How to prevent anyone from adding you to a WhatsApp group

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Joel Fulleda
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Following the new line of WhatsApp's privacy policy, people have switched to security and privacy-focused apps like Telegram and Signal. However, many users continue to use WhatsApp as most of their contacts already use it. Sometimes, WhatsApp users create groups and add other people without their consent. It must have happened to you and now you are wondering how to prevent a WhatsApp group from adding you without your consent. Sure, you can do that by enabling a few options and we'll show you how.

WhatsApp groups have a limit of 256 users, but even a smaller active group can blow up phone notifications. You may wake up with a barrage of messages tagging you, discussing all kinds of things you didn't want to be a part of. Fortunately, WhatsApp includes a mechanism that prevents people from adding you to random, unsolicited groups. That way, you have a choice of whether you want to join that group and prevent spam from reaching your phone screen or not.

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How to prevent people from adding us to WhatsApp groups on Android

Due to the majority of users using Android phones, we will start with that platform first.

1. Launch the WhatsApp app on your phone and select Settings after tapping the three-dot menu icon.

2. Tap Account and then select the Privacy option from the list.

3. Under Groups, three options will be displayed.

  • All it means anyone can add you to a WhatsApp group.
  • The option My contacts it means that only people whose number you have saved in your contacts can add you to a WhatsApp group.
  • The option My contacts except acts more like a blacklist for My Contacts where all your contact lists except the ones you've specifically excluded will be able to add you to a WhatsApp group.

Tap the Done button at the bottom of the screen after making your changes to save your settings. You can come back later and change your settings or add / remove contacts from the list if you wish.

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How to block invitations to WhatsApp groups on iOS

The process remains more or less the same for the iOS version of WhatsApp. The interface looks and works differently due to Apple's design language.

1. Tap the Settings button in the bottom bar menu and select Accounts.

2. Select Privacy and then the Groups option will be displayed. Select that.

3. Just like in Android, there are three options here. As noted above,

  • All it means anyone can add you to their WhatsApp group. This is also the default option selected.
  • My contacts it means that those who are in your contacts list or contacts app can add you to their WhatsApp group.
  • The option My contacts except is where you can choose people from your contact list who are not allowed to add you to any WhatsApp group.

What happens when someone still tries to add you to the Whatsapp group

Let's say you want to prevent being added to Whatsapp groups without your permission. Your contact shouldn't be that person and add you without your permission.

When the other person enters your name in the list, they will see a pop-up message notifying that you cannot be added to the group. This means that no matter how hard they try, they will need your permission to make you a member of that group.

That said, they can still send an invite link to join the group. And it's entirely up to you whether to join one or not. With the necessary option available, at least you can choose to avoid all spam and unsolicited messages.

This is a subtle way to get the message across. Again, don't abuse the private message feature and bombard them with "Join my group" links. This isn't nice either.

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It's annoying to wake up every morning with mundane morning messages with random images invading your WhatsApp app. If you haven't enabled the necessary options, people can add you to all kinds of groups like corporations, local clubs, gyms, etc. messages.

The ability to prevent people from adding people to a group without their permission is such a blessing. While these are steps in the right direction, there is still a long way to go. The huge size of the user base that Facebook enjoys across platforms and geography makes things difficult to regulate and curb such cases.

Further Reading:

  • WhatsApp will allow you to decline invitations to groups
  • How to avoid being added to a WhatsApp group
  • Block Whatsapp contact, I tell you everything
  • WhatsApp Won't Open on PC, 7 Solutions
  • 10 reasons why WhatsApp can (permanently) suspend your account

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