How to turn on chat lock

Web and Desktop
On Android and iPhone, you can turn on the chat lock feature to add an extra layer of privacy to specific chats. In order to read or send messages, you’ll need to unlock your chats using device authentication, such as your phone passcode, Face ID, fingerprint, or with a secret code that you can set up. These chats will be kept separate from your other chats in a Locked Chats folder.
  • Depending on what language you're using in WhatsApp, the feature name may appear differently as Chat lock or Chat block.
  • When chats are locked, the notification content and contact are hidden. The notification will show as WhatsApp: 1 new message.
  • Chat lock is supported on certain linked devices, including Android, iPhone, and Web. If you have any of those additional devices linked to WhatsApp, your locked chats will be locked on those linked devices, too. However, you’ll need to create a secret code on your primary device to open your locked chats on another device. You’ll see a banner in the app if you have a linked device where locked chats aren’t supported. Additional supported platforms will be coming soon.
  • To help keep media private, you’ll have to turn chat lock off to save media to your phone’s gallery.
  • Group chats and muted chats can also be locked.
  • Calls won’t be locked. A call from a locked chat contact or group will still appear.
  • When you turn on chat lock from your phone, it will lock chats on that phone only. If you have other devices linked to WhatsApp, such as a desktop computer, the chats on those linked devices won’t be locked.
  • If you use the backup and restore feature on WhatsApp, your locked chats will still be locked once you restore to a new phone. To access your locked chats you will need to have device authentication (fingerprint or Face ID) set up first.
  • When you turn on chat lock, the person you’re chatting with won’t know you’ve locked the chat.
  • If you set up a secret code to lock your chats, you can choose to hide your Locked Chats folder so that it only appears when you type your secret code in the search bar.

Turn on chat lock

You can turn chat lock off or on for any chat. If you don’t have your device authentication set up yet, such as your phone passcode or fingerprint, you’ll be prompted to set it up before locking a chat.
To turn on chat lock:
  1. Long press on the chat you want to lock.
  2. Tap
    more options
    > Lock Chat.
  3. Tap Lock this chat with fingerprint and confirm your fingerprint.

Create a secret code

After turning chat lock on, you can choose to lock your chats with a secret code that's different from your phone passcode.
For an extra layer of privacy, you can also choose to hide your Locked Chats folder so that it doesn't appear in your chat list and only appears when you type your secret code into the Search bar.
To create a secret code:
  1. Go to your Locked Chats folder > Settings.
  2. Tap Secret Code > Create Secret Code.
  3. Create your code and tap Next.
  4. Confirm your code and tap Done.

Change or turn off your secret code

You can change or turn off your secret code by going to your Locked Chats folder > Locked Chats > Settings > Secret code.

Hide your Locked Chats folder

To hide your Locked Chats folder so that it doesn’t appear in your chat list, go to your Locked Chats folder > Settings and toggle Hide Locked Chats on.

View your locked chats

You can view your locked chats by scrolling down on your chat list and tapping your Locked Chats folder, or if you’ve hidden your chat list, by entering your secret code into the Search bar.
To view your locked chats:
  1. Go to the Chats tab and scroll down to tap Locked Chats.
    • If you’ve hidden your Locked Chats folder, enter your secret code into the Search bar and tap Locked Chats.
  2. Touch the fingerprint sensor to unlock.
  3. Tap the chat to view or send a message.

Turn off chat lock

You can turn off chat lock for individual chats, or unlock and clear every chat you have locked, in case you've hidden your Locked Chats folder from your chat list and have forgotten your secret code to access it.

Unlock individual chats

  1. Long press on the chat you want to unlock.
  2. Tap
    more options
    > Unlock Chat.
  3. Toggle off and confirm your fingerprint.

Unlock and clear all chats

If you unlock and clear all locked chats, all locked chats will be unlocked on your chat list. This means that the chat history in your locked chats, including the messages and media, will be cleared. If you have a secret code, that will also be cleared. To clear all chats:
  1. Go to your WhatsApp Settings.
  2. Tap Privacy > Chat Lock > Unlock and clear locked chats.
Note: You can restore a cleared chat if your latest backup occurred prior to clearing the chat. Please be aware that you’ll lose any chats that occurred after the latest backup.

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