Tuesday, June 25, 2024

WhatsApp not working? How to fix the messaging app

WhatsApp is a pillar of social media for many people, making it super easy to keep in touch with groups and individuals in message threads that might go back years and years.

However, it can also sometimes be a little flaky and if your WhatsApp isn’t working there could be a long list of reasons behind the hitches. Whether it’s a matter of connectivity, caching, app closing or more, we’ve got a series of tips that can help you get things working again.


How to close WhatsApp

If your phone is feeling a bit laggy and your WhatsApp is suffering, you might want to close and re-open the app as your first port of call. This can often help in bigger ways than you might assume.

  1. Slowly swipe up from the bottom of your phone and hold your finger there for a second to open the app drawer
  2. Find WhatsApp in the list and swipe it upward to close it
  3. Tap back out of the app drawer and re-open WhatsApp by tapping its icon

If you’re on Android you can also force close the whole WhatsApp process on your phone, which can take things a step further in terms of resetting your app.

  1. Open the Settings app
  2. Tap on Apps
  3. Tap See all apps
  4. Tap on WhatsApp in the list
  5. Tap on Force Stop then confirm the decision

This will completely kill WhatsApp’s background processes and force it to basically reboot when you open the app again.

Check for a WhatsApp update

When apps are updated it’s sometimes possible for the older versions to become buggy, with fixes only applying to fresh versions. If you think your WhatsApp could be an old version that needs updating, here’s how to check and update it.

On iPhone:

  1. Open the App Store
  2. Tap on your profile picture at the top-right of the display
  3. Scroll down to see waiting updates, and if you see WhatsApp, tap Update next to it

On Android:

  1. Open the Play Store app
  2. Search for WhatsApp and tap on the app in search results
  3. If it’s available, tap on Update

These steps may establish that there is no update waiting, but it’s a good way to double-check that you’re all good on this front.

Clear WhatsApp cache

On Android (not iPhone) you can also clear the cache of downloaded background information that WhatsApp uses, which not only clears some storage space but can help reset the app a little.

  1. Open the Settings app
  2. Tap on Apps
  3. Tap on See all apps
  4. Tap on WhatsApp in the list
  5. Tap on Storage & cache, then tap Clear cache

This will reset the cache and could solve some problems.

Check your internet connection

WhatsApp, being a messaging platform, relies on your phone or device having an active internet connection, so a lot of the time if it’s unreliable it could be something to do with your connection.

It’s worth turning your Wi-Fi on and off again and checking how many bars of signal you have if you’re out and about, as all of these could explain why messages aren’t sending or aren’t being received.

Restart your phone

If your phone is being a little laggy and all of the above tips haven’t helped you, it’s well worth remembering that restarting a device every so often can be a really useful little hack.

On an iPhone, you just need to hold down the volume up and power buttons until you get the option to power down your phone, before turning it back on by holding the power button.

On Android, hold down just the power button until your options appear, then select Restart.

This can help to act as a soft reboot for your phone and is handy for getting things moving smoothly again.

Is WhatsApp down?

Of course, when an internet-connected app starts being weird or laggy on your phone there is always another possibility – that its own servers or services are down.

WhatsApp has had major outages in the past that have left millions of users locked out of its services, so this is very much possible, and the quickest way to check is generally to head to Downdetector and search for WhatsApp to see if people are reporting issues elsewhere. If there’s a significant outage you’re likely to see an obvious and recent spike in its graph.

Delete WhatsApp and reinstall

Finally, you can try a bit of a full reset by actually deleting the WhatsApp app from your phone and redownloading it from your relevant app store – this used to be a hassle with signing back in, but things are actually pretty quick now.

So, ensuring you have your WhatsApp credentials saved so that you can indeed log back in once it’s redownloaded, this could be a useful final resort. It’ll have the bonus on iPhone of resetting the app’s cache, which can’t be done any other way at present.


This website uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you accept our use of cookies.