Are you using WhatsApp but are experiencing Whatsapp not working on wifi? If you do, don’t worry! We got you!
Whatsapp has become the world’s most ubiquitous messaging app, with over 2 billion monthly active users relying on it.
This kind of scale can be difficult to comprehend – one quarter of the world’s entire population uses the app at least once a month. That’s a lot of messaging.
Sadly, this popularity can also mean dependence, and make any failures and problems much more painful.
We’ve all experienced that sinking feeling – when you log onto wifi, type out a quick message and hit send… and get the dreaded clock icon. Your message wasn’t sent.
You wait longer… yet still no tick mark appears. You try sending a message to someone else but get the same again. You sigh, and try to diagnose the problem.
Thankfully, we’ve written a helpful guide for that.
The key is finding out whether this is a problem with Whatsapp, with wifi, or with your phone.
First, many people’s correct intuition is to disconnect from wifi and see if Whatsapp can deliver messages working on mobile data. If so, this implies the app and your phone are ok, and the problem is wifi-related.
Check if ‘wifi data’ is enabled for Whatsapp – depending on your operating system, this is usually under Application > Whatsapp in the Settings menu.
It is also worth taking the simple measure of enabling Flight Mode for a short time, as this will turn off all your transmissions and when turned on again, a new wifi connection will be established.
If this doesn’t work, try resetting your wifi connection. On Android phones, you can do this quickly using the reset icon in the Internet menu under Settings > Network and Internet.
If possible, try to access another wifi network and send a message.
If this also works, the problem is certainly with the network you originally connected to.
What you can do apart from this probably depends on where you are. If you’re using public wifi then there’s not much more to be done. However, if you’re at home it is worth restarting your wifi router.
Make sure that you do a full reset by unplugging it fully for ten seconds before plugging it in again and switching back on. Then re-establish your wifi connection once the router has restarted.
If this doesn’t solve the problem, you should double-check that your wifi is working (did you change the password recently?) and see if your internet provider is reporting any issues in your area.
If you are in a country where the use of Whatsapp is banned or discouraged, Whatsapp’s known IP addresses may be blocked.
In this case, try using a VPN – this should allow you to connect to Whatsapp servers.
Whatsapp not working on wifi issues
However, if Whatsapp is not working on mobile data either, check if your other apps still work using your data connection.
If so, the problem probably lies with Whatsapp.
You can reconnect to wifi and check if other apps are updating to confirm this.
✅ First, fully close the app and ensure it is not running in the background – this is done by Force Stop from the Settings menu on Android and on iOS by using the home button (or swiping up and across) to bring up your open apps, navigating to Whatsapp and swiping up to close.
✅ Then reopen the app and check if you can send messages. Next, if the issue is not resolved, check for updates to Whatsapp and install them if you haven’t already.
✅ It might also be worth checking whether there are issues reported with Whatsapp, using a service such as DownDetector.
While Meta is one of the world’s biggest technology companies, with server farms around the globe, even they have service problems sometimes.
✅ Then, clear Whatsapp’s memory cache by pulling up the app, tapping ‘Settings’, then ‘Storage and Data’ and ‘Manage storage’.
While too much data on its own is unlikely to cause the app to stop working, it can have trouble running if you have very large amounts stored, and clearing the memory occasionally is good practice.
Also check that your operating system is compatible with Whatsapp, as Whatsapp will stop supporting older OS over time, and updates to the app will stop it from working reliably on phones running these OS.
If this doesn’t resolve the issue, try deleting and reinstalling Whatsapp from the app store.
If your other apps are not working properly using your data connection, it is probably an issue with your phone’s connectivity, not Whatsapp itself. If you have not yet restarted your phone, it is worth doing that now.
The next thing to check is whether your phone’s operating system is up to date, as there may on occasion be updating to the OS that cause problems for specific apps such as Whatsapp.
Usually, a patch is quickly released to solve the issue, but you may have to proactively download it.
Finally, if the problem is that you can send messages but not Whatsapp voice calls, or vice versa. If you can make a Whatsapp audio call, try making a video call.
As mentioned above, this could be related to the internet provider blocking video or audio calls using Whatsapp, so it might be worth using a VPN when in some countries.
You could also turn off the ‘Use Less Data for Calls’ option under ‘Storage and Data’ in the Whatsapp settings.
Now that you know the causes and fixes to Whatsapp not working on wifi, you can follow these steps to get it to work.
There are a couple of ways that Whatsapp can fail to work on wifi in addition to those described here – but they are usually easier to diagnose and fix.
A common problem is for messages not to be received when the phone is locked.
This is easily fixable by ensuring that Background App Refresh and Notifications are both turned on for Whatsapp in the phone settings and, on iPhone, disabling the ‘Low Data Mode for Wifi’ in the Settings page of your wifi connection.
On Android, you can also lock Whatsapp to run in the background, to ensure Android does not shut it down while the app is not in use.
Finn Wheatley holds a Master’s Degree in Computer Science from UCL, London. He helped small data science consultancy firms, helping large corporations to grow their data capabilities, deploy advanced machine learning-based analytics and troubleshoot tech-related issues.