How to hide online status on WhatsApp: step-by-step guide to protect your privacy

WhatsApp is the most popular instant messaging platform with over two billion monthly active users. As such everyone and their social circle are on the app. WhatsApp lets its users see when their contacts were last online, next to their name. While this feature is intended to make communication more transparent, it might feel like privacy invasion to some and they must have wondered how to hide online status on WhatsApp.

Also read: How to recover and backup your WhatsApp messages on Android

There could be many reasons for this, for example, someone might be on a vacation and wouldn’t want their colleagues to know when they are online lest they get bombarded with work-related messages. In order to avoid such situation, WhatsApp lets users hide their online status from their contacts. In case you would like to hide your online status as well, here’s a step-by-step guide for you.

How to hide online status on WhatsApp: step-by-step tutorial


Step-by-step tutorial to hide your online status on WhatsApp

As mentioned before, there’s a way to hide your online status from your contacts on WhatsApp. However, do bear in mind that in case you hide your online status from others, you will not be able to see the online status of your contacts as well. With that in mind, here are the steps to hide your online presence on WhatsApp.

  1. Open WhatsApp on your Android smartphone or iPhone
  2. On iPhone click on ‘Settings’ button at the bottom and on Android, click on three dots at the top and tap on ‘Settings’
  3. On the next page, tap on ‘Account’
  4. In the Account page, click on ‘Privacy’
  5. Tap on ‘Last Seen’
  6. Choose between ‘Everyone’, ‘My Contacts’, and ‘Nobody’

Select everyone, in case you want everyone to see when you are online and see when they are online. In case you select ‘My Contacts’, only those who are in your contact list will be able to see your online status and vice versa. Setting it to ‘Nobody’ will not let anyone see your online status including your contacts and vice versa.

As an extra measure, you can also toggle off the Read Receipts in the Privacy section, which will disable blue ticks for you. This means that the sender will not see a blue tick even if you read their messages. However, as was the case with hiding online status, you will not be able to see blue ticks as well.

How to appear offline on WhatsApp?

There are two ways to appear offline on WhatsApp, while still replying to contact you wish to chat with. One of the method is to reply directly from the notification panel using WhatsApp Quick Reply and other is to use the Airplane mode. Let’s take a look at both methods below.

WhatsApp Quick Reply

  1. When you get a new WhatsApp notification, it will show up in the notification panel
  2. On iOS, Slide the new message to the left, tap on the view option and reply
  3. On Android, tap on the message and click on Reply

Airplane method

  1. Turn on Airplane mode on your smartphone
  2. Open WhatsApp and go to the chat you want to reply to
  3. Type your response and hit send
  4. Exit WhatsApp
  5. Turn off the Airplane mode and your response will be sent

WhatsApp FAQs

Who can see if I’m online on WhatsApp?

While it’s possible to hide your Last Seen from everybody, if you’re online it’ll show up for everyone. The online status appears just below your name in the chat window and that cannot be hidden. Everyone in your contact list can see you’re online if they open your chat window, unless you’ve blocked them.

Abhiman Biswas

Abhiman has over 8 years of experience in content development. He is a Senior Writer and Social Media Manager at Pricebaba. He covers technology news, feature articles, and tech reviews, apart from managing the official Facebook and Instagram handles. Despite a degree in marketing, his love for latest gadgets and technology steered him towards consumer technology coverage.