Now Send Messages on WhatsApp Without Adding a Contact

WhatsApp has a needlessly complicated system for messaging people you haven't saved in your contacts. You have to add them to your contacts before you can open a chat with them. It can be mildly annoying or downright frustrating if you're in a rush.

Suppose you only want to send a one-time message (say, your location to the pizza delivery person) or don't want to add a random person to your list because it'll mess up your WhatsApp privacy settings. In that case, we'll show you how to start a new chat without the phone number to your contact list. You can delete or archive the chat later to keep the conversations tidy.

Start a WhatsApp Chat by Texting Yourself the Phone Number

If you didn't know this already, WhatsApp lets you chat with yourself. You can save files here or jot down quick notes. But you can also use it to start chats with other people. It's the easiest workaround to your problem.

Look up your WhatsApp number in the search bar and tap your contact card (it'll have a “You” tag). Then, just send a text to yourself with the number you're trying to start a chat with.

Starting a new WhatsApp chat with yourself.

When you tap the text you just sent yourself, the app will check if the number is on WhatsApp. If it is, a pop-up will tell you, “This number is on WhatsApp.” Here, you can either directly chat with the person or add them to your contacts. Tap “Chat with…” and WhatsApp will start a new chat with that number.

Starting a new WhatsApp chat through a text sent to yourself.

This trick will work just the same on the WhatsApp app and on WhatsApp Web.

Start a WhatsApp Chat Using a Custom Link

Custom links are another platform-agnostic way to start a chat quickly. Open any web browser (phone, tablet, or desktop) and enter this URL in the search bar: https://wa.me/.

Replace the with the full phone number you're trying to reach. It should look something like this:

https://wa.me/123456789

Be sure to exclude any symbols, dashes, or brackets from the phone number before entering it into the URL bar.

Then tap the enter button, and you'll be redirected to the WhatsApp API page. Once the page loads, tap “Continue to Chat,” which will take you to the app with a newly opened chat.

Starting a WhatsApp chat using an API link.

You can even preload the URL with a text message. It saves an extra step and prefills the chat box with your message. That way, you can open the chat and send the text with a single tap. Use this URL template. https://wa.me/?text=.

Replace “” with the number you're trying to reach and the “” field with text that has percentage symbols instead of spaces. It should look like this:

Tap the enter button when it's ready and open a new chat with the prefilled message by tapping “Continue to Chat.”

Sending a WhatsApp text to a phone number using a URL.

I typically don't recommend any mods or companion apps for sensitive apps like WhatsApp, but the two apps I'm listing here don't need any permissions whatsoever.

ChatLaunch For WhatsApp

The first ChatLaunch for WhatsApp. It's an ad-free, safe, and open-source app available on the F-Droid store. You'll either need to sideload its APK file or install it through the F-Droid app.

Starting a new WhatsApp chat using the ChatLaunch app on Android.

Once installed, you can launch the app by tapping the WhatsApp icon labeled “Chat.” You'll find it either on your home screen or in the app drawer. The app has a pretty basic interface just a popup where you can enter a phone number and quick-start a WhatsApp conversation. The gear icon lets you set a default country code.

You can also use the Shortcuts app to simulate the functionality of these apps. Open Shortcuts and tap the plus button in the top-right corner.

Tap “Add Action” and search “ask for input.” It's listed under Scripting. Tap “Ask for Input.”

Creating a new WhatsApp action in iOS.

When you do that, you'll get an action that reads, “Ask for Text with Prompt.” Tap “Text” and select “URL” from the dropdown menu. Next, tap “Prompt” and type “phone number.” Finally, tap “Done” on the keyboard bar. First action. Three more to go.

Tap the search bar on the bottom and look up “set variable.” Tap “Set Variable” and enter “phone number” as the variable name. Tap “Done” to set up this action. That's action number two. Look up “URL” in the search and paste this link as the input:

http://api.whatsapp.com/send?phone=

Scroll horizontally on the keyboard bar and tap the “phone number” chip.

The variable name and the prompt in the two actions have to match exactly for this to work.

The fourth and last action is simple enough. Just search “open url” and tap “Open URLs.” And that's it!
Last step in the WhatsApp no-contact chat action.

Tap “Done” in the top-right corner. And hit the play button to test it.

Now you know all the different ways to open chats without touching the contact app.

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