WhatsApp just made a big change that’ll make it worth using in Windows 11

WhatsApp Windows Native App
(Image credit: WhatsApp)

WhatsApp has released a new version of its Windows app which no longer requires to be hooked up to your smartphone, and can work completely standalone.

Previously, the WhatsApp client for Windows 11 (and 10) was a web-based (Electron) effort, but the new app – which has just moved from beta to its full release, as The Verge reports – is a native client, and what’s more, it works independently of your smartphone.

In other words, even if your phone is offline, you’ll receive messages in the desktop WhatsApp client under Windows.

As native messaging software, expect WhatsApp to run much more smoothly on Windows, and also the interface has been tweaked to look a bit smarter and more streamlined.

You can get the overhauled app from the Microsoft Store, although note that not everyone appears to have access to the fresh version just yet, and it looks like the new app is being gradually rolled out in stages by WhatsApp. So if you’re still seeing the old version in the store, be patient and hang on a while longer; the new client is coming, rest assured.

Analysis: A major step forward for Windows – and soon for Mac, too

It’s good to see WhatsApp making progress with its desktop offerings, and that ability to still receive messages – and indeed fire up the likes of video chats – without having your smartphone connected is a big boon. Even if the app is closed, with it being native software you’ll still get notifications piped through, so you won’t miss anything.

The feedback we’ve seen thus far online is that the new Windows client is smartly responsive and decently faster than the app it replaces, so it all sounds like a sizeable stride forward for WhatsApp on desktop.

We’re also seeing development on the Mac front, too, as WhatsApp has a native app inbound for macOS. However, that’s still a work in progress, although Mac owners can get on board with the beta if they wish. Meantime, they’re left with a desktop app which is still web-based (and of course the alternative possibility of just using WhatsApp in their browser).

Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).