You can message anyone on WhatsApp, as long as their number is saved in your address book. If you don’t have the person’s number saved in your contacts, WhatsApp makes it difficult to text them.
This can be annoying if you want to contact someone just once, such as a courier delivery person who’s unable to find your address. In cases like this, you might want to text them on WhatsApp without saving their number. Here are a four easy ways to do that.
1. Use a URL to Text People on WhatsApp
If you know your contact’s WhatsApp number, you can quickly type a URL in any browser to ping them on the messaging app.
The URL is https://wa.me/NUMBER, where you replace NUMBER with your contact’s phone number along with the country code. For instance, if the number is +1 987 6543210, the URL will be https://wa.me/19876543210. You don’t need to use the + symbol in the link.
Once you open the URL in a browser, you’ll see a pop-up asking if you want to open the page in WhatsApp. Tap Open. This will begin your chat.
This method works on both Android and iPhone, and it’s possibly the easiest way to text people without adding their number to contacts. We say this because it doesn’t need you to change any permissions or set up any third-party scripts or code at all.
2. Reply to Individual Numbers From a WhatsApp Group
Another way to start WhatsApp chats without adding people to your contacts, involves WhatsApp groups. The catch here is that you need to be in a WhatsApp group with the person you want to message.
You can go about this in two ways. If the person has sent a message in the group, follow these steps to message them:
- Tap and hold the message sent by the person you want to text.
- Click More….
- Now select Reply Privately.
- This will start a new chat with this person and you will see their phone number, instead of their name, at the top of the chat.
If the said person has not sent a message in the group, then you can ping them by going to the list of members in the WhatsApp group. Here’s what you need to do.
- Open the WhatsApp group and select the name of the group at the top.
- Scroll down to the list of the group’s members.
- Find the number of the person you want to message.
- Choose the number and press Info.
- Now you can hit the message icon at the top to start a private chat with this person.
These methods can be useful if you’re a part of a large WhatsApp group and need to message a stranger or an acquaintance, without saving their number. One example is pinging a stranger in a group with pictures of an item they want to buy.
Yes, you can simply remove WhatsApp’s access to your contacts to text people without adding their number to your address book. Follow these steps:
- Go to your iPhone’s Settings, scroll down and tap Privacy.
- Now pick Contacts.
- Scroll down to WhatsApp. Click on the switch next to it to disable. If the switch is green, contacts access is enabled. If it’s not green, it’s disabled.
- Now open WhatsApp and hit the new chat button on the top-right.
- WhatsApp will show you a prompt that asks you to type your contact’s phone number. Type the phone number and then select Done.
This will start a WhatsApp chat without saving new numbers to the address book on your iPhone.
If you follow this method, you will have to copy and paste phone numbers whenever you want to start a new chat with anyone. Unfortunately, it also stops displaying contact names for all your WhatsApp chats, which can be confusing.
If this limitation bothers you, then you should restore WhatsApp’s access to contacts after you send the message. You can do that by going to Settings > Privacy > Contacts, and enabling the toggle next to WhatsApp.
4. Use a Siri Shortcut to Ping Unsaved Numbers on WhatsApp for iPhone
Another way to message someone on WhatsApp without saving their number is via Apple’s Shortcuts app. Once you install the app, follow these steps:
- Go to Settings > Shortcuts and make sure that you’ve enabled the Allow Untrusted Shortcuts option.
- Now open the Shortcuts app, go to the Gallery tab, download any random shortcut and run it once. This is required to be able to run shortcuts downloaded off the internet.
- Now download the WhatsApp to Non Contact shortcut and run it via the My Shortcuts tab in the Shortcuts app.
- The shortcut will prompt you to enter the person’s phone number. You can type that but remember that you don’t need to include the + symbol. This means that your number should look something like this: 19876543210.
- Type the phone number and tap OK to start a new chat with the unsaved number.
You can also run this shortcut from the share sheet on the iPhone, which makes it much easier to share links, images, and other files directly to unsaved numbers on WhatsApp.
All you need to do is open any app such as Safari or Photos and hit the Share icon. Now scroll down till you see the WhatsApp to Non Contact shortcut and click on it. You can now enter the phone number as described before, and start messaging people without adding them to your contacts.
Keep the WhatsApp Conversation Going
WhatsApp, on the surface, seems like a pretty simple chat app. However, as you keep exploring this app, you’ll find several hidden features—such as the ability to lock WhatsApp for increased privacy. The app has a knack for hiding several useful features in plain sight, which makes it much more fun to discover new features.
You might think you know everything about WhatsApp. However, like anything tech-related, there are always more tricks, tips, and features to learn about and use.
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