Although you can use it on the web, WhatsApp has launched a desktop application for Windows and Mac. Here's how to setup and use WhatsApp on any Windows PC or laptop. See also: Best WhatsApp tips and tricks.

The new desktop app (also available for Mac users) will be a real boon for some users. WhatsApp no longer needs to take up a tab in your web browser. "Like WhatsApp Web, our desktop app is simply an extension of your phone: the app mirrors conversations and messages from your mobile device," said the firm.

Advantages of using the WhatsApp desktop app include proper native desktop notifications and batter keyboard shortcuts. All you need in order for this to work is WhatsApp installed and working on your phone and Windows 8 or later.

Find out about the WhatsApp ban.

How to setup and use WhatsApp on Windows

Step One

Head to WhatsApp and download the Windows desktop application. Click Save when the box pops up.

Download WhatsApp for Windows desktop

Step Two

The setup may run automatically, otherwise head to your downloads folder and run the WhatsAppSetup.exe file.

Step Three

Now what you need to do is scan the QR code on the screen with your phone using WhatsApp. (Open WhatsApp, click Menu and select WhatsApp Web).

WhatsApp QR code deskptop app

Step Four

Once the QR code is recognised, the desktop app for Windows will be linked with your account and you'll be automatically logged in. You can now use WhatsApp on your PC.

Note: Since the desktop app uses your mobile to sync messages, you'll probably want to make sure its connected to Wi-Fi to avoid racking up any hefty bills for data usage.

Also see how to avoid WhatsApp viruses, scams and hoaxes.

WhatsApp mobile