How to make a WhatsApp video call: a complete guide

  • You can start a WhatsApp video call from the Calls tab by finding a contact or a chat thread.
  • WhatsApp allows you to join a video call with up to eight participants.
  • If you link the WhatsApp desktop app to your phone, you can send and receive video calls on your computer.
  • Visit the Insiders Tech Reference Library for more stories.

According to Statista, WhatsApp is considered the most popular global messaging app in the world with about two billion active users monthly – it is close to every third of people on earth. If you count yourself among them, you can use the video chat service in addition to voice calls and text messages.

No matter how you connect to WhatsApp, whether via the mobile app or the desktop app on your PC or Mac, you can join a video call with just a few clicks or taps.

How to make and receive a WhatsApp video call on your mobile

On both iPhone and Android, you can start a video call from the WhatsApp Calls tab or from the Chat tab.

To make a video call from the Calls tab

1. Press Call tab located at the bottom of the screen on the iPhone and at the top of Android.

2. Press New call button, shaped like a telephone. It’s at the top of the iPhone and at the bottom of Android.

Screenshot of the WhatsApp Call tab on Android

Press the “New call” button, then select who you want to video call.

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3. Find the person you want to call on your contact list. Press video button far right of the screen to make the call.

To start a video call from the Chats tab

1. Press Chats tab located at the bottom of the screen on the iPhone and at the top of Android.

2. In your instant messaging list, find and tap the chat for the person you want to talk to.

3. At the top of the chat page, tap video button to start the video call.

Screenshot of a chat on the WhatsApp Chat tab

There is a button to start a video call from the top of each chat.

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To switch between WhatsApp video and voice calls during a call

You can switch between voice and video on a WhatsApp call that is already in progress.

To switch from a voice call to a video call

1. Press Video button at the bottom of the screen, shaped like a camcorder. It’s always visible on Android, but you may need to tap the iPhone screen (or click the desktop screen) to see the controls first.

Screenshot of a WhatsApp call switching to video.]

You can switch back and forth between video and audio on the same call.

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2. The other party will be notified that you are switching to video. If your contact chooses to switch, it becomes a video call. If the other party does nothing or rejects the video, it returns to a voice call.

To switch from a video call to a voice call

1. Press Cancel video button (the video with a slash through). This will disable your video.

2. The other party sees a message that you have turned off your video. If he or she also presses Cancel video button, the call returns to a voice call. If not, a video call with only one party video disabled.

You can switch back and forth between voice and video calls as many times as you want in a call.

How to make a group video call on WhatsApp

One of WhatsApp’s strengths is its ability to handle group video calls with up to eight participants at once. You can start a group video call in several different ways.

From a group or individual chat

1. Press Chats fane.

2. In the chat message list, tap the chat you want to video call.

3. Press Video call button at the top of the screen. The call starts immediately.

4. When the call starts, you can add more people to the video call (up to eight, including yourself). To do so, swipe up from the bottom of the screen and tap Add participant, then select the person you want to add to the video call.

Screenshot of the WhatsApp mobile app that adds a participant to a call

Swipe up to add more participants to a call.

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From the Calls tab

1. Press Call fane.

2. Press New call button.

3. Tap at the top of the contact list New group call.

4. Select up to seven people, then press Video button.

5. When the call starts, you can add more people to the video call (up to eight, including yourself). To do so, swipe up from the bottom of the screen and tap Add participant, then select the person you want to add to the video call.

You can convert a one-to-one video call to a group call at any time. When in a call, swipe up from the bottom of the screen and press Add participant, then select the person you want to add to the video call.

How to join a group video call on WhatsApp

If someone includes you in a group video call, you will receive the invitation when the call starts, but do not feel pressured to answer immediately. Even if you reject the call, you can still return to it and join the call at any time before it ends.

Incoming call

1. When you are included in a group call, you will receive a message inviting you to join.

2. To accept the call, press Open. Press to postpone the call Ignore.

3. If you join the call, you will see the call menu, where you can see details of the call, including the list of participants. Press Connect.

Screenshot of a WhatsApp video call notification

When someone invites you to a group call, you can see all the participants before you choose to join.

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Unanswered call

If you previously tapped Ignore If you want to postpone a video call, or if you did not answer at all, you can still join the video call while it is still in progress.

1. Press Call fane.

2. If the call is still in progress, you will see a banner for the call. Tap it to open the call menu screen.

3. Press Connect.

Screenshot of the WhatsApp Calls tab with an ongoing group call

If you miss a video invitation, you can join it later if it’s still running.

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How to make a WhatsApp video call on a computer

There are two ways to use WhatsApp on a computer – in a web browser using WhatsApp Web or on the desktop app, if you have it installed. Unfortunately, you can only make video calls using the desktop app version of WhatsApp, not the website version.

1. If you have not already installed the desktop app, install WhatsApp Desktop for Windows or Mac.

2. Once you have installed the app, link WhatsApp on your phone to the desktop. To do so, press QR code icon at the top right of the mobile app. Then press Scanning and point the phone’s camera at the QR code on the desktop app. Finally, press Attach a device to complete the connection.

Screenshot of the WhatsApp desktop app

You need to scan the QR code on the desktop app with the WhatsApp app on your mobile device to use the desktop version.

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3. Open the chat you want to video call, then click Video call button, shaped like a camcorder.

Can you multitask on a WhatsApp video call?

WhatsApp does not limit you to your call when you are in a video chat. Instead, you can multitask while on a WhatsApp call. Here’s what you can do:

  • Minimize the video window. When in a WhatsApp call, press back button (on Android it is the down arrow at the top left, while it is the left-facing button on iOS). The video call continues, but the video is minimized to a small frame-by-frame video window in the corner of the screen.
  • Move the video window around. Once you have minimized the video window, you can drag it anywhere along the edge on either side of the screen.
  • Do something else in WhatsApp. If you want, you can open other WhatsApp tabs. You can e.g. Have a text chat while calling video.
  • Use another app on your phone. You can launch another app and continue having a video chat in a small window.
  • Return to a full screen video chat. To make the video go full screen again (and get the controls to end the call), just tap the video window.

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