WhatsApp is introducing a new Read Later function – here's how it'll work

(Image credit: Shutterstock / Alex Ruhl)

There have been some pretty major changes and additions to WhatsApp in recent weeks and months, and the latest development sees the arrival of a replacement for the current Archived Chats feature.

The new version of Archived Chats is called Read Later, and it brings important changes to the way messages can be archived and muted. The new Read Later option works in conjunction with the Vacation Mode we wrote about recently.

One of the key changes with Read Later is that even when chats have been archived – or marked for reading at a later time – new messages will arrive and be added to the archive, but you won't be pestered by notifications about them. Introductory text shows that WhatsApp's thinking here is to help reduce interruptions.

For now, references to Read Later have only been spotted in the iOS version of WhatsApp (specifically WhatsApp Messenger beta for iOS, but it's hard to imagine that the feature won't also arrive on Android. But with the feature not having been officially announced, it is hard to say quite when everyone will get their hands on it.


While Read Later chats are silenced so you're not bothered by them, the Read Later section is always available in your chat list so you can jump back to them whenever you want to. If you decide you want to receive notifications rom a particular chat thread again, you can unarchive one of more chats in a few taps.

At the moment the changes can only be seen by people who are signed up to WhatsApp's TestFlight beta program. This is currently fully subscribed so, unless you have already managed to sign up, this unfortunately means you'll have to wait for the feature to roll out to the main release version of the app.

Via WABetaInfo

Sofia Elizabella Wyciślik-Wilson
Freelance writer

Sofia is a tech journalist who's been writing about software, hardware and the web for nearly 25 years – but still looks as youthful as ever! After years writing for magazines, her life moved online and remains fueled by technology, music and nature.

Having written for websites and magazines since 2000, producing a wide range of reviews, guides, tutorials, brochures, newsletters and more, she continues to write for diverse audiences, from computing newbies to advanced users and business clients. Always willing to try something new, she loves sharing new discoveries with others.

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