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WhatsApp Desktop on Windows now works even when your phone is offline

WhatsApp Beta on Windows
(Image credit: Facebook)

What you need to know

  • WhatsApp Desktop is now a native app on Windows.
  • Previously, WhatsApp on Windows was a web-based desktop application.
  • With the switch to a native experience, WhatsApp Desktop should deliver better performance, a cleaner interface, and be able to send and receive messages even when a user's phone is offline.

WhatsApp just got a big update on Windows that improves performance, cleans up the app's look, and allows people to send and receive messages when their phone is offline. The update to WhatsApp Desktop swaps it from a web-based desktop app to a native app for Windows. WhatsApp has tested its new app in beta for quite some time, but the new version is now generally available.

The biggest change is that WhatsApp Desktop can receive notifications and messages without requiring syncing through a phone. WhatsApp can connect to four devices without needing a phone that's online. The feature maintains end-to-end encryption as well, which is an important distinction between WhatsApp and some of the best WhatsApp alternatives.

WhatsApp outlines the changes to its desktop application on an FAQ page.

WhatsApp Desktop experience changelog

WhatsApp Desktop users have been using our web-based desktop app (WhatsApp Desktop) or our browser-based app (WhatsApp Web). As we're always trying to improve the WhatsApp experience for our users, we're developing apps native to Windows and Mac operating systems.

Advantages of native apps:

  • Increased reliability and speed
  • Designed and optimized for your desktop operating system
  • Continue to receive notifications and messages even when your phone is offline

In addition to working without a phone needing to be online, WhatsApp Desktop has a cleaner look. It's also faster and more reliable, according to WhatsApp. Twitter user and Windows developer Daniel spotted the new WhatsApp (via The Verge).

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A native Mac version of WhatsApp is in the works as well.

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WhatsApp Desktop (opens in new tab)

WhatsApp is one of the most popular communication platforms in the world. It supports messaging, calling, and sharing photos and videos. Now, you can send and receive messages through your PC even when your phone is offline.

Sean Endicott
News Writer and apps editor

Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at sean.endicott@futurenet.com (opens in new tab).