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Have a problem with WhatsApp? Here are the solutions

Have a problem with WhatsApp? Here are the solutions

WhatsApp is one of the most popular messaging apps out there - with over 10 percent of the global population 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 how to solve them.

I can't install WhatsApp

In order to download the latest version of WhatsApp, you need to have a smartphone running Android version 2.3.3 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 settings. Go to Settings > Apps and find your mobile browser. Enable it to install from unknown sources. Of course, this isn't an issue if you get it from the Play Store.

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WhatsApp now has more than one billion monthly active users / © AndroidPIT

I didn't get my activation code

If the installation went smoothly, but the automatically generated message with your activation code never comes through, first ensure you entered your number correctly. Double-check that you chose the right country from the drop-down list. This is the country your phone number is from, not necessarily the country you reside in.

If you still do not receive the code, try requesting a voice call. This way you will have the code read to you by a computer over the phone.

Remember, you have to have a SIM card to register for WhatsApp. Also, you can only use one device per phone number.

androidpit whatsapp authorization code international number
It sounds obvious, but make sure you used the right number and international dialing code / © AndroidPIT

I can't connect to WhatsApp, WhatsApp not working, or WhatsApp is down

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 4G (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 your 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

WhatsApp has duplicate contacts

While this problem has been largely eradicated through updates to WhatsApp, if you have duplicate contacts in your address book, it might persist in some way. Find out how to remove duplicate contacts in Android.

What does 'Last Seen' mean in WhatsApp?

The Last Seen timestamp 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.

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.

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The 'Last Seen' time will only disappear under certain circumstances / © AndroidPIT

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 one gray tick, then this makes it more certain that you've been blocked. If you can't see changes to the contact's profile either, then you've certainly been blocked. Sorry to break it to you.

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

What do the blue checkmarks 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)

I have problems with voice calls or can't answer calls

If you are experiencing poor quality voice calls, dropouts or you can't make or receive calls, it is almost certainly related to your connection. Voice calls are carried out over Wi-Fi or mobile data. Ensure your connection is strong. If you're using mobile data, you will need at least 3G. Perhaps also try disconnecting and reconnecting to the network. The problem might not even be on your end: the person you're talking with will also need to ensure they have a good connection.

whats app voice call
The quality of voice calls is subject to the quality of your data connection / © AndroidPIT

I can't hear audio messages or WhatsApp can't play audio

This could be related to the proximity sensor that WhatsApp relies on. It is found near the front-facing camera on your phone, and detects when you're holding your phone to your ear. If the sensor is activated, audio will play through the ear speaker very quietly. Ensure you keep your phone away from your face, and the audio should play through the normal speaker. Check to make sure the volume is turned up as well.

I can't download videos or photos on WhatsApp

Head to Settings > Data usage and see if you only have media auto-downloads enabled when you're on Wi-Fi. If they are, you will either need to connect to a Wi-Fi network or enable auto-downloads on mobile data and/or when roaming.

whatsapp data usage
These settings might affect your ability to download photos and videos / © AndroidPIT

The fallback, as is often the case, is to restart your router if you're on Wi-Fi and to restart your phone, as well.

WhatsApp is blocked in my country

If you're one of the unfortunate few to have WhatsApp blocked in your country, there is a way around the problem. Use a VPN. You can find out what a VPN is, why you need one, and how to get one here.

I can't save photos to send to another contact

The way this is done has changed. Long press on the image in the chat that you want to share, and at the top-right of the page, a right-facing arrow will appear. Press on this, and you can select the contact you want to share the image with.

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You can easily forward photos in WhatsApp / © AndroidPIT

What should I do if my phone is lost or stolen?

First, lock your SIM card by contacting your carrier. This should always be your first step. Once this is done, WhatsApp can no longer be activated on that device. Once you have a new SIM (presumably with the same number) you can reactivate WhatsApp on your new phone.

In the meantime, send WhatsApp a message asking them to deactivate your account. Send an email with the subject "Lost/Stolen: Please deactivate my account" to support@whatsapp.com, and include your phone number (complete with an international dialing code) in the email body. If you don't do this, WhatsApp can still be used over Wi-Fi.

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Make sure you ask WhatsApp to deactivate your account if your phone is stolen / © AndroidPIT

"You may have new messages" notification

At times it may happen that you'll receive a notification from WhatsApp stating: "You may have new messages". You might be puzzled by this rather vague and cryptic message, especially when you open WhatsApp and don't see any new notifications. The explanation is quite simple! WhatsApp uses push notifications to inform you of messages, but uses a different channel to deliver the actual message.

If you are in an area with a bad or low data / Wi-Fi connection, the network will be able to deliver the push notification but not the actual message. This problems occasionally occurs when you turn on the data saver mode on your smartphone. Now there might be an actual problem with WhatsApp that could cause this notification to pop up, but the its most likely related to a bad data connection. 

How to save data on WhatsApp

Does WhatsApp chew through all your phone data in your daily use? Here's how to keep the hungry app under control.

  • Open WhatsApp
  • Touch the 'three dots' on the top right-hand side
  • Select Settings
  • Tap the fourth option, Data and storage usage
  • Select the third option, When using mobile data
  • Deactivate the four options (Photos, Audio, Videos and Documents) and press OK
  • Scroll down to Low data usage and check the box on the right side

This disables the automatic downloading of any file type when using mobile data. This will prevent these files from being downloaded with your data plan. It will wait for you to connect to a Wi-Fi network in order to do so.

WhatsApp Messages don't send

If you can't send or receive WhatsApp messages, then the cause is usually a bad internet connection. But if you're positive that your phone is connected to the Internet, then try troubleshooting with the following steps:

  • Try restarting your phone or turning it off and on again
  • You need to complete the initial SMS verification process for WhatsApp
  • The number of the contact you're trying to message on WhatsApp hasn't been saved correctly on your phone

Other problems with WhatsApp

If you're having other problems with WhatsApp that aren't listed here, let us know. If you have more questions, you can check out our forum or leave your requests in the comments below. We'll also update this article with more solutions for your WhatsApp problems.

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265 comments

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  • John 2 weeks ago Link to comment

    I installed Whatsapp on my Samsung S10e and transferred my messages using dr.fone from my iphone. It worked fine for more than 24 hours and then stopped working all in sudden. Whatsapp can't connect to internet anymore but all other apps on my phone are connected via WIFI or data. Even Whatsapp web can't connect to my phone. I don't see anything in the app settings or another app that can stop the connection of whatsapp to internet! And I have not made any changes to my phone or apps when it stopped working this morning.

    Anyone to help? Thanks!


  • sree 2 weeks ago Link to comment

    I have a database of jpg images uploaded in my Google Drive account. Here Image size and format is fixed, only content will change as per database information in all the images.

    Further I am using bitly to shorten URL of my Google Drive stored JPG image for sharing in my WhatsApp Group. In this process I have the following problems.

    1. URL preview alignment (top/center/bottom justified) will keep changing in WhatsApp. Left/center/right justification is fine. It will be always center justified. How to fix the alignment as top justified only.

    2. Most of the time updated/overwritten image will not get on preview. If I open the link then I can see the updated version only, but not on preview.

    Experts please guide me how to resolve the problem.


  • thank u


  • Having changed from iOS to Android, I want to transfer my chat groups and history across. Is that possible?


  • I've just changed from iPhone to Galaxy A40. I've downloaded Whatsapp but when I enter my name it says Unable To Connect, Please Try Later. Any help would be appreciated.


  • I got a new phone, pixel 3a, and my international contacts I suddenly can't send messages to. All other contacts working fine. How to fix?


  • The blue tick is not abled for many users


  • I just got a used (honor ) and in esch time i want to activate whatsapp, i always see in the screen "your number is banned from using whatsapp. I do not know whst to do


  • marco sarli
    • Admin
    2 months ago Link to comment

    at least Android 2.3 ?


  • Watsapp automatically gets logged out from my phone. And all the watsapp images, videos were deleted
    Couldn't found in internal storage too

    Why does it happened?


  • Sudha 3 months ago Link to comment

    I am using whatsapp for five years. But since the last two years I noticed that I can't send messages to some of my contacts even they haven't blocked me. I need a solution for this.


  • I am using fmwhatsapp 2.
    I always show a notification " checking for new messages " and the messages which my friends sent to me are not reaching on time the are always late. What is this problem.


  • My whatsapp is saying
    Sorry cant load this audio now .pls try again later 😥


  • Roaa 3 months ago Link to comment

    My WhatsApp crashes everytime I reinstall the app and get the backup download done! It works fine until the backup finishes downloading and it starts crashing after 2 seconds of opening the app, and I also get the notification of "deleting messages" all the time from WhatsApp. I tried all kind of solutions, nothing worked, any help? I can't lose my backup, so much information there 😢.


  • Same no. Is saved in different names... In new cht... Bt thn only one number is saved in my contact


  • mandy 4 months ago Link to comment

    keeps telling me it's backing up...nothing changes. Help!


  • I have installed whatsapp on my Samsung Tab but it has failed to initialize. All that is showing is status service unavailable.How can I fix this


  • My number is ban form using WhatsApp

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