How to Fix It When WhatsApp Voice Messages Aren't Working

Restarting or turning up the volume can be the simplest fixes

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This article explains why WhatsApp voice messages are not working, and looks at how to fix them. 

Why Are WhatsApp Voice Messages Not Working?

There can be many different reasons why voice messaging isn't working and each reason typically involves a different solution.

But first, it's a good idea to narrow things down to the specific problem you're dealing with. Here's a look at them.

  • You have a volume issue. If your phone or computer's speaker isn't working or is turned too low, you won't be able to hear the message.
  • You're offline. You need to be online to receive voice messages although once you have the message downloaded, you can listen offline.
  • WhatsApp is out of date. All smartphone apps need regularly updating, with older apps potentially causing issues.
  • The WhatsApp servers are down. If WhatsApp is down, you can't access new voice messages. 
  • Your permissions are set wrong. You need to have access to your microphone enable to record a WhatsApp voice message.

How to Fix Voice Messages Not Working On WhatsApp

If you can't send or hear WhatsApp voice messages, try these troubleshooting tips.

Not all these tips will relate to your issue. Some suggestions are aimed at those who can't send a voice message, while others are for those who can't receive or hear a voice message. Skip past any not relevant to your issue.

  1. Increase your phone volume. Can't hear a voice message? Check your phone's volume is turned up.

  2. Get the person to re-send the message. If you've received the voice message and it sounds wrong or garbled, it might have occurred when the message was sent. Ask them to resend it to see if it's a problem on their end before troubleshooting your device.

  3. Restart your phone. It's a predictable fix but often, if you simply restart your phone (or desktop if you're using WhatsApp web), the problem will fix itself.

  4. Update WhatsApp. If you're using an older version of WhatsApp, you may have problems with messaging. Keep it up-to-date.

  5. Check if WhatsApp is down. Checking if WhatsApp is down can fix a world of WhatsApp problems. If the servers are down, you may be able to view past messages, but not be able to download new ones. 

  6. Check your microphone permissions. You can't record a voice message if your microphone isn't available to WhatsApp. The process to change your microphone's permissions depends on your platform: Android [Change permissions for your Android's microphone] or iPhone [Settings > Privacy & Security > Microphone: Slide the toggle for WhatsApp so it’s green.].

  7. Check your speaker is working. The process of checking your speaker depends on your platform: Android [Fix It When an Android's Speaker Isn't Working] or iPhone [Fix It When an iPhone's Speaker Isn't Working].

  8. Check you're listening in the right place. Forgotten you have a Bluetooth speaker or headphones paired with your phone? The voice message may be playing through that instead of your phone's speaker. If the voice message looks like it's playing but you can't hear anything, this may be the issue. Check all devices are unpaired before playing again.

  9. Check available storage. Check you have enough space on your phone to download the voice message. If it's quite large and your storage is low, you may have issues playing voice messages. 

  10. Check or remove your screen protector. WhatsApp uses your phone's proximity sensor to play its audio through the earpiece when you're holding the phone to your ear. However, some screen protectors and cases can occasionally disrupt this. Check the voice message is being played through your phone's earpiece rather than the speaker.

  11. Reinstall WhatsApp. Usually restarting your phone and the above steps will fix any WhatsApp problems, but as a last resort, you can try reinstalling it. Make sure to back up your files to Google Drive or iCloud before doing so, otherwise, you'll lose your previous messages. 

  • Why are my WhatsApp voice messages playing abnormally fast?

    It's possible that the message playback speed was accidentally set to 1.5x or 2x speed. Check your display and if you see that it's set to 1.5x or 2x, tap the number to cycle past 2x and back to regular (1x) speed.

  • How do I delete a WhatsApp voice message?

    From the WhatsApp app, open the Chats menu and choose the message you want to delete. Next, tap and hold the message to pull up a menu, then select Delete.

  • How do I recover a deleted WhatsApp voice message?

    You can recover deleted voice messages (and non-voice messages) in WhatsApp by restoring your account data. Note: This will only work if you've previously made a backup that contains the message you want to restore.

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