So WhatsApp rolled out a new Status feature a while back as everybody knows by now. The server-side update added a new Status tab between the Chat and Calls tabs. Under the Status tab, one can see the status updates of their friends and also update their own. These status updates vanish after 24 hours automatically, and if that sounds familiar, it’s because it is. Ever since Snapchat gained popularity, Facebook-owned apps have all been getting a bit inspired by the popular chat app. After adding a similar feature to the Facebook Android app, its companion Messenger app, and Instagram, a similar update to WhatsApp was perhaps inevitable. But not everyone uses Snapchat, and not everyone is a fan of this new WhatsApp ‘Status’ feature. You can turn off or disable the WhatsApp status feature, but there are a few problems.
Since the update was a server-side update, the only people who can disable it really are the guys at WhatsApp. They did, however, use a locally stored status_mode variable to determine whether to enable or disable the feature until WhatsApp version 2.17.81. But as and how the feature became stable, there was no need for a switch, and thus it was removed. What this means is, if you want to have any hope of getting rid of the Status feature, you will need to uninstall your latest WhatsApp and install WhatsApp version 2.17.81 or older.
Before you uninstall the latest version of your WhatsApp though, you should also be aware that the only known method works only if your Android device is rooted. This is because a file named com.whatsapp.preferences.xml needs to be modified, and it is located in the root data folder. Of course, to access the file you will also need a file explorer capable of performing root operations.
Any file explorer with root capabilities and a text editor will do. Or you can also make use of an app called Preferences Manager. The app too will require root privileges in order to work.
How to Turn Off or Disable WhatsApp Status Feature
- Go to Settings > Apps > WhatsApp and hit the FORCE STOP button.
- Now, using your favorite file explorer, go to the folder /data/data/com.whatsapp/shared_prefs/ and find the file named com.whatsapp.preferences.xml
- Open this file in a text editor.
- If you’re using Preferences Manager, simply launch the app and grant it superuser permissions. Tap on WhatsApp in the list of installed apps, and you’ll be taken to com.whatsapp.preferences.xml automatically.
- Search for the key status_mode in the file. You’ll find a line of code that resembles the code below.
<int name="status_mode" value="1"/>
- Change the value from 1 to 0 so the code now looks as shown below.
<int name="status_mode" value="0"/>
- Save the changes you’ve made and exit the file. Make sure you don’t touch anything else inside the file unless you know what you’re doing.
- Once the file is saved, launch WhatsApp, and you should not see the Status tab anymore.
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