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Have a problem with WhatsApp? Here are the solutions

Authored by: Loie Favre — 1 month ago

WhatsApp is one of the most popular messaging apps out there, with roughly 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 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.

WhatsApp Messenger Install on Google Play
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WhatsApp now has more than 800 million monthly active users. / © ANDROIDPIT

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. 

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

I can't connect to WhatsApp

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.

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 your contacts' 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'.
AndroidPIT WhatsApp contacts show all contacts
Make sure WhatsApp is looking for all your contacts (right). / © ANDROIDPIT

How do I add international contacts in WhatsApp?

We've all been there. You're traveling through South America on your gap year, and you're introduced to that guy in that hostel that you know you'll want to keep in touch with forever. You get his digits, and search for him in WhatsApp, but he'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.

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.

AndroidPIT WhatsApp block contact daria
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 WhatsApp, 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. 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

How do I pay for WhatsApp? 

There are different payment possibilities: Google Wallet and sending a payment link. Some older versions of WhatsApp still support PayPal too.

  • The first will give you the option via your navigator to pay with your Paypal account or by credit card.
  • The second pertains to your Google Wallet account, for which you can subscribe for easier app purchasing (you will need to give Google your bank account information).
  • The third one will send you a purchase link via email.
AndroidPIT WHatsApp payment info pay for a friend
You have a couple of payment options, as well as being able to pay for a friend. / © 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.

andrdoidpit whatsapp blue check tick teaser
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.
AndroidPIT WhatsApp delete my account confirmation
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 > Chat Settings > Media Auto-Download, and configure the options to your preference. Note that voice messages are always automatically downloaded, but their file size is usually much smaller than that of 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?

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.

AndroidPIT WhatsApp file share cloudsend file options
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.

Loie Favre found her way to her present passion for Android and smartphone technology after experiencing an epiphany when she held her Galaxy Note 2. From that point onwards, you can find her with her nose buried in countless Android apps and different smartphone models, and thanking her lucky stars that she gets to work at something she loves.

86 comments

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  • Anup 3 weeks 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?

  • This App is quick and easy.

  • subbu 1 month 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.

  • 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

  • whats app calling is not working in my phone

  • To use WhatsApp conveniently, use BagAChat app along with WhatsApp. Life is much more simple then. try it out friends.

  • My WhatsApp is not loading and downloading also when my friend send me audio it not working at all please help me to solve this problem

  • I have Android version 5.0. After watching any received video through WhatsApp and when I click the device back key, the device stays showing black screen for few seconds then reports "WhatsApp isn't responding, Do you want to close it, Wait/Report/OK"

  • When I try to text using Whatsapp, in the text balloon is a telephone and when i press to text, it rings the number instead...... how do I clear the text balloon

  • MY NO. HAS BEEN BANNED TO USE THE WHATSAPP

  • Hi,
    What if WhatsApp has stopped working after an update? What should I do?

  • Pls my phone got stolen, so I don't have the chance to delete the app from my phone. The problem is that the people who stole my phone are using my whatapp. How do I get to delete my account since i don't have my phone.

  • I can't block a contact on whatsapp anyone know why? I've gone into settings /account/privacy/blocked/ and every time i click on blocked it just takes me back to the home page on my iphone help anyone?

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