How to install WhatsApp on an iPad (without jailbreaking)

There's no official version of WhatsApp for the iPad, but it's possible to use it anyway. We've found a variety of ways to use WhatsApp Web on an iPad, and for those more adventurous, a (slightly complex) way to install WhatsApp on an iPad (or iPod touch), with an updated workaround for iOS 8 systems.

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  • WhatsApp for iPad issues 1
  • WhatsApp Web 2
  • WhatsApp Web alternatives 3
  • Install WhatsApp on an iPad (Part 1) 4
  • Install WhatsApp on an iPad (Part 2) 5
  • Install WhatsApp on an iPad (Part 3) 6
  • Install WhatsApp on an iPad (Part 4) 7
  • Podcast discussion: WhatsApp's end-to-end encryption 8
  • More stories
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Step 1 of 8: How to install WhatsApp on an iPad

WhatsApp Messenger is an incredibly popular app for the iPhone. It lets you send messages to your friends, or to groups of friends, over Wi-Fi or 4G, thereby saving on your phone bill (although you may still end up paying for the data if you go over your limit!). It’s a service that’s used to communicate worldwide, and WhatsApp has over 900 million active users as of September 2015.

The sad thing is that the app is only available for iPhone - there isn't one for the iPad or the iPod touch.

But don't despair. In this tutorial we show you how to access WhatsApp Messenger on the iPad (or iPod touch) using WhatsApp Web on your iPad. WhatsApp Web connects to the WhatsApp account on your smartphone and forwards the messages on to your iPad, allowing you to send and receive WhatsApp messages, pictures and videos.

We've also added a section devoted to installing WhatsApp on an iPad unofficially (post iOS 8), which contains one possible workaround, but it's far from ideal: it requires you to access a version of the WhatsApp install file that both predates the launch of iOS 8 and is linked to your own personal account: no easy matter. And other than that, we (and the rest of the tech press) have been unable to really crack this issue. Give our methods a try, but prepare yourself for potential disappointment.

Read next: How to dry out a wet iPad

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Next Prev slideshow image

WhatsApp Messenger is an incredibly popular app for the iPhone. It lets you send messages to your friends, or to groups of friends, over Wi-Fi or 4G, thereby saving on your phone bill (although you may still end up paying for the data if you go over your limit!). It’s a service that’s used to communicate worldwide, and WhatsApp has over 900 million active users as of September 2015.

The sad thing is that the app is only available for iPhone - there isn't one for the iPad or the iPod touch.

But don't despair. In this tutorial we show you how to access WhatsApp Messenger on the iPad (or iPod touch) using WhatsApp Web on your iPad. WhatsApp Web connects to the WhatsApp account on your smartphone and forwards the messages on to your iPad, allowing you to send and receive WhatsApp messages, pictures and videos.

We've also added a section devoted to installing WhatsApp on an iPad unofficially (post iOS 8), which contains one possible workaround, but it's far from ideal: it requires you to access a version of the WhatsApp install file that both predates the launch of iOS 8 and is linked to your own personal account: no easy matter. And other than that, we (and the rest of the tech press) have been unable to really crack this issue. Give our methods a try, but prepare yourself for potential disappointment.

Read next: How to dry out a wet iPad

 

Step 2 of 8: How to install WhatsApp on an iPad: WhatsApp Web

If you’re looking to access WhatsApp on your iPad via WhatsApp Web, there are two ways to do so – either via Safari, or an unofficial app on the App Store. Here’s how to access the service via Safari:

Step 1) Open Safari on your iPad and head to web.whatsapp.com. Upon loading the page, you’ll notice that it doesn’t take you to the WhatsApp Web interface and instead takes you to the WhatsApp home page.

Step 2) Tap on the URL and swipe down to access the ‘top drawer’ of the favourites menu that appears when typing a web address. You should see an option that says “Load desktop site” – tap it.

Step 3) The page should reload and display the familiar WhatsApp Web interface displaying the QR code to pair with your iPhone. Using your iPhone, head to Settings > WhatsApp Web and scan the QR code to pair the two devices together.

Step 4) Success! The page should reload and display all your recent messages along with any media or voice notes sent to you.

It’s worth noting that there are a few limitations when using this workaround. The first limitation is that you can’t send voice notes, as the browser isn’t officially supported by WhatsApp (although you should still be able to play them). The second limitation is that unlike when the service is used on a Mac or PC, notifications from web browsers aren’t supported on iOS and so you won’t receive notifications of incoming messages. Apart from that and a few small bugs, the service is pretty easy to use and is a great alternative for most WhatsApp users.

See also: How to set up WhatsApp Web on your iPhone

 

Step 3 of 8: How to install WhatsApp on an iPad: Alternatives to WhatsApp Web for the iPad

Admittedly, using WhatsApp Web via Safari on an iPad isn’t a great experience because it wasn’t designed with the iPad (or Safari for that matter!) in mind. Developers realised there was a gap in the market for a great WhatsApp Web app for the iPad, and we’ve been seeing apps appear in the iPad App Store ever since. Many of these apps simply load WhatsApp Web via a built-in web browser, and it doesn’t provide a great experience – swiping is laggy, and push notifications (if offered) tend not to work properly.

There is one that stands out from the rest, to us at least; 20-year-old medical student Ryan Peggs developed “Messenger+ for WhatsApp”, a WhatsApp Web app that has been optimised for touchscreen devices. According to Peggs, Messenger+ for WhatsApp wraps WhatsApp Web in a native app, providing smooth scrolling, keyboard responsive user interfaces (ideal for those of us with keyboard cases) as well as real-time notifications.

He claims that other developers use a method that flies in the face of Apple’s guidelines, playing a ‘silent song’ in the background whenever the app is closed to keep it alive, which will of course cause unwelcomed battery drain and also stops users from being able to use apps that require sound. Messenger+ for WhatsApp uses background continuation and background app refresh to pull messages from the WhatsApp servers, as any good app should.

Read next: Best iPad buying guide | How to set up a new iPad | How to speed up a slow iPad | Which iPad do I have? | iPad reviews

 

Step 4 of 8: How to install WhatsApp on an iPad: Find and download the WhatsApp .ipa on your Mac

The methods we describe have helped a lot of people out since we first wrote this tutorial, but it seemed to stop working when iOS 8 launched. A clever chap on another website thinks the issue is with the specific version of WhatsApp - post-iOS 8 versions, such as 2.11.11 (actually posted the day before iOS 8 was released to the public) won't work with the iPad, but if you can get hold of version 2.11.8, that should work ok, even on systems running iOS 8.

One way you can conceivably get hold of this older version of the app is if your system has discarded it when updating: Gee Are recommends searching your Mac's Trash folder for WhatsApp 2.11.8.ipa. (This is likely to work only if you previously downloaded WhatsApp before iOS 8 was released.) You can then install that version, rather than the most recent one - currently 2.11.12 - from the iTunes Store.

If you can’t find a pre-iOS 8 version of WhatsApp anywhere online, then we’re afraid you’re out of luck. If you have, then continue on to the next slide.

 

Step 5 of 8: How to install WhatsApp on an iPad: Download and start up iFunbox

The next step is to connect your iPad (or iPod touch) to your Mac (or PC). We need a program other than iTunes to manage the files on our iPad. The one we’re using in this tutorial - iFunbox - is available from www.i-funbox.com and is free.

Download the latest version of iFunbox for your platform of choice, and start it up.

Click Install App, navigate to your desktop and click on the WhatsApp .ipa file. It will quickly install, and hey presto, you've got the WhatsApp icon on your iPad screen. But we're not there quite yet - if you click on the icon you'll see that it doesn't work. We'll fix that in the next few steps.

 

Step 6 of 8: How to install WhatsApp on an iPad: Install WhatsApp on your iPhone

For this bit you need an iPhone. Install WhatsApp on this iPhone in the normal way (it needs to be a fresh install - you may need to delete it and reinstall if you had WhatsApp already), start it up, and then register a phone number - the one you wish to use with WhatsApp on your iPad. You'll have to confirm this using a code sent to the number you give.

Now unplug the iPad, plug the iPhone into the Mac and go back to iFunbox. Click in User Applications under the entry for the iPhone, double-click on the icon for WhatsApp, and then copy the Library and Documents folders in there on to your desktop. This will contain the registration data.

 

Step 7 of 8: How to install WhatsApp on an iPad: Load the registration data on to the iPad

We're nearly there. Unplug the iPhone, plug the iPad back in, and in iFunbox, click on User Applications under the iPad's entry, and then WhatsApp - as before. We will now replace the Library and Documents folders in here with the ones on the desktop, thereby copying the iPhone's registration data on to the iPad.

That's pretty much it. A few people have found glitches at this point but you should be ok if you've followed the steps carefully. You may need to close WhatsApp on your iPad and start it up again to stop it saying that the device isn't supported.

 

Step 8 of 8: Podcast discussion: WhatsApp's end-to-end encryption

Podcast discussion: WhatsApp's end-to-end encryption

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