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.
- When chats are locked, the notification content and contact are hidden. The notification will show as WhatsApp: 1 new message.
- 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, fingerprint or Face ID, you’ll be prompted to set it up before locking a chat.
To turn on chat lock:
- On your mobile device, swipe left or long press on the chat you want to lock.
- Tap or > Lock Chat.
- Tap Lock this chat with fingerprint or Lock This Chat with Face ID.
Create a secret code
Note:This feature will be available to all users soon but might not be available to you yet. To get access to new features, we recommend you update WhatsApp to the latest version. Learn how here.
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:
- Go to your Locked Chats folder > Settings.
- Tap Secret Code > Create Secret Code.
- Create your code and tap Next.
- 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:
- 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.
- Confirm your Face ID or touch the fingerprint sensor to unlock.
- 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
- Swipe left or long press on the chat you want to unlock.
- Tap or > Unlock Chat.
- Toggle off and confirm your fingerprint or Face ID.
Unlock and clear all chats
If you unlock and clear all 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:
- Go to your WhatsApp settings.
- Tap Privacy > Chat Lock > Unlock and Clear All.