Using WeChat PC version solves 2 big WeChat pain points, especially important for those using WeChat someway for your business or work (i.e. most people now in China):
1. Speed of typing / Copying and pasting large chunks of text
2. Transferring files back and forth between your laptop/desktop and your mobile devices
If you want to use WeChat PC version on your desktop or laptop then there are 2 options:
- WeChat Web Browser Version
- WeChat Client App Version for Windows
Using these desktop versions won’t help you if you’ve lost your phone. To use WeChat PC version on your desktop, you must be logged in on a mobile device. WeChat is built for mobile first (more on this at the end of the article).
WeChat Web Browser Version
Going to the above web address you will be prompted to scan the QR code with your phone:
Login in and you will see this kind of interface:
Clicking on the little green note icon allows you to read your official account news feeds
You can of course also see your contacts and that’s it apart from some simple settings in Chinese that you can play with. Basically, it’s a stripped down version of the traditional mobile app. Make sure to pay attention to this particular little green button:
This is your ‘File Moving Assistant’ （文件传输助手）. A way for you to move files back and forth from your desktop without having to actually send them to another person. This folder can become very useful if you are sending files back and forth a lot or if you want a place to keep notes or important reference docs for yourself. Some people like to pin this chat thread to the top of their WeChat and basically use it as a notepad or place to store things. (There are other, perhaps better, ways to do this in WeChat which we will delve into in another post later in this series.)
To pin an article to the top of your WeChat hold down on the chat thread and the above menu will pop up, select ‘Sticky on top’.
WeChat PC Client App Version for Windows
Windows Version: http://weixin.qq.com/cgi-bin/readtemplate?t=win_weixin&lang=en
Using the above links, download the desktop app and you’ll see it’s pretty similar to the web page version. This is the current latest Windows Version 18.104.22.168
There are two recent updates worth mentioning to the windows version which make this version different from the web page version. They are:
1. Access to your custom stickers
For those of you who like to send gifs (we’re all guilty sometimes, come on admit it). This version allows you to send the gifs you have saved to your personal collection.
2. Chat history
This is a big one, because loosing your chat history is really annoying to most people. When you open up the web page version of WeChat, all your chat threads will be empty each time. On the Windows Desktop App versions there is now a setting to keep all the chat history of conversations you’ve had previously on the Desktop App version. However at the moment (this may change), you have to change this manually through ‘settings’. First click on the little settings cog in the bottom corner and then check this box.
For both Desktop App and Webpage versions, when switching devices (e.g. using your phone and then switching to your ipad) the link with the desktop version will be broken and you will have to login again. It also seems you can’t log in to both the Web version and the desktop app at the same time. See message below:
Why can’t I check my moments?
For most users of the desktop versions of WeChat the obvious question to ask is ‘Why is it so basic?’ You can’t check moments, send money, locations, red envelopes, sights etc. Our take on this is Tencent (the company that owns WeChat) already dominates the desktop instant messaging market in China with QQ. While they is an obvious burning need from some customers for a WeChat desktop version, they have little incentive to make the desktop version awesome as they will only cannibalize their own QQ business further. WeChat is all about mobile.
Join us tomorrow for our second article in the WeChat Essential Tips series where we will be giving away more free info on WeChat. You will be able to show off to your Chinese colleagues and friends using your new expert knowledge of how to use the number 1 app in China. Follow us on WeChat by scanning the QR code to follow our official account.
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