What documents can WhatsApp send?

WhatsApp will only let you send certain types of document and the company isn’t clear about what’s permitted.  Here’s what you can send plus a trick for sending ‘non approved’ file types.

Originally, WhatsApp’s ‘document support’ would only let you send PDF documents. (strictly speaking, any file with a .PDF extension).

That’s now been expanded to a wider range of document types (file extensions).  WhatsApp’s site doesn’t clearly disclose what doc types are permitted (not that we could find), only broad instructions like this.

So we did our own testing and came up with this list of WhatsApp approved document types.

  • .docx, .xlsx, .pptx (the ‘new’ post-2007 document formats)
  • .doc, .xls , .ppt (the older and more virus vulnerable document formats)
  • .pdf
  • .txt

(This list may not be complete and might not apply to all WhatsApp clients.)

Some document types NOT allowed via WhatsApp are:

  • .docm, .xlsm, .pptm (the macro enabled post-2007 document formats)
  • .rtf (Rich Text Files, another virus infection method)
  • .log .csv (common plain text file extensions)

Could be better

The virus infection risk could have been greatly reduced if WhatsApp had blocked .doc .xls and .ppt documents.  Like .rtf file, the older Office document formats are a common way to infect a computer.

Bypass the file type restriction

Trick WhatsApp into sending any file, simply by changing or adding an extension to the file name.

For example, to send  Daily.log  rename it to  Daily.log.pdf .  Let the receiver know to remove the extra extension.

File size limit

WhatsApp is limited to 100MB per file sent.  That should be more than enough for most Office documents, especially the ‘new’ .docx, .xlsx .pptx formats that are automatically compressed.

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