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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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'.
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. 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.
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. Enabling this option means that you won't be able to see when your contacts were last online either.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 usually much smaller than that of pictures and videos.
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 support 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.
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.