Here are the solutions to the most common WhatsApp problems
With hitting the 1 billion mark earlier this year, WhatsApp is undoubtedly the most popular cross platform mobile messaging app that is used on the smartphone. Also, in April this year, WhatsApp rolled out end-to-end encryption on all of its devices.
Considering the huge audience that it caters to, it is bound to get a lot of things right. However, in this article, we are going to concentrate on what it gets wrong.
Here are some of the most common WhatsApp problems on Android and their solutions.
I cannot install WhatsApp
In order to download the latest version of WhatsApp, you need to have a smartphone running Android version 2.1 or higher (Note, Android 2.1 and 2.2 will no longer be supported by the end of 2016). To check your smartphone’s current Android version, you need to go to Settings > About Phone.
If you are trying to install the WhatsApp app from the WhatsApp website, you will need to have Unknown Sources enabled in your Security Settings. Go to Settings > Security > Unknown Sources to activate it.
Did not receive my activation code
You have not received the automatically generated message with your activation code, although you have installed the app correctly? In such cases, you need to ensure that you have entered your number correctly. Also, double check that you have selected the right country from the drop-down list. This is the country your phone number is from, and need not be the country you live in.
If you still do not receive the code, try requesting a voice call. By doing this, you will have the code read to you by a computer over the smartphone.
Remember, you need to have a SIM card to register for WhatsApp. Also, you can only use one device per phone number.
I cannot connect to WhatsApp, WhatsApp not working, or WhatsApp is down
Usually, WhatsApp connection problems are caused by your Wi-Fi network or data connection. If you are unable to send a message, here are a few solutions:
• Ensure that your phone is switched on
• Install the latest version of the app from the Play Store
• Check your internet connection, Wi-Fi or 3G (in Settings > Wireless and Network)
• Ensure that a Task Killer app is not affecting WhatsApp
• Empty the app cache (Settings > Applications > WhatsApp > Clear Cache)
• Finally, the most extreme solution would be to uninstall the app and then reinstall it
At times, even the powerful WhatsApp faces server issues. If you think WhatsApp is not working because the service is down, then go to the WhatsApp Status Twitter account, where outage updates are provided.
WhatsApp is not recognizing my contacts
There may be a few reasons why WhatsApp wouldn’t identify your contacts, so here is a simple checklist to ensure that it does:
• Ensure that you have the correct contact numbers (the ones they use for WhatsApp)
• Ensure that they are currently using WhatsApp
• Ensure that you have the latest version of WhatsApp
• Ensure that all of your contacts are ‘visible’ and/or ‘viewable’ in your contact list.
• Ensure that all of your contact groups (friends, family, co-workers, etc.) are set to ‘visible’ and/or ‘viewable’ in your contact list.
WhatsApp has duplicate contacts
While this problem has been largely removed through updates to WhatsApp, if you have duplicate contacts in your address book, it might continue to stay in some way. Find out how to remove duplicate contacts in Android.
Can’t play video error
You can try two things to avoid the above. Firstly, check if the Google Photos are 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 this doesn’t help, then another option is to go to Settings > Apps / Application Manager > Google+ and press on Uninstall updates.
What does ‘Last Seen’ mean in WhatsApp?
The ‘Last Seen’ time message lets you when a user was last using WhatsApp. This does not necessarily mean that they have read your messages. It means that they have only opened the application.
When you are in WhatsApp and one of your contacts also opens it, you will see their status change to ‘Online’, but again, this doesn’t mean they are looking at your messages. It is just that they are using WhatsApp.
I can’t see ‘Last Seen’ on WhatsApp
If you are not able to see the Last Seen time stamp in a conversation, there could be a number of reasons. If you have disabled your Last Seen time in Settings > Account > Privacy > Last Seen, then you will not be able to see other people’s Last Seen time, either.
If the problem is only with one or some contacts, then it might mean that they have disabled the Last Seen time in their WhatsApp settings. If they are still receiving and replying to your messages, this is more or less the case.
Finally, it could be that a contact has blocked you. If your messages never go beyond the one grey tick, then it is more certain that you have been blocked. Also, if you are unable to see the changes to the contact’s profile, then you have certainly been blocked.
What do the blue check marks mean in WhatsApp?
There is a lot of misunderstanding about what the two checks (or tick marks) in your WhatsApp message window mean. However, here is a quick summary:
• The clock symbol means your message is yet to be sent from your device.
• One grey tick means that the message has been sent and has been received by the WhatsApp server.
• Two grey 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 cannot answer calls
If you are facing issues of poor quality voice calls, drop outs or you are unable to make or receive calls, it is almost certainly linked to your internet connection. Voice calls are carried out over Wi-Fi or mobile data.
Make sure that your connection is strong. If you are using mobile data, you will at least need 3G. You can try to disconnect and again reconnect to the network. The problem may not even be on your end: the person you are talking with will also need to ensure they have a good connection.
I cannot hear audio messages or WhatsApp cannot play audio
This could be linked to the proximity sensor that WhatsApp depends upon. It is found near the front-facing camera on your smartphone, and detects when you are holding your device to your ear. If the sensor is activated, audio will play through the ear speaker very quietly. Make sure that you keep your smartphone away from your face, and the audio should play through the normal speaker. Also, ensure that the volume is turned up as well.
I can’t download videos or photos on WhatsApp
Go to Settings > Data usage and check if you only have media auto-downloads enabled when you are on Wi-Fi. If they are, you will either need to enable auto-downloads on mobile data and/or when roaming or connect to a Wi-Fi network.
As often is the case, the fall back is to restart your router if you are on Wi-Fi and to restart your smartphone, as well.
WhatsApp is blocked in my country
If you are one of the unfortunate few to have WhatsApp blocked in your country, there is a way around the problem. Use a VPN (virtual private network).
I cannot save photos to send to another contact
All you need to do is long press on the image in the chat that you want to share, and a right-facing arrow will appear at the top-right of the page. Press on this, and you can choose the contact you want to share the image with.
What should I do if my phone is lost or stolen?
In such a case, your first step should be to lock your SIM card by contacting your carrier. Once this is done, WhatsApp can no longer be activated on that device. However, you can reactivate WhatsApp on your new smartphone, once you have a new SIM (likely with the same number).
Meanwhile, send WhatsApp a message asking them to deactivate your account. Send an email with the subject “Lost/Stolen: Please deactivate my account” to firstname.lastname@example.org, 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.