How to download and install the WhatsApp APK on Android

Do you want to perform a manual installation of WhatsApp on your Android smartphone or simply have the latest version of the messaging app without having to go through the Google Play Store? Let us explain in this step-by-step tutorial on how to download and install the WhatsApp APK on your device.

Since this guide briefly covers one of the most indispensable apps on an Android handset, do check out our full guide on getting started on WhatsApp, regardless of whether you are an Android or iOS user.


Download the latest WhatsApp APK for free

You can download (for free, obviously) the latest version of the WhatsApp APK directly from the official WhatsApp website or from an APK store like APK Miror.

Older versions of WhatsApp:

As explained on its official website, WhatsApp no longer supports older versions after every update. This means you will have to search through a third-party APK store.

How to install WhatsApp APK for free on Android

As always, please take note that this short tutorial targets owners of Android devices who have a licensed version of Play Store running, so go ahead at your own risk.

For older Android versions (before Oreo), simply head to your Settings menu and enable installation from unknown sources, before opening the link to the APK above.

On Android Oreo and newer, such as Pie, Android 10 and Android 11, manual installation of the WhatsApp app can get a little bit more complicated.

The latest versions of Android usually offer you the option to accept or decline the download from unknown sources automatically, similar to the installation file. Hence, you don’t necessarily need to manually grant permission before downloading the APK.

In case this doesn’t work, here’s what you need to do:

  • Go to Settings and search for Apps and notifications. Once you have selected that, scroll all the way down until you find the mobile browser that you use, which would be Google Chrome for most people
  • Select your browser and scroll down until you see the Advanced option. You can see the Install unknown apps option there. Select that and enable Allow from this source. This option can be disabled again once you are done
  • Download the WhatsApp APK file from the link above
  • Finally launch the downloaded APK file
how to download whatsapp apk
When downloading from the third-party website, Android 11 automatically asks me to confirm the download (on the right) / © NextPit

Checking for new WhatsApp versions on Android and iOS

This section is going to seem unnecessary and even slightly insulting to just about all of our tech-savvy readers. However, the high traffic volume generated by this article confirms that the following tips, no matter how basic they may seem, are far from being unnecessary.

You’re installing the WhatsApp APK or simply want to make sure that you have the latest version running on your smartphone? For Android users, search for WhatsApp on the Play Store and see if it offers you the option to “Open” or “Update”. Alternatively, you can go to “My games and apps” and check if WhatsApp is listed in the pending updates list or not.

how to check whatsapp updates
Here’s how you check whether your WhatsApp version is up-to-date or not / © NextPit

The process is similar on the Apple App Store for iPhone owners.

how to check whatsapp updates iOS
Here’s how to check if WhatsApp is up-to-date on iOS / © NextPit

Since we’re on the subject of pointing out the basics, we might as well talk about the staggered rollout for automatic app updates in the Play Store. This means that not all WhatsApp users receive the latest version simultaneously. WhatsApp relies on this model as a part of its quality control, just in case something goes awry.

Usually, first only a small percentage will receive the latest update. If the number of bug reports sent back is not too high, a larger percentage will receive the new version of WhatsApp. After a few more days or weeks of having the latest WhatsApp version functioning properly, the remainder of users will receive the latest version of the app. Until then, there will be at least two different versions of WhatsApp in circulation.

Downloading the WhatsApp APK often allows access to more advanced versions, which are often in beta. It’s not possible to do so from the Play Store unless you register yourself as a beta tester.

We have come to the end of our guide. What do you think of the recommendations listed? Do you have any comments or feedback to share with me? Feel free to list your thoughts in the comments.

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