- Key Highlights
- WhatsApp does not support hiding phone numbers.
- To hide your phone number, use a secondary or virtual phone number. Alternatively, use a different platform supporting the feature.
- You can update your privacy settings on WhatsApp to hide your personal info, except for your phone number, from people you don’t know.
WhatsApp’s popularity as a universal chat app is often attributed to its lightweight and responsive nature, without compromising (at least, for the most part) on the features that people have come to expect from a chat app.
But there’s maybe one demanding feature that WhatsApp doesn’t yet support, and it’s hiding the phone number.
If you’re wondering, there are a few practical scenarios where the user might prefer to hide their phone number while using WhatsApp:
- The user may want to initiate a conversation on WhatsApp without the other person knowing their phone number.
- The user may be interested in joining a WhatsApp group without disclosing their phone number to everyone else.
Can you use WhatsApp without a phone number?
Short Answer: No.
WhatsApp considers phone numbers as the basis of account creation, unlike competitors that let users choose more preferable options such as email or username. In fact, it asks for your phone number as a mandatory input in the registration process. So, there’s no option to use WhatsApp without a phone number.
Chat without showing your phone number
The best way to use WhatsApp without revealing your primary phone number is to use a second one on an alternative WhatsApp version (e.g., WhatsApp Business) just for such purposes. If you don’t have a secondary phone number, you have the below options.
- You can use a physical secondary or burner SIM card, or
- You can use a service that provides virtual phone numbers, such as Google Voice.
Note:An alternative WhatsApp version is recommended so that you may continue using both accounts simultaneously and keep your chats, groups, and personal info dissociated from one another.
Secondary SIM Cards
You can apply for a secondary SIM card/eSIM from a carrier of your choice and use it to register on WhatsApp.
Virtual Phone Numbers
If you don’t want to purchase a new SIM card, you can opt for a virtual phone number instead. A virtual phone number is a phone number usually assigned to you by a VoIP service provider with capabilities similar to a regular phone number.
The primary difference between using a physical SIM card and a virtual phone number is that while physical SIMs and eSIMs use a specific carrier’s cellular network, a VoIP service usually renders its services over the Internet.
These VoIP services usually support receiving OTP verification texts and calls. If you are in the US, texts and calls to other US numbers on any popular VoIP service are generally free. So you can use them for WhatsApp account verification without any extra cost. However, if you’re in another country, you may still be able to use them for a fee.
Google Voice is one of the most popular and reliable of these services. Here, we’ll quickly explore how to use Google Voice to verify your secondary WhatsApp account.
Create a Google Voice account (if not already done):
- Go to https://voice.google.com on your favorite browser.
- Sign in to your Google Account.
- Select your phone number from the list of available ones. If you don’t like any of them, select a different area code and try again.
- Follow the on-screen instructions and complete the setup process.
For more details, refer to this support article. Once your Google Voice number is ready, you can use it to create a new WhatsApp account.
If you don’t want to or can’t use Google Voice, here are some alternative VoIP services you can try:
Note:If you cannot receive the WhatsApp verification OTP on your selected VoIP phone number, it may be because the number might be blacklisted by WhatsApp (as is usually the case with free VoIP services). You may need to try alternative VoIP providers or contact support to ensure that you can complete your verification.
Sign up on WhatsApp with the secondary phone number
Now that you have a secondary SIM or a virtual phone number from a VoIP service, go ahead and create a WhatsApp/WhatsApp for Business account using this alternative phone number.
- Download the alternative version of WhatsApp from the Play Store (WhatsApp | WhatsApp for Business) or the App Store (WhatsApp | WhatsApp for Business) if not already done.
- Select your country from the drop-down list to add your country code, then enter your secondary phone number (from your second SIM or VoIP provider) and tap Done or Next.
- Tap Ok to receive a verification code via text message. You should receive a 6-digit verification code in your SMS or VoIP inbox.
- Go back to WhatsApp and type the same code in the input field. Your account should be verified automatically.
- Next, set up your profile. Provide a name for your account (preferably a secret nickname since you want to hide your identity). Optionally, you may also upload a profile photo.
And that’s it! Your secondary WhatsApp account is ready. You can now message any of your contacts on WhatsApp without revealing your primary phone number.
Tip:If you want to message someone who isn’t on your contacts list, try the WhatsApp Direct web app.
If the above options aren’t suitable for you, you might have to consider a different chat platform that allows you to hide your phone number.
Hide your personal info in WhatsApp Groups
If you still want to use WhatsApp with your primary phone number but don’t want to reveal your personal details to strangers in a group you’ve been added to, you can choose to hide your About info and Profile Photo from others. That way, your phone number will still be visible, but your identity wouldn’t be tied to it.
Did you know?If you set the Group Privacy setting (Settings >> Privacy >> Groups) on WhatsApp to “Nobody”, group admins can no longer add you to random groups automatically. Instead, you’ll receive an invitation link and only get added if you accept it.
To ensure your personal details are hidden from strangers on WhatsApp, do the following:
- Open WhatsApp on your Android device or iPhone.
- If you’re an Android user, tap on the three dots from the top right corner and then tap Settings. If you’re an iPhone user, tap Settings from the bottom-right corner.
- Tap Privacy.
- Tap Profile Photo.
- Choose “My Contacts” or “Nobody”, depending on your preference.
- Back in the Privacy screen, now tap About.
- Again, choose “My Contacts” or “Nobody”, depending on your preference.
- Optionally, you can change your Last Seen & Online privacy level to “My Contacts” or “Nobody”, depending on your preference.
From now onwards, people who are not on your contacts list but sharing WhatsApp groups with you will only be able to see your phone number.
So now you know the different ways to hide your primary phone number on WhatsApp.