WhatsApp is arguably the most popular messaging platform on the planet, with the Facebook-owned company boasting an eye-watering 64 billion messages processed by its servers on its most successful day (we'll give you a second to let that sink in).

But what if you want to use WhatsApp on your Mac to reply to the messages on your iPhone? Is there a way to do that? It turns out, there are handfuls of way to access WhatsApp on a Mac, and here is where we outline your best options.

This article therefore explains how to access, send and receive messages via WhatsApp for iPhone (or Android!) on your Mac. Oh, and if you want to use WhatsApp on your iPad, we've got a tutorial for that too. 

How to use WhatsApp on Mac - Download

A little thing called WhatsApp Web

Apple’s introduction of the Messages app back in OS X Mountain Lion brought much convenience for iOS users, giving them the ability to send and receive iMessages (and later, all text messages) via their Macs. It meant users could quickly reply to messages and carry on with what they were doing before, along with being able to type longer messages, quickly. 

How to use WhatsApp on Mac - Mac program

Back in 2015, WhatsApp had its own variation for PC & Mac users dubbed WhatsApp Web. It's essentially a browser-based WhatsApp app, allowing users to log in from virtually any device and be able to access their WhatsApp messages. It’s fully supported on Google Chrome, Opera and FireFox, but doesn’t offer official support for those using Safari – although it does work, just with a handful of features missing.

By heading to the WhatsApp Web website on Chrome, Opera or FireFox, you’re able to log in quickly using a QR code and access all conversations available on your smartphone. In addition to this, you can send and receive media, participate in group chats, send and receive voice notes and even receive notifications whenever a new message is received. If you access WhatsApp Web via Safari, you’ll have access to all the above features apart from push notification support, and voice note recording (you’re still able to listen to them).

It should also be noted that you'll need to have your phone connected to the internet to send and receive messages using WhatsApp Web.

The WhatsApp desktop app

Following the success of WhatsApp Web, the company launched its very own desktop app for Mac and PC users. It can be downloaded for free through the WhatsApp website and is extremely simple to set up.

How to use WhatsApp on Mac - QR Code

Once you've installed and opened the WhatsApp desktop app, you'll be presented with a QR code. Get on your phone, open WhatsApp and hit the three little dots at the top right-hand corner and select WhatsApp Web.

How to use WhatsApp on Mac - App

A QR scanner should open within your mobile app, allowing you to scan the code on your Mac screen.

Once you've paired your PC or Mac to your mobile device, you'll have your WhatsApp contacts and conversations directly synchronised to your desktop! Any messages sent or received are reflected on both your phone and the desktop app in real-time. Therefore, if you delete a conversation on your phone, it will delete it off your desktop app and vice versa.

How to use WhatsApp on Mac - Application

Just like the Web app, you'll need to have your phone's data or Wi-Fi enabled, so ensure you've got a mobile data plan to cater for your demands or that ensure you're on a Wi-Fi network. If your phone is not connected, you won't receive messages and your sent messages will be put on hold.

If you ever want to stop your desktop app sending and receiving your messages, simply log out of the desktop app.

Read next: Pros and Cons of jailbreaking an iPhone