How many of you wake up to a constant stream of pointless messages from WhatsApp groups that you don’t even remember joining? Or maybe that dreaded family group that you can’t exit without being awkwardly added back by a long-lost uncle. As much fun and sometimes useful as WhatsApp groups are, they can as easily get frustrating when a stranger (or a distant relative, same thing) gets hold of your phone number and starts adding you to a whole bunch of nasty groups, whether by mistake or to plan a surprise party or just to mess with you.
Either way, just giving your phone number to someone for whatever reason shouldn’t give them the right to bother you on WhatsApp. Thankfully, WhatsApp has already thought this through and made it pretty simple to keep random people from adding you to their chat groups. All you need to do is tweak a few settings under the app’s privacy section. Here’s how you can get there:
- Tap on the vertical ellipses on the top right corner in WhatsApp and then tap on Settings.
- Head to Account, which should be the first option, and then select Privacy.
- Scroll down to the Groups subhead, under which you’ll see a list of options to pick from based on your privacy preference.
In that list, you can select My contacts to let only the people you know add you to WhatsApp groups. If you often hand out your phone number to different people outside your contact list, this is the way to go. However, you may still have an annoying friend or two who just can’t keep themselves from creating random groups and putting you in there. For people like this, there’s the My contacts except... option, which does exactly what it says on the tin.
There’s a chance that you may not prefer either of these options and would want those outside your contact list to include you in their groups, maybe for your business number, or it could be anything else. In that case, you can always remove all restrictions with the Everyone setting option.
None of these solutions are fool-proof, as group admins can still send you invitations privately and nudge you to join. But it should be good enough to give you control over what groups you want to be a part of and keep you safe from any unnecessary trouble.