How To Turn WhatsApp Read Receipts Off

For when you don’t have time to reply — or simply don’t want to.

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Ah, WhatsApp. It’s one of the most popular — and, in turn, most memed — messaging apps in the world. Of course, keeping in touch on the universally-used app is an especially great benefit. But, when your relatives are chatting day and night, it can lead to some annoying notifications. Luckily, the app has features that make it possible to navigate your many chats gracefully. In addition to being able to limit your notifications by muting conversations and leaving group chats silently, you can also view messages without the sender knowing.

There’s a variety of reasons you might want to view a WhatsApp message without the sender seeing that you’ve read it. Perhaps you’re just in a hurry and don’t have the time to reply, but still want to see what your long distance BFF sent you without them thinking they’re being left on read. Or, maybe you do plan to read and not reply to that “checking in” text from your ex, but don’t want to give them the satisfaction of knowing that you read it.

Whatever your reasoning, if you’re looking to prevent that double checkmark from turning blue on your sender’s screen, here’s how to view a WhatsApp message without sending a read receipt.

How To Read WhatsApp Messages Without The Sender Knowing

There are a few troubleshooting hacks that can help you. The most straightforward, though, is to turn off your read receipts. However, this will only work in a one-on-one conversation.

To turn off read receipts, open WhatsApp and click the Settings gear icon in the bottom right of your screen. Next, tap “Account” then tap “Privacy.” Scroll down to the Read Receipts toggle, and turn the switch off. It’s important to note that read receipts are always sent in group chats, so this will only work for one-on-one. By turning off read receipts, you also won’t be able to see if someone else has read your messages.

If you’re hoping to read a message in a group chat without the sender knowing, though, you’ll need to get a bit inventive. The two tactics that Gadgets Now recommends are by relying on your notifications center or airplane mode.

If you just got the message, you can often pull down on the notification at the top of your screen to view it without opening WhatsApp itself.

Also, if you turn on airplane mode, then open WhatsApp, view the message, and close the app before turning off airplane mode, your sender should not be notified that you viewed the message.

Now, you can move about your flooded WhatsApp inbox with a bit more peace of mind. Just remember to get back to your aunt at some point.

Editor's Note: This article has been updated from its original version.

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