WhatsApp Now Lets You Disable Link Previews for Enhanced Privacy; Here’s How

Link previews not showing on WhatsApp
In Short
  • WhatsApp has added the ability to disable link previews to protect your location data and IP address being tracked by websites.
  • To turn it on, go to Settings > Privacy > Advanced > Turn on the toggle for Disable link previews.
  • To use it, download the latest WhatsApp Beta from the Play Store for Android and the TestFlight app for iOS.

WhatsApp has been ramping up its focus on user privacy for quite some time. It already offers end-to-end encryption on chats and the ability to protect your IP address through calls. Now, WhatsApp has added the option to disable link previews to enhance your privacy further.

As spotted by WABetaInfo, the WhatsApp Beta version for Android and version for iOS adds a “Disable link previews” toggle. Enabling this feature will no longer create previews for links you are sharing. But you will still see previews for links shared by others who have not turned on this feature.

Since the option is already available for users on the beta channel, here is a quick guide to enable it.

  1. Open WhatsApp and tap on the 3-dots icon at the top right corner.
  2. From here, go to Settings and then tap on the Privacy option.
go to the WhatsApp Privacy settings
  1. Now go to the Advanced section at the bottom of the page.
  2. Here, turn on the Disable link previews toggle.
Open Advanced settings and toggle on Disable Link Previews

Once enabled, the previews won’t appear for you anymore. As you can see in the screenshots below, here is a before and after of how links will appear in your WhatsApp chats.

before and after of disabling link previews on WhatsApp
Disable link previews ON (Left) | Disable link previews OFF (Right)

For those who don’t know, when you copy and share a link, it shows you a snippet of the website or its first page. To create this preview, your phone visits the site, exposing your IP address to the website’s server. The new feature in WhatsApp will prevent this from happening.

As mentioned previously, the feature is already live for some users on both platforms. To try it, make sure that you have the latest version of the WhatsApp Beta installed on your device. You can do so directly from the Play Store if you have enrolled in the Beta program or through the Testflight app if you are on iOS.

Other than privacy, it can also prove to be beneficial if you want to send a link where you don’t want the preview to be visible. You can hide the contents of a surprise link until it is opened. Scammers can also exploit preview-less links for malicious purposes by sending them to users, who have no choice but to open them to view the contents. This can lead to their data being compromised at a much more severe level.

What are your thoughts about this feature, and do you think its addition is beneficial for users? Let us know in the comments.

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