What Is Read Receipts in WhatsApp and Should You Turn Them Off

WhatsApp has its pros and cons. On the one hand, it is one of the easiest apps to use for calling and messaging, and on the other hand, it lacks in certain areas such as privacy. On WhatsApp, anyone can message you if they have your number. They will also be able to see whether you have read the message or not. Fortunately, you can restrict that with the help of read receipts. Find out what read receipts are and whether you should disable them or not.

What are read receipts in whatsapp

Disabling read receipts impact the WhatsApp check marks and message information. The behavior varies for individual chats, groups, and WhatsApp status. Let’s see what check marks mean in WhatsApp and how disabling read receipts will impact them.

Let’s get started.

What Do Check Marks Mean in WhatsApp

You will see three types of checkmarks (or ticks) on WhatsApp chats – single, double, and blue. In individual chats, the single grey checkmark means that the message has been sent from your side. Two grey check marks indicate that the message was successfully delivered to the receiver. And, the two blue checkmarks mean the recipient has read your message.

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In WhatsApp groups, the meaning of the checkmarks changes slightly. A single checkmark means that the message was sent from your side, but one of the group participants is yet to receive it (might be because of connection issues). Similarly, double checkmarks will appear when the message has been delivered to all the group members. Lastly, the blue checkmarks mean that all the members have read your message.

In case you don’t see blue check marks next to your sent messages, it could mean the person hasn’t seen your message. They might be experiencing network issues, or their phone might be off. But if you are sure that none of them is true, they might have disabled read receipts or blocked you.

What Are Read Receipts in WhatsApp

The receipts are the checkmarks that appear next to your sent messages. Read receipts is a feature of WhatsApp that lets you hide or show blue checkmarks and message information (delivery and read time).

When someone sends you a personal message on WhatsApp, and you read it, only then they will see two blue check marks next to the message. They can also see the exact time at which the message was read by you by tapping on the (i) icon. But you can disable read receipts.

What Happens When You Turn Off Read Receipts in WhatsApp

Let’s see how read receipts impact individual chats, groups, status, and voice messages in WhatsApp.

How Read Receipts Affect Individual Chats

When you disable read receipts in WhatsApp settings, the sender will see only two grey checkmarks instead of blue for the messages that you have read. They won’t be able to view the timestamp of the instance when you read the WhatsApp message and only the delivery time will be visible.

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Turning off read receipts helps us in reading WhatsApp messages without making it apparent to the other person. But it has a drawback as well. Even you lose the right to view read receipts for your own sent messages. So if you send messages with Read receipt disabled, you will also see two grey checkmarks when a message has been read. Similarly, the message read time will not be available to you. In a nutshell, the read receipts must be enabled on both sides to view the message read information.

How Read Receipts Can Affect WhatsApp Groups and Status

Disabling read receipts also impacts WhatsApp status or a story. When you turn off read receipts and view someone’s status, they won’t know that you saw it. That’s because disabling read receipts will hide your name from the Viewed by list. Cool, right? Now you can view the status of other people without them knowing about it. Hang on. There’s a drawback here as well. With read receipts disabled, you won’t be able to see the names of people who viewed your WhatsApp status.

When it comes to WhatsApp groups, read receipts do not impact group conversations. So even if your or someone else’s read receipts are turned off, the usual checkmarks and message information will be visible. The blue checkmarks will appear for the sent messages when all the participants have read the message. Tap and hold any sent message followed by tapping on the (i) icon to view Read by information such as delivery and read timings.

How Read Receipts Can Impact Voice Messages

Strangely, WhatsApp voice messages treat the read receipts oddly. If you send a voice message to a person who has read receipts disabled, you will still see blue ticks when the person views the voice message. Inside message information, you will find the Seen and Played time.

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Pro Tip: Send a voice message (can be of 2 seconds) to the person who has disabled read receipts to find out whether they are reading your messages or not.

How to Disable WhatsApp Read Receipts on Android and iPhone

Here are the steps to enable or disable read receipts on WhatsApp.

Step 1: Launch WhatsApp on your phone. On Android, tap on the three-dot icon at the top and go to Settings. On iPhone, tap on Settings at the bottom.

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Step 2: Go to Account followed by Privacy.

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Step 3: Turn off the toggle next to Read receipts.

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Note: If you disable read receipts to view someone’s status stealthily and then enable read receipts again before the status expires, the person will know that you have seen the status.

Should You Turn Off Read Receipts

The answer depends on your need. If you don’t want others to know and see when you have read their messages, then disabling read receipts will come handy. But as mentioned, you will lose the right to view receipts for individual chats and status as well. So if you are okay with that, go ahead and disable them, and live a peaceful life.

Next up: Wondering whether WhatsApp informs the other person when you take a screenshot of their status just like Snapchat? Find out the answer in our next post.

Last updated on 02 February, 2022

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