How to Message Unsaved Contacts on WhatsApp [Android and iOS]

Don't worry about strangers seeing your profile picture anymore.

by: - Last updated on: June 3rd, 2021
Key Takeaways
  • Sending a message on WhatsApp to phone numbers that are not stored in your contacts can be necessary at times.
  • It is a good option if you quickly want to send a message to someone or share your location with delivery executives.
  • It is both convenient as well as protects some aspects of privacy like your profile pictures and status updates.
  • You can chat with people on WhatsApp without saving their contact on both Android and iOS.

WhatsApp is one of the most widely-used messaging apps across the globe. If you use a smartphone, chances are, you use WhatsApp to text your friends and family. Since WhatsApp is free of cost and works across multiple platforms, it has become the most popular online messaging service over the years. Even though apps like Telegram or Signal may offer better features and privacy, the sheer volume of users on WhatsApp has kept people from switching to other Instant Messaging apps.

WhatsApp message unsaved contact

While WhatsApp has been adding more features to the app recently like UPI payments, calls using WhatsApp Web, etc., there are a few essential features that are still missing. One of those features is the ability to send WhatsApp messages to unsaved contacts. If you want to send a message to somebody natively using WhatsApp, you need to have their contact stored on your phone. There is no in-built option to enter a phone number while creating a new conversation. Instead, you can only select one of your saved contacts.

What is the need for messaging unsaved contacts on WhatsApp?

However, there are a few workarounds that allow you to message unsaved contacts on WhatsApp. This is particularly helpful when you want to message someone while maintaining some privacy in terms of not sharing your profile picture or status on WhatsApp depending on your privacy settings. You may have come across situations where you have to text someone who you don’t know very well, or you quickly need to send your location to a delivery executive. In such cases, it is both easier and safer to send a message on WhatsApp without saving their number as a contact on your phone.

Different ways of sending WhatsApp messages to phone numbers that are not on your contact list

Depending on the platform(s) you use WhatsApp on, there are a few different ways that you can use to message unsaved contacts from your phone book or address book on WhatsApp. Some of the ways involve using WhatsApp’s own links to start conversations on the app, while some methods use third-party apps and shortcuts that use WhatsApp’s APIs to start a conversation with unsaved contacts or phone numbers. We will go through all of these solutions separately categorized based on the platform/OS you use.

How to message unsaved contacts on WhatsApp on Android

There are two main ways of messaging unsaved contacts on WhatsApp if you are using an Android smartphone or tablet. Both methods are simple and effective so you can choose which one you want to use, or you can use both ways depending on the situation. Let’s go over both methods.

1. Using WhatsApp’s conversation link

WhatsApp has a feature wherein you can share a link with your phone number to someone who wants to start a conversation with you. Using this link, you can alter the phone number to whichever number you want to message on WhatsApp without saving them as a contact.

The link you need to use is as follows: http://wa.me/XXXXXXXXXXX

WhatsApp Chat via Link on Android

Just copy this link into a web browser like Chrome and replace the ‘X’s with the phone number in the international format you want to message on WhatsApp. Note that the first two digits represent the country code followed by the mobile number. For example, if you wanted to message someone in India, the link would look something like this – http://wa.me/91XXXXXXXXX where ‘91’ should be followed by the 10-digit mobile number. Once you’ve entered the digits, hit go and you should now be automatically redirected to WhatsApp where a conversation with the entered phone number would be opened.

2. Using a third-party app

If you think the previous method is complicated or you don’t want to memorize and enter a link every time you want to message an unsaved contact, there are third-party apps that automate the entire process for you. While there are a few that can be found on the Play Store, we recommend using Click to Chat. We have been using the app for a while now and it is free, works flawlessly, and is lightweight.

Click to Chat

Just open the app once you install it and you will be greeted with a pop-up box that requires you to enter the country code as well as the phone number you wish to message on WhatsApp. Just enter the required details and hit open, and the message window will be up and running. Click to Chat also offers some additional features like pasting from the clipboard directly or accessing recently contacted numbers which makes your job easier. If you frequently send messages to unsaved contacts, we highly recommend you get this app.

How to message unsaved contacts on WhatsApp on iPhone

Just like on Android, there are two ways through which you can send messages to unsaved contacts on WhatsApp if you are using an iPhone. While the first method is straightforward, there is no third-party app on iOS that allows you to do the same function as than on Android. Instead, we will make use of a Siri Shortcut. Let’s discuss both ways.

1. Using WhatsApp’s conversation link

WhatsApp chat via link on iOS

This is the same method as the one we used on Android. You can refer to the section above for the detailed steps, but all you have to do is paste the same link – http://wa.me/XXXXXXXXXXX in a web browser on your iPhone and add the relevant phone number to start the conversation. Since this is WhatsApp’s official link, it works on both Android and iOS.

2. Using Siri Shortcuts

Siri Shortcuts is an incredibly powerful way to automate a lot of activities on your iPhone. Using this tool, you can run a custom shortcut that allows you to start a conversation on WhatsApp with an unsaved contact or phone number. Before you add this shortcut, though, you will have to head over to your iPhone’s Settings > Shortcuts > and enable “Allow untrusted shortcuts”. Once done, get the Shortcut from here.

Message unsaved contacts on WhatsApp via Siri Shortcuts

After adding the Shortcut, you will be able to see it in the Shortcuts app on your iPhone. Tap on the three dots on the top right corner of the shortcut to customize it. Here, you will see a field called ‘Recipient’. If the field has a value already along the lines of ‘Ask Each Time’, tap on it and select ‘clear’. Now, the recipient field will be empty. This is where you need to enter the phone number you want to message on WhatsApp.

Siri Shortcut settings

Enter the phone number prefixed by the country code and select ‘Done’. Then, you just have to tap on the shortcut and a conversation with the entered number will be opened on WhatsApp. Note that this entire process of setting up the shortcut is just a one-time job. Next time onwards, you only have to go to the Shortcut’s settings and enter the phone number you wish to text, and tap on the shortcut. You can also set up a home screen icon to trigger the Shortcut conveniently or set a contact shortcut.

How to message unsaved contacts on WhatsApp using WhatsApp Web

If you are on your computer or laptop for a large part of your day, chances are, you use WhatsApp Web to be able to see and reply to your messages on WhatsApp directly from your computer instead of checking your phone repeatedly. If you want to message an unsaved contact via WhatsApp Web, it is fairly simple just like on Android and iOS.

WhatsApp Web via link

All you have to do is use this particular link: http://api.whatsapp.com/send?phone=XXXXXXXXXXXX and just like in the link we mentioned above, replaces the characters in the end with the phone number you want to message on WhatsApp. The first two digits represent the country code followed by the mobile phone number. For example, if you wanted to message someone in India, the link would look something like this – http://api.whatsapp.com/send?phone=91XXXXXXXXXX where ‘91’ should be followed by the 10-digit mobile number.

Once you have entered all the digits of the mobile number, just enter the link in the address bar of any browser that you use and hit enter. You will now see a webpage that asks you if you want to start a chat with the entered number and ask you for permission to open WhatsApp Web. Once you allow it, conversation with the entered phone number will start on WhatsApp Web.

Why it is important to not save every contact on WhatsApp

These are a few ways using which you can message unsaved contacts or phone numbers on WhatsApp using your Android or iOS smartphone and even WhatsApp Web. As stated earlier, it is a good idea to not store every single contact on your phone, especially if it a stranger’s or someone who you don’t know too well.

You might end up compromising on your privacy as they will get access to your profile picture and status updates which are quite personal. Chances are, you might even forget to delete their contact once your work is done which means they will continue to have access to your pictures or any personal information you share.

Frequently asked questions about messaging unsaved contacts on WhatsApp

Now that you know how you can easily message unsaved contacts on WhatsApp and text a person without having to save their phone number, you may have a few questions pertaining to this topic that we will try to answer.

1. Can I message multiple unsaved contacts or phone numbers?

Unfortunately, you cannot message multiple unsaved contacts and phone numbers at the same time. You will have to use one of the methods listed above to manually message every single contact and replace the phone numbers subsequently after every single message. This is time-consuming if you want to message multiple people at once, so in such scenarios, it is probably wiser to save the numbers as contacts and then send a broadcast message at once.

2. Can I create a WhatsApp Group without saving contacts or phone numbers?

The answer to this question is both yes, and no. You can create a WhatsApp group without saving all the phone numbers as contacts by generating an invite link to the group and sending it individually using the methods listed above. The recipients can then click on the link to join the group. You cannot create a group by directly adding participants without saving them as contacts.

3. Can I create a WhatsApp Broadcast without saving contacts or phone numbers?

A broadcast is the same as sending a message to multiple people which as stated in the answer to the first question, cannot be done without saving the phone numbers as contacts. Moreover, a broadcast will only work even if the recipient also has your number saved in their contact list so keep that in mind while sending messages to people.

4. Is it safe to use third-party apps and Shortcuts to message unsaved contacts on WhatsApp?

The apps and services we mentioned in this article use WhatsApp’s own APIs to open conversations with unsaved contacts on WhatsApp. You do not have to enter any of your personal information in the apps and services we mentioned and hence, they are safe to use. If you are using a different app or service from the ones we mentioned, make sure you read the app‘s description and reviews to ensure that it is safe.

5. Can I message unsaved contacts on WhatsApp Business using these methods?

WhatsApp and WhatsApp Business options

Yes, you can use any of the methods we mentioned to message unsaved contacts and phone numbers on WhatsApp Business as well. Both WhatsApp and WhatsApp Business use the same APIs so the way they work is similar. If you have both WhatsApp and WhatsApp Business installed on your phone, the link or app, depending on what you use, will ask you whether you want to start the chat on WhatsApp or WhatsApp Business.

6. How to message unsaved contacts from my secondary WhatsApp number if I am using two WhatsApp accounts on my phone?

If you have cloned WhatsApp on your phone so that you can use WhatsApp on two different phone numbers, all the methods we discussed above still work without any issue. Just like we mentioned for WhatsApp Business, the link or app will ask you to choose the app you want the conversation to be opened in. When you see the prompt, select whether you want the conversation to start on WhatsApp or in the cloned version of WhatsApp with your secondary number.

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