Settings search is coming to WhatsApp

WhatsApp for iPhone is gaining a search bar at the top of the settings interface that allows you to quickly filter the available toggles and options in the app.

Using WhatsApp settings search on iPhone
Filtering the WhatsApp settings | Image: WABetaInfo
  • What’s happening? WhatsApp is testing a search bar in the settings interface.
  • Why care? The search feature will make it easier to quickly surface a specific option from all the available settings in the app.
  • What to do? This feature has been released to some users of the WhatsApp Beta. You’ll need to wait until it reaches all users in a future update to the app.

WhatsApp settings search is in the works

According to WABetaInfo, the search bar in the settings interface is currently rolling out to some beta users. It works just as you would expect. Instead of scrolling and navigating through the root list and sub-sections of the WhatsApp settings, you just type a few letters into the search bar at the top to filter the options.

Years ago, Apple implemented a similar search feature for its Settings app on iOS and iPadOS, and recently on macOS. That being said, however, it’s not every day you see settings filtering available in a third-party app like WhatsApp.

At any rate, having a search bar in the WhatsApp settings will help save time for folks who frequently adjust their WhatsApp settings. As WABetaInfo points out, it will also be helpful for users with disabilities who can easily find what they’re looking for.

When will setting search reach all users?

The feature is currently restricted to the WhatsApp 23.4.0 beta builds. Meta is likely to continue iterating on the feature in future beta updates. When the settings search is ready for prime time, it will arrive to all users via a future update to WhatsApp.

The WhatsApp Beta is available for testing via Apple’s TestFlight software. All the seats are already taken, so no new beta users can be accepted at this stage.

Other new and upcoming features

The Meta-owned app recently launched picture-in-picture support for video calls, drag and drop on iPhone and several new capabilities meant to boost the usage of the Status feature. On top of that, a couple of upcoming WhatsApp features are being tested, including audio transcriptions and call scheduling.

Helpful WhatsApp tutorials