WhatsApp. Not only that, it blocks notification previews for that chat as well. That means you’ll need to check in on those chats from time to time to see exactly what was sent, but you’re not at risk of someone seeing an embarrassing or compromising notification from one of them either.

You can lock any chat, including individual conversations as well as group threads. The feature pairs nicely with WhatsApp’s Screen Lock feature, which requires secondary authentication before opening the app in the first place.

How to lock any chat in WhatsApp

To start, tap the chat in question, then tap the name of the chat at the top. Here, you’ll see the new “Chat lock” option: Once you tap it, you’ll need to authenticate yourself to complete the lock. This will be how you unlock the chat in the future: If your phone uses a fingerprint scanner, you’ll scan your fingerprint. If it uses Face ID, you’ll use a face scan. You can also use a PIN if you prefer.

Once you lock a chat, it moves to a new “Locked chats” folder tucked away in the main screen. Tap this folder, authenticate yourself, and you’ll be able to access any chats you locked.

How to sync Chat Lock between linked devices

For the past year, Chat Lock’s one major flaw was that it only worked on your primary device. When switching to a linked device to pick up your WhatsApp conversations, you’d find all threads out in the open, including the ones you locked on your main device.

That’s changing: According to WABetaInfo, WhatsApp is currently beta testing the ability to access Chat Lock across linked devices. This feature works as of WhatsApp beta version If you enroll your Google Account in the WhatsApp beta program here, you’ll be able to download the latest beta versions as if you were simply updating the app.

Once you have the latest beta version of WhatsApp installed, you should see the “Locked chats” folder appear on all linked devices. However, in order to access them on other devices, you’ll need to set up a “secret code” on your primary device. If you don’t do this, you’ll receive an alert telling you as much when tapping on the folder on your link devices.

To set up the secret code for locked chats, go to WhatsApp on your primary phone, open “Locked chats,” then tap the three dots in the top right and choose Chat lock settings. Here, tap Secret code, then set up your code. Once set, you should be able to punch this code in on linked devices to access your locked chats.

Credit: Jake Peterson

Eventually, WhatsApp will likely roll this feature out to all users. For now, however, it’s limited to beta testers, so stay on the beta if you want to continue keeping your locked chats secure on other devices.

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