How to Set up and Use WhatsApp on iPad

In Short
  • Currently in Beta, WhatsApp for iPad allows you to seamlessly communicate with friends, family, and colleagues using WhatsApp’s familiar interface on your iPad.
  • Though the beta program is full, you can make use of the WhatsApp multi-device feature and start using WhatsApp on iPad.
  • To make things a little easier, you can use the Add to Home screen feature to add the WhatsApp web website to your iPad's home screen and use it as a PWA.

WhatsApp has consistently remained the most popular messaging app on Android and iOS. From sending instant messages to making full-fledged video calls and processing payments, there is a lot WhatsApp is capable of. However, there’s one platform that the Meta-owned messaging service has not paid much attention to: the iPad. But guess what? The wait is finally over, as WhatsApp is now making its way onto the iPad, courtesy of WhatsApp Beta. This post details how to use WhatsApp on iPad and a workaround if you don’t have the test flight access.

Use WhatsApp Native App on iPad via TestFlight

In September 2023, WhatsApp for iPad native app was made available via TestFlight, iOS’s beta app testing tool. While the native WhatsApp app for iPad has not been released as a stable version, you can still access the app if you have access to WhatsApp beta on TestFlight.

The iPad version of WhatsApp mirrors the user-friendly design seen on iPhones, facilitating effortless navigation and interaction.

You can access core WhatsApp features, including individual and group messaging, voice and video calls, status updates, media sharing, and customization options. The beta version aims to provide a comprehensive WhatsApp experience while optimizing it for the iPad’s capabilities.

Here’s how you can install WhatsApp Beta on your iPad:

  • Open the Test Flight app on your iPad and sign up for the WhatsApp Beta program (If slots are available).
  • Once done, download and install WhatsApp beta app on your iPad, then open it.
  • Follow the setup instructions and verify your Phone number.

We used WhatsApp for iPad via TestFlight and here’s what we feel about it.

Use WhatsApp on iPad via WhatsApp Web

Though WhatsApp on iPad is still in Beta, the new WhatsApp multi-device feature makes it quite straightforward to start using WhatsApp on iPad. All you need to do is a simple one-time setup, and then you’re good to go. What’s more, you don’t even need to keep your smartphone online, and you can directly use WhatsApp on the iPad.

Here’s how you can set up WhatsApp on iPad:

  • Head over to the WhatsApp Web website in Safari on your iPad. You should see a QR code on the screen.
  • On your Android phone or iPhone, go to WhatsApp Settings -> Linked Devices. Here, tap on ‘Link a Device’.
  • Scan the QR code displayed on your iPad, and WhatsApp will get linked to your iPad browser.

That’s it, you can now start using WhatsApp on iPad without even needing to keep your smartphone online. Do note that the first time you connect your WhatsApp account to your iPad, it might take a while for all the messages to be downloaded, depending on your network speed as well as the number of messages you have on WhatsApp.

Create a Home Screen Shortcut for WhatsApp on iPad

Now that you’ve set up WhatsApp on your iPad, you can open Safari and access WhatsApp whenever you want. However, if you want to make things easier, you can create a WhatsApp shortcut on your iPad home screen as well. This way, you can easily access WhatsApp on your iPad from the home screen. Here’s how you can do this.

  • Open WhatsApp Web in Safari on your iPad. Tap on the share icon.
  • Tap on ‘Add to Home Screen’.
  • Tap on ‘Add’.

That’s it, a shortcut to WhatsApp Web will now be added to your home screen, complete with the WhatsApp icon. You can just tap on this icon and launch WhatsApp web on your iPad easily.

Limitations of Using WhatsApp on iPad via WhatsApp Web

While the WhatsApp experience on the iPad is decent even when used via web, there sure are some limitations. Here are some you should expect while going ahead and using it.

1. Occasional Lag

During your day-to-day operation, you might encounter a touch of lag or two. Since we cannot use WhatsApp’s native app on the iPad right now, this is completely natural. So if you are the type of user who wants to have a lightning-fast response, you better stick to your phone.

2. Different Contacts List

WhatsApp on the iPad will pull the list of contacts and conversations from your phone and not from your iPad. It is not something you can circumvent as of now.

3. Needs an Existing Account

You will need an existing WhatsApp account on your mobile to install and use WhatsApp on the iPad.

4. No Voice & Video Calling

While WhatsApp has started testing voice and video calling on its desktop app for Mac and Windows, you can’t access these features on the web version. So yeah, you will not be able to voice or video call your friends and family even if you start using WhatsApp on an iPad via the workaround explained above.

We hope this guide will be useful in helping you figure out how to set up and use WhatsApp on your iPad. There sure are some limitations to the experience right now, but it will become a whole lot better once the native iPad app becomes available for all.

Comments 12
  • Chaim w says:

    When will WhatsApp finally work on the iPad ?

  • Larry says:

    Just tried to follow these instructions to add WhatsApp to an iPad, but the WhatsApp website doesn’t show a QR code. Used their download button, but the downloaded dmg file isn’t opening on the iPad.

    Any suggestions how to do this without the QR code?

  • Mark says:

    Superb advice – thanks very much

  • Stash says:

    Super handy and super helpful, thank you for the step by step guide!

  • Kelci says:

    My phones screen broke while traveling how do I access whatsapp on my iPad without being able to scan a QR code?

  • Nathan Elke says:

    I’ve been using Messenger for WhatsApp on my IPad and it MOSTLY works great. The only drawback, and it’s significant, is that I have to re-link it to my WhatsApp account with the QR scan…at least once a week. Don’t know why that is, and it’s pretty annoying, but it’s the only issue I’m having.

  • Fran Broadfoot says:

    Connected easily with IPhone.

  • Giang Pham says:

    instructions work great! thank you

  • Chelsea says:

    Followed these instructions and it worked great to add whatsapp. The only thing I had a bit of trouble with was adding it to the home screen. I didn’t have an ellipsis in my address bar. I clicked the first button to the right of the address bar and the same menu popped up that is shown above.

  • Aashith says:

    Thanks for showing the way. Followed your guidelines & it worked.

  • Jack says:

    I’m using this method for so long
    Sometimes browser does not want to open whatsapp web even if you activate Desktop view
    But alot of times it works.

  • K PANDU RANGA REDDY says:

    One can use WhatsApp Web App available on Microsoft Store on Windows 10 or/and via any Browser and on other versions of Windows as explained above. The Browser need not be only Safari. My experience is that there is no Lag. But if anyone has joined the Multi Device Beta like me, not only Occasional, instead, there is a long Lag.

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