If there's one WhatsApp feature that's both a blessing and a curse, it's 'Read Receipts'.
This tool lets you know when someone has read your message, but it's a double-edged sword as it also lets people know when you've read their message or not.
This can be embarrassing especially for those of us who like to take a little too long to reply to messages, leaving our contacts wondering why we won't reply.
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Fortunately there's a few smartphone hacks which will let you check out WhatsApp messages without ever triggering the 'Seen' feature.
You might already know about the first one. When you get a WhatsApp notification on your Android device or iPhone, you can usually open a preview of the message from the smartphone's lock screen.
On Android, you do this by swiping downwards on the message preview, while on iPhone, you just have to press and hold down the message.
This should let you see most of the message without the sender knowing you've read it. Just be warned that it might not show you the entirety of very long messages, and if the sender has broken up their message into a thread of separate texts, you might not be able to see all of it either.
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The other, more surefire way to ensure your privacy is by disabling the Read Receipts feature on WhatsApp.
All you have to do for this is open the Settings app on WhatsApp then tap Account > Privacy. Then, just scroll down and tap the toggle button for 'Read Receipts'.
Once this is switched off, you won't be able to see if your messages have been read by others—but your contacts won't be able to see if you've read their texts either.
Unfortunately, this won't work on group chats.
The final trick is turn on Aeroplane or Flight Mode before you read the message, which should disable your phone's Internet access. This will prevent WhatsApp from telling your contact that a message has been read.
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