Privacy has won with WhatsApp. With a quick app update and a few setting tweaks you can go from having your personal status out there in public to private, where it should be. Don’t get me wrong, the messaging app is one of my favorites but there have always been a few annoying features. The primary one being WhatsApp last seen. This little notification let’s everyone know whether you’re on the app, and holds a huge sign over your digital head if you’re ignoring someone purposely.
Don’t worry, though, I’ve got your solution and some tips below to get your privacy back! One of the key things to keep in mind as well are your thoughts on privacy in general and how much of your personal information you want to share with the general public or even people you meet on apps such as WhatsApp. The digital world can be as private or open as you want it to be, so make sure you keep a good idea of what your privacy standpoints are. You can check the general WhatsApp privacy, which will give you general tips, part of which we will cover below in our article on how to hide WhatsApp last seen.
If you haven’t used WhatsApp previously or if you just need a quick refresher. WhatsApp is a messaging and communication app that has hundreds of millions of active users worldwide. They’re dominating mobile messaging throughout most of the world. Here are some of their awesome features:
- One of the best features is that it’s completely free for the first year, with no ads, and $1 each year after that. Meaning you can own the app for 6 years and it will cost you about the same as a Starbucks coffee, meanwhile enjoying no ads!
- You can send/receive video, images, voice notes and more to anyone around the world with WhatsApp
- You can start a group chat with a bunch of friends so you can all communicate and be on the same page.
- WhatsApp can sync with your friends on your contact list so you never have to go searching for that person to text with.
WhatsApp Contacts Privacy
If you’re concerned about the WhatsApp last seen feature, you may want to not sync your entire address book when signing up for WhatsApp. Currently, the Canadian and Dutch governments are investigating the WhatsApp feature that uploads your phone’s contacts to WhatsApp’s servers.
The concern is that all of your contacts, whether they have WhatsApp or not, are stored on the app’s servers and could potentially be a violation of your privacy. The current investigation is looking into how encrypted the contacts are and whether someone, if given access to the data, find out the person’s contact information with the current protections.
WhatsApp Last Seen Privacy
If you’ve used WhatsApp you know how frustrating the last seen feature can be, especially when you just want to have a conversation with one person and don’t want a ton of people texting you left and right. Or you don’t want random people you’ve never met before texting you and asking if you want to chat. Finally, WhatsApp has listened to a lot of the privacy concerns and given the option to disable the “last seen” feature on the app.
- Note: The last seen feature is automatically turned on by default so you will have to turn it off if you don’t want to use it.
If you’ve never witnessed this annoying feature , it’s basically a feature that gives a timestamp to when you use WhatsApp. Another user can see whether you are online or if you’ve logged off they can see when you were last active on WhatsApp. The worst part is that anyone could see this, regardless of whether they were one of your contacts or not. This had a lot of parents concerned that people would see their children are online and increase the likelihood of random people messaging them. If you’re concerned of your child’s use of WhatsApp, you can download cell phone parental control software to help monitor their texting and who they’re communicating with.
How To Turn Off WhatsApp “Last Seen”
Now, let’s get into the good part about turning this little annoying feature off once and for all. Note that there are three privacy settings for last seen, depending on how open you want to be about people seeing when you were last on. You can also independently set these settings for last seen, profile photo and your status. As of now, however, there is NO way to hide your online status if you’re actively using WhatsApp. The three settings are:
- Everyone: Anyone can see when you were last on WhatsApp (last seen), your personal profile photo and your status. No matter if they are your contact or not.
- Contacts: Now, only your contacts in your address book can see the details noted above and anyone else won’t be able to see them.
- Nobody: If you choose this setting, no one will be able to see your status, profile photo, or when you were last online.
Turn off WhatsApp Last Seen On Android
If you use an Android device, follow the steps below. (If you don’t have an Android device, but would still like to use an Android app, you have several options which we have covered extensively.) It doesn’t matter which Android device you’re on, just as long as you have the most recent version of WhatsApp on your device.
- You will of course want to open up WhatsApp and then you will see three dots, which you should tap to take you to the menu page.
- Then, look for “settings” and tap it, which will take you to a page that looks similar to the photo below.
- Now, choose Privacy at the top.
- Tap “Last seen” at the top where it says who can see my personal info. From there, select everyone, my contacts or nobody.
Now you’ve finished and restored your privacy on your Android device, below I’ll walk you through other devices.
Turn off WhatsApp Last Seen On iPhone
If you have an iPhone or if you’ve downloaded the app on your iPad (or if you have the iPhone app on your iPad, which is a common trick that we’ve covered before), the steps below will be the same. It’s similar to the procedure for Android devices.
- Open up your WhatsApp app and make sure it’s the most up to date version on the App Store, it will need to be updated if you haven’t done so already.
- Tap the settings button at the bottom right, which will take you to the WhatsApp settings screen.
- Tap on the Account tab, then tap Privacy.
- Now you will see the option to choose everyone, contacts, or no one for each of the three options: last seen, profile photo, and status.
You’ve finished on the iPhone, just make sure you remember your settings and don’t get mad if other people complain if they don’t know when you were last on.
Turn off WhatsApp Last Seen On Windows Phone
To turn of WhatsApp last seen on your Windows phone you will want to follow these steps:
- Open WhatsApp and make sure it’s updated on your phone.
- Tap the three dots at the bottom right hand side of the screen.
- Then head over to settings, then account, then privacy.
- Now you will be given the option to make the changes for last seen.
Turn off WhatsApp Last Seen On Blackberry
These steps for Blackberry are basically the same as above for the Windows Phone. Make sure the app is updated, then you will want to head over to settings by tapping the settings button, then account, and finally privacy. Now set your privacy for all three options.
Why Can’t You See Your Contacts’ Last Seen?
Sometimes its frustrating if you want to chat with someone but can’t seem to find their last seen status and don’t know if they’re ignoring you or what. If that’s the case, there may be a few reasons why you can’t see the most recent timestamp when they logged in. You can always see if someone is currently online, however.
Some examples of why you won’t be able to see a contacts last seen:
- The friend may have turned their privacy settings on, as shown above, so that you can’t see their status, profile photo, or when they last logged in. If that’s the case, the person who turned off that setting also can’t see anyone else’s status.
- If you set your settings to not share “last seen” then you won’t be able to see that feature in anyone else’s profile. That’s a clever way of WhatsApp trying to urge you to turn it on. Basically, the feature encourages more conversations so it’s better for WhatsApp to have it turned on.
- Lastly, the person may have blocked you. If that’s the case, take a deep breath and reevaluate what you did to make the person mad. It’s a not so subtle hint that you should probably stop talking to that person.
Why Does WhatsApp show me online?
This can be a common problem when WhatsApp shows you online when you’re really not online and you’re getting messages from people that you appear online but aren’t responding. That can be pretty annoying especially if you get to a point where people are getting angry at you expecting you’re online when you’re really offline.
Most likely the reason is because there is an error in the device thinking you’re online when you’re really not and it’s just running in the background. For instance you get into a situation where the app is running in the background but you’re not actively looking at it to check your messages.
To alleviate this I would recommend trying to close out of the app completely every time you don’t want it to say you’re online. To do this on an iPhone you can double click your home button at the bottom and this will come up with a screenshot of all your apps open. Just swipe up to close them completely. On Android devices all you have to do is to head over to your app manager in your settings and find the WhatsApp app and from there just close out of the app.
You may find yourself in a situation where someone has disabled the last seen feature but you really want to see when they are online. You can get around this by downloading a clever little app.
You just need to download WhatsDog on Google Play, unfortunately there are no good options for if you’re on an iPhone so maybe try to borrow a friend that has an Android and use theirs.
To get it to work, download WhatsDog and from there open the app and tap start on the front page/screen of the app. It will ask you to type in a contact number that you want to monitor so make sure you have a contact in mind that you want to use. You can enter the number in manually or you can tap on “by contact” to search through your WhatsApp contact list and choose a contact to monitor. From there, you can tap to continue after you’ve selected who you want to monitor.
That’s all you have to do. Now when you login to WhatsDog you will be able to see timestamps of whenever the person was online that you’re monitoring. You can also get notifications that will keep you informed if the person logs in to their WhatsApp account so you can chat with them.
Have any other questions, comments, or concerns about the WhatsApp last seen setting and how to turn it off? Let us know how it worked out for you below!