For several months, WhatsApp has been working on a feature that allows users to have access to their account conversations on WhatsApp Web without having the primary smartphone online. Previously, you had to make sure your main smartphone was still connected to the internet before you could carry a conversation on your linked web browser.
This feature has been available to WhatsApp Beta users since July, it is now officially rolling out to all WhatsApp users in the most recent update of WhatsApp on both Android and iOS versions.
When enabling this feature on your smartphone, you need to opt into the feature – labelled as still in “Beta”. Once enabled, you’ll be unlinked from all devices before re-linking to a new device. Once linked, you’ll be able to chat on WhatsApp Web regardless of whether your main smartphone is online or not. Plus, messages and calls are still end-to-end encrypted.
Linked devices will be able to receive and send messages up to 14 days after the main smartphone goes offline. This might be useful if you’re in a situation where you’ve lost your smartphone temporarily and needed to stay in touch with folks through WhatsApp, or if your smartphone runs out of battery but you’re near a linked computer.
Unfortunately, you can link only four devices to your primary smartphone, there’s a limitation on iOS that doesn’t allow you to delete messages or conversation threads from a linked device and you cannot link a tablet or secondary smartphone.
You can use this feature by updating to the latest version of WhatsApp, launch the app and tap the three-dot menu. Then tap “Linked devices” and enable the feature.