The latest versions of WhatsApp for Mac and Windows allow you to use WhatsApp on the computer without having a phone that is connected to the internet. For example, you can continue to use WhatsApp on a Mac while your iPhone is updating system software and offline during that process, or you can use WhatsApp on the computer and turn off your phone if you just want some peace and quiet. This works exactly the same with WhatsApp on Mac, Windows PC, iPhone, and Android, but of course we’ll be focusing on the Mac and iPhone side of things here.
Because WhatsApp is linked to a phone number, you will need your iPhone (or Android) to setup WhatsApp on the Mac (or PC). After that, you’re free to use WhatsApp on the computer without the phone.
How to Use WhatsApp on a Computer, Without Connecting iPhone
Here’s how you can link WhatsApp on a computer, whether your iPhone (or Android) is connected to the internet or not.
- Open WhatsApp on the iPhone (or Android) as usual
- Go to the ‘Settings’ tab
- Chose “Linked Devices”
- Tap on the ‘Multi-Device Beta’, then tap to join the beta
- Go back after you joined the beta, and tap on “Link a Device”
- Open WhatsApp on the Mac or PC and wait at the QR code screen
- Point the WhatsApp camera device link screen at the QR code shown on the computer to link the two devices and let WhatsApp login on the computer
- You can now use WhatsApp on the computer, with or without the phone being online or connected
Now if your iPhone (or Android, no judgments!) is offline, you can continue to use WhatsApp on the Mac (or PC, not judging!), chatting away.
This is a handy if your phone goes offline or gets disconnected for whatever reason, but you still want to message people through WhatsApp on the computer. Some common examples are if you turned your phone off, if the phone is updating system software, if the cellular network is down but wi-fi is working, or many other scenarios where the phone isn’t online but the computer is. Without this linked device feature enabled, when your iPhone is offline or not connected to the internet, WhatsApp on the computer also will not work.
While this is technically in beta it seems to work flawlessly, so use it with confidence. There is a 4 device limit with this feature at the moment, but perhaps that will change when the linked devices feature leaves beta.
What if I’m already setup with WhatsApp on the computer?
If you have already setup WhatsApp to use on the Mac you will need to re-link the WhatsApp client on Mac to your iPhone to get this working properly. You can do that by logging out of the WhatsApp Mac app by going to File menu > Log Out, then simply starting the steps above exactly as written.