WhatsApp just added filters to make it much easier to find messages — here's how it works

WhatsApp chat filter screenshot
(Image credit: WhatsApp)

Finding the right chat quickly for dedicated WhatsApp users can be a pain. Meta, the owner of the popular chat app, announced a new chat filter feature that's designed to make getting to specific messages much quicker and more streamlined.

"Opening WhatsApp and finding the right conversation should feel quick, seamless, and simple," the company said in a blog post. While the company didn't explicitly state that the process is not quick in its current incarnation, that's certainly the implication.

Fortunately, that won't be a problem any longer. The company is starting all users off with three filters that will appear at the top of the chat list. There's All, Unread and Groups. The All tab should look familiar, as it's the current default message view. Unread, as the name implies, will filter out the messages you've already seen. Finally, Groups will only show you group chats, which is great if you're in a bunch and want to just see them.

Meta said, "We believe filters will make it easier to stay organized, find your most important conversations and navigate through messages more efficiently." This is clearly a significant first step towards helping users dig through their messages more quickly, and we hope Meta takes it even further down the road.

Ideally, the company will expand on the idea, perhaps allowing users to create custom filters to find particular messages. For example, there could be an option to show all groups with a specific contact or just groups containing images. There are a lot of options, and it seems the company has more plans in the future. 

The end of WhatsApp's blog post reads, "We'll continue to build more options to help you focus on what matters most." This suggests that WhatsApp is aware that there's more to be done with filters (and other new app features). This comes shortly after the company introduced its swipeable navigation to Android users, so it's clear that the team is busy bringing new stuff to its users.

The new filters are starting to roll out right now, but it could be a couple of weeks before all WhatsApp users have access to them. 

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Dave LeClair
Senior News Editor

Dave LeClair is the Senior News Editor for Tom's Guide, keeping his finger on the pulse of all things technology. He loves taking the complicated happenings in the tech world and explaining why they matter. Whether Apple is announcing the next big thing in the mobile space or a small startup advancing generative AI, Dave will apply his experience to help you figure out what's happening and why it's relevant to your life.