7 Best Ways to Fix WhatsApp Not Working on iPhone

by Ankur
Best Ways to Fix WhatsApp Not Working on iPhone

Being the most popular instant messaging app globally, WhatsApp connects you with friends, family, colleagues, and even businesses. In situations where you find that WhatsApp is not working on iPhone, try some solutions shared below to fix the issue successfully. This guide shall also work when WhatsApp is not connecting, failing to make calls, not playing videos, app not opening on iPhone, and several such problems will be solved.

Solutions to Fix WhatsApp Not Working on iPhone

1. Fix WhatsApp’s Internet Connectivity

WhatsApp uses Wi-Fi or cellular data to send and receive messages and make audio/video calls. Thus, when it is not working or says WhatsApp is temporarily unavailable, the first thing is to ensure proper internet connectivity. Let us do that.

A. Enable and Disable Airplane Mode

1. Open the Settings app and tap on Airplane Mode.

2. After 20 seconds, tap the same switch to disable it.

3. Open WhatsApp and give it a few seconds to connect. Your messages and calls should work perfectly now. If not, please read on.

Enable and disable AirPlane mode on iPhone

B. Use a Different Wi-Fi or Use Cellular Data

If you are using a public Wi-Fi or one that’s slow, consider using a different network or turn off Wi-Fi and use cellular data instead.

Tip: If you stay in an area where Wi-Fi connection is poor, your iPhone has a handy hidden solution that can help. Open Settings app > Cellular and enable Wi-Fi Assist. From now on, when Wi-Fi connectivity is poor, the phone will automatically use cellular data. Pretty neat, right?

Enable Wi-Fi Assist on iPhone

C. Turn Off VPN

WhatsApp on its support page explicitly mentions that it was not designed to be used via VPN and proxies. Even one of my TechWiser colleagues confirmed this by saying his WhatsApp starts behaving strangely with VPN, like profile pictures do not load and such. To fix this, open the VPN app you are using and turn it off.

Turn off VPN on iPhone to fix WhatsApp issues

D. Turn Off Roaming

Open iPhone Settings and tap Cellular > Cellular Data Options. From here, turn off Data Roaming and see if it helps.

Turn off data roaming on iPhone to fix WhatsApp not working

Note: If doing this deactivates your mobile data, re-enable it and move to the following solutions.

E. Reboot Your Wi-Fi Router

When I lived in shared accommodation with other people, iPhone would face random connectivity issues that were addressed successfully by restarting the Wi-Fi router. If your WhatsApp is not connecting or disallowing sending messages, turn off the router using the wall switch. After 15 seconds, turn it back on.

F. Ensure Correct APN Settings

Access Point Name (APN) is a setting that defines the path and sets up the connection for cellular data connectivity. Most likely, if your mobile data is working fine, you do not have to worry about it. Still, if the solutions here do not fix the WhatsApp issue, contact your carrier and ask them for the correct APN settings. You can add/modify APN settings under the Cellular option of the iPhone Settings app.

Note: Not all carriers show APN settings or allow you to edit them.

G. Is WhatsApp Blocked by Your Employer or Office

Finally, in some cases, it is possible that your office or certain network blocks WhatsApp and other chat or social apps. If this is the case, use cellular data or contact the management.

2. Force Quit WhatsApp App and Reopen It

WhatsApp sometimes misbehaves out of nowhere or refuses to send messages due to app freezing and such. To address this, force quit the app.

1. On iPhone with Face ID, swipe up from the bottom of the screen and hold. On iPhone with a Home button, quickly double press it.

2. Drag the app card for WhatsApp all the way up.

3. After a few seconds, reopen the app, and it should let you connect with friends and loved ones.

Force Quit WhatsApp app on iPhone

3. Restart Your iPhone

To restart your iPhone, first, turn it off using the physical button. You may also do it from the Settings app > General > Shut Down. After a minute, use the power button to switch on your iPhone. Now, open WhatsApp, and it should work.

4. Update WhatsApp to the Latest Version

App updates improve things (mostly). But in rare cases, they may also mess up a feature or have newer bugs. Still, it is recommended that you keep your apps updated. This ensures better connectivity and the latest features.

1. Long press the App Store icon and tap on Updates.

2. Pull the screen down to refresh it.

3. Tap on UPDATE next to WhatsApp if available.

Update WhatsApp from App Store on iPhone

5. Check WhatsApp Server

Though rare, it may happen that WhatsApp is down in your country or globally. To check this, search Is WhatsApp down in [country name]. You may also directly visit sites like downdetector, istheservicedown, outage.report, and check WhatsApp’s status.

6. Delete and Reinstall WhatsApp

This will ensure that you have a fresh installation of the app, which will eliminate any unwanted problems.

Important: Removing the app will delete all your existing chats. To fix this, back up WhatsApp before deleting the app.

1. Open WhatsApp and tap on Settings from the bottom right > Chats > Chat Backup.

Chat Backup Chats WhatsApp Settings on iPhone

2. Tap on Back Up Now.

Back Up Now on WhatsApp on iPhone

After the backup completes, you may delete the app.

1. From the iPhone Home Screen, press the WhatsApp app icon.

2. Tap Remove App > Delete App > Delete.

Delete and reinstall WhatsApp on iPhone to fix problems

3. Restart your iPhone.

4. Press the App Store icon and tap Search. Now, type WhatsApp and download the app.

5. Complete the WhatsApp sign-in process using your mobile number. Do not forget to restore your chats.

7. Reset Network Settings

Resetting network settings is another reliable solution to fix such issues. This will not delete personal data like music, apps, movies, pictures, etc. However, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, VPN, and such network settings will be reset. In iPhone Settings, tap General > Reset > Reset Network Settings.

Reset Network Settings Reset Settings app on iPhone

WhatsApp Grayed-out with Time Limit or Missing from Screen?

WhatsApp is grayed out or shows a Time Limit option if you or your guardian have set restrictions via Screen Time. Here’s how to fix that.

1. Open the iPhone Settings app and tap on Screen Time.

2. Tap on App Limits.

App Limits Screen Time in iPhone Settings

3. If you see WhatsApp listed here, tap it. Now, turn off the toggle for App Limit. You may also tap Delete Limit.

Turn off App Limit or Delete Limit for WhatsApp on iPhone

4. Now, go back and tap on Content & Privacy Restrictions.

5. You may turn off the switch for Content & Privacy Restrictions or tap on Content Restrictions > Apps > Allow All Apps.

Turn off Content and Privacy Restrictions in Screen Time on iPhone

Now there should be no restrictions on WhatsApp, and it will no longer be grayed out, have a time limit, or be missing from the Home Screen.

Not Getting WhatsApp Messages Until I Open the App on iPhone

This is one problem that multiple iPhone users, including me, have faced. The main reason for not getting WhatsApp messages until you open the app is turning off Background App Refresh. When this is off, the app may not fetch messages as frequently in the background. Sometimes, WhatsApp may even show you a full-screen popup (when you open the app), asking you to enable Background App Refresh. So, here is how to do that.

1. Open the iPhone Settings app and tap General > Background App Refresh.

Background App Refresh Settings on iPhone

2. Tap Background App Refresh and select Wi-Fi & Cellular.

Wi-Fi and Cellular Data Background App Refresh in Settings on iPhone

3. Now go back and turn off all toggles except WhatsApp. You can leave all of them open, but it will consume the battery significantly. Thus, consider turning Background App Refresh off for all apps except WhatsApp.

Enable Background App Refresh for WhatsApp on iPhone

For older iPhones: If you keep several apps open on iPhone and have not used WhatsApp in a while, it may cause a delay in notifications. To fix this, force quit unnecessary apps and keep WhatsApp in the top 5 recent apps.

WhatsApp Notification Not Working on iPhone

If you do not receive any WhatsApp notifications on your iPhone, it is because you have turned them off or the person is muted. Here’s how to fix that.

1. Check Notifications Inside WhatsApp

1. Open WhatsApp and tap on Settings > Notifications.

2. Make sure the switches for Show Notifications are green.

Show Notifications in WhatsApp Settings on iPhone

2. Check WhatsApp Notification in iPhone Settings

1. Open the Settings app and tap on Notifications.

2. Scroll down and tap on WhatsApp.

WhatsApp Notifications Settings on iPhone

3. Ensure the toggle for Allow Notifications is green. Plus, make sure Lock Screen, Notification Center, and Banners are ticked.

Allow WhatsApp Notifications on iPhone

3. Make Sure the Person is Not Muted

If you mute a person or group inside WhatsApp, you won’t be notified when they send a new message.

1. To fix this, open WhatsApp and scroll through your chats. Do you see a gray crossed speaker icon next to a person’s name? If yes, that WhatsApp chat is muted.

2. Swipe right to left on the chat and tap on More.

3. Tap on Unmute.

4. Now, notifications from that person will arrive normally.

Swipe a mute chat tap More and Unmute in WhatsApp on iPhone

Note: If you had deleted the person’s chat, go to that person’s WhatsApp profile and tap on Muted > Unmute.

Unmute Muted from WhatsApp Profile on iPhone

4. Fix Archived Chat Notification

With the latest August 2021 update, WhatsApp chats you have archived may not show new notifications. They stay buried in the archived section. To fix this, open WhatsApp Settings > Chats and turn off the switch for Keep Chats Archived.

Turn off Keep Chats Archived under Chats in WhatsApp on iPhone

WhatsApp Microphone Not Working on iPhone

All third-party apps require your permission to access the iPhone microphone. When you installed WhatsApp and tried making the first call or sending a voice note, it showed you a popup asking for mic access. If you denied it, here is how to fix that.

1. Open iPhone Settings and tap on Privacy > Microphone.

Microphone Privacy Settings on iPhone

2. Enable the switch next to WhatsApp.

Ensure WhatsApp is allowed to access Microphone on iPhone

WhatsApp iCloud Backup Not Working

For WhatsApp iCloud Backup to work, you must permit it to use iCloud Drive. Here’s how.

1. Open iPhone Settings > your name from the top > iCloud.

iCloud your name in iPhone Settings

2. Make sure iCloud Drive is enabled.

3. Next, scroll down and enable the toggle next to WhatsApp.

Make sure iCloud Drive and WhatsApp are enabled

4. Open WhatsApp and go to its Settings > Chat > Chat Backup.

Chat Backup Chat in WhatsApp Settings on iPhone

5. Tap on Back Up Now. For better results, make sure to connect your iPhone to Wi-Fi and keep WhatsApp open while it uploads your backup to iCloud.

Tap Back Up Now in WhatsApp Settings on iPhone

Wrap Up: Is WhatsApp Still Not Working on iPhone

This is how you can solve various WhatsApp issues like no notifications, call failure, delay in receiving messages, service unavailability, and more. I hope this quick guide was helpful. If you wish to try a different app, we have an excellent post discussing the WhatsApp alternatives for the privacy-conscious.

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