Getting WhatsApp onto an iPad isn’t that straightforward (Getty Images)

In the current crisis, many people will be falling back on WhatsApp to stay in touch with family and friends.

The messaging app has over two billion users around the world and is the most popular chat app by a long, long way.

Getting WhatsApp on your iPhone or Android device is pretty straightforward, but many people may want to know how you can access it on an iPad. Perhaps you have an elderly relative or young children who don’t have a smartphone but do have an iPad.

Unfortunately, you will need to have a smartphone to use WhatsApp on an iPad because the two need to be linked and share the same account. If you have an old smartphone lying around, now may be the time to fish it out and use it as the main device for the account. You’ll need an active SIM card in there as well.

Once you’ve got that, the good news is you can get WhatsApp on an iPad, the bad news is that it’s a bit trickier than just installing directly from the App Store. As an aside here – beware the lookalike apps that crop up when you try to search the App Store for WhatsApp on iPad, they’re not the real deal.

Here are the steps you need to follow to get WhatsApp on an iPad:

  • Open Safari on your iPad.
  • Type into the address bar
  • You’ll be directed to the WhatsApp homepage since you’re visiting on a mobile browser.
  • To switch to the desktop version hold the refresh button and click Request Desktop Site. You should see a QR code.
  • When you open WhatsApp on your phone, go to settings and then WhatsApp Web, and scan the QR code that’s on your iPad screen.
  • Then, you’re good to go.
You’ll need to have WhatsApp set up on a smartphone first (Phil Barker/Future Publishing via Getty Images)

Aside from allowing us all to communicate during this current crisis, WhatsApp has also set up a dedicated coronavirus page to let people know what it’s doing to help.

The app, which is owned by Facebook, has said it will provide community leaders with support as they use it to facilitate discussions around the virus. Like its parent company, it is also urging users not to use it to spread misinformation about the virus.

WhatsApp’s coronavirus page includes specific advice for specific different groups and singles out healthcare professionals, educators, non-profits, local businesses and local government. And, because it’s not all doom and gloom, the company is using the page to share a selection of stories about how communities are using WhatsApp to come together and prevail over the coronavirus challenge.


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