WhatsApp Web vs WhatsApp Desktop App: Which Should You Use

WhatsApp Web vs WhatsApp Desktop App: Which Should You Use

Currently ranked as the most popular instant messaging app in the world, WhatsApp needs no introduction. The application can be used on both mobile and PC. Unlike mobile, however, WhatsApp can be used on a computer in two different ways: WhatsApp Web and WhatsApp Desktop. Both are effective for accessing WhatsApp on a PC, but which one should you use and why?

To start, WhatsApp Web is the web interface of the instant messaging platform accessible on a computer using a web browser. WhatsApp Desktop is a standalone application that you can install on your Windows or Mac. In summary, WhatsApp Web is a browser-based version of WhatsApp while WhatsApp Desktop is the WhatsApp application for computers. But what more?

Interface and functionality

WhatsApp Web and WhatsApp Desktop are both designed similarly, so they both (almost) have the same design, functionality, and messaging experience. On the two interfaces, the buttons, tools and icons are arranged in a similar way. On the design side, WhatsApp Web offers the same aesthetic as WhatsApp Desktop.

In terms of functionality, WhatsApp Desktop prevails over WhatsApp Web. For these, keyboard shortcuts are limited and not supported. Only users of the WhatsApp Desktop application will be able to use the keyboard shortcuts of WhatsApp to change the reading status of messages, deactivate conversations, switch from one conversation to another and much more.

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WhatsApp Web: interface on a web browser

Aside from the keyboard shortcut, everything else (design and functionality) stays the same.

Availability: where to find them

WhatsApp Web and WhatsApp Desktop can be used by anyone with a WhatsApp account. To use WhatsApp Web, simply visit the WhatsApp web portal on your browser and scan the QR code using the WhatsApp application on your smartphone.

For WhatsApp Desktop, you need to download and install the application configuration file on your computer. After installation, the next step is to link your WhatsApp account to the desktop app by scanning a QR code using the WhatsApp app on your smartphone.

Whatsapp Web vs Whatsapp Desktop

Which uses more memory

A comparison of the memory usage of the two interfaces produced interesting results. For WhatsApp Web, the Microsoft Edge browser was used to experiment, since it generally uses less memory than Chrome. With my WhatsApp account operating actively on a single tab on the Microsoft Edge browser, an average of 260 to 300 MB was used.

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Memory usage for WhatsApp Web (on Microsoft Edge)

Note: It is important to note that current activities (for example, updating status, incoming messages, etc.) on the WhatsApp web on your browser may interfere with the level of memory consumption. For this experiment, however, the messaging activities were kept minimal and constant.

For WhatsApp Desktop, the average memory usage is between 210 and 260 MB. Although the margin is not too wide, the memory consumption of the WhatsApp Desktop application is relatively lower than WhatsApp Web.

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Memory usage for WhatsApp Desktop

Requirements: What do you need

The WhatsApp Web and WhatsApp Desktop interfaces require that WhatsApp be installed on your mobile device (smartphone, tablet, etc.) before they can be used. In addition, your phone must have an active Internet connection.

A web browser and an active internet connection are all you need to use WhatsApp Web on your computer. WhatsApp recommends Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Safari or Microsoft Edge browsers.

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WhatsApp desktop interface

For the WhatsApp desktop, only computers running Windows 8 (or higher) or macOS 10.10 (or higher) will be able to install the application. You don’t have to worry about the requirements. As soon as you visit the download section on the WhatsApp website, your computer’s operating system version will be automatically determined and a download link for the WhatsApp Desktop app will be provided.

Compared to the WhatsApp app on your smartphone, here are some of the missing features both on the WhatsApp desktop and on WhatsApp Web.

  • Voice calls.
  • Video calls (individual and group video calls).
  • Download status – you cannot download / update status on WhatsApp web interfaces. However, viewing your contact’s status updates is supported.

If you intend to do any of the above, you must use the WhatsApp app on your smartphone.

Which one should you use

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Should you install the WhatsApp Desktop app on your computer, or should you stick to using WhatsApp Web on your browser? Well, it all depends on how often you use your PC, how often you use WhatsApp on your PC and your specific needs.

If you are a heavy user of WhatsApp (i.e. on your PC), installing the WhatsApp Desktop client makes more sense. First, you have access to keyboard shortcuts that can help you increase your productivity. Second, your PC would have RAM available to run other processes because WhatsApp Desktop consumes less memory. Finally, WhatsApp Desktop is fast and practical.

WhatsApp Web is perfect for occasional or occasional use, for example, you have to send a file on your computer to a colleague via WhatsApp.


Have you received a message from an unknown number on WhatsApp Web and want to save it? Follow the article guide below for how to add new contacts using WhatsApp Web.

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