WhatsApp Brings Back View Once Photos, Videos Features for Web and Desktop App Users

View Once feature on WhatsApp web and desktop is making a return after a year.

  • WhatsApp removed view once feature for desktop users due to privacy reasons.
  • The feature has now been spotted again by some users after recent updates.
  • It is expected to roll out to more users in the coming weeks.

WhatsApp has a wide variety of features that cater to different messaging needs of different users. One such feature is View Once which lets users share media files that can only be viewed once. It used to be available across all major platforms until November 2022 when the team decided to remove it from the web and desktop apps. Now, it seems like the feature is finally making a comeback as some desktop users have spotted it after recent updates.

WhatsApp View Once Feature on Web and Desktop

As reported by WABetaInfo, some of the WhatsApp web and desktop app users have spotted the View Once feature working for them in recent times. It became accessible to them after the latest desktop app updates and web version builds on both Windows and macOS devices.

To check if the feature is available at your end, you need to log into your WhatsApp account on the web or desktop app. Open any individual or group conversation and share a photo or video. In the interface where you get an option to add media captions, you should see the “1” icon on the right side. Clicking this icon will enable the View Once mode for that particular media file.

For the uninitiated, View Once is a WhatsApp feature that lets users send photos and videos that can only be viewed once. It means the recipient can open and view the shared media file only once. This is different from standard media file sharing where recipients can go back and check a media file anytime they want.

The only thing to keep in mind is that View Once is not a screenshot-proof feature. A recipient can take screenshots of the shared media file which adds a privacy risk. Moreover, WhatsApp does not have support for letting users know if someone has taken a screenshot. If you do wish to use View Once for sharing sensitive media files, be aware of all the risks involved.

WhatsApp web recently received another new privacy-related feature. The team added support for adding a screen lock on the web. This password will prevent unauthorized access to your WhatsApp account, chats, and other private details on the web and desktop apps. The same privacy functionality has been available on smartphone apps for a long time.

The team is also working on adding email address verification for WhatsApp accounts. This new feature will give users an additional way of authenticating themselves which goes beyond mobile numbers. WhatsApp says your email address will not be visible to others. It should be noted that the phone number will continue to be the primary mode of authenticating users.