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:
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:
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.
You’ll now see that the Linked Devices option I couldn’t find is accessible directly from this list.
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.)
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.
Once lined up, the app will link with your phone, and WhatsApp should be ready to use.
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.
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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.
I’m glad you found the advice helpful, and thanks for the additional info. I’ve now updated the article to include it.
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?
And then, one day it worked again. So Facebook…er, Meta.
it won’t accept my pin, the unlock pin for my phone, it just won’t accept it.
Incredibly confusing instructions. Shame on Whatsapp.
WhatsApp on my phone (a Huawei p8 lite 2017) has a drop-down menu with “linked devices” as the middle item. This was working fine when I last needed to validate my connection to WhatsApp Web (some time in the second half of 2021). Now (late Feb 2022), this item has stopped responding, at a time when I’m being told to validate my connection again because of an update to WhatsApp Web. Consequently, I am unable to access WhatsApp on my computer, which is somewhat limiting my ability to use WhatsApp. Have you ever heard of this problem? If so, do you know how to fix it? I tried contacting WhatsApp support, but all they could suggest was firstly to turn my phone off, wait 30 seconds and turn it on again; and later on, to reinstall WhatsApp. I did both of these, more than once, and it made zero difference.
Everything went swimmingly until the end. When I held my phone to the QR code it said ‘Couldn’t link device. Try again later’! What, I wonder, is going to happen ‘later’ to make it connect?!
Thanks Mark. Really helpful. Really clear. I had got totally stuck. Sorted now.
Thanks a lot. It’s extremely helpful. I’ve already spent some time reading meaningless recommendations in the web. Only yours gave me proper path. All the best to you.
Thank you, I faced a similar issue.
Thank you very much for this, I was starting to think I was crazy!!
Brilliant. Had me tricked what I was doing wrong.