WhatsApp launches native desktop application for Windows and Mac

Nigel Gambanga Avatar
WhatsApp Web App, IM Platforms

Instant Messaging platform WhatsApp has officially launched a native desktop application for Windows and Mac OS. This release follows rumors that had been circulating earlier this month which suggested that a desktop version was on the way.

This becomes the latest change from WhatsApp which has been making a lot of improvements to its application like increasing group member totals, adding document sharing and even making the service completely free.

The new desktop application is available for Windows 8+ and Mac OS 10.9+ and just like WhatsApp Web that was launched in early 2015 the desktop version is synced to a mobile device.

This means that just like WhatsApp Web, the new desktop version is an extension of a user’s phone and the app will have the same functionality which shows the same messages and conversations from a mobile device on desktop.

It also means that it will only be active if the WhatsApp on your mobile device is on so you will still need to have that data connection either through Wifi or those WhatsApp bundles.

The setup process is just the same as the one used for WhatsApp Web. After downloading the app and launching it you need to scan the QR code by selecting the WhatsApp Web option on your WhatsApp mobile account.

There are some minor differences between Web WhatsApp and the new desktop application. The native app means that familiar keyboard shortcuts and desktop notifications are active. You can also log straight into the application (it has its own desktop icon) without opening up your browser.

You can download the WhatsApp Desktop App by following this link


  1. Anthony Somerset


    i have quite a few chat clients now so ended up switching to a multi service client called Franz – http://meetfranz.com – as it supports Whatsapp, Facebook, Slack among others

    1. Fourwallsinaroom

      Hey Anthony,
      How does franz work out with regards to T’s and C’s of whatsapp. If you remember the Java clients on the “androiiiiiid” phones resulted in users getting bans.

      1. L.S.M Kabweza

        I suspect it works in a way similar to browsers. So not really circumventing WhatsApp standard connection means

        1. @Code_Writer

          Personally I will not count on Franz. Most numbers get banned using unofficial Whatsapp Clients. Two months ago Whatsapp implemented WA20 protocol. Before, wWhatapp clients were connecting to the servers using WA16 protocol. So thats why Whatapp encourages the use of their official clients. Its very easy for them to detect the protocols you use to connect. Its just a matter of time, i think, when WA16 protocol will be blocked in a move to get rid of automated systems riding on their platform. I recommend not to use your WhatsApp number *yemazuva ese* otherwise you will get banned forever and unenge watowacha plus futi chawagona hapana. BE CAREFUL GUYS!

          1. Anthony Somerset

            its just whatsapp web in an electron container – as far as whatsapp is concerned electron is just like a stripped down chrome browser – they can’t ban that without banning whatsapp web entirely

            in fact all franz is, is a glorified web browser environment optimised for IM services but allowing you to have a separate and persistent interface away from your normal web browser which for the likes of developers or web engineers is highly convenient if they have to restart there normal browser all the time

    2. mwana mwana

      great app Anthony, thanks for the heads up

    3. Nigel Gambanga

      Awesome! Thanks for that link Anthony. I’m trying it out right now.

    4. L.S.M Kabweza

      happy to finally shut down the Skype official desktop client for good. thanks

      1. Anthony Somerset

        be careful – i tried that, couldn’t get calls (skype web doesn’t support it yet) and some group chats didn’t update properly on a regular basis also got sick of the constant need to re-login to skype with it – a limitation of skype web not Franz i might add i ended up going back to the skype app but hey, 2 apps is better than 8 right 🙂

  2. Sacha

    Not recommended if you have confidential stuff and are using a home computer or public internet cafe. Although I am sure it comes with password features…it wouldn’t be for me!

    1. Anthony Somerset

      comms are all via SSL anyway – so its secure even if you on a public connection – but absolutely i wouldn’t install any apps on a public computer – only my own

    2. L.S.M Kabweza

      As secure as your browser I think

  3. mwana mwana

    Is this a sign that some day Whatsapp will be available on iPads in future? I dont know, but it a welcome addition….

  4. wburwa

    3 words…….and gmail dies…..

    1. L.S.M Kabweza

      I don’t think so. two different purposes. Messenger app aggregators are nothing new. This one’s just bringing the most popular IM apps with it. Remember Digsby, IMO, Meebo…

  5. joe

    The bluestalks app is the best as compared to this

  6. ndini

    Hahaha installed this yesterday and i am disapppointed. There is no difference between this thing and whatsapp web. Why should i keep my phone connected? Because they have to sync the messages? Whatever the reason they made that windows app for, i am disappointed. Will stick to my phone Untill that native app is independent of my phone being online

  7. pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis

    I also dont get the point of having a desktop app which depends on your phone being online

  8. shingi

    this is not new though, it has been available for a very very long time