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How to Remove Contact From WhatsApp But Not from Phone

by Gaurav Bidasaria
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WhatsApp uses your mobile device’s phone book to create your contact list. and shows his/her profile within the app. A cool feature until you are stuck with it for the worst. Say, you want to remove contacts from WhatsApp but not from the phonebook. What option do you have?

Remove Contact From WhatsApp Only

There are many reasons for you wanting to do this. You exchanged numbers with a plumber or electrician but don’t want to receive new year messages or see their WhatsApp stories. Or you just broke up from a long relationship (how are you holding up?) and now want to remove his/her number from WhatsApp but not necessarily from your phone book. You don’t want to delete the number permanently, otherwise, you will never be able to contact them again. But receiving updates or messages from them can be a drag, if not awkward.

I went straight to the WhatsApp site, hoping they would have a solution, but they simply advised me to delete the contact from my phone. Typical! I don’t want to delete my friend’s number with whom I am not on talking terms anymore.

Method 1: Block them on WhatsApp

WhatsApp offers a feature where you can block a user. What this means is that the user will no longer be able to see your profile, status update, last seen info or message and call you, but the user can still call and message you using other messaging and phone apps. So you guys can still call each other if needed without having to receive unwanted updates or messages.


Search for the name you want to block and open the chat window. Click on the three dots on the upper right of your screen. There is an option called View Contact. Click on it.

whatsapp block step

Scroll a little and you should see the block option in red font. Click it and confirm. You are done.

whatsapp block step 2

Blocking someone on WhatsApp doesn’t mean it will remove the user’s number from your WhatsApp. His name will still show in the search, but you will stop seeing story updates and will no longer receive messages and calls from them.

If the person blocked by you tries to call, he will hear the call ringing but it will not reach you. You won’t even see a call blocked notification. The call will disconnect automatically after ringing for some time, and the blocked person will see the message “Unavailable“. If he wasn’t blocked, he would have seen “Call not answered” message. This is a good way to know whether you have been blocked by someone! More importantly, the user will not be able to view your profile, profile pic or other account details.

Method 2: Save Number as a Note (Not in SIM!)

There is a Quora thread that suggests transferring the contact from your Google/Phone memory to your SIM card can solve this problem. The method no longer works because of a recent update in WhatsApp that doesn’t allow you to change the way contacts are displayed within WhatsApp.

Of course, you could download and install an older version of the app, but then you will be left without advanced features like WhatsApp Payment and other security updates were rolled after that version. Not recommended.

To counter this situation, I decided to edit the contact and save the number not in the number field, but as a note. This way, WhatsApp will think that the number is deleted and won’t show you updates. If you have taken care of your privacy settings, your plumber should no longer be able to see your profile because you don’t have his number stored, technically. But you must save the number by the correct name so you can search for it in the contacts app when the time comes.

Do you know of any other way to delete WhatsApp number or stop seeing story update or receiving messages from a contact? Let us know in the comments below.

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