July 20, 2017

How to WhatsApp-message a number without creating a contact for it

Ever needed to shoot off a quick WhatsApp message to a number that’s not in your contacts? And you don’t really want to add it, either?

On the iPhone, there is no obvious way to do that, because you cannot dial a number in WhatsApp – it can only seemingly message added contacts or people that have messaged you.

But I found a way. It’s a bit quirky, but it works. It might seem like many steps but executing them takes seconds, and it accomplishes the task of keeping your contacts list reserved for those you really want in there. Here’s how:

First, get the number into the phone recent callers list (on your iPhone normal phone app). Chances are  that’s where it is anyway because you just talked to them on the phone. If not, just punch the number, press dial and immediately cut.
Now go to the recent callers list and press the circled i to the right of the number. In the info screen that displays, press the Video button. If that number is using WhatsApp, that will pop up a sheet with a WhatsApp Video Call alternative. Press that. (Note that for some reason, pressing the message bubble on the info screen will always take you to the normal SMS/iMessage Messages app, so it’s not usable for our purpose.)


When you press the WhatsApp video call button, WhatsApp will open and initiate a Video call, which you immediately cut.

You now have the number in the WhatsApp app, in the ‘Calls’ list. From there, just tap on the ‘info’ circled i, then in the caller info screen, the message icon to start a chat.


I told you it was quirky. But handy still. This will only work in reasonably updated iPhones with a reasonably new version of WhatsApp, as it depends on recent features Apple implemented to allow 3. party applications to integrate more closely with the iPhone core phone app.

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