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10 min read 158 comments

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 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 2017, 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

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. Also 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 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 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.

'Can't play video' error

To prevent this from happening, there are two things you can try. First, check that Google Photos is up to date. Open up the Play Store, press on the hamburger menu button at the top left and then on My apps & games, and see if Google Photos is at the top of the page, waiting for an update. 

If that didn't help, another solution is to go to Settings > Apps / Application manager > Google+ and press on Uninstall updates. 

androidpit whatsapp video not playing solution
Check that Google Photos is up to date and uninstall updates to Google+. / © 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.

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.

androidpit whatsapp last seen
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, 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

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.)

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

If you are experiencing poor quality voice calls, drop outs 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.

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These settings might affect your ability to download photos and videos. / © ANDROIDPIT

The fall back, 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, 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 / wifi 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. 

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 and we'll update this article with more solutions for your WhatsApp problems.



Write new comment:

  • Nik 3 days ago Link to comment

    Keep getting the "Network busy" message whenever calling a particular contact whose number is working.

  • I have problem with video calling. Showing that microfone doesn't working

  • Matt k 4 weeks ago Link to comment

    I created a group for keeping contact with certain people, which works out fine. However, I went to added a new person to the group, then pressed exit to exit the app but it deleted me from my own group. I can't get back in and no one else in the group seems to have the ability to add me. I don't want to create a new group because we have a thread going on. Advice?

  • some of my friends tell me that the video I sent to them can not play and there is a notification saying 'This video is not available because something wrong with the video file'. most of them using samsung. but other mobile phones can play.

    • Same problem persists for me.... My phone model is honor 6x. In my case, my recipients are non Samsung users. Still the problem exists. Is there any solution?

  • I have a problem with the proximity sensor, that he is turned on when i hear voice messages on whatsapp when nothing is proximate. he just being turned on automatically' thus I can't hear the messages on speaker.

  • using whatsap video everyday to thailand. my friend can hear me perfectly. the audio from thailand cuts in and out. there are long periods when i can hear nothing thank you.

  • During update Whatsapp latest version which current version obsolete on Nov 16, 2017, prompt out error "A server error has occured. Retry, or cancel and return to the previous screen."
    After click Retry, it prompt out "The requested item could not be found."
    Need help here, thanks.

  • I cant sent audio massages from my whats app kindly help

  • My boyfriend has an Asus Zenfone 3 refurbished. When he messages me on Whatsapp I don't get the message. When I do get the message he doesn't get my reply. Would you know what would be causing this, and how to go about fixing it? Thank you so much.

  • my whats app is showing the message UNFORTUNETLY WHATS APP HAS STOPPED with in few seconds I start my whats app kindly suggest the solution

  • I have this issue that mu ANdroid phone, Nokia 6, with 7.1.1 android shuts down whatsapp and i dont get messages. I cant find anything that shuts it down, its not listed on powersaving etc, what to do?

  • I didn't receive an activation code, I also requested a phone call that never came through, I checked my number and the Spanish Country code are all correct. I need some direct service to fix this problem please. My cell number is +34698495964. Thank you

  • When i try to save picture from WHATSaPP by clicking "SHArE" and choosing "ES save to" (or any other file explorer app) to save the picture to android storage/memory/ExtSD, i get :
    "This operation is not supported".

    It used to work.
    I also tried "Factory reset", and reinstall Whatsapp and file explorer apps like ES file explorer.
    Didnt help.

  • i m using my whattsapp from yesterday when i open some group/individual chat box app closes automaticallt and comes back to home page i m using lyf LS-5016 android mobile using jio network.please help to sort it out

  • i m using my whattsapp from yesterday when i open some group/individual chat box app closes automaticallt and comes back to home page

  • Sun Yeo 5 months ago Link to comment

    Hi how do I solve this problem in whatsapp of "couldn't load this photo. Please try again " when I click Done after I cropped or rotated a photo shared directly from my gallery? Doodling the photo is fine. And only happens when I shared from gallery. It's fine if i attach the photo in whatsapp.

  • Ihave a down arrow alongside the latest message from one of my whatsapp contacts that prevents me from scrolling up or down to see the end of the message they have sent. All other contacts are fine and do not have this arrow within a circle. Can anyone help please?

  • Please i cant get the activation code have waited and waited for days i cant get it

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