Category Archives: WeChat

WeChat Shake Problem Solved! (Thanks to one of our readers.)

We’ve had dozens of questions about the WeChat Shake problem.  Users who are ‘shaking’, often get results that seem to be from China, not their own country. This is how one of our readers solved this WeChat Shake problem:

1. Go to your storage settings.

2. Clear the WeChat cache.

3. Move WeChat storage to your SD card.

4. Clear your data.

5. Login and the problem should be solved. Good luck!

WeChat – Change your phone number and email

We were stumped for quite a while when we were trying to change our WeChat phone number. Yes, sometimes things confuse us too. WeChat doesn’t make this simple, that’s for sure, but you can do it. Here are some things you need before you begin:

1. To change the telephone number that is linked to WeChat, you must have an email account linked to the app.

2. To change the email account that is linked to WeChat, you must have a verified telephone number associated with it.

Why? Think of this whole thing as a lifeline. If you lose your password, you’re locked out of your account until you can recover it. Unless you have a verified number and/or email account linked to WeChat, they can’t send you instructions to reset your password. WeChat protects you from your own mistakes, more or less.

Of the two, WeChat prefers to use your phone number but an verified email account will work too. Let’s change our phone number first:

1. Make sure that you have a verified email account that is linked to WeChat. (Read 1 and 2 above to find out why.)

2. Here’s the path you need: Open WeChat, press Me, press Settings, press My Account, press Phone Number.

3. Obviously, you have to have a phone number linked to your WeChat account to change, right? Look for the three vertical dots up on the top right. Press them then choose Unlink Phone Number. The three vertical dots are shown here:

Photo of WeChat2
This window shows you two things, only one of which works as it should.

The photo above is confusing. It looks like you can change your phone number by pressing on ‘Change phone number’. You can’t. Until WeChat changes the wording on this window, users will be frustrated by it. The solution? Press the three vertical buttons on the top:

Photo of WeChat 4
You have to unlink your old number before you can link your new one.

4. Once you have unlinked your current number, go through the same series of choices until you get to link your new number. Make sure your phone is on and able to receive test messages. Here are the steps using screen caps:

Photo of WeChat 6
Now your old number is unlinked, press Link Phone Number to use your new one.


Photo of WeChat 7
Type in your new number, no spaces necessary, then press Next.
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This won’t take long, just a few seconds or so.


You’re waiting for a four digit code to be sent from WeChat to the phone number that you just entered. Once you get it, enter it into the next screen:

Photo of WeChat 9
Enter the numbers then press Next.
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Done, done and done.

5. The process for changing your linked email account is similar. Same process, unlink your current account then link your new one.

Note: If the text message solution doesn’t work, WeChat will call you with the verification numbers. It will be an computer calling you so get your crayon ready to jot the number down.

We hope this instructional solves your problems. If not, let us know. Comments and questions are welcome but  Likes on our Facebook page get immediate attention.  Here’s the link: Computers Made Simple on Facebook 

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WeChat vs. WhatsApp

We’ve been shouting about WeChat for quite a while. In fact, one of our posts on it is the most popular piece we’ve ever done. WhatsApp has been around a bit longer and claims more users than WeChat but the figures don’t include the hundreds of millions of users  in China. We think that in a worldwide comparison, WeChat would have more users. As more people leave Facebook, it seems they are turning to other social networking apps to keep in touch with friends and to meet new people. Today we’ll take a look at these two, relatively new instant messaging tools.

Photo of WeChat Instant Messaging
WeChat is still our favorite IM app.

Who’s Got Your Number?

Only WhatsApp asks for your mobile number so we’ll start with a warning. Do you really want instant messages from anyone on your phone’s contact list? We don’t. That condition alone would keep most people from choosing WhatsApp over WeChat. The only time WeChat gets your number is when you give it to them in order to link your mobile contacts with it. It is not a mandatory part of the signup process. Ten points for WeChat.

Which App Helps You Find New Friends? 

Only WeChat lets you search for new friends and it does it in a very unique and fun way. Shake your device and you instantly find others users who are doing the same thing. Why is this important? None of the other instant messaging apps allow for this kind of reaching out to users who are searching for friends. WhatsApp relies on your current contacts, blindly assuming that those contacts are the only people you are interested in messaging. Clearly, judging from the huge success that WeChat has found with its Shake and People Nearby features, this isn’t the case. The beauty of WeChat’s Shake is that both parties are shaking at the same time, essentially telling each other that they are open to new contacts. There is no misinterpretation and no privacy issues with Shake. You only use it when you have time and the inclination to search the world for potential contacts.

Free? We Love Free!

WeChat wins here because it is free, totally free. WhatsApp is only free for the first year, after which it costs a whopping $0.99. OK, so ninety-nine cents isn’t anywhere near whopping but you get the point. We’re not sure how WeChat makes any income from their app but the fact that it is still free after several years of being available, they must be getting income from somewhere. There is word of Tencent selling accounts to retail and commercial clients, so far we’ve only seen that as an opt-in choice. This means that you can choose to follow a retail chain, let’s say American Apparel, and get their directed messages but that’s it. Nothing that you didn’t already ask for comes your way. More points for WeChat.

Photo of WhatsApp Instant Messaging
WhatsApp is popular only because people don’t know about WeChat, right?







Privacy. Who’s On and When Did You Last Show Up? 

With WeChat, no one knows if you are online or sleeping or in the middle of a meeting. Your contacts can send messages and you might, or might not, respond immediately. With WhatsApp, users are shown as offline, online or ‘last seen at’. Add this to the problem we mentioned before, that of receiving instant messages from anyone on your contact list who uses WhatsApp, and we think WeChat wins again. WeChat asks you first if it’s OK to receive a message from a stranger.

We think you get the idea by now. WeChat is a free, full-featured instant messaging app that protects your privacy but let’s you have fun, too. As far as features go, WeChat wins hands down. You can send any kind of message you can think of: video, text, voice, photos, links to web pages…instantly. WhatsApp has recently added Group Chat and some other features but WeChat has had these for a lot longer. Which apps do you use? Let us know what you think is best and why. Make a comment below or, better yet,  Like us on our Facebook page and comment there. Here is the link:  Computers Made Simple on Facebook  We’ll be glad you did.

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Using WeChat on a Computer – Introducing Web WeChat

We love WeChat! Sometimes, however, it’s a pain to tap tap out messages on a small screen when we’re sitting at our computer or using our laptop. Here’s a quick and easy tutorial on how to use WeChat’s new feature, Web WeChat.

1. Press ‘Me’ on the lower right of any screen. Press ‘Settings’ then press ‘General’ on the next screen. Down near the bottom, look for ‘Web WeChat’.

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There is Web WeChat, down near the bottom.













2. This whole process involves scanning a QR code that shows up on your computer monitor so make sure you have a new browser tab open. WeChat asks you to open so do that now.

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This is what you see after you press ‘Web WeChat













3. Click on ‘Scan the QR code with WeChat’ link that appears on your screen.

4. After a short wait, a large QR code appears. Scan that with your phone/mobile device. Make sure your fingers aren’t in the way and that you move back enough to let your device’s camera scan the full code:

Photo of Web WeChat   2
Here is the QR code that you scan with your mobile device’s camera.













5. Once the code is scanned, your mobile device double-checks that you want to login to WeChat on your computer:

Photo of Web WeChat  9
Click OK.











6. At this point, a chat windows opens up inside your browser, complete with contacts on the left and a chat window on the right. How cool is that?

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That’s what you’re looking for, isn’t it? Your keyboard is faster, the interface is bigger. Win win!












Web WeChat is so much faster because you can use a keyboard for messaging plus all of your contacts and chats are visible. There is a audible notice of new messages. If you don’t want that, it can be turned off quite easily. Click on the little down arrow icon just to the right of your display name. Enjoy!

TIP: It goes without saying that Shake and People Nearby won’t work on your computer, right? Well, we said it anyway.

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WeChat Shake Problem – a solution? Maybe.

There is a problem with the WeChat Shake application that we’ve written about in the past. It seems that the company responsible for WeChat, Tencent International, might have set up a temporary ban for users who use the Shake feature too frequently in one session. One of our readers noticed that he was able to get normal results, as opposed to purely Chinese results in Shake, if he simply stopped shaking for about half an hour.

To us, this makes perfect sense. Although the Shake feature is fun and quite exciting to use by times, we assume that it creates quite a drain on the WeChat servers. For this reason, we think that Tencent/Weixin/WeChat have created a shake limit for users who abuse this service.

This may be because of a drain on their servers or it could be an attempt to cut out or eliminate spammers from using the Shake feature to promote their products. Keep in mind that millions upon millions of Asian users use Weixin/WeChat, not just users in North America, Europe and Africa. India, for instance, seems to have taken to this app in a big way. When a company realizes the marketing potential available through WeChat, we think they would leap at the chance to contact users one to one, perhaps to the point of paying people to shake and then send out spam messages to users. We can imagine a scenario where a roomful of low-paid ‘shakers’ send out endless spam messages one by one. Knowing this, you can understand why we think WeChat has imposed a limit on the number of shakes per minute/hour/day for users. It’s a guess, but an educated one.

How popular is WeChat? This graphic gives you an idea:

Photo of WeChat Graphic
300 million users of which 50 million use WeChat* (as opposed to Weixin*).


(* WeChat is the English version, Weixin is the Chinese language version. )

That’s an incredible growth rate, isn’t it? As far as we know, the two sides of the app work in conjunction with each other. We have contacts who use Weixin and some who use WeChat. We can’t identify which app these contacts use so we assume that WeChat/Weixin is one big happy family.

Our advice? Keep shaking but don’t take things too seriously. If you’re looking for a date, sign up for an online service that concentrates on just that. If you’re looking for friends from all over the world, use WeChat’s Shake and relax. It’s free and works well. If you get odd results, take a break. Above all, don’t install any helper apps. You don’t need them and they may skew your search results. Happy shaking!
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