WhatsApp is one of our favourite messaging apps on iPhones and Android phones, but until very recently – as in, last week – there was no way to use WhatsApp on two phones without having two different accounts. That's now changed, and you can now use the same account on up to four additional devices – not just phones but also web browsers, tablets and desktop computers too.
The feature is rolling out now, but don't worry if it isn't on your phone just yet; it's definitely coming, but WhatsApp rollouts can take a week or two to reach everybody.
Linking another device doesn't just enable you to read and post using it. It also copies your message history across, keeping it encrypted so other people can't see it.
How to use WhatsApp in two phones
To use a second phone or other device with your WhatsApp account, you need to link it. To do that, install WhatsApp on the device you want to link. Open it, agree with the user agreement and then go to More Options > Link to Existing Account.
When you do that, you should now see a QR code. You'll need to scan that using the camera in your primary phone. So to do that, pick up the phone you already use for WhatsApp, open the app and then either:
Tap More Options (the three-dot icon) > Linked Device > Link A Device
Tap on Settings > Linked Devices > Link a Device (on iPhone).
You can now follow the on-screen instructions to scan the code.
This works on the desktop app as well as on phones, but don't panic if you get an error message: we sometimes find that WhatsApp's authentication servers can be a bit busy, so if it tells you that you can't link your device at the current time try again shortly afterwards.