Even though a Desktop version of the wildly popular WhatsApp mobile messaging app has been released, its developers claim that the app is supported only on Windows 10 and Windows 8/8.1. If you are a Windows 7 user, your operating system does not support it officially. Regardless, you can easily get WhatsApp working in Windows 7 for now.
The installer of WhatsApp for Desktop as of this writing doesn't check the operating system version and can be launched in Windows 7 too. So, do the following.
- Point your browser to this page and download the installer for Windows 10 and Windows 8. It is a 61.4 MB file as of this writing.
- Double click it to run and install the app. After a few seconds, WhatsApp's shortcut will appear directly on the Desktop and in the Start Menu, and the app will open:
- It shows a QR code, which you need to read using the mobile WhatsApp app. On your phone, open its menu by pressing the button with 3 dots and select WhatsApp web to scan the QR code on your computer screen using the phone's camera. The Desktop version is only a wrapper for the web version.
- Once this is done, you can start chatting directly. The app requires you to keep mobile WhatsApp running on your phone, exactly like the Web version does. Also, it does not support voice calls yet.
Toast notifications which are available only in Windows 8 and Windows 10 will not work obviously but this is not a big deal, because toast notifications show anyone looking at your screen all the WhatsApp messages that you receive, violating your privacy.
So, if you are a Windows 7 user, you can get WhatsApp working with very minor limitations. Another issue is the app itself. Compared to similar solutions like Viber or Telegram, it is a very basic app and lacks many features offered by competing apps in their Desktop versions. These competing apps do not require the mobile version to be running on your phone. In case of Viber or Telegram, your phone is required only for a 1-time SMS verification. Other than these issues, WhatsApp runs fine.