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Have a problem with WhatsApp? Here are the solutions

Update: More solutions added

Authored by: Chris Marshall — 2 months ago

WhatsApp is one of the most popular messaging apps out there, with over 10 percent of human beings actively using it every month. Given this volume of use, it's clear it gets a lot of things right, but today we will be concentrating on what it gets wrong. Here are some of the most common WhatsApp problems on Android and their solutions.

I can't install WhatsApp

In order to download the latest version of WhatsApp, you need to have a smartphone running Android version 2.1 (by the end of 2016, Android 2.1 and 2.2 will no longer be supported) or higher. You can check your phone's current Android version in Settings > About Phone.

If you're trying to install the WhatsApp app from the WhatsApp website, you'll need to have Unknown Sources enabled in your security settings. Go to Settings > Security > Unknown Sources to activate it.

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WhatsApp now has more than on billion monthly active users. / © ANDROIDPIT
WhatsApp Messenger Install on Google Play

How do I install WhatsApp on a tablet?

If you have a tablet that only works with Wi-Fi, you will have problems installing WhatsApp, because you generally need a SIM card and a phone number to activate your WhatsApp account.

There is a solution to this problem. All you need is a working cell phone, your phone number, and our detailed guide on how to get WhatsApp on your tablet. A word of caution: if you play around with things that aren't normally allowed, you do so at your own risk. 

whatsapp 4
Yes, it's possible to get WhatsApp on your Android tablet too. / © ANDROIDPIT

I can't connect to WhatsApp or WhatsApp not working

WhatsApp connection problems are usually caused by your Wi-Fi or network data connection. If you aren't able to send a message, here are a few solutions:

  • Make sure your phone is switched on (one for the newbies).
  • Install the latest version of the app from the Play Store (link above).
  • Check your internet connection, Wi-Fi or 3G (in Settings > Wireless and Network).
  • Make sure that a Task Killer app isn't affecting WhatsApp.
  • Empty the app cache (Settings > Applications > WhatsApp > Clear Cache).
  • Finally, the most extreme solution: uninstall the app and then reinstall it.

Sometimes, even the mighty WhatsApp experiences server issues. If you think WhatsApp isn't working because the service is down, then head over to the WhatsApp Status Twitter account, where outage updates are provided.

WhatsApp doesn't recognize my contacts

There are a few reasons why WhatsApp wouldn't recognize your contacts, so here is a simple checklist to make sure it does:

  • Make sure you have the correct contact numbers (the ones they use for WhatsApp).
  • Make sure that they are currently using WhatsApp.
  • Make sure you have the latest version of WhatsApp.
  • In your contact list, make sure all of you contacts are 'visible' and/or 'viewable'.
  • In your contact list, make sure all of your contact groups (friends, family, co-workers, etc) are set to 'visible' and/or 'viewable'.
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Make sure WhatsApp is looking for all your contacts. / © ANDROIDPIT

How do I add international contacts in WhatsApp?

We've all been there: you're traveling through South America, and you're introduced to that girl in that hostel that you know you'll want to keep in touch with forever. You get her digits, and search for her in WhatsApp, but she's not there...

The solution is simple: when adding international contacts, you must always make sure you include the correct regional code (for example, +51 for Peru), even if your current number uses the same code. It might help if the other person does the same for your number too. If you're entering the country code manually, you'll need to delete the first 0 from the number, too.

How do I block contacts in WhatsApp?

People block contacts for any number of reasons. I'm not here to judge. The process is very simple. To block a contact, all you need to do is go to the conversation with the contact you wish to block, tap the options button (the three dots), tap More and then tap Block.

You can add as many contacts as you like to this black list and then you won't receive any more messages from them. If you later decide you would like to unblock a contact, go back to the same place and choose Unblock.

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Simply tap the three dots > More > Block to block a contact. / © ANDROIDPIT

What does 'Last Seen' mean in WhatsApp?

The 'Last Seen' time stamp tells you when a user was last using WhatsApp. This does not necessarily mean that they have read your messages, only that they opened the application.

When you're in WhatsApp and one of your contacts also opens it, you'll see their status change to 'Online', but again, this doesn't mean they're looking at your messages, just that they are using WhatsApp.

How do I hide my Last Seen timestamp in WhatsApp?

In WhatsApp, go to your Settings, then to Account, then to Privacy. In this menu, tap Last Seen and select Nobody from the options that pop up. This means that no one will be able to see the last time you had WhatsApp open. Enabling this option means that you won't be able to see when your contacts were last online either.

AndroidPIT WhatsApp last seen privacy settings
If you hide your Last Seen time stamp you won't be able to see other people's either. / © ANDROIDPIT

I can't see Last Seen on WhatsApp

If you are unable to see the Last Seen timestamp in a conversation, it could be for a number of reasons. If you've disabled your Last Seen time in Settings > Account > Privacy > Last seen, then you won't be able to see other people's Last Seen times, either.

If the problem is only with one or some contacts, then it might mean that they've disabled the Last Seen time in their WhatsApp settings. If they're still receiving and responding to your messages, this is almost certainly the case.

The final reason is that a contact has blocked you. If your messages never get past the two grey ticks, then this makes it more certain that you've been blocked, and if you can't see changes to the contact's profile, then you've certainly been blocked. Many apologies.

androidpit whatsapp single tick
No Last Seen timestamp and only grey ticks likely means your friend has blocked you. / © ANDROIDPIT

How do I pay for WhatsApp? 

WhatsApp is now entirely free. So no need to worry about this anymore.

How do I backup my WhatsApp conversations?

As of version 2.12.453 of the app, WhatsApp now supports Google Drive backups, which are by far the easiest way of ensuring none of your conversations are erased from existence. Set this up by going to Settings > Chats and calls > Chat backup. You can choose how often you want WhatsApp to automatically backup your messages and media and set it so it only does so when you're connected to Wi-Fi.

whats app backup chat
Let Google Drive store a backup of all your messages and media. / © ANDROIDPIT

What do the blue check marks mean in WhatsApp?

There is a lot of confusion about what the two checks (or tick marks) in your WhatsApp message window mean. If you want a complete breakdown of all the markings in WhatsApp, take a look at our detailed What do the WhatsApp check marks mean? article, which also covers the microphone markings for audio messages.

Here is a quick summary:

  • The clock symbol means your message is yet to be sent from your device.
  • One gray tick means that the message has been sent and has been received by the WhatsApp server.
  • Two gray ticks mean the message has been delivered to the intended device.
  • Two blue ticks mean that the recipient/recipients have seen the message. (In group conversations, this means when all participants in the group have viewed the message.)

How do I stop people from knowing that I've read their messages?

As of WhatsApp version 2.11.444, you can disable the WhatsApp blue check marks (read receipts) so that users do not know whether you have read your messages. This works both ways, so only disable this if you're OK with not knowing who has read your messages too. Go to Settings > Account > Privacy > Read Receipts.

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Gray checks haven't been read, blue checks have been read./ © ANDROIDPIT

How do I delete my WhatsApp account?

Firstly, deleting your WhatsApp account and deleting the WhatsApp app are two different things. If you make the decision to cut ties with WhatsApp, you can just uninstall if from your device. You will be able to download it again from the Play Store later if you want to, but this is not the same as deleting your account.

  • To uninstall the WhatsApp app from your phone: go to Settings > Apps > WhatsApp > Uninstall.
  • To delete your WhatsApp account entirely: go to WhatsApp > Menu > Settings > Account > Delete My Account and confirm your phone number. You also have the option to change your WhatsApp number associated with your account here.
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Deleting the app is not the same as deleting your account. / © ANDROIDPIT

How do I disable media auto-download in WhatsApp?

While this is a super handy feature when connected to free Wi-Fi, auto-downloading media shared by your friends is not the best idea if you are near your data limit. 

To disable this feature, go to Settings > Chats and calls > Media auto-download, and configure the options to your liking. Note that voice messages are always automatically downloaded, but their file sizes are usually much smaller than pictures and videos. 

AndroidPIT WhatsApp media auto download settings
It's a good idea not to auto-download all media if you're low on data. / © ANDROIDPIT

How do I share and send any file in WhatsApp?

WhatsApp has a relatively limited number of file types you can send: photos, videos, audio, map location, contact details. Even with those supported file types, WhatsApp heavily compresses them. But what if you want to send a PDF or a GIF?

As of version 2.12.489 (currently in beta) WhatsApp supports document sharing. Just hit the attachments paperclip and then Document and you can choose from PDFs stored on your device. If you share a lot of documents, there's also a handy way to quickly see a history of what documents have been shared in a conversation. Just hit the trio of dots, then Media and press on the Documents tab.

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Sharing documents in WhatsApp has been made a whole lot easier. / © ANDROIDPIT

If you're yet to receive this update, or don't like using beta versions, then the easiest way to circumvent these limitations is to use an app. We recommend one called CloudSend, which links to a Dropbox account and then creates short-link URLs to any type of file you want to share, in WhatsApp or elsewhere. Simply grab the app, hit the share menu for the file and choose CloudSend.

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WhatsApp file-sharing options (left) are limited, but (right) you can share any file via links with CloudSend. / © ANDROIDPIT
CloudSend Install on Google Play

If you have more questions, you can check out our forum or leave your requests in the comments below and we'll update this article with more solutions for your WhatsApp problems.

Chris is a graduate in English and Philosophy and habitual tamperer with technology. A recent convert to Android, through the marvel of the Samsung Galaxy S6, he looks to share the fruits of this technological honeymoon through AndroidPIT.


Write new comment:
  • I have installed the latest version of WhatsApp, but now I can't get past the Google Drive backup when I try to open the app. I select my Google Account but when I press "Done" I still get a message that reads "Choose a backup frequency to continue". Please help

  • I want regist my whatsaap buat that number is gone

  • My only issue is that not enough people that I know use the app!

  • Please write an article highlighting the best SMS/MMS apps that do not require a phone number. Obviously, Whatsapp would not fall into this category.

    There are plenty of messaging apps out there but it would be nice if users could send and receive SMS messages without the hassle of needing a phone number. What am I supposed to do if I want to text people using my tablet that has no number?

  • Bang on, just something I was in need of:)

  • hello, do you know any way to implement whatsapp contact on my website ??? i want my visitors to send me message on my mobile using whatsapp in my website, i mean any form like that? please help! thanks

  • sir my whatsapp problem is this me in saudi arabia nd i need pakistan no in whatsapp so code is not coming so plz give me a solotion

  • just go to Telegram
    much better

  • What l hate about WhatsApp
    1. You cannot set it up on a 2nd device
    2. You cannot set up a chat with 3 or more peple

    Sticking with Skype, maybe 1day they may catch up

  • u r messing things now.....u should write new article

  • Anup 4 months ago Link to comment

    You may also organize or label whatsapp chat messages using Bag A Chat app. Or create analytical reports based on chat messages.

  • I love whatsapp but lately when I use my laptop to chat with someone, they don't get my messages and I don't get theirs. It's very sporadic, but annoying when it does happen. Is there a solution to this issue or is it some kind of glitch in the program?

  • subbu 4 months ago Link to comment

    Why smiles in whatsapp is not getting updated from long time...? The smiles are boring to use..!!! Also I am not getting notification for incoming messages when my phone is locked. I am using version 2.12.367.

  • this is about my messenger, if someones calling me i need to click first use data before it will ring. how can i change this i want to hear the ringtone immediately. i hope u can help me to solve this

  • I have seen sombody changing his dp but my msg didnt delivered to his device,dats why i m asking how can this possible?
    is that possible as he is using whatsapp from two device through only one contact no.?

  • Thank you so much for your sharing.

  • Dusan V. 4 months ago Link to comment

    I stopped using it few months ago. I use Viber so don't see the point keeping them both to overkill battery.

  • nice article

  • go to settins apps downloaded then go in whatsapp and clear data....ur all problems are solved n put u no. and enjoy....and dont forget to correct ur phone date and time

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