With over 2 billion worldwide users in over 180 countries and over 1 billion daily active users, WhatsApp is one of the most popular ways to communicate globally. WhatsApp Messenger is now the leading mobile messaging app in 169 countries, including India, Germany, Russia, and the U.K., except in the U.S., where Messenger dominates the scene.
If you have lots of contacts in your phone, adding them individually to WhatsApp can be tedious and time-consuming. We’ve put together a guide on the fastest and easiest way to get all of your domestic and international contacts into WhatsApp, so you can spend more time chatting and less time tapping. The following examples use iOS 14 and Android 10, but the steps are identical for previous OS versions, as WhatsApp has kept the interface consistent for customer ease of use.
How to add contacts in iOS
- In the Chat pane, tap the chat icon at the upper right of the window.
- On the next screen, tap New Contact.
- Type in the name and telephone number of the person you want to add — name and telephone number and email are mandatory.
- The contact information will then appear in your Contacts.
How to add contacts in Android
- From the Chats pane, tap the Chat icon at the bottom right of the screen.
- Select New Contact from the next screen.
- Enter the contact information of the person you want to add.
- Tap Save at the upper right of the window. The next screen will display the entire contact.
- Your new contact will also appear in your address book.
How to invite a friend to join WhatsApp
As you start using WhatsApp more often, you may want to add more people to your contacts. Because you can only communicate with people who already have WhatsApp, you may have to employ some friendly persuasion to get your buddies to download yet another app onto their crowded phones.
On an iOS device
- Go to the Chat window and tap on the chat icon in the upper right.
- On the next screen, scroll to the bottom.
- Tap on Invite Friends to WhatsApp.
- Choose from the menu to Mail or Message the invite.
- Choose your friend from your contacts list and tap the Send 1 Invite button.
- WhatsApp sends a prewritten note with an invite and a link to the app in the App Store.
On an Android device
- Go to the Chat pane and start a new chat.
- In the next pane, tap Invite friends.
- The app lets you access email and messages, where you can send a message to your friend.
- Tap Send.
- Your friend gets a link to WhatsApp Messenger in the Google Play Store that they can download and sign in.
How to add a friend from a different country
When you’re adding a friend with an international phone number to your contact list, you’ll follow the same general steps for adding a contact ordinarily. However, you’ll still want to ensure that you enter the foreign phone number properly or it won’t call.
- When adding the contact’s phone number, always start with a plus sign (+).
- Type the country code, a nation-specific numerical prefix, followed by the phone number. Search online to find the country code if you don’t know it.
- Remove any leading zeros or calling codes from the phone number after entering the country code.
How to add a contact via QR Code
Using custom QR codes is an easy way to share your contact information with other WhatsApp users because it will ensure there are no human input errors in creating a new contact—whatever you put into the code will be included in the contact. QR Codes can save or share a contact, start a chat, or add someone to a group. You can easily add a person to your WhatsApp contacts by scanning their QR Code or share your QR code with others via the app’s Share button. Here’s how to create a WhatsApp QR code. The process is the same on both iOS and Android.
- Open WhatsApp>Settings.
- Tap on the QR Code icon next to your name.
- Tap Scan>OK.
- Hold your smartphone over the QR Code until it vibrates in recognition.
- Tap Add to Contacts.
- Alternately, to use the WhatsApp camera, tap the WhatsApp>Camera icon (top menu on Android, bottom menu on iOS)
- Center your phone over the QR Code until it vibrates.
- Tap Add to Contacts.