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WhatsApp for Mac is finally available and now it’s easy to run WhatsApp on Mac for free including on Yosemite and El Capitan. On May 11th 2016, WhatsApp released the long awaited desktop client for Mac and although you could already use the web version of WhatsApp, the desktop app is better because it has more support for desktop notifications and better keyboard shortcuts. Most importantly for iPhone users, the new WhatsApp for Mac desktop client also syncs messages with WhatsApp for iPhone whereas the web app doesn’t.

How To Download & Install WhatsApp For Mac

It’s easy to download and install WhatsApp for Mac for free. Just download the client directly here or by going here to the WhatsApp download page. When you’ve downloaded and unzipped the file, just double click to install the client on your Mac and drag it into your Applications folder. When you open the app, you need to scan the QR code with your phone in order to sync your mobile with the desktop app. When you’ve done this, you can start using WhatsApp on your OS X desktop.

whatsapp for mac downloadAll messages that you send with WhatsApp for Mac are synced with your phone and vice versa. Some of the advantages of the new desktop client include keyboard shortcuts such as CMD + Shift + M to mute a conversation and CMD + Shift + U to change the read status of a message. You also don’t have to log back in every time you close your browser like you have to with the web app. Note that you cannot make voice calls from WhatsApp for Mac.

How To Use WhatsApp Web On Mac

The web version of WhatsApp was released in early 2015 and was the first time Mac users could use WhatsApp via Google Chrome with one drawback. The web version of WhatsApp does not work with iPhones due to “platform limitations” with Google Chrome (that’s basically Google/Apple talk for “we don’t like each other much”). It only works with Android, BlackBerry, Nokia and Windows phones. However, if you don’t want to install the desktop version on your Mac, the web version works in your browser and requires no download or installation.

Here’s how to use it on Mac:

  • Update WhatsApp on your mobile device to the latest version. This is very important, otherwise, the web version will not work with it.
  • Make sure you’ve installed the Google Chrome browser on your Mac. Open it and go to the following address: https://web.whatsapp.com. You will see the following page with a QR code on the screen.

whatsapp for mac - how to use whatsapp on mac

  • If the QR code is not generated first time round, try restarting Chrome or clearing your browser cache.
  • Simply can the QR code on the screen with your mobile device. To do this open WhatsApp on your phone. Select the Menu button by touching the three dots in the top right corner and you’ll see the option “WhatsApp Web”. whatsapp for mac - whatsapp for webSelect this option and The QR code scanner will appear with a message to go to the WhatsApp web page that you’ve already got open in Chrome. whatsapp for mac - scan codeWhen you’ve scanned the code in Google Chrome, you’re done. You can then chat using WhatsApp Messenger on your Mac. Like on your phone, you will receive desktop notifications when a user has messaged you.
  • All chats will be synced with your phone when you return to it. You can logout of WhatsApp Web on your Mac at any time but if you do, you’ll need to go through the QR code scanning process again to log back on.

Warning: It’s a good idea to make sure you are using WiFi on your phone when logged onto WhatsApp Web on Macs because if your phone is connected to WhatsApp via 3/4G, it will also use your data plan to sync messages while you are using WhatsApp on your Mac!

Alternatives To WhatsApp for Mac

There are several unofficial WhatsApp apps for Mac such as App for WhatsApp, Supertab for WhatsApp, Easychat for WhatAapp and ChitChat (formerly WhatsMac) that allow you to use WhatsApp on a Mac.

App for WhatsApp for example is very easy to use, allows you to both send and receive messages and syncs with your current WhatsApp account on your iPhone. App for WhatsApp is the only unofficial WhatsApp app for Mac that allows you to both send and receive messages – the others only allow you to receive WhatsApp messages on your Mac. It’s also the only one that can sync with iPhones too:

whatspp for mac - app for whatsapp

ChitChat meanwhile is a free app that basically wraps the web app into Safari and then makes it available as an application that you can launch from your Dock like any other. It means that you don’t need a browser to use WhatsApp web and works like a separate app on your Mac:

whatsapp for mac - chitchat

It also means that you can use keyboard shortcuts to manage WhatsApp on your Mac:whatsapp for mac - chitchat keyboard shortcuts

There are some little glitches like the media upload button doesn’t work but you can also upload video and audio to ChitChat by dragging it into the app. However, the release of the official WhatsApp for Mac client by WhatsApp in May 2016 means that these unofficial clients really aren’t necessary anymore.

Finally, the most complicated way to use WhatsApp on your Mac is to install an Android emulator. This method is definitely more complicated and impractical because it requires an extra mobile number since WhatsApp only allows you to have one account installed on one device at a time unless you’re using the official app. The Android emulator method is worth doing however if you plan to install other apps on your Mac which are only available on mobile (such as Candy Crush). Here we show you all the ways to use WhatsApp on your Mac so you can decide which one is best for you.

Android Emulator Method: How To Install WhatsApp For Mac Without Bluestacks

The new desktop version of WhatsApp and the web version mean that the following way of installing WhatsApp on your Mac is no longer really necessary. It’s also not very convenient because you need two mobile numbers – one for the WhatsApp account on your phone and one for installing WhatApp on your Mac because WhatsApp only allows you to have WhatsApp installed on one device at a time. However, if this isn’t a problem for you or the web version doesn’t work for you or you’d rather not install an app, this way of installing WhatsApp on your Mac is the most up to date method available and works on all versions of OS X. It’s also worth following this tutorial if you want to install other games or apps which are only available on mobile but not on Mac such as Candy Crush. Although Bluestacks used to be the most popular way to install Android apps on Mac, it has become less reliable in recent years so this method does not require the Bluestacks Android emulator.

  • Download this ISO image of Android. Download the first file in the list – the one with the most downloads.
  • Download Virtual Box for Mac. Virtual Box allows you to run other operating systems – such as Android and Windows – on your Mac. Download the file that says “Download Virtual Box for Mac Hosts”.
  • Install VirtualBox on your Mac and then when you open it, click “New” in the top left corner.whatsapp for mac - virtualbox

In the Name field, you can write WhatsApp and in the Type just select “Other” as Android is not on the list.

  • Move the Memory slider somewhere in the middle.whatsapp for mac - virtualbox memory
  • Select the second option “Create a Virtual HardDrive Now”.whatsapp for mac - hard drive
  • Select the first option “VirtualBox Disk Image”.whatsapp for mac - hard drive type
  • Select the first option “Dynamically Allocated”.whatsapp for mac - memory allocation
  • You can call the new Hard Drive “WhatsApp”. Click Create.whatsapp for mac - create drive
  • You’re now ready to setup Android on your Mac. You’ll see your new WhatsApp Virtual Drive in the left menu. Make sure it is selected and click Start. You’ll then be prompted to select a Virtual Disk which is the Android ISO you downloaded earlier. Browse to the Android ISO file and click Start.whatsapp for mac - select startup disk
  • When you see the Virtual Box mouse warning, just click capture and then simply hit “Enter” as the option you need “Run Android -x86 Without Installation” is selected by default. Once your mouse is inside Virtual Box, it is “locked” in there but if you need to get it out to use it in OS X again, simply press the left CMD key next to the spacebar to release it.whatsapp for mac - android setup
  • Android will not setup automatically.whatsapp for mac - android setup 2 Skip the WiFi setup and Google Account setup stages.whatsapp for mac - skip wifi
  • Once setup has finished, you are on the main Android screen. Select the Home Menu button as you would if you were using an Android device. You must first access Settings.whatsapp for mac - settings
  • Go to Security and enable Unknown Sources. Click OK when the security warning pops up and Unknown Sources is enabled.whatsapp for mac - unknown sources
  • Use the Back button at the bottom of the screen to go back to your Android desktop…whatsapp for mac - android homepageAnd then search for “WhatsApp apk” in the Google search bar at the top. If a Google Account prompt appears, just use the back arrow bottom in the bottom left to remove it and return to the Search Bar.whatsapp for mac - whatsapp apk Select the result that says WhatsApp for Android from the official WhatsApp site which should be the first result on the page.whatsapp for mac - download
  • Click the green “Download Now” boxwhatsapp for mac - download page And when WhatsApp has finished downloading, click on it. If you have problems seeing the download, drag on the download manager arrow in the top left of the screen and drag down. whatsapp for mac - download completeClick Open and Accept the Custom ROM warning. Then simply follow the WhatsApp setup process. whatsapp for mac - setup
  • You’ve now installed WhatsApp on your Mac.whatsapp for mac home

Of course, you’ll need a mobile number that is not already setup with a WhatsApp account to do this as you can only use one WhatsApp account on one device at a time. Important: If the verification method by SMS fails, you need to use voice verification instead. Make sure the SIM card is on your mobile and select voice verification. You will then receive an automated message with a code that you can then enter into WhatsApp on your Mac to activate it.whatsapp for mac - verfiy numberAt the time of writing, this is the only way to physically install WhatsApp on Mac that definitely works other than the web version. If you have any problem using this tutorial, please let us know in the comments below.

How To Install WhatsApp For Mac Using Bluestacks

Important Note: Bluestacks for Mac has been discontinued but this workaround provides an older version of Bluestacks to use instead. As a result, you may experience problems and bugs and we only recommend trying to install WhatsApp this way as a last resort.

Download and install this old Alpha 0.2.1.17 version of BlueStacks App Player. If you have problems with this version, or if the apps don’t appear in Bluestacks after installation, download and install this Beta version of Bluestacks for Mac instead. Let the installer run and Bluestacks App Player is installed on your Mac.whatsapp-for-mac-bluestacks

As the image below shows, you’ll find all of the pre-installed Android apps in your Dock which includes Whatsapp.

whatsapp for mac bluestacks dock

However, the preinstalled Whatsapp will not work. You have to reinstall it by doing the following.

Click on the Facebook app in Bluestacks and login into your Facebook account. Send yourself a message with the following link in it: http://www.whatsapp.com/android/

whatsapp for mac facebook

Click on the link and then click “Download Now”.

whatsapp for mac download

WhatsApp will then start to download in Bluestacks App Player. You can see the status of the download by dragging down the status bar as if you were using an Android phone.

whatsapp for mac download bluestacks

When its finished, click on it to install Whatsapp on Mac. Then simply follow the install instructions as if you were installing Whatsapp on an Android phone.

whatsapp for mac installRemember that you’ll need a phone number with which to verify your Whatsapp account, either via SMS or Voice Message.

whatsapp for mac verify number

There are other tutorials about how to install Whatsapp on Mac, most of them using newer versions of Bluestacks but in our experience they don’t work because the new version of Bluestacks for Mac doesn’t allow you to download and install apps using the above workaround. In the new version of Bluestacks, you’re also supposed to be able to search for and install Whatsapp using the search tool but at the time of writing, it returns no results.

Some Mac users have reported various different bugs with Bluestacks not working properly such as being stuck on the loading screen, icons not appearing or responding and stability issues especially with OS X 10.9 Mavericks. If this is happening to you, first close Bluestacks and delete the config files in Bluestacks. To do this go to Bluestacks in your Applications folder, Ctrl-click on the icon and select “Show Packet Contents”. Click on the Config folder and delete all of the contents:whatsapp for mac - config filesRestart Bluestacks and it may fix the problem.

We hope we’ve helped you use or install WhatsApp on your Mac. If you have any problems or questions, let us know in the comments below.

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187 Responses

  1. dave

    i got the whatsapp downloaded on bluestacks but it wont open what should i do?

    Reply
  2. dave

    i managed to download whatsapp through virtual box but i can only write in english is there a way for me to write in a diffrent language(hebrew-wich is already on my macs keyboard (whenever i switch to hebrew it becomes capital)) ?

    Reply

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