In May, WhatsApp added chat locking, a way to password-protect certain chats, as well as removing them from the regular chat list. Without using fingerprinting, it wasn’t possible to see which chats are protected or their contents, but it was still clear that there were hidden chats, which can be a problem in certain situations. A new setting prevents this from happening.

As standard, WhatsApp slightly hides the “blocked chats” section of the chat list, but it appears if you scroll down. It is not revealed which chats we have hidden, but we do have some hidden chats. Now we have the option to protect our locked chats with a secret code, and unless we know about it, we won’t know that these types of chats exist.

Hide your most private chats

For a few months now, it has been possible to selectively hide some WhatsApp chats, compared to the previous, more radical option, which protects the entire application with a fingerprint.

The problem is that swiping down the list of chats shows the Blocked Chats folder above our chats, making it clear that we have hidden some chats. Both the recipients and the content of these messages remain hidden unless you unlock them with your mobile fingerprint, but there will still be those who prefer secret chats to be less visible.

That’s now possible thanks to a new setting that’s being progressively rolled out to users, starting as always with those who use the app’s beta version: the secret code to unlock chats.

If you have the option active, you’ll find a ⋮ menu button when you open blocked chats, with two related options: Hide Blocked Chats and Secret Code.

After enabling Hide Blocked Chats, you’ll need to set a secret code that can be any text you want, including emojis. Obviously, the idea is that it is a text that only comes to mind and is not easy to guess.

The idea is as simple as blocked chats no longer showing up in the chat list, even if you scroll down. Instead, the only way to see your secret chats will be to look for the secret code in the WhatsApp search engine. Doing so results in the Locked Chats folder.

From this search for your secret code you can directly access your locked chats, as they are automatically unlocked when you know the secret code. In other words, you don’t need to use mobile biometrics.

This new feature makes private chats virtually invisible on WhatsApp, even if someone has physical access to examine the unlocked phone.

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