How can you best use your WhatsApp

Setting up Whatsapp - this is how the first steps work

Sandra Ohse

With more than a billion users, Whatsapp is the most popular instant messaging service worldwide. How to set up and use the app on your smartphone is explained in these step-by-step instructions.

EnlargeTutorial: How to Install Whatsapp on Your Android Device.

Step 1: installation

To install, open the Google Play Store on your smartphone and enter "Whatsapp" in the search bar. Select the relevant program. On the provider's page, tap on the “Install” option. An Android version 2.1 or higher is required for the setup. Confirm the terms of use of the program by clicking the "Accept" button in the lower right corner of the display. After the successful installation, tap on "Open".

Step 2: verify phone number

After Whatsapp has opened, you have to accept the general terms and conditions via "Agree and continue". In the next window, enter your phone number and let Whatsapp verify it. You will receive an SMS for this, which contains both a short number code and a link. Now either enter the code in the field provided or click on the link.

EnlargeUse the status to notify your contacts of the extent to which you are currently available for chats or calls.

Step 3: edit your profile

After successfully verifying your phone number, upload an optional profile photo and enter a username. Whatsapp then shows both of these to your friends as contact information for your account.

To upload an image, tap the previously empty round frame. Either select an existing photo from your smartphone gallery or use the camera to take a new one. Then confirm your entries at the top right with "Next". Now tap once more on the three dots in the upper right corner and then on the “Status” option. This is a short text that should tell your contacts to what extent you can be reached via Whatsapp. You have the option of accepting one of the suggested texts that are listed under "Choose your new status". Alternatively, you can also write a short sentence using the pencil symbol itself.

Also interesting: The best tips for Whatsapp users

Step 4: Set up notifications

EnlargeActivate or deactivate read receipts for messages in the privacy settings of Whatsapp.

In order to determine to what extent your smartphone should inform you about new Whatsapp messages or calls, tap on the three dots in the top right corner of the display and then on "Settings -> Notifications". In the “Notifications” section, select whether you want an acoustic signal - and which one - sounds for new messages, whether your smartphone should also vibrate and whether you want to receive a pop-up message on your screen with a preview of the message.

Under the "Light" option, you specify the color of the light signal that flashes when a new message arrives.

Step 5: edit your privacy

Before using Whatsapp for the first time, you should familiarize yourself with the privacy settings: Open the app settings via the three dots in the top right corner, then "Account" and then "Privacy". Here you specify whether and to whom it should be visible when you were last online. If you want to keep the social check as small as possible, tap on “Last online” and choose the “Nobody” option.

With the profile picture and your status, there is also the option of making the information visible either to all Whatsapp users, only to your contacts, or to no one else.

Under "Messaging" activate or deactivate the read receipt for messages. Your decision applies to your contacts and to yourself. If you do not check this box, your contacts will not receive a read receipt when you have opened and seen the message. However, you can no longer trace whether the person you are talking to has read your message.

Step 6: Write a new message

EnlargeSelect the “Chats” tab, then tap the speech bubble in the upper right corner to compose a new message.

After successfully setting up the messenger, you can finally send messages to your friends. To do this, select the “Chats” tab in the top center, and then tap the speech bubble icon in the top right corner of the screen. A window will now open in which you can select the respective contact to whom you want to send a message. Briefly touch the input field above the keyboard with your finger and start typing. Then send the message using the arrow to the right of the input field. It will now appear at the top of the chat history.

If you want to enrich your text with emoticons, you can do this using the small smiley face on the left. There are numerous smileys to choose from in a wide variety of emotions. But animals and various symbols are also offered. Just tap the ones you want and they will appear in the input field at the top.

EnlargeAttachments such as photos, videos, audio files, contacts and locations can also be sent via Whatsapp.

As with e-mails, attachments can also be sent via Whatsapp. You can send pictures from the gallery, photos you have just created, videos, audio recordings, contacts and your current location. To do this, tap the paper clip in the upper right corner and select the attachment you want.

Step 7: Create a Whatsapp group

Are you coordinating a meeting with your friends, planning a joint birthday present or just want to stay in touch with several people at the same time? Then the group conversation on Whatsapp is ideal. You can create a new group under the "Chats" tab and the three dots at the top right. Here tap on the option "New Group". In a first step, you now enter the group subject and optionally define a group picture. To insert a photo, tap the round frame and select the image you want or create a new one. Confirm your previous entries with "Next" at the top right. Now select the contacts you want to add to the group. Complete the process at the top right via "Create".

Step 8: Calls via Whatsapp