How to Track Your Messages With WhatsApp Check Marks

Check to See Who's Been Reading Your Messages

WhatsApp, the popular messaging service, allows you to track your messages using two colored check marks. These tell you when a message has been sent, received, and read at a glance. Plus, if you dig a little deeper you can get even more detail. Here's how to use these check marks on WhatsApp.

How WhatsApp Check Marks Work

Check marks on WhatsApp appear to the right of each of your messages. Once you've sent your message, it will be marked with a single grey check mark. When the message reaches your recipient's device, you'll get a second grey check mark, and when they read your message, the check marks turn blue.

Screenshots from WhatsApp showing the checkmarks.

Group messages use the same system, but they're a little bit different. When sending a group message, you'll get the double check marks only when the message has been delivered to all members of the group. Similarly, the double check mark will only turn blue once all members of the group have seen the message.

Beyond the Check Marks on WhatsApp

If you're wondering why your recipient hasn't read your latest message, you can dig a little deeper and get more information. At the top of your message thread, you'll see your recipient's name and the last time they were online. It's possible they just haven't been online since you sent it, or they've blocked you.

You can also see when the recipient is typing a message in this same area.

Screenshots of WhatsApp showing how to tell if someone has read your messages.

How to See When a Message Was Received

You can also find out specific times and dates when a message was received and read.

Long-press on a message to select it. It will highlight in blue. At the top of your phone screen, tap the i icon. On the message info screen, you'll see the time and date when the message was delivered and read.

Screenshots of WhatsApp showing how to tell if a message has been read.

How to Turn off WhatsApp Read Receipts

All of this works because WhatsApp delivers read receipts. When a message is read, a little bit of data is sent back to the message sender. Read receipts are on by default, but they can be turned off. 

  1. Go to your list of messages and tap the three vertical dots menu in the upper right corner of the app.

  2. Tap Settings > Accounts > Privacy.

  3. Tap the Read receipts toggle to turn it off.

    WhatsApp screenshots of how to turn on read receipts.

    When you turn off read receipts, you will no longer send back data when a message is opened. You also won't receive that data from others, so you'll no longer see the blue check marks.