Group messaging is a helpful feature for keeping you in touch with friends and family from around the globe. You will find this option on most messaging apps including Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and even iMessages. However, if not kept in check a group chat can become a massive issue, especially because users can add anyone as long as they had the other person’s contact number.
Until recently, WhatsApp has been turning a blind eye towards this area. As there were previously no restrictions on who can be added to a group or who can add you to a group. Besides, no reasonable upper limit on the number of group participants is a recipe for chaos mostly. After a lot of user feedback, WhatsApp decided to fix the problem by giving privacy settings to restrain users from randomly adding others to WhatsApp groups.
Block group invites on WhatsApp
Thereupon introducing group privacy settings, you can block group invites on WhatsApp from random users. These settings are available on both the Android and iOS versions of the app. Before we guide you on how to enable it, just make sure you have installed the latest version of the app on your device.
You can update it by going to the respective WhatsApp pages on both the Google Play Store for Android and the App Store for iPhone. Here’s how you can enable these settings on your smartphone.
Block group invites on WhatsApp – Android
Group privacy settings for Android users can be enabled by following this guide. And in the given few steps, you stop people from adding you to random WhatsApp groups without confirmation.
1. Go to WhatsApp on your Android app and tap the vertical three-dots icon on the top-right.
2. Next, tap Settings > Account > Privacy.
3. Now tap Groups and choose one out of the three given settings— Everyone, My Contacts, or My Contacts Except.
4. The Everyone option allows anyone to add you to random groups.
5. Selecting My Contacts only permits your contacts to add you to WhatsApp groups.
6. The last option My Contacts Except allows only people selected by you to add you to groups.
7. You can either select contacts one by one or you can even select all contacts at once by tapping on the Select All option on the upper-right corner.
8. After selecting from three given alternatives, Users will be prompted to send you the group invite through a private chat. You will then have three days to accept or decline the request for joining the group before it expires.
Group privacy settings: Settings > Account > Privacy > Groups
Block group invites on WhatsApp – iOS
If you are an iPhone user, follow these steps to enable group privacy settings and stop others from adding you to WhatsApp groups.
Group privacy settings:
Settings > Account > Privacy > Groups
1. Go to WhatsApp on your iPhone and tap Settings at the bottom bar.
2. Next, tap Account > Privacy > Groups.
3. On the next screen, select one of the three given setting options — Everyone, My Contacts and My Contacts Except.
4. Similarly, you can also select contacts one by one or you can just select all the contacts by tapping the Select All icon on the lower right corner.
Users will be prompted to send you the group invite through a private chat. You will then have three days to accept or decline the request for joining the group before it expires.
If you are already a part of some group that was started by someone not from your contact list, or you were added without your permission these settings won’t help you out of them. You will remain a part of it unless you leave a group by going to its details screen. Remember that once you have changed the settings it applies to future group invites only.
In case, you suspect that exiting a group puts you in a fix you can just mute it instead. A group chat can be muted for as long as up to one year before it gets unmuted automatically. While you have muted a group chat you will not receive notifications. You can go back and read the messages whenever you want. Group members will not know that you have muted the group although, they will know if you have read a message or not.