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Meta, the parent company of WhatsApp, recently introduced a new feature known as WhatsApp Channels. Channels, according to Meta, is “a private way for people to receive updates that matter to them, right within WhatsApp.” It also renamed ‘Status’ to ‘Updates’, displaying status updates of contacts horizontally, making it difficult to access friends’ updates. Find this new feature annoying? Learn how to remove Channels & Updates from WhatsApp.
While WhatsApp has been primarily known as a messaging tool, this new feature aims to broaden its horizons. It enables users to follow updates from individuals, organizations, and celebrities they are interested in without having to leave the app.
However, some users prefer to keep their WhatsApp experience focused solely on personal chats and status posts. If you find yourself in this category, you’re in the right place. In this post, we will guide you through the process of removing the new channels feature from WhatsApp.
How to remove Channels/Updates feature from the new WhatsApp update
WhatsApp doesn’t provide a setting to remove the Channels/Updates feature directly. So the only way to remove this feature is by uninstalling the latest WhatsApp version and installing an older version that doesn’t have the Channels feature.
However, if you set your Play Store setting to update your apps automatically, WhatsApp will auto-update to the latest version even if you install an older version. So we’ll first have to switch off the auto-update feature.
Here’s a step-by-step process involved in removing the Channels (Updates) feature from the latest WhatsApp update.
For convenience, we’ll simply refer to the new Channels (Updates) feature as Channels without including ‘Updates’ in parentheses here on.
Step 1: Backup Your Chats
The first step is to ensure that your chat history is safely backed up. Follow these steps:
- Open your WhatsApp.
- Click on the three dots at the top right corner to access the menu.
- Head to “Settings.”
- Under “Settings,” go to “Chats.”
- Select “Chat backup.”
- Backup your chats to a selected Google Drive account.
This step is crucial as it safeguards your chat history during the transition.
Step 2: Adjust Play Store Settings
Now, let’s move on to an essential step that other guides usually miss out. This step will prevent WhatsApp from updating to versions with the Channels feature. Here’s what you need to do:
- Open the Play Store app on your device.
- Click on your profile icon at the top right corner.
- Select “Settings.”
- Under “Settings,” choose “Network preferences.”
- Select “Auto-update apps.”
- Then, select the third option, which is “Don’t auto-update apps.”
By doing this, you ensure that WhatsApp won’t automatically update to versions with the Channels feature.
Step 3: Download an Older Version of WhatsApp APK
As of September 13th, 2023, WhatsApp introduced the Channels feature in different countries. To remove this feature, you need to download and install an older version of WhatsApp (that doesn’t have the Channels feature). Here’s how:
- Download and install an older version of WhatsApp. It’s crucial to choose a version made before September 13th, 2023.
- Download an older version (APK file) of WhatsApp Messenger from here: UptoDown
Step 4: Uninstall Your Current WhatsApp
Before installing the older version, make sure to uninstall the current WhatsApp (latest) version on your device. Since you’ve already backed up your chats, you won’t lose any data.
Uninstalling the WhatsApp app from your device is a straightforward process. The steps may vary slightly depending on your device’s operating system (Android or iOS), but the general procedure remains similar. Here’s how to uninstall WhatsApp:
For Android Devices:
- Open your device’s “Settings” app. You can usually find this in your app drawer or by swiping down from the top of the screen and tapping the gear-shaped icon in the upper-right corner.
- Scroll down and select “Apps” or “Applications” (the name may vary depending on your device).
- Find and tap on “WhatsApp” in the list of installed apps.
- On the WhatsApp app info screen, you’ll see options like “Force Stop” and “Uninstall.” Tap “Uninstall.”
- A confirmation message will appear, asking if you want to uninstall WhatsApp. Confirm by tapping “OK.”
- The uninstallation process will begin, and WhatsApp will be removed from your device.
For iOS (iPhone) Devices:
- Locate the WhatsApp icon on your home screen or in your app library.
- Press and hold the WhatsApp icon until all the app icons start jiggling, and a small “X” appears at the top-left corner of the WhatsApp icon.
- Tap the “X” on the WhatsApp icon.
- A confirmation message will appear, asking if you want to delete WhatsApp. Confirm by tapping “Delete.”
- WhatsApp will be uninstalled from your iPhone.
Remember that uninstalling WhatsApp will remove the app from your device, but it won’t delete your account or your chat history. If you decide to reinstall WhatsApp in the future, you can log in using your phone number, and your chat history may be restored if you had previously backed it up.
Step 5: Install the Older WhatsApp Version (APK File)
After uninstalling the existing WhatsApp, proceed to install the older version that you’ve downloaded.
Installing WhatsApp via an APK file (Android Application Package) is done when you want to install a specific version. However, please note that downloading APK files from unofficial sources can be risky, as they may contain malware.
Here’s how you can install WhatsApp using an APK:
1. Enable Installation from Unknown Sources:
Before you can install an APK file, you need to allow installations from unknown sources on your Android device. To do this:
- Go to your device’s “Settings.”
- Scroll down and select “Security” or “Privacy.”
- Find the “Install apps from unknown sources” option (the name may vary depending on your device).
- Enable this option by toggling the switch or checking the box. You’ll typically receive a warning about the risks associated with unknown sources; proceed at your own risk.
2. Download the WhatsApp APK:
Ensure you download the APK file from a trusted source, such as the official WhatsApp website or a reputable app repository. We have provided a safe link to download an earlier version of WhatsApp in step 3.
3. Install WhatsApp:
After downloading the APK file, follow these steps to install WhatsApp:
- Open your device’s “File Manager” or “Downloads” app.
- Locate the WhatsApp APK file you just downloaded.
- Tap on the APK file to initiate the installation process.
4. Grant Permissions:
During the installation process, WhatsApp may request various permissions to access your device’s features, such as your contacts, camera, microphone, and storage. Review the permissions and grant them as needed to ensure the app functions correctly.
Step 6. Complete Setup
Once WhatsApp is installed, open the app. You will be prompted to agree to the terms and conditions, verify your phone number, and set up your WhatsApp profile, including adding a profile picture and entering your name.
1. Verify Your Phone Number:
WhatsApp will send you a verification code via SMS or a phone call to confirm your phone number. Enter the code when prompted to verify your number.
2. Restore or Skip Chat Backup:
If you have a previous WhatsApp backup, you will be asked if you want to restore it. You can choose to restore your chat history from Google Drive or skip this step.
Since you have already backed up your chat history in Step 1, you can easily restore the backed up chats.
When prompted, WhatsApp will detect the available chat backups from Google Drive. Tap “Restore” to begin the restoration process.
Wait for the Restore: WhatsApp will retrieve and restore your chat history from the Google Drive. The time it takes depends on the size of your backup.
Once you’ve completed the setup process, you can start using WhatsApp as you normally would.
Important points to consider when installing an older version of WhatsApp
- Ensure that your device is connected to a stable Wi-Fi network during the restoration process, especially if you have a large chat history.
- Be patient during the restoration process, as it may take some time depending on the size of your backup.
- If you didn’t previously set up chat backups in Google Drive (Android) or iCloud (iOS), unfortunately, there won’t be a backup to restore from. Always remember to set up regular chat backups to avoid losing your chat history in the future.
- Remember that installing WhatsApp via APK and disabling the auto-update setting means you won’t receive automatic updates from the Google Play Store. Always exercise caution when downloading and installing APK files to protect your device from potential security risks.
FAQs About Removing WhatsApp Channels
1. How to remove WhatsApp channel?
WhatsApp doesn’t provide a direct setting to remove the Channels feature. The only way to do so is by uninstalling the latest WhatsApp version and installing an older version without Channels. Follow the steps given in this post.
However, if you find yourself in a situation where you need to remove a channel that you have created, WhatsApp provides a straightforward process. Follow these steps to delete a channel you own:
Access the Channel Page: Start by opening your WhatsApp and navigating to the specific channel you wish to delete. To do this, simply tap on the name of the channel located at the top of the channel interface.
Locate the ‘Delete Channel’ Option: As you scroll down the channel page, you’ll come across a prominently displayed button labeled ‘delete channel.’ This option is strategically positioned at the bottom of the page for easy access.
Initiate Deletion: Once you’ve located the ‘delete channel’ button, tap on it to initiate the deletion process. WhatsApp will typically prompt you to confirm your decision to ensure that you indeed want to delete the channel you created.
By following these steps, you can seamlessly delete a channel you own on WhatsApp, effectively managing your list of channels and maintaining control over your messaging experience. Remember that this process is specifically designed for channels you’ve created, allowing you to exercise full autonomy over your channel management.
2. How to remove a channel from WhatsApp?
To remove a channel from WhatsApp, you need to uninstall the latest WhatsApp version and install an older version that doesn’t have the Channels feature.
In case you ever find the need to remove a channel that you’ve created, WhatsApp offers a user-friendly process to get the job done. Here’s how you can delete a channel you own:
1. Access the Channel Page: Begin by launching your WhatsApp application and navigating to the specific channel you intend to delete. This is as simple as tapping on the channel’s name located at the top of the channel interface.
2. Locate the ‘Delete Channel’ Option: As you scroll through the channel page, you won’t miss the prominently displayed button labeled ‘delete channel.’ WhatsApp has thoughtfully positioned this option at the bottom of the page for convenient access.
3. Initiate Deletion: Once you’ve spotted the ‘delete channel’ button, go ahead and tap it to kickstart the deletion process. WhatsApp may prompt you to confirm your decision to ensure that you’re indeed intending to delete the channel that you created.
3. How to delete WhatsApp channel?
WhatsApp doesn’t offer a delete option for Channels. You can remove this feature by uninstalling the latest WhatsApp version and installing an older version that lacks the Channels feature. Follow the steps given in this post.
If, however, you want to delete a channel that you created, you can do so by going to the Channel page (tap on the name of the channel at the top). At the bottom of the channel page, there’s a ‘delete channel‘ button.
4. How to disable WhatsApp channel?
WhatsApp doesn’t have a direct disable option for Channels. To disable Channels, uninstall the latest WhatsApp version and install an older version without the Channels feature. Follow the steps given in this post to correctly disable WhatsApp channels feature.
5. How to remove WhatsApp channel update?
Removing a WhatsApp channel update involves uninstalling the latest WhatsApp version and installing an older version that doesn’t include the Channels feature. Ensure auto-update is turned off. Follow the steps given in this post to seamlessly remove the new WhatsApp channel update.
6. How to remove the channel option from WhatsApp?
To remove the channel option from WhatsApp, uninstall the latest version, and install an older version that doesn’t have the Channels feature. Disable auto-updates to prevent reinstallation. Follow these steps to do so.
7. How to disable a channel in WhatsApp?
Disabling a channel in WhatsApp isn’t a direct option. To achieve this, uninstall the latest WhatsApp version and install an older version without the Channels feature. Prevent auto-updates for long-term use. A step-by-step guide has been given in this post.
8. How to remove Updates from WhatsApp?
To remove ‘Updates’ from WhatsApp, you’re going to have to uninstall the updated version of WhatsApp and install an earlier version that doesn’t have the ‘Updates’ feature. However, to prevent, WhatsApp from automatically updating to the latest version, follow the steps given in this post.
A Closer Look at WhatsApp Channels
WhatsApp Channels operate as a one-way broadcast tool, presenting updates on a dedicated tab called “Updates,” which has replaced the former “Status” tab. Users will still find circular Status updates at the top of the Updates page for a seamless experience.
Meta has ambitious plans for WhatsApp Channels, intending to roll it out in over 150 countries. Users will have access to a curated selection of channels based on their location. They can search for channels by name or category and discover new and popular ones based on the number of followers and activity levels.
Privacy at the Forefront:
Meta emphasizes that WhatsApp Channels is designed with privacy in mind. Personal information of both channel admins and followers is safeguarded, and who users choose to follow remains private. The phone numbers and profile images of channel followers are not visible to admins or other followers. Additionally, updates shared on a channel will be stored for only 30 days.
Admins have control over their channels’ security. They can block screenshots and forwards from their channel and decide who can follow them and if their channel should be visible in the directory.
Creating Your WhatsApp Channel:
Excited to start your own channel on WhatsApp? Here’s how:
- Once Meta makes WhatsApp Channels available to you, navigate to the Updates tab within the app.
- Tap on the plus sign opposite to Channels.
- Select “Create Channel,” then click “Continue” and follow the on-screen instructions.
- Add a channel name (which can be changed later), a description, and an icon.
- Finally, click on “Create Channel.”
You’re now ready to share text, images, videos, stickers, and links with your followers. They can use emojis to react to your updates, creating an engaging and dynamic channel.