WhatsApp / Pocket-lint
Messaging platform WhatsApp has a number of features built into it, such as the ability to share your live location with friends, using it on the Web and turning on Disappearing Messages. One of the most recent features introduced by the Meta-owned company however, is Chat Lock.
This is everything you need to know about WhatsApp Chat Lock including what the feature offers, how it works and how you set it up.
What is Chat Lock on WhatsApp and how does it work?
Chat Lock is a feature that gives you more privacy for the chats that you may not want anyone to see. The messaging platform already offers the ability to archive chats, where specific chats move out of the main chat inbox and into a separate Archive folder at the top of your chats, and Chat Lock works in a similar way, though with added security.
Like Archived Chats, chats you apply the Chat Lock feature too will appear in a separate folder at the top of your main chat inbox, but the folder can only be opened with your device's password or biometric, such as your fingerprint. It means that in order for someone to access them, they would need to have your phone's password. The idea is to "protect your most intimate conversations behind one more layer of security".
Chats that have the Chat Lock feature applied won't display a preview so even if someone else has your phone for taking a photo for example, or if you're showing them something, any new messages from chats with Chat Lock on won't appear until you unlock the folder and open them up.
Where do I find Chat Lock on WhatsApp and how do I set it up?
In order to use the Chat Lock feature, you have to apply it individually to each chat you want to lock, similar to how Disappearing Messages worked when it first arrived on the platform.
To setup Chat Lock on WhatsApp and lock your chats for more privacy, follow the steps below:
- Open WhatsApp
- Tap on the Chats tap
- Tap on the individual chat you want to lock
- Tap on the person or group's name at the top
- You'll see Chat Lock under the Disappearing Messages option
- Toggle on "Lock this chat with fingerprint"
- Confirm Chat Lock with your fingerprint
- A pop up saying "This chat now locked" will appear
- That's it!
In order to find your locked chats in WhatsApp after you have applied Chat Lock, open WhatsApp and tap on the Chats tab. From here, you'll need to pull down slowly on your main inbox and the Locked Chats inbox will appear at the top. Remember you'll have to authenticate with your phone's password or biometric in order to unlock the folder and see the chats you've locked.
It's worth mentioning that WhatsApp also offers the ability to lock the entire app on iOS devices and Android devices. This stops your chat inbox appearing in the recent apps tray, requiring you to unlock WhatsApp with your phone's password or biometric like Face ID or fingerprint every time you want to open the app. It means that even if someone had your unlocked phone, they would need to know your password to open WhatsApp and read any of your messages.
Are there more features coming to Chat Lock?
Chat Lock is currently in the first stages of its life, like Disappearing Messages were when they first arrived. Since Disappearing Messages launched for example, WhatsApp has added a number of features, such as different timer options and the ability to apply the feature system wide, rather than specifically to each chat.
WhatsApp has said it will add new features to Chat Lock too over the coming months, including locking for companion devices, as well as the ability to create a custom password for locked chats so that you can use a unique password different from your phone’s.
When is Chat Lock available and how do I get it?
Chat Lock began rolling out on 15 May 2023. You'll need to make sure you are running the latest version of WhatsApp on your device to get it.