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.
Table of Contents
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.
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?
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.
D. Turn Off Roaming
Open iPhone Settings and tap Cellular > Cellular Data Options. From here, turn off Data Roaming and see if it helps.
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.
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.
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.
2. Tap on Back Up Now.
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.
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.
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.
3. If you see WhatsApp listed here, tap it. Now, turn off the toggle for App Limit. You may also tap Delete Limit.
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.
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.
2. Tap Background App Refresh and select Wi-Fi & Cellular.
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.
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.
2. Check WhatsApp Notification in iPhone Settings
1. Open the Settings app and tap on Notifications.
2. Scroll down and tap on WhatsApp.
3. Ensure the toggle for Allow Notifications is green. Plus, make sure Lock Screen, Notification Center, and Banners are ticked.
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.
Note: If you had deleted the person’s chat, go to that person’s WhatsApp profile and tap on Muted > Unmute.
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.
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.
2. Enable the switch next to WhatsApp.
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.
2. Make sure iCloud Drive is enabled.
3. Next, scroll down and enable the toggle next to WhatsApp.
4. Open WhatsApp and go to its Settings > Chat > Chat Backup.
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.
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.