What Happens When You Uninstall WhatsApp? Here’s What You Need To Know

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Here’s what happens when you remove WhatsApp: there are no major changes to your messages. You just won’t be able to view them. However, when you reinstall the app, you can restore them using a backup (WhatsApp allows both cloud and local backups) and use WhatsApp like before.

Have you uninstalled your WhatsApp and want to know what happened to all of your messages and media? 

While WhatsApp is a great app, sometimes you have to uninstall it for a variety of reasons. Even so, it’s good to know what happened to all of your messages in case you want to reinstall WhatsApp later on. 

To satisfy your curiosity, read on to learn more about what happens when you uninstall WhatsApp

The Difference Between Deleting Your WhatsApp Account And Uninstalling WhatsApp

Deleting whatsapp account vs uninstalling whatsapp account

First and foremost, it’s important to note the difference between uninstalling and deleting WhatsApp. When you delete your WhatsApp account, you act as Thanos and snap (or click in this instance) your account out of existence. 

You no longer appear as a WhatsApp contact for anyone who has your number. You’re removed from group chats, and you lose all of your messages and message history. Your WhatsApp presence is gone completely. You’ll still have the media files you saved on your phone, but besides that, you’re gone from WhatsApp. 

On the other hand, when you uninstall WhatsApp, you’re simply removing it from your phone. Your WhatsApp account is still intact. 

Therefore, you remain in your group chats, your message history will be restored from your backups when you reinstall, and you’ll still be listed as a WhatsApp contact for anyone who has your number. You will also get any messages that were sent during your absence. 

What Happens To Your Old Messages And Chat History

When you uninstall WhatsApp, you don’t lose your old messages and chat history. One of the best things about WhatsApp is it offers backups, which can be used to transfer your WhatsApp data from one phone to the next. When you uninstall WhatsApp, your old messages and chat history are stored on these backups. 

While WhatsApp does allow automatic backups, a manual backup immediately before uninstalling is ideal. This way your backups can be as current as possible. 

iPhones backup WhatsApp to iCloud, which makes it easier to transfer it to another iPhone. WhatsApp on Android creates a local backup at 2 am every day and also allows for scheduled backups to Google Drive. 

When you’re ready to reinstall WhatsApp, you can restore your chat history with these backups. Simply choose to restore your backups after verifying your number. Once you’re done, you’ll see that you have all of your old messages. However, if you don’t back up your WhatsApp, then you will lose your chat history when you uninstall it. 

What Happens To Your New Messages And Calls

When you’ve uninstalled WhatsApp, your new messages and calls go floating into the digital ether, never to be seen again!

Just kidding, they’re there waiting for you to reinstall WhatsApp, so they can come home. Since you’ve only uninstalled WhatsApp, you’ll get your new messages when you reinstall because you still have your account. However, if you’ve deleted your WhatsApp account, then you won’t get any new messages or calls because your account no longer exists.

What Happens To Your Media Files

Whatsapp media folders in the gallery

WhatsApp is a great way to share videos, pictures, GIFs, voice recordings, and even documents. Luckily, when you uninstall WhatsApp, it doesn’t take the already downloaded media files with it. 

You can still access your media files on your phone through your phone’s file manager. Or you can use your phone’s gallery/camera roll for videos and pictures, a music player for the audio recordings, and a document reader for the documents.

What Happens To Your Group Chats

One of the best things about WhatsApp is the group chat feature. Group chats can be used for anything from studying to posting random pictures of cats. 

When you uninstall WhatsApp, you won’t be removed from any of your group chats. Also, if you’re a group admin, uninstalling WhatsApp won’t strip you of your admin status either

You can reinstall whenever you want and go back to business as usual. And if that business is sharing funny cat pictures, then I’d say it’s important business for sure. However, if you delete your WhatsApp account, then you’ll be removed from all of your group chats. 

What Happens To Your Profile Picture

Profile section in whatsapp

When you uninstall WhatsApp, your profile picture is still visible to those who you are allowed to view it. Since your account is still active, you simply uninstalled the app, all of your settings will continue to be in effect. Therefore, your profile picture will still be visible, as well as your status. 

What Happens To Your Last Seen 

Whatsapp last seen feature

The Last Seen feature lets your contacts know when you were last on WhatsApp. You can turn this off in the settings. When you turn it off, your contacts cannot see your Last Seen and you cannot see theirs. 

However, if your Last Seen feature is on, then when you uninstall WhatsApp, they’ll see your Last Seen whenever they visit your chat. 

What Happens To Your Settings And Blocked Numbers

When you uninstall WhatsApp, your settings and blocked numbers remain the same when you reinstall. That’s another perk of WhatsApp: things remain pretty consistent with your account, no matter how many times you uninstall and reinstall the app. 

The only time this change would occur is if you decided to delete your WhatsApp account. If you did this, then you’d have to start all over again if you made a new account. 

What Happens To Your Visibility in Contact Lists

As you’ve gathered by now, uninstalling WhatsApp doesn’t change much about how others see your account. This also applies to your appearance in contact lists. When you uninstall WhatsApp, you still appear in contact lists as having a WhatsApp attached to your number. 

The only time this would change is if you deleted your WhatsApp account. In that instance, you would no longer appear as a WhatsApp contact. 

What Ticks Mean In WhatsApp

There are three types of ticks on WhatsApp that every user is familiar with. 

  • Single gray tick – this means the message was sent but hasn’t been received
  • Double gray ticks – this means the message was sent and has been received
  • Double blue ticks – this means that the message was read 

However, blue ticks aren’t always that reliable because you can turn off your receipts in WhatsApp. This means that even when you’ve read a message, it is not shown as blue ticked. When you’ve turned off your read receipts, you also cannot see when someone else has read your message. 

How To Tell If Someone Has Uninstalled WhatsApp

For what we can only assume is a move for privacy, there is no way to tell when someone has uninstalled WhatsApp on their phone. The only hint you’ll have is that you’ll see is a single gray tick when you send a message. However, this doesn’t mean they’ve uninstalled WhatsApp. It could mean the person has no internet.  

How To Reinstall WhatsApp (Video)

When you’re ready to reinstall WhatsApp, simply download it from the App Store or Play Store and begin the installation. Once you’ve verified your number, you can restore your old chat using your backups, and you’re all set. Reinstalling WhatsApp is a pretty simple process, and quick too. The only thing that might take up a lot of time is restoring a large backup.

If you’re using an Android, you can restore your old chats from the local backup or Google Drive.

On the other hand, if you’re using an iPhone, then you’d restore your WhatsApp backup from iCloud. You can also restore your WhatsApp backup on Google Drive to your iPhone: here’s how it’s done.

Here’s our video showing you how to reinstall WhatsApp on iPhone:

YouTube player

If you have an Android, here’s a video showing you how to reinstall WhatsApp on Android:

YouTube player


How we know if someone uninstalled WhatsApp?

There is no accurate way to know if someone uninstalled WhatsApp. The most you can do is assume that they’ve uninstalled WhatsApp when you only see a single gray tick for messages you’ve sent. However, this isn’t accurate because they might just not have internet or have phone issues.

Does uninstalling WhatsApp remove you from groups?

Uninstalling WhatsApp does not remove you from groups. You will still be a part of your groups when you reinstall. Also, if you were an admin, you do not lose your admin status when you uninstall WhatsApp. You retain everything and can jump right back in when you reinstall WhatsApp. 

Will I lose chats if I uninstall WhatsApp?

You will not lose chats if you uninstall WhatsApp and have backups ready. While WhatsApp does do automatic backups, it’s best to do a manual backup before uninstalling, so you’ll have an up-to-date backup for reinstallation. This way you get to keep all of your chats, even when you uninstall. 

Can I temporarily deactivate WhatsApp?

You cannot temporarily deactivate your WhatsApp account. However, you can disable the app itself, so you don’t get messages. Go into Settings > Apps > WhatsApp and click Force Stop. Next, in the data option, disable Background Data to stop it from running in the background. That will give you temporary reprieve. 

What Happens When You Uninstall WhatsApp – Wrapping Up

So, what’d you’d think of this article?

WhatsApp is a great communication app. After all, it’s one of the most popular ones around, but it’s not perfect. 

WhatsApp has its pros and cons, just like any app. If you need to uninstall WhatsApp to take a break or breather, I understand completely. After all, sometimes it’s good to take a digital break every now and again. 

Now that you know what happens when you uninstall WhatsApp, you can do it with peace of mind. If you like these tips, feel free to share this article.

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Michael Duong

Tech editor and senior writer Michael Duong is passionate about technology and innovation. He codes open-source projects and plays quiz games in his free time. An expert in his field and an avid learner, always seeking to expand his knowledge and skills in the ever-evolving world of technology. His specialization is mobile security and mobile data safety. Follow Michael on Twitter and Github.

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