How to lock WhatsApp on iPhone with Face ID or passcode

There are plenty of uses for Apple’s Face ID and Touch ID, from unlocking your iPhone to authorising an Apple Pay payment. A number of apps request Face ID or Touch ID authentication to grant access, even when your device is already unlocked. These apps include banking apps, various retail apps like Klarna, and you can set WhatsApp to as well.

To lock WhatsApp on your iPhone so your face, fingerprint or passcode are required to see your WhatsApp chats even if your iPhone is already unlocked, follow these steps:

  1. Open WhatsApp
  2. Click on the Settings tab in the bottom right of the screen
  3. Tap on Privacy
  4. Tap on Screen Lock
  5. Toggle Require Face ID / Require Touch ID on
  6. Select time duration for Face ID or Touch ID to be required

When Screen Lock is activated, it is still possible to reply to messages from notifications and answer calls, but WhatsApp chats can’t be accessed without the registered face or fingerprint.

If Face ID or Touch ID don’t work, a white screen will appear saying “WhatsApp Locked. Unlock with FaceID/Touch ID to open WhatsApp”. You’ll only get the option to use a passcode instead after a couple of failed attempts. You could also follow the steps below to bypass Face ID or Touch ID if the failed attempts option doesn’t appear.

How to unlock WhatsApp without Face ID or Touch ID

If you need to access WhatsApp chats protected by Face ID or Touch ID, it is possible to do so, but only if you have the iPhone’s passcode. We won’t ask why you might need to do this, we will just tell you how to do it.

These steps will bypass the Face ID or Touch ID locking functionality on WhatsApp:

  1. Open Settings on your iPhone
  2. Scroll down to ‘Face ID & Passcode’ or ‘Touch ID & Passcode’
  3. Enter the iPhone’s passcode
  4. Tap on ‘Other Apps’ under the ‘Use Face ID/Touch ID For’ section
  5. Toggle off WhatsApp
  6. Re-open WhatsApp
  7. Enter the iPhone’s passcode

It’s not an official method as such, more a flaw in the feature. It simply revokes WhatsApp’s authorisation to use Face ID or Touch ID, but it should work and grant you access to WhatsApp chats with the passcode.

How to lock WhatsApp with a password

The short answer to this is that you can’t lock WhatsApp with a password. While it’s possible to lock it with Face ID and Touch ID as mentioned above, there isn’t an option to set a specific password to lock WhatsApp.

If Face ID and Touch ID have been enabled and fail – maybe your finger is wet for Touch ID or you have sunglasses on for Face ID for example, your iPhone will then ask you for your iPhone’s passcode. It’s not possible to set a different passcode specifically for WhatsApp either.

There is plenty you can do with WhatsApp though, and lots of tips and tricks within the app that we have covered off in our secret WhatsApp tricks feature.

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