WhatsApp is an excellent platform to keep up with family, friends, and business contacts. I’m sure ever since you’ve been using the app, it has saved you a lot of stress and simplified how you communicate. Nonetheless, like all apps, it is prone to problems which may be the challenge you are trying to rectify right now. Is Whatsapp not working or connecting on your phone? Well, here’s how to fix it.
Check Your Internet Connection
Just as vehicles need gas to function, Whatsapp depends on the internet, which means you’ll need an active mobile data or Wi-Fi connection to power it. The first thing you have to do if Whatsapp isn’t connecting is to confirm whether your device is connected to the internet. You can easily do this by opening another app that requires an internet connection to function, for example, YouTube or maybe a simple web page like afrosyte.com.
If the app or web page opens, your internet connection has no problems, which means, something else may be blocking the Whatsapp from working. But if you’re having trouble opening other apps, you’ll need to fix the internet connection.
Check for Service Outages
Having confirmed that your data connection isn’t the problem causing Whatsapp not to work, you should look out for possible interruptions in the Whatsapp service. Such outages usually come from source and your device has absolutely nothing to do with it. Despite the fact that Whatsapp is diligently reliable, it’s services get technical interruptions once in a while leading to global outages. For example, in October 2022, the app went down for roughly two hours during which left users stranded during period. It does make great sense to audit for service availability and ensure there are no issues from source before you troubleshoot further.
You can head over to Down Detector, an excellent outage monitoring platform, to check whether WhatsApp is experiencing downtimes. Also, your favorite news media may be a good source of information as they are usually quick to report outages in the services of the popular messaging app.
If WhatsApp is down, the next logical step is to wait patiently for the company to fix whatever issue is causing the disruption. That aside, you may also turn to other alternatives like Telegram and Signal which also have excellent messaging functionalities.
Update WhatsApp to Latest Version
WhatsApp releases periodic updates to introduce new features or fix bugs identified in the system. Although older versions continue to work normally even when a newer version is released, it’s good to ensure your app has not pending updates, if WhatsApp is refusing to connect or work.
On Android, you can find updates by heading to Google Play Store. Tap your profile photo and navigate to Manage Apps and Device > Updates Available. iPhone users can find available updates on App Store by tapping your profile photo in the top-right corner.
Confirm Your WhatsApp Account Was Not Deleted
You may not be aware of this, but it’s possible your account can be deleted by WhatsApp if it has not been active for 120 days or more. The company defines inactivity to mean the app not connecting to their servers during those number of days.
If your account has been scrapped, you’ll likely be greeted with the sign-in screen the moment you open WhatsApp as if you’re a new user just about to join WhatsApp. Don’t worry if this is the case, you can simply re-create your account by signing in with your mobile number and any older WhatsApp account data on your phone will automatically be restored.
Sometimes just turning a gadget off and back on is enough to get it working again. This also applies to applications including WhatsApp as many of its minor problems can be fixed by just restarting the app. However, to get results, you’ll have to close the app properly since merely navigating out of the app does not always close it. You’ll need to do two things to restart properly.
First, open your phone’s app switcher or multitasking screen and then swipe WhatsApp away to shut down the app completely. Second, re-open WhatsApp and try it again. If it works fine, viola!…you’re good to go. If it doesn’t, you can try restarting your device to see if you’ll get results. This strategy is not always the best solution but it works sometimes and is worth a try.
Get the Official WhatsApp App
Perhaps you installed WhatsApp from an unofficial source which may have been modified in a way. Yeah, that’s possible! The fact that for many years WhatsApp has been waging a war against unofficial versions of its app means that there are such unofficial WhatsApp clients in circulation. In some cases unauthorised WhatsApp apps may stop working or your account can temporarily get blocked, and if you continue using such apps, they can permanently ban you from using their service and that can really hurt!
Now, let’s just say you were using an unofficial version of WhatsApp from an unauthorised source and it has stopped working, then this is the time to install the official app.
Also, one thing you may not know is that some of these unauthorised apps contain malware or other malicious codes that are meant to steal your personal data.
Therefore, in consonance with principles of general cyber hygiene, you should try as much as possible to stay away from unofficial versions of any app, unless of course they’re from a credible source.
Set the Right Phone Date and Time
Another anomaly that can stop WhatsApp from working properly on your phone is when date and time is different from that of your region. Under that circumstance, you’ll have difficulties downloading everything shared in your chats.
This is mostly not a problem for many people given that almost all modern operating systems automatically synchronise your date and time with an internet-based time server.
However, if that function isn’t enabled on your phone, and the time and date are incorrect, simply fix it to get WhatsApp working again.
On android, go to Settings > System > Date & Time. Whilst there, choose the automatic option or manually set the correct time.
Confirm App Permissions
Like other apps, WhatsApp needs access to some of your phone’s pertinent features and data it needs to work properly. If somehow you have denied WhatsApp permission to access your contacts, camera, microphone and location, the app won’t work like you expect.
Get this fixed quickly to restore full functionality.
For iPhone users, go to Settings > locate tap on WhatsApp > slide the necessary features to the right to grant access.
For android, go to Settings > Apps > WhatsApp > Permissions > slide the necessary features to the right to grant access.
Confirm You’re Not Blocked
Sometimes the case is that you’re having trouble getting your chats through to specific people while chats to others are smoothly delivered. The possibility under such circumstances is that you have probably been blocked by those contacts.
Even though WhatsApp won’t openly tell you that they’ve blocked you, a few indicators can help you know what’s happening. First, any messages you send to those contacts will have only on check mark or tick. Second, you can’t see their online status or last seen information. Lastly, you won’t also see their profile photo updates.
While these signals could result from other possibilities, if you can associate them with specific contacts then chances are that you’re blocked.
Getting more on WhatsApp
Hopefully, now that your WhatsApp has reconnected and everything is working again, explore our guide on activating 2FA to block hackers from hijacking your WhatsApp account.