Much to the chagrin of its users, WhatsApp quietly introduced read receipts (letting people see exactly when a message is read, not just delivered) earlier this month. The app always showed one tick mark when you sent a message, which changed to two grey ticks when it was delivered. Now, the app shows two blue ticks when the recipient has read your message
This feature was rolled out without an update to the app itself. This means that there was no privacy setting to disable read receipts when the feature was rolled out. The lack of this basic feature in WhatsApp really ticked us off, and we had promised that we’d be back with a tutorial on how to disable WhatsApp blue ticks as soon as it was possible. True to our word, here we are now that WhatsApp has unveiled this feature for Android.
Here’s how to get rid of those annoying blue ticks in WhatsApp – but if you do this, then you won’t be able to see the receipts either. If you want to check when other people see your messages, then you need to allow them to see read receipts from you. For now, this is only possible for Android users, and only if you manually update the app via the WhatsApp website. WhatsApp typically releases updates first via its website, and then rolls out the update for Android’s Google Play store, followed by updates for other platforms, so the update will be available for all devices soon.
The first step is to get the latest APK file from WhatsApp:
- Download the latest (version 2.11.444) WhatsApp.apk from the official website.
- On your Android phone, go to Settings > Security > Check Unknown sources, to enable installing apps from outside Google Play. Note that the exact path to the setting can vary depending on your device manufacturer and Android version – the important thing to note is that you enable installing apps from unknown sources.
- Open the apk on your Android phone. This will install the latest version of the app on your device.
Once the app is installed, here’s how to disable read receipts:
- Open WhatsApp and tap three vertical dots icon on the top right.
- Now go to Settings > Account > Privacy.
- Uncheck Read receipts.
That will disable the blue ticks on WhatsApp. As we noted above, feature isn’t available on other platforms or on Google Play as yet, but now that this feature has appeared on the official WhatsApp apk, we can hope that an update will bring it to all platforms.