How to Fix It When WhatsApp Isn't Working

If the internet works and an app restart doesn't help, check if WhatsApp is down

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As one of the most popular messaging apps on the planet, WhatsApp not working is understandably something you don't want to deal with for long. Below are several tips that should help get the app or website working again in no time.

Why Isn't WhatsApp Working?

The problem could lie with your app, your device, your network, or WhatsApp's service. Here are some specific things that could be happening:

  • WhatsApp is having a wider problem that affects more than just your app
  • You're not properly connected to the internet
  • Your device is having trouble fully utilizing the app
  • Your app's cache is corrupted in some way
  • You or the contact have been blocked from communicating
  • An app setting is preventing photos, videos, or messages from sticking around
  • Permissions have been denied that are necessary for some things to work
  • Your inactive account was deleted

How to Fix WhatsApp Not Working

Walk through these steps in the order they're presented to address the simpler and more likely solutions first.

  1. Check if WhatsApp is down. If they're experiencing issues on their end, there's nothing you can do but wait for the problem to be fixed.

    Be sure to complete this step first so you're not wasting your time on a problem that isn't yours to fix!

  2. Close the app, and then reopen it. This is the easiest solution that will work in some cases if it's just a temporary problem.

    The process of closing apps depends on your platform: Android [How to Close Apps on Android], iPhone [How to Close Apps on an iPhone], Windows [How to Close Apps on a PC], or macOS [How to Close Apps on a Mac]. Typically you don't have to do this, but if the app is unresponsive maybe something has gone wrong and you need to really close the app.

  3. Turn on Wi-Fi or turn on mobile data. You need a valid internet connection to properly use WhatsApp.

    If you've confirmed that you already have a working internet connection (for example, if you're viewing this page on the same device), one thing you can try before moving on to the next step is a refresh.

    The process of toggling Airplane Mode on and off depends on your platform: Android [How to Use Airplane Mode on Android], iPhone [How to Use Airplane Mode on an iPhone], and Windows [How to Use Airplane Mode on a PC].

    If you have no internet connection at all (e.g., email and other sites don't load either), or a spotty connection, then there's no reason to address this as a WhatsApp problem, specifically. Instead, see our guide on how to fix it when there's no internet.

  4. Turn your whole device off and then back on again. The process of restarting your device depends on your platform: Android [How to Restart an Android Device], iPhone [How to Restart an iPhone], Windows [How to Restart a PC], or macOS [How to Restart a Mac].

    It's completely understandable to want to skip this step, especially if you're actively working on something and don't want to lose progress. But restarting tends to fix unexplained tech problems, so it could address WhatsApp not working as well.

  5. Set up WhatsApp Web again to reestablish that connection if the problem seems to present only when you're using the app through your desktop browser.

    Here's another tip: if WhatsApp Web works in the browser's private mode, but not in regular mode, the issue is probably a browser extension. Disable every browser extension, and then re-enable them one by one until you find the problem extension.

  6. Clear the cache. If there are too many temporary files or corrupted data in the cache, it could interfere with the app's proper functionality, such as causing it to crash upon opening.

    The process to clear the cache depends on your platform: Android [How to Clear the Cache on Android] or iPhone [How to Clear the Cache on an iPhone].

    If you're using WhatsApp Web, clear your browser cache, too.

  7. Update WhatsApp to the latest version through your phone's app store. If an app bug is causing a widespread issue, it'll no doubt be fixed quickly.

    How to update apps depends on your platform: Windows [How to Update Apps on a PC] or macOS [How to Update Apps on a Mac].

    We recommend not using the beta version. We know some users have had issues while enrolled in WhatsApp's beta program, which makes sense since beta software is more prone to bugs than stable releases.

  8. Check app permissions. You need to give WhatsApp permission to access things like your contacts, photos, mic, etc., otherwise, those things won't work.

    To manage Android app permissions, for example, go to Settings > Apps > WhatsApp > Permissions. If what's not working in WhatsApp is listed in the Not allowed section (e.g., the camera, and you can't scan the WhatsApp Web QR code), tap it and choose the Allow option.

    On an iPhone, go to Settings > Privacy > Camera (or Microphone, Location Services, etc.), and make sure the WhatsApp toggle is turned on.

    WhatsApp Web users can edit these settings in the browser. For example, give Chrome access to your mic if it's not working with WhatsApp.

  9. See if you've been blocked on WhatsApp. It might be "broken" in the sense you can't communicate with select people, but the reality could be they've added you to their blocked contacts list.

    On the flip side, take this time to unblock the WhatsApp contact if you suspect that you can't communicate because you were the one doing the blocking.

  10. Unmute the contact if WhatsApp isn't making noise.

    There's an option to mute notifications for specific contacts. If you've done this, you won't hear or see alerts the person/people you've muted. Unmuting is easy and will fix the problem immediately.

  11. Troubleshoot missing WhatsApp media files if images and videos aren't showing up. This might happen if a certain media visibility setting is turned off or if media files aren't set up to automatically download.

    Take this time to see how much storage is left on your device. WhatsApp can't properly save files or even regular chat messages if there's not enough room for them on your phone or computer.

  12. Turn off WhatsApp disappearing messages if you find that chats are disappearing after a day or so. This isn't a fault of the app, but instead a legitimate privacy setting that you might prefer to turn off.

  13. Reinstall the app. Removing all of WhatsApp from your phone or computer will let you start fresh with a brand-new installation. This will fix the issue if the fault lies somewhere in the app's installation.

    The process of deleting apps depends on your platform: Android [How to Delete Apps on Android], iPhone [How to Delete Apps on an iPhone], or Windows [How to Delete Apps on a PC].

  14. Make a new account. If you were unable to complete most of the steps above, it could be because your account was deleted. WhatsApp might do if you've been inactive for at least 120 days.

  • Why are Facebook, Instagram, and WhatApp all not working?

    If WhatsApp and other Meta-owned platforms like Facebook or Instagram aren't working, the problem is almost certainly on their end. In a case like that, the only thing for you to do is wait until the services are back up and running, or use a site like DownDetector to monitor the situation.

  • Why aren't calls working in WhatsApp?

    If WhatsApp itself is working but calls aren't, your network is the most likely problem. Switch to a Wi-Fi network or a cellular one (depending on what you're already connected to that isn't working) if possible. Your available networks may not be configured for User Datagram Protocol (UDP), which WhatsApp utilizes for calls, in which case you'll have to find a network that does.

  • Why aren't my WhatsApp notifications working?

    Make sure the device you're using WhatsApp on has an internet connection first, and if it does then the problem could be restrictions on background data. Open your mobile device's Settings and select Apps > WhatsApp > Data Usage, then make sure "background data" isn't restricted—and if it is, change the settings so background data is allowed. Beyond that, check your settings to make sure notifications aren't turned off, and try to keep your phone from going into power saving mode as that may prevent notifications from appearing.

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