How to Use WeChat

Last updated: May 4, 2017 - 6:00pm EDT

Now that you’ve signed up for your own WeChat account, you’re probably ready to start using WeChat to send messages. In this tutorial, we’ll break down all the functions of the app, and explain each feature step-by-step (with pictures!), so you can get started sending messages to your loved ones, all over the world.

Before we begin, make sure you have downloaded and installed the app. If not, give our step-by-step tutorial on how to download the WeChat app a quick read first.

How to use WeChat

To sign in to your WeChat account:

  1. Using your mobile device, tap the WeChat icon on your home screen to launch the app.
  2. On the first screen, tap Log In.
  3. Tap the box labelled “Enter Password,” as your mobile number will already be at the top of the screen.
  4. Using your on-screen keyboard, type your password.
  5. Tap Log In.

WeChat sign in screen

When using WeChat, there is a main menu that always runs along the bottom of your screen. Your tap-able options are Chats, Contacts, Discover, and Me. Use these functions to navigate through WeChat as you follow our tutorial.

WeChat main menu

Add Contacts

Adding contacts is the first step to using WeChat as your go-to messenger. When you sign up for WeChat, the app will ask if you want to import the contacts from your mobile device. If you want to give the app permission to do this, tap Allow. However, you can also manually add contacts in a variety of ways.

Add a contact by WeChat ID or phone number

From the main screen, tap the Contacts menu. In the top right corner of the screen, tap the + symbol, and select Add Contacts from the drop-down menu.

Add WeChat contacts

Tap the box at the top labelled “WeChat ID/Phone” and use your keyboard to type a person’s mobile phone number or their unique WeChat ID number, if you know it. Tap the box labelled “Search:” to see your results. Tap the person’s name if there are multiple suggestions, and if not, simply tap the green Add button.

Add contact by WeChat ID or phone number

They will now be added to your contacts!

Scan a code

To scan a QR code, tap Contacts on the menu. Tap the + button in the top-right corner of the screen, and tap Scan QR Code from the drop-down menu.

Add contact with QR code

A window will appear on your screen with an image of a frame, and a green line will move slowly down the frame. Hold your camera up to the contact’s QR code, and ensure the entire square of their code is visible in the frame. Your camera will adjust to put their code in focus, and then show you their name on another screen when WeChat identifies them. Tap their name, and then tap Add to add them to your contacts.

QR scanning screen

Alternatively, you can also complete this process by tapping Discover on the menu, and then tapping Scan QR Code.

To make your QR code appear to other users so they can add you, tap Me, and tap the small QR icon beside your name. If you can’t find it, tap your name, and then tap My QR Code.

Show your QR code

Add tags to contacts

Once you’ve added some contacts to your WeChat, you may need to consider sorting and organizing them. One way to do this is by adding tags to their name. In the Contacts menu, tap the Tags box. Then tap Create Tag to start a new tag.

Add tags to contacts

Tap the check box beside the contact’s name who you would like to tag. You may also tap multiple names to apply to tag to multiple contacts. When you’re finished selecting, tap OK() in the top-right, which will display the number of contacts you have selected within the parenthesis.

Choose contacts to add to WeChat tag

In the box labelled “Such as Family and Friends,” type the name of the tag. When you’re finished, tap Save.

Name a tag

Once you’re started creating tags, if you tap Tags from the Contacts screen, you can see all of the tags you have. Tap on any one to see your contacts in that group, and if you want, you can delete a tag by tapping Delete Tag on the tag’s screen. If you want to create a new tag, tap New Tag in the top-right of the screen.

View tags you have created

Create contact groups

To create a group chat, tap Saved Groups on the Contacts menu page. Tap the + symbol in the top-right corner, and choose the contacts you want to add to the group. From there, you can message the contacts all simultaneously.

Create a WeChat group chat

To instant message a contact:

Sending instant messages is one of the most popular ways people utilize WeChat. It sends messages to people’s WeChat profiles, or mobile phones as text messages if they don’t. To get started, tap on any of your contacts, and tap Message.

Message WeChat contacts

If you’ve already started a conversation with them, or you want to find your previous conversations, tap the Chats menu, and then tap on the contact’s name. A window will open with all of your previous conversations. From there, just tap the blank line at the bottom of the screen to open your on-screen keyboard, and then begin typing. When you’re done, tap the green Send button.

WeChat messaging screen

People Nearby

You can also send greetings to people nearby. Tap Discover on the menu, and then tap People Nearby. If your location services are enabled, you can find people close to you, and tap their name. Then tap Send Greeting to connect with them. From there, you will be able to add them to your contacts if they respond.

See WeChat users near you

You can also choose to filter your results by tapping the Additional Options (three vertical dots) button in the top right corner, and then tapping on one of the options that appear. You can choose Females Only to display only females in your results, or Males Only to display only males. If you have selected one of these, tap View All to display all users. If you tap Greetings, you can see users who have sent you greetings, and tap on one to read and respond to it if you wish. Finally, you can tap Clear Location to remove your profile from this list.

Filter nearby search results

Remember that when using People Nearby, your profile will be visible to others for up to thirty minutes after using it. Remember to tap Clear Location if you don’t want to be visible, or simply turn off location services on your device.  

To send a WeChat voice call:

  1. Find a contact and tap on their name, either on the Chats or the Contacts menu.
  2. Tap the + icon at the bottom-right of the screen.
  3. Tap the Voice Call button.
  4. Wait for your contact to answer.
  5. Use the Mute button to mute your microphone, and use the Speaker button to put the call on speaker phone.

WeChat voice call

To send a WeChat video call:

  1. Find a contact and tap on their name, either on the Chats or the Contacts menu.
  2. Tap the + icon at the bottom-right of the screen.
  3. Tap the Video Call button.
  4. Wait for your contact to answer, and line your phone screen up with your face.
  5. Tap Switch to Voice Call to remove the image, or Cancel to end the call.

WeChat video call

To send a voice recording:

  1. Find a contact and tap on their name, either on the Chats or the Contacts menu.
  2. At the bottom-left of the screen, tap the speaker icon.
  3. Tap the Hold to Talk button and begin speaking.
  4. When you’re done, release your finger to send the message.
  5. To cancel, slide your finger up on the screen before releasing.

Send WeChat voice recording

To send a contact card or favorite memory:

Find a contact from the Chats or Contacts menu and tap on their name. Tap the + icon at the bottom-right of the screen, and then tap Contact Card to send them the information of one of your contacts (by tapping on the contact’s name on the next screen), or tap Favorites to send one of your favorite memories. Read below to learn about WeChat Moments that you can save to your profile and share with your contacts.

WeChat Moments

WeChat Moments is a way for you to share things from your life and “post” for your contacts to see, or the public – your choice! Add photos of what you do or see, and caption them. You can even save them as favorites and share them with your contacts easily through the chat.

To add a WeChat moment:

  1. Tap the Discover menu.
  2. Tap Moments.
  3. Tap the camera icon in the top-right corner.
  4. Choose Photos or Sight from the pop-up menu.
  5. Select an image (or multiple images) by tapping on it, or take a photo now. When you’ve chosen your image(s), tap Done.
  6. Tap “Say Something” and type a message.
  7. Tap Send.

Add a WeChat moment

You can choose up to 9 images at one time to share. In addition, you can tap Share To to choose your audience, from Public (all your friends), Private (just you), Share List (choose from your groups and tags), or Do Not Share List (exclude contacts or groups you select). You can also tap Mention to tag a friend in your post. Simply tap their name (from the alphabetized list) or search for them, tap their name, and then tap OK.

Update your WeChat Profile

To update any aspect of your profile, always begin by selecting Me from the bottom menu, and then tapping on your name at the top of the screen.

WeChat personal profile page

To add or change your WeChat profile picture:

  1. Tap Me, followed by your name at the top of the screen.
  2. Tap Profile Photo.
  3. Choose from the images stored on your mobile device, which are sorted from newest to oldest.
  4. Tap a photo to select it, or tap Take Photo to take a new photo now.
  5. Tap the frame and move it around the screen to crop the image.
  6. Tap OK.

To change your profile information and WeChat ID:

After tapping Me on the main menu, followed by your name at the top of the screen, you can tap various options on your profile page. To change how your name appears, tap Name, type a new name, and tap Save.

Add information to WeChat profile

Tap What’s Up to enter a current status of what you’re doing, that will be visible to all other users who find you. Tap Save when you’re finished.

Add status to WeChat profile

You can also select a Region, or update your Gender from this screen, as well as add a WeChat ID. Choose any unique ID (that no other users has), and select carefully, as you can only set your WeChat ID one time – it can never be changed! Make sure it is easy to remember as well, as you can tell people this ID to have them add you easily to their contacts. Tap Save when you’re finished.

Update WeChat profile information

You will also be able to now log in to WeChat using this ID number and your password, meaning you can access your profile on other devices!

How to favorite WeChat messages or Moments, and access them:

  1. Find the message or Moment you want to favorite in your chats or your posts.
  2. Tap and hold your finger on the item until more options appear.
  3. Tap Favorite on the pop-up menu to save the item to your Favorites.
  4. To find your favorites, tap the Me menu, then tap Favorites.
  5. Tap on any one to access it.

Add and access favorite messages or WeChat Moments

From the Favorites screen, you can also tap the + button in the top-right corner to compose and save notes for yourself. Simply type a note and tap Save. These will appear in your favorites, along with messages and Moments posts.

To change WeChat Settings:

Tap Me on the bottom menu, and then tap Settings. Choose from categories such as Notifications, Chat, or Privacy by tapping on them. On the page that opens, tap on any toggle to enable or disable a feature. If a toggle is green and pushed right, the feature is enabled. If it is grey and pushed left, it is disabled.

Below are the following categories you can choose from, and examples of settings you can change while in that category:

  • Notifications – Choose how and when you want to be alerted of new messages, and whether sound or vibrations will be part of the notifications.
  • Do Not Disturb – Choose hours to disable notifications.
  • Chat – Features of the chat such as pressing the “Enter” key to send messages faster, adding backgrounds, your Stickers, and your chat history and log settings.
  • Privacy – Decide how other users can find you, how to connect with others using the app, who to share Moments with, and block unfriendly users.
  • General – Choose display settings including text size, data usage settings, enable NFC (near field communication), and your language preferences.
  • My Account – View information including your WeChat ID, display name, phone number, email, and Facebook account, set up a Voiceprint password, change your password, delete your account, or resolve security issues such as resetting your password.
  • Like us on Facebook – Will open a browser tab to like the WeChat Facebook profile.
  • Follow us on Twitter – Will open a browser tab to like the WeChat Twitter feed.

WeChat settings categories

WeChat Shake

WeChat Shake is a feature that allows you to connect with users all over the world who are “shaking” at the same time as you. To use WeChat Shake:

  1. Tap Discover on the menu at the bottom of the screen.
  2. Tap Shake (and ensure location services are enabled).
  3. Holding your device, shake it from left to right vigorously. You will hear a noise, indicating it is working.
  4. A list of users shaking at the same time, and how far away they are from you will appear.

WeChat Shake

You may receive greetings from these users, and you can choose to respond to them. To see your greetings, tap X New Greetings immediately after shaking, or tap the gear icon in the top-right corner, followed by Greetings. Tap a greeting, and then tap Accept if you want to add them as a contact.

Download WeChat stickers

Tap Me on the bottom menu, followed by Sticker Gallery. View trending and popular packages of stickers you can add to your chats, and if you find one you like, tap Download. You can tap the magnifying glass icon to search for specific stickers.

Download WeChat stickers

Log out of WeChat

To sign out of your account, simply tap Me on the bottom menu, followed by Settings. At the bottom of the screen, tap Log Out. You will be asked if you really want to sign out, and if you do, tap Log Out again. If you want to use WeChat on this device again, you will need to sign in with your password.

Log out of WeChat

 

And that’s how you use WeChat! If you want to learn more about this communication app, our WeChat course we’ve got you covered with more great step-by-step tutorials including how to delete messages, how to search old messages, and we can tell you all about the other great messaging apps like WeChat.

Mark_complete_lg

More WeChat Tutorials

See all 13 WeChat tutorials
Mark_complete_sm Back_to_course

Support TechBoomers

TechBoomers offers free articles that teach people how to use technology to make their lives easier (and more fun!). To support our work, some of our content contains links to websites that pay us affiliate commissions when our users visit them through us and make purchases. Learn more about how this works.

Did you learn what you wanted to?

Was something in this tutorial missing, confusing, or out of date? Or did it give you all the information you needed, and you just want to say "thanks"? We'd love to hear what you thought!