Use Wechat for Free Text and Voice Messaging on Windows Phone 8

Edited by Batkingnz, Lynn, Eng, Dougie and 12 others

Julian Wechat Logo.jpg

With the number of messaging apps on Windows Phone that allow you to send free messages and make calls over WiFi and data connections, it can be hard to decide which one to choose. The messaging app that we'll discuss in this article has some interesting and unique features that might just make it your messenger of choice, but you need to get your friends on board too. Check out the article below to learn all about the functions and features of this rapidly growing app, find out if it's the one for you.

What You'll Need

  • A Windows Phone running Windows Phone 8.
  • The phone should be connected to a cellular network for first time activation.
  • A data or WiFi connection for sending messages and making voice or video calls.

What Can WeChat Offer Me?

WeChat is not your standard messaging app. It includes a multitude of features like social networking, a walkie-talkie function, and some interesting friend-finding features that use your location. See our list below of key features.

  • Find WeChat contacts automatically in your phonebook.
  • Free instant messaging, voice messaging, voice calling and video calling.
  • Uses GPS to find new friends in your current location.
  • Allows group messaging, including group voice messaging.
  • A social networking aspect where you can post text and photos, as well as "like" and comment on your friend's posts.
  • Works with your data plan or WiFi connection.
  • WeChat is available on Android and iOS so you shouldn't have trouble getting your current contacts to join you in this application.

Installing WeChat

To get started you will need to install the app.

  1. 1
    Visit the store from your Windows Phone start screen
    If you've removed the icon, just swipe right to the apps list to locate the store.
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  2. 2
    Use the search function and search for "WeChat"
    Open the first result from the publisher Tencent WeChat Limited, and tap "Install". Accept any permissions the app requires you to run.
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  3. 3
    When the install is complete, you will be taken to the installed location on your apps menu
    Now is a good time to add a live tile for WeChat to your start screen. Just long press the app icon and select "Pin to Start". You can then open WeChat.
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First Time Setup

  1. 1
    WeChat requires a one-time sign up using your phone number
    Input your country and phone number when asked on screen and press the arrow to continue. You will be sent a registration code through SMS to complete the registration. Input the code on the next page and press the arrow to continue on to WeChat.
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  2. 2
    After registration, WeChat will ask you if you want to receive notifications while WeChat is closed
    Choose yes or no to continue.
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  3. 3
    Location data
    WeChat will then ask for permission to use your location. Choose yes or no to continue. This can be turned on or off later. ON is required for some features to work properly. After this step you will be shown some introduction screens. After viewing these you will continue on to the main WeChat interface.
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Using WeChat

WeChat has many messaging and social features that we will go into detail on below. We will break the features down by the main screens shown in WeChat. Swipe left and right at any time to navigate through the main screens.

  1. 1
    Messages Screen
    This is where you will see any conversations between you and your contacts. From this screen you can tap on any messages to view, or long hold on any messages to delete the thread. From this screen you can also begin a new conversation with any of your contacts by pressing the "Expand" button at the bottom of the screen and selecting "Start chat".
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  2. 2
    Contacts Screen
    The contacts screen lists any of your current WeChat contacts alphabetically. You can tap a contact to open up the details page and from here you can tap the "Expand" button for further options like messaging the contact, renaming the contact, blocking and deleting the contact, sharing the contact or changing your moments option. (Choose whether you will see the contacts moments and whether the contact is able to see your moments.)
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  3. 3
    Discover Screen
    This is where the bulk of WeChat features are available. WeChat focuses heavily on social interaction and making new friends, all of which will happen from this screen.  
    1. Shake. Shake is a social feature that connects you to other WeChat users by shaking your phone. When using this feature, simply shake your phone to make contact with another random user who is also shaking their phone. From here you can begin a chat and you will also have the option to add these users as contacts.
    2. Scan QR Code. WeChat users can generate QR codes (a type of barcode image) so that you can easily add them as a contact. This feature will access your camera, which you can use to scan a QR code on another phone, a computer, etc. to add a contact.
    3. Moments. Moments are the social networking heart of WeChat and can be compared to status updates on Facebook or Twitter. Here you can post photos or short updates for your contacts to see, and comment on and like. Naturally you will also see and be able to interact with your contacts moments from this feature as well.
    4. People Nearby. This is a feature similar to shaking, that uses your location data to find WeChat users near you. If you have not allowed WeChat to use your location, you will be prompted again when opening this feature. WeChat will display a list of all users who are nearby and you can view their moments and basic contact information as well as beginning a chat with them. If accepted by the user you can also add them as contacts.
    5. Add Contacts. Here you can add new contacts in the more traditional method using their WeChat ID, by scanning your phone contacts or by searching official accounts for celebrities and businesses.
    6. Drift Bottle. This is another unique feature of WeChat. Drift bottle lets you leave a voice or text message in a virtual bottle, which is then available for other random users to find and reply to by using the drift bottle feature. You can also find bottles other users have left, and reply to them.
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  4. 4
    The Settings Menu
    From any of the main screens you can press the "Expand" button at the bottom of the screen to bring up the settings menu. From here you will be able to access the options below.
    1. Editing Your Profile. By clicking the "Edit" button at the top of this menu, you can edit your profile picture as well as your personal details like your name, gender and location. You can also generate your own QR code to share with your friends from here.
    2. My Posts. This is another way to view your moments.
    3. My Account. Here you can create a WeChat account for future use (logging in on different devices won't require sign up using your phone number), as well as linking your Facebook to WeChat.
    4. General. Here you can change the way WeChat notifies you of messages and turning sounds and vibration on or off. The main language settings can also be changed here.
    5. Features. This is a very useful setting that allows you to turn features on or off. Don't want to use a feature like People Nearby? Simply turn it off from this menu and it won't appear on your discover screen until re-enabled.
    6. Privacy. Privacy lets you choose whether people can find you by phone number and WeChat ID as well as enabling or disabling location services. You can also change your Moments settings here so that they are no longer public.
    7. Feedback. Select this option to provide feedback to the WeChat developers.
    8. More. There are some extra options here that will let you rate WeChat in the store and visit their social network pages. This is also the menu where you can change your default WeChat background.
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An In Depth Look At The Messaging Screen

Julian WeChat 01.jpg

The features of WeChat really begin to stand out once you are inside the messaging screen. When messaging with a contact you have the option of sending regular text messages, as well as the unique and very useful voice messages. This feature lets you simply hold a button to record a voice message, which is sent directly to your contact. Read on below for screenshots and an explanation of each feature.

  1. 1
    Switch between voice and text messaging.
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  2. 2
    Compose your text message or hold to record a voice message
    A voice message is automatically sent when you release the hold.
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  3. 3
    Here you can send simple emoticons or animated smileys.
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  4. 4
    This is where you can send photos, snap a new photo with your camera, add the location to the other user to see, make a video call, share your contact card or activate walkie-talkie mode. A walkie-talkie mode is a simple way to send voice messages. Instead of seeing the usual chat interface, you will just have a single button to send messages and you will hear your contacts messages as they send them.
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Tips, Tricks & Warnings

From the above, it becomes obvious that WeChat is one of the most full-featured and robust messaging apps out there. There are also dangers in using an application like this, especially for teenagers.

  • If you have a teenager using WeChat, talk to them about disabling the social features and making their moments private. WeChat is a great way to find new friends, but can also open up users to other predatory or harmful users.
  • Never give out personal information over WeChat to contacts you don't know and trust.
  • WeChat can be a very battery intensive application. Turn location services off if you aren't using them and make sure you are backing out of the app rather than going straight to your start screen. You will still receive notifications when the app is closed.
  • Make sure WeChat is pinned to your start screen if you want to receive notifications while outside of the app.

Questions and Answers

Contacts in we chat added automatically?

I installed WeChat, and every day a new contact is added automatically, contacts that are not my friends on Facebook or in my phone book how is it happening?

This is an issue for people who use this application. There is a fix. Go to the settings on your application and disable the following options:

  • Friend Confirmation.
  • Replay.
  • Add friend feature.

When those features are enabled, any person you reply to, will automatically be added as a contact.

Also, you can refer to this link THIS LINK so you can use the application without having contacts automatically added to your contacts list.

WeChat on Windows 8 - ASUS Laptop?

I've setup WeChat on my Laptop running Windows 8 using BlueStacks. The problem is the Laptop can dial a number (voice or video) but the other party is not ringing at all. If the other party calls, the call gets disconnected on the Laptop.

Could the problem be with your internet connection? I have used Wechat on BlueStacks using Windows 8 and it works great. Try re-installing the app and make sure the connection is stable enough to make a call.

Can you text regular phones (not apple) from WeChat?

Texting androids or non-smart phones.

WeChat is best used among devices using the same app. At this time, sending messages to non-smart phones is not possible.

You can use other apps like Skype to send regular messages to non-smartphones. That will require adding some credit to your account.

I've used WeChat for about 3 months now. Windows phone 8.1, Nokia Lumia 925.

From time to time, the app closes by itself. After it's been restarted, it closes again and then the "freezes". Now I have the problem daily. I found out: The internet signal is very poor (QQ of Tecent does not work, because of the poor signal, but WeChat works). In the past, I just got the message on the top of the screen: "Disconnected", if the signal was too poor. Now, the app closes "automatically", then I can restart 2 or 3 times and then I cannot open it anymore at all. Also, after "WeChat" does not work anymore, I cannot activate other apps by touching their icons. Except for mail apps, and the "shop app" and perhaps few others, nothing works. I can't even take pictures anymore. I have to switch off the phone, switch it on again. As long as I do not use WeChat (and it does not close by itself), the mobile phone works. But if the signal is poor, and I use We Chat, it starts all over again. WeChat started to switch itself off (I think, this happens if the signal of UMTS is poor) and after it happens repeatedly, the phone freezes completely. The only solution is, to switch off and start again.

VisiHow QnA. This section is not written yet. Want to join in? Click EDIT to write this answer.

I cannot call in BlueStacks with WeChat.

"Any solution?

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I am going to Israel from USA, and want to be able to call home.

I downloaded Wechat. Now how do I use it to call home?

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How do I connect my PC to Wechat?

Hello! I have a Wechat account/profile on my smartphone. I would like to connect to Wechat on my PC. I have Microsoft software. Second question: Can I use Wechat with a basic phone/dumb phone?

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If you have problems with any of the steps in this article, please ask a question for more help, or post in the comments section below.


Article Info

Categories : Application | (WM) Windows Mobile

Recent edits by: Rodg, vind, Alma

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