WhatsApp offers several features to offer users a private and secure messaging experience. The ability to lock your WhatsApp is one of the features that limits who can open WhatsApp and access your conversations.

chat lock feature in whatsapp
IMAGE: WhatsApp

Now Meta is taking this one step further with a new feature called Chat Lock. This feature enables you to lock individual WhatsApp chats to add an extra layer of security to your private conversations.

Here’s how Chat Lock works and how to use it.

What Is WhatsApp Chat Lock?

Chat Lock is a feature that lets you lock individual chats in WhatsApp. You can use it to lock your more private conversations, which can include one-on-one chats as well as group conversations. This can come in handy when you’ve to hand your phone unlocked to someone and don’t want them to see your private WhatsApp conversations.

Currently, the Chat Lock feature requires you to use your phone’s password/PIN or biometric authentication to lock your chats. But Meta says the platform will eventually let you use a unique password—different from your device’s password—to lock your chats.

What Happens When You Lock a WhatsApp Chat Using Chat Lock?

When you lock a chat in WhatsApp, a couple of things happen.

One, the chat no longer lives in your inbox (main chat window screen). It goes into a protected folder called Locked Chats at the top of your inbox. This folder contains all your locked chats, and you need your phone’s password/PIN or biometrics to unlock it and access all your locked WhatsApp chats.

Two, WhatsApp hides the contents of incoming messages for locked chats. So when the sender sends you a message, you only get an alert about a new message, and it’s only when you authenticate yourself that you get to see its content.

How to Lock a WhatsApp Chat With Chat Lock

Once you’ve decided to lock a conversation in WhatsApp, you can do so as shown below. The steps to enable Chat Lock are the same on both Android and iOS. As of writing, the feature’s only available on iPhone, so we’ve included the screenshots for just the iPhone.

  1. Open WhatsApp on your Android or iPhone.
  2. Go to the Chats tab.
  3. Tap on the chat you want to lock.
  4. Tap on the name or number at the top of the chat window, and you’ll see the Chat Lock option on the next screen.
    chat lock option in a whatsapp chat
  5. Select Chat Lock.
  6. Toggle on the option for Lock This Chat with Face ID or Lock This Chat with Fingerprint, depending on your device.
    enabling chat lock feature in whatsapp
  7. Authenticate yourself using your face or fingerprint, and you’ll see a message that says This Chat Is Now Locked.
    alert informing that the chat is locked with chat lock
  8. Tap on View to go directly into the Locked Chats folder and view it.

How to Unlock the Locked Chats Folder and Access Your Chats in WhatsApp

Unlocking the Locked Chats folder and accessing your chats in WhatsApp is as simple as unlocking your device. Here are the steps to do this:

  1. Go to the top of your inbox.
  2. Swipe down, and you’ll see the Locked Chats folder.
    locked chats folder in whatsapp inbox
  3. Tap on it and authenticate yourself using your password or biometrics.
  4. Here, you’ll see all your locked chats. Tap on one to open it and continue your conversation.
    viewing locked chats under locked chats folder
  5. If you want to lock the chats, exit the Locked Chats folder, and WhatsApp will lock them again.

How to Remove Chat Lock From a Locked WhatsApp Chat

If you want to remove the Chat Lock from a locked WhatsApp Chat, you can do this using these steps:

  1. Go to the Locked Chats folder and unlock it.
  2. Select the chat you no longer want to lock.
  3. Tap on its name or number at the top.
  4. On the next screen, select Chat Lock.
  5. Toggle off the Lock This Chat with Face ID or Lock This Chat with Fingerprint option according to your device and authenticate yourself.
    disabling chat lock feature in whatsapp

Upon doing this, the chat will be unlocked and back in your inbox. You can now access it like other chats and see its contents—if you haven’t disabled the preview option—like before.

Make Your Intimate WhatsApp Conversations More Private

WhatsApp’s new Chat Lock feature is a great way to keep your intimate conversations more private and prevent unauthorized access, as you’ve seen. That said, we wish the platform offered the option to use a custom password—different from your phone’s—as that would offer even better protection.

However, Meta says it plans on adding it along with more options, like locking chats on companion devices, in the coming months to make the Chat Lock feature even more effective at keeping your conversations private.

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