How to stop others from adding you to WhatsApp Groups

WhatsApp is one of the most-used communication platforms globally, and is primarily used to stay in touch with friends and family. Lately, it has emerged as a business platform as well, with many using it to promote their businesses. Many businesses often misuse a major WhatsApp feature called Groups by adding users to their Groups without their consent.  However, you can easily stop people from adding you to their WhatsApp Groups.

WhatsApp Groups stop people from adding

Simon / Pixabay

Use new privacy options

Previously, anyone could add you to their group if they had your phone number. This resulted in several issues with random people adding others to random WhatsApp Groups. Although you can always exit the group whenever you want, it still is a bit inconvenient to first open that Group and then tap the exit option. Even then, there is no surety that you won’t get re-added to the group. It is a threat to your privacy as well.

After constant complaints and feedback from users, WhatsApp finally fixed the issue with a recent update. The messaging app has changed the privacy settings to deter users from adding random people to their WhatsApp Groups.

This new privacy setting to stop people from adding you to their WhatsApp Groups is available on both iOS and Android. You can easily apply these new privacy settings. Before we detail the steps to implement the changes, make sure you are using the latest WhatsApp version on your smartphone.

Now, let’s see the steps to stop people from adding you to their WhatsApp Groups.

How to stop people from adding you to WhatsApp Groups

If you are an Android user, follow these steps to deter others from adding you to random WhatsApp Groups without your permission:

  1. Launch WhatsApp on your device.
  2. Go to the menu option or the vertical three-dot icon on the top-right.
  3. Go to Settings > Account > Privacy.
  4. Tap on “Groups.”
  5. You will now get three options: “Everyone,” “My Contacts,” or “My Contacts Except.” If you select “Everyone,” it means anyone will be able to add you to their Groups. If you select “My Contacts,” it means only your contacts can add you to Groups. “My Contacts Except” will allow you to select people on your Contacts list who cannot add you to a Group.

Now if someone you have not given permission to wants to add you to a Group, they will be forced to send the Group invite via a private chat. After you get the invite, you will have three days to accept or reject the request to join the Group. After three days, the request will expire automatically.

Now let’s see the steps for iPhone users to stop people from adding you to WhatsApp Groups. The process and the privacy options are slightly different from those on Android. Instead of the “My Contacts Except” option, iPhone users will have a “Nobody” option. This means that iPhone users can’t choose specific people; rather, they can stop anyone and everyone from adding them to a group.

Here are the steps:

  1. Launch WhatsApp on your iPhone.
  2. Go to the “Settings” tab from the toolbar and then select the “Account” option and then “Privacy.”
  3. Select the “Groups” option. You will get three options: “Everyone,” “My Contacts” and “Nobody.” If you select the last option, and someone tries to add you to a group, they will have an “Invite Friend” button instead. After they tap it, you will get the request to join the group via a private chat.

For both Android and iPhone, the default option is “Everyone,” meaning anyone can add you to a group. Thus, you will have to change the settings if you want to control who may add you to a WhatsApp group.

You can refer to this video as well:

How to block administrators

If you want to keep a specific Group from re-adding you, there is a trick for that as well. As said above, you can leave any Group anytime and block the Group. However, an administrator can add you back after you leave a Group. If you don’t want this to happen, you will have to block the administrator of the Group.

To block the admin, follow these steps:

  1. Launch WhatsApp.
  2. Find the Group you want to leave permanently.
  3. Tap the Group name in the top of the chat window.
  4. Scroll through the list of group members to find the administrator.
  5. Tap on the admin.
  6. Select “View Contact,” scroll down to the bottom, and then tap “Block.”
  7. You will have to confirm your decision by tapping “Block” again.
  8. Return to the Group info page.
  9. Tap “Exit Group” and then tap “Exit.”

A point to note is that a group may have more than one admin, and they may be able to add you back, even if you block one admin. Thus, to completely ensure that you are not added to that group, you will have to block each admin separately.



About the Author

Aman Jain
Aman is MBA (Finance) with an experience on both Marketing and Finance side. He has worked as a Risk Analyst for AIR Worldwide, and is currently leading VeRa FinServ, a Financial Research firm. Favorite pastimes include watching science fiction movies, reviewing tech gadgets, playing PC games and cricket. - Email him at amanjain@valuewalk.com