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Why can’t I link my WhatsApp PC app with my Android phone?

Photo by Christian Wiediger on Unsplash

WhatsApp for Windows has come a long way since it first launched, now allowing you to make video and voice calls as well as send text messages. However, to use the app on your PC, you still need to link it with your phone. If you’ve just installed the desktop version of WhatsApp on your computer, or haven’t used it in a while, then you’ll probably see the following message:

can't link WhatsApp PC app Android phone

Unfortunately, the instructions aren’t as straightforward as they could be. Or, should I say, they weren’t clear enough to me. As an Android user, I skimmed them quickly, and assumed you had to tap the Menu icon followed by Settings. After following these steps, I soon discovered that there’s no way to get to the next bit and select Linked Devices; all I could find were these options:

can't link WhatsApp PC app Android phone

So how do I link WhatsApp to my computer?

If I had paid closer attention to the instructions on the PC app, I would have noticed that it catered to both Android and Apple users. Instead of going to Menu and then selecting Settings, WhatsApp wanted me to choose either Menu for Android or Settings for iPhone. Okay, the small icons next to the words also help to distinguish between the devices, yet I easily overlooked them in my haste. It’s all rather embarrassing but, if you’ve made the same mistake as me, here’s what to do.

First, open WhatsApp on your phone and make sure you are in the main menu section. This area displays a menu bar of CHATS, STATUS and CALLS near the top of the app. Once you’re there, tap on CHATS.

Next, click on the three vertical dots at the top right of your screen.

Why can’t I link my WhatsApp PC app with my Android phone

You’ll now see that the Linked Devices option I couldn’t find is accessible directly from this list.

Why can’t I link my WhatsApp PC app with my Android phone

Tap on Linked Devices and the Linked Devices section will appear. When it does, tap on Link a Device.

(Once you’ve selected Link a Device, it’s possible you’ll have to enter your usual password, PIN, fingerprint or other method to unlock your phone.)

Why can’t I link my WhatsApp PC app with my Android phone

WhatsApp on your phone will now prompt you to scan the QR Code on your computer’s screen. To do so, position your mobile so that the QR Code — the odd-looking square barcode — is visible within the flashing green corners of the box displayed on your phone.

Why can’t I link my WhatsApp PC app with my Android phone

Once lined up, the app will link with your phone, and WhatsApp should be ready to use.

Why can’t I link my WhatsApp PC app with my Android phone

Conclusion

WhatsApp is a fantastic app, and the PC version is even better now that you can make video and voice calls as well as texts. However, when linking your Android phone with the computer, don’t make the same mistake I did. Instead, use the steps above and get the most out of WhatsApp on both devices.

READ NEXT: What does one tick mean on WhatsApp?

About the author

Mark Parvin

I have worked with and wrote about computers, video games and consumer tech for more years than I care to admit.
I currently run my own IT support business and write about the wonders of tech whenever I can.

3 Comments

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  • Thanks for your info on this question, it eventually helped me to connect the device. But I would add one more piece of info to your instructions: On phone, in WhatsApp, you have to be in the chat section to get “link devices” when you hit the menu. If you are on status, or calls, you will not get link devices as a menu option.

  • This worked for me until a few months ago. Now when I go to “Link a Device,” it does to “Unlock to link a device – Use your device pattern to continue,” which returns me to “Link a Device,” which returns me to…a loop. Any suggestions?

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