WhatsApp Web (https://www.whatsapp.com/) works as expected on Firefox running on Ubuntu Desktop and Safari for macOS. At one point in time, Whatsapp web functioned on the iPad Safari browser.

Attempting to summon it on an iPad doesn’t return the desktop website. Summons are invoked by long tapping the reload button in the address bar and tapping on Request Desktop Site.

What can be done to summon and return the WhatsApp QR code on Safari running on iPad? The goals is to use WhatsApp Web in Safari on iPad.

4 Answers 4


With the latest edition of iPadOS which will be released on September 30th (source), Safari has been turned into a "desktop-class browser" (Apple) and therefore WhatsApp Web can be used on iPad.

I have tried it on the Safari browser on the current iPadOS beta and WhatsApp Web works like a charm.


It’s not possible to run WhatsApp Web on Safari running on iPad/iOS. This restriction is imposed by WhatsApp website backend.

Request to load desktop website is not honoured by the WhatsApp web app backend, as the Web interface to the app is meant to be accessed only on a desktop computer. This is a limitation imposed by WhatsApp and has nothing to do with iPad/iOS.

Users can request to load desktop version of any website when accessing it using Safari for iOS, but the same can be dishonoured by the website’s server at its own discretion.

  • From what I've read new version of WhatsApp Web now only runs on Edge and Chrome even on desktop. Thanks Microsoft. Mar 12, 2019 at 19:44
  • Maybe there is a way to indicate to the WhatsApp server a OS X Safari Browser instead of IOS?
    – gatorback
    May 25, 2019 at 0:46

Here how i did this by overriding user agent. Note this is related to Swift and programmer who want to access web whatsapp in webview. In order to open in Safari simply long press the refresh button in address bar and you will see an option "Desktop version"

@IBOutlet weak var webView:WKWebView!

 let url = URL(string: "https://web.whatsapp.com/")!
    let urlRequest = URLRequest(url: url)
    webView.navigationDelegate = self
    webView.customUserAgent = "Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/63.0.3239.84 Safari/537.36"
  • Thanks for responding: please list the instructions an iPad Safari user would follow to successfully apply your solution
    – gatorback
    Sep 9, 2019 at 16:11
  • 1
    Hello, this appears to be Swift, which while it would be helpful if coding a third-party whatsapp app or browser, isn't (as) helpful for use with a fully compiled Safari (unless jailbroken). I suggest changing your answer to what fixed the problem, what the code in your answer does, and a way to apply your code/solution.
    – Sam
    Sep 9, 2019 at 17:29
  • @Sam Sam's suggestion is a better version of my request: please to clarify the answer with his guidance
    – gatorback
    Sep 11, 2019 at 15:56

Click on the AA icon in the Safari web browser tab on your iPad. If Request Mobile Website is displayed, clicking on Request Mobile Website will make it display Request Desktop Website and vice versa. When Request Desktop Website is enabled/displayed, type web.whatsapp.com in the web address box of the Safari web browser tab, click on the Enter button, and you will see a QR Code on WhatsApp's web page. Lo and behold, you will find WhatsApp (web) app on your iPad after scanning the said QR Code via the Settings > Link a Device option of the WhatsApp app on your iPhone.

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