WhatsApp Fingerprint: How to Lock your Chats from Prying Eyes in 4 Steps

WhatsApp fingerprint lock

WhatsApp Fingerprint is one of the latest intuitive features WhatsApp added their popular app to improve chats. Other features include a dark mode, in-group private replies, sharing stories to Facebook, among others. The fingerprint feature enables users to lock the app with a fingerprint which makes physical access difficult for others.

No doubt, WhatsApp is a top social media platform with billions of users across the World. In fact, Statista found that there were over 500 million daily active users in the first quarter of 2019. It’s obvious that WhatsApp has large followership. This is, therefore, a target by hackers to steal confidential information.

WhatsApp daily active users - Statista
Over 500 Million daily active users

As a result, it’s the default chatting app for most smartphone users. Chats could be classified. A classified chat is one that has sensitive, confidential and delicate content you wouldn’t want a third-party to see.

The end-to-end encryption feature by the manufacturers isn’t enough. For instance, anyone who accesses your phone can read your chats and other details. As a result, users have often sought other means of securing their chats from prying eyes.

For long, WhatsApp users have relied on third-party apps such as xhide, Avast Lock, etc. to lock WhatsApp and prevent people from viewing their chats. Most of these apps only allowed users to hide WhatsApp from other apps on the phone. You can then access WhatsApp by providing a PIN.

However, a few of these third-party apps did not allow seamless notifications. You might need to launch WhatsApp to access recent messages and notifications. As a result, the user experience wasn’t smooth. Users, sometimes, miss out on important messages.

Luckily, users can now lock WhatsApp with a fingerprint on Android or Face ID on iPhone. With this feature, it’s easier to set notification preferences for the app and equally determine how to activate the lock feature.

More so, it’s easy to set up and use this feature. Within a few minutes, I will show you how to set up this security feature and protect your chats.

But before we delve into how to do this, let’s see what you need to use this feature.

What you need to lock WhatsApp with Fingerprint

To lock WhatsApp with fingerprint, below are the basic things you should have available.
  • An updated version of WhatsApp. Previous versions of the app had no support for this. So, if you’re using a version that is below version 2.19.330, you will need to upgrade to a compatible version.
  • A smartphone that integrates a fingerprint sensor. Your phone must support the use of fingerprint for you to be able to lock WhatsApp this way. There are several mobile phones that ship with this feature. 
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Now that you know what you have before using WhatsApp fingerprint, let’s go through the steps.
How to lock WhatsApp with Fingerprint

The wait is finally over, and here I will take you through the steps to set up the fingerprint lock. To get started, you must create and set up a fingerprint account on your phone. Read my guide on how to set up fingerprint here.

Once you have that in place, proceed to these steps. In brief, the steps are:
  • Launch WhatsApp and Access the Settings
  • Access the account privacy Settings
  • Turn on and confirm the fingerprint lock
  • Set lock behavior and notification

Let’s see these steps in detail…

Step 1:  Launch WhatsApp and Access Settings Menu

Access WhatsApp Settings

Launch WhatsApp and while on the CHATS dashboard, tap the menu button at the right corner. The menu button is denoted with three vertical dots.

Next, from the dropdown, tap Settings to access features for customizing WhatsApp.

Step 2:  Access Account and Privacy Settings

Go to account, then privacy

While on the settings menu, tap Account and then Privacy. This will take you to several privacy features.

Step 3:  Turn on and Confirm Fingerprint Lock

Turn on Fingerprint lock

Scroll down and tap on the Fingerprint lock to view the lock features available. Next, turn on Unlock with fingerprint and confirm your fingerprint by placing your finger on the fingerprint sensor.

Step 4: Set Lock Behaviour and Notification

Set behaviour and notification preferences

If you have turned on the lock feature, then you’re almost through with the process.
Now, determine how you want the lock to be activated. There are three options you can choose from:
  • Immediately: Choosing this option will lock WhatsApp immediately you exit or toggle the app. Also, once the screen sleeps (or turns off).
  • After 1 minute: WhatsApp will only lock after a 1-minute period of inactivity or idleness. That implies that you can toggle the app and access it again without fingerprint authentication within one (1) minute.
  • After 30 minutes: This equally locks WhatsApp after a 30-minute period of inactivity. You will be able to access WhatsApp without authentication within 30 minutes of idleness.

For stiffer security, I recommend that you choose the first option – Immediately as this will always lock WhatsApp once you exit the app or your screen turns off.

Next, decide how you want the phone to display when you lock the screen. To preview sender and message text inside new message notifications, turn on Show content in notifications. Otherwise, turn off the feature.

Turning on the Show content in notifications will allow anybody to read messages on the notifications screen even if you lock your phone. So, turn of the feature

Test the Set-Up

To be sure that you’ve properly set up the lock feature, exit WhatsApp, then launch it. If your chosen option was "Immediately", WhatsApp will display WhatsApp Locked. You’ll have to scan your fingerprints to unlock.

Otherwise, it means your set up isn’t complete. You probably have missed a few steps there. Just go over the steps carefully and amend your mistakes.

Over to you

As you know, security is essential as the slightest slip can expose you to a world malicious attack. Hence, it’s important that you use available security measures to keep your chats safe. And one of such measure is the WhatsApp fingerprint lock.

So, if your mobile phone integrates the fingerprint sensor, don’t hesitate to follow the above steps and create a Lock functionality for WhatsApp.

Otherwise, you will have to rely on third-party apps to protect and keep your chats away from unauthorised persons.

If you are having challenges setting up this, use the comment section or contact form to reach us for assistance.

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