Troubled with WhatsApp not working just when you need it to? Here’s a definitive guide on everything that can go wrong while using WhatsApp Messenger, and how you can resolve each and every one of those issues the easy way.
In the early 90s when the very first mobile phones made their way to the consumer market, text messaging become a standard of convenient communication. Allowing you to send over a text with 160 characters per message was a step into the future, which set the foundation for not just social media platforms such as Twitter, but also instant messaging services. However, SMS came with several limitations, especially once mobile phones became “smarter” and were able to send out multimedia content.
Replacing traditional text messaging for good across the world, WhatsApp has been one of the most popular mobile instant messaging services ever created. With over 1.5 Billion users worldwide, WhatsApp has its presence in more than 180 countries and continues to expand after being acquired by social media giant Facebook for an ungodly amount of money. Being available across multiple platforms and running on billions of devices, means that the development team behind the app is bombarded with queries when WhatsApp, not working issues appear.
How to Resolve WhatsApp not Working Issues
Although the update cycle for this instant messaging app is fairly regular, there can be plenty of ways that you’re not being able to make the most out of it. We take a look at the most common problems that users have reported while using WhatsApp and break each of them down with solutions to get you past the problem.
Problem No.1 – WhatsApp Keeps Crashing
Just like any other app on your Android smartphone, WhatsApp is a third-party messenger that can undergo compatibly or functioning issues. These issues can cause the app to either close unexpectedly, or simply crash while you’re still using it, so here’s what you can do to fix it.
Reboot the Phone
- Press and hold down the Power button on your Android until the boot pop-up window is displayed on the screen.
- Depending on your device, select the Restart or Reboot button and wait while the process completes.
- Once your device reboots, check to see if the Google app that was giving back the error has been resolved.
Update the App
- Head over to the Google Play Store app, and press the slide-out menu on the top-left corner of the screen.
- Tap on My Apps & Games option, where you will see a list of all the apps that are installed on your phone.
- With a pending WhatsApp update, you should be able to see the app icon at the top of the list, so tap on it.
- Press the Update button right next to it, and wait while the download and installation process completes.
Clear App Cache
- Head over to the Settings app on your Android device using the app drawer or the gear icon on the notification window.
- Scroll down to find the Apps menu in the Settings. The menu may even be named Application Manager on certain devices.
- With the entire list of apps on your phone in front of you, go ahead and scroll down to find WhatsApp.
- Start off by pressing the Force Stop button to end any background processes.
- Head over to the Storage section and press the Clear Cache button and confirm your action.
- Head back to the home screen and reboot your device to make sure that the changes take effect.
- From the home screen of your Android device, navigate to the where the WhatsApp icon is present.
- Press and hold the WhatsApp icon until you see a red checkbox on the corner, or the Uninstall tab at the top of the screen.
- Press the red checkbox, or drag the app icon to the Uninstall tab to remove WhatsApp from the phone.
- Now head over to the Google Play Store, and use the search bar to find WhatsApp Messenger.
- Press the Install button right next to it, and set up the app afresh to see if the problem has been resolved.
Problem No. 2 – WhatsApp Unavailable/Blocked
There can also be instances where you are trying to install WhatsApp and can’t seem to find it on the Play Store, there are chances that WhatsApp is blocked in your country. Although the chances of this being an issue are slim, considering that the service is available in more than 180 countries already. However, with WhatsApp not working for you, here’s what you can do about it:
Download WhatsApp APK
- Make sure that you have Unknown Sources enabled on your Android phone to enable manual app installation.
- You can fetch the latest version of WhatsApp directly from the official website over at www.whatsapp.com.
- Head over to the Download section, and select Android to find the latest available version of the app.
- Finally, press the Download Now button to get the APK file of WhatsApp and open it to select the Install button.
Use VPN for WhatsApp Calling
In certain regions, WhatsApp may be available to use for text messaging and sharing multimedia content, but the WhatsApp video and audio calling service may not be available. To bypass this restriction that is put up by the telecommunications department in your region, you will need a reliable VPN (virtual private network) service.
- Subscribe to a premium VPN service such as ExpressVPN and download the Android app for it.
- Enable the VPN by selecting one of the available servers in high-density regions such as the United States or Canada.
- Open WhatsApp and try using the video or voice calling feature.
Problem No. 3 – Activation Code Not Received
The biggest problem with WhatsApp not working can be right at the start of it all, when you can’t even have the service activated. Not being able to receive the activation code essentially renders the instant messaging app useless, and here’s how you can get past it:
Verify the Phone Number
This may seem like a no-brainer, but making sure that you’ve typed in the correct number is the first things you should consider. Although WhatsApp uses location services to detect the country code for your region, you might have to manually assign it if you have a VPN set up in place. WhatsApp also gives you the ability to retrieve the activation code through the means of a voice call, which you can request if you don’t receive the activation code via SMS within a few moments.
Check for Network Connectivity
The activation code is sent through an SMS, which makes it essential for your phone to be well within range of cellular network connectivity to receive it. Move closer to an open space to receive better signal coverage when requesting the activation code. Additionally, you can also switch to Airplane Mode a few times to reset the network, which can also be instrumental to get things going.
Problem No. 4 – WhatsApp Messages Delayed
While most users are able to get the messaging app installed and running, the underlying issue with WhatsApp not working seems to be delayed messages. You have probably come across the alert in the notification shade from WhatsApp that reads “You may have new messages”, which essentially means that there are incoming messages in the pipeline.
Disable Battery Optimization
- Head over to the Settings app on your Android device.
- Scroll down to find the Battery tab and access the Battery Optimization tab.
- From the list of apps that are installed on your phone, scroll down to find the WhatsApp icon that you’re having the problemswith.
- Tap on the app icon and select “Don’t optimize” to disable Doze Mode and App Standby for WhatsApp.
Unrestricted Data Usage
- From the home screen of your Android phone, head over to the Settings app.
- Scroll down to find the Data Usage tab from the list of available options.
- From the list of apps installed on your phone that are displayed on the screen, go down to find the WhatsApp icon.
- After selecting WhatsApp, choose the No restrictions options to grant the app unrestricted data usage.
Check Network Connectivity
Finally, it all comes down to the fact that you need to ensure the internet connectivity of your Android phone is optimal. Spotty network signal or a weak Wi-Fi range can directly affect the way you are able to send and receive messages on WhatsApp. Try toggling through Airplane Mode, and then disconnecting/reconnecting to a Wi-Fi network again to see if the problem delayed messages on WhatsApp has been resolved.
Problem No. 5 – WhatsApp Using Excessive Data
With features such as audio and video calling, the ability to share images, videos, and more, WhatsApp can take up quite the megabytes. If you’re stuck on a limited network plan, curbing the amount of mobile data that the app consumes when you use it daily, here’s what you need to do:
- From the home screen of your Android device, head over to WhatsApp.
- Tap on the Menu button on the top-right corner of the screen and select Settings.
- Select the Data Usage tab and then select Low data usage tab from the pop-up menu.
Now you have the option to even choose the content that you want to be downloaded over mobile data:
- Open WhatsApp and head back to the Data Usage menu using the Settings option.
- Tap on the option that reads the “When using mobile data” option.
- Now go ahead and deselect any of the media that you don’t want to be downloaded over mobile data.
Additionally, you can also restrict the chat backup so that you don’t lose data allowance when you’re not connected to a wireless network:
- Open WhatsApp and head over to the Settings menu by press the three-dot menu button on the top-right corner of the screen.
- Open the Chats menu and then select the Chat backup option.
- Select the Back up over option and from the pop-up menu, select the Wi-Fi option.
Mobile phones have certainly come a long way from being able to do nothing more than send out texts messages and help you make regular phone calls. To the modern user, being unable to send out a multimedia file, or delay in receiving messages when they notice WhatsApp not working properly can be frustrating. The fact that WhatsApp has become the go-to instant messaging app for billions of users, and even businesses all across the world, leaves very little tolerance among its users when it seems to go haywire.
Fortunately, none of the WhatsApp Messenger issues are complicated enough to not have a direct and effective solution for them. We’ve sieved through dozens of user forums to find out which WhatsApp issues seem to bother users the most, and listed solutions for each of them. If you’ve got a WhatsApp problem that we haven’t been able to resolve in the guide above, be sure to mention it in the comments section right down below, and we’ll surely take a look into it.