Love it or hate it, WhatsApp is at the top of the instant messenger food chain. And, despite all backlashes that Facebook got for some dubious privacy-related moves, people are still inclined to use it since it’s something they are accustomed to. Some of them report that they can’t see the contact status on WhatsApp. Whether this concerns the Instagram Story-like Status or the Last seen activity, it doesn’t change much.
The issue’s core is the same, and we provided some solutions below. Check out the steps we listed and tell us if they helped you address the problem in the comments.
Why can’t I see my friend’s updated status on WhatsApp?
There are multiple reasons why you can’t see certain contact information on WhatsApp, including WhatsApp status. Here’s what you should consider:
- Your Privacy settings don’t show your activity and status.
- Privacy settings of your contacts are set to hide activity and status or you are not in their Contacts list.
- A temporary bug prevents users from seeing the contact information.
- WhatsApp might be down. Check for reports on the Down Detector.
To fix this, reach your contacts about their privacy settings while inspecting your own. In addition, you can try clearing data and reinstating your account or reinstalling the app.
1. Ensure that your contact hasn’t changed privacy settings
This goes without saying. If your contacts don’t have your phone number registered in their contacts, you can’t see their activity status unless they explicitly change the option to Everyone instead of My Contacts. So, if you changed your number recently, ensure your contacts have your new number saved in Contacts.
Of course, if they set the Privacy Settings to Nobody, you won’t be able to see whether they are online. So have that in mind, as well.
So make sure that the contact whose status you can’t see has your phone number in their Contacts list and that their privacy settings are set to Everyone or My Contacts. This applies to the Profile photo, Status, and About sections, too.
2. Check your privacy settings
The same goes for you. The privacy settings are a two-way street so if you don’t allow contacts to see your activity, you won’t be able to see theirs. Make sure to tweak settings before we move to alternative steps. Once you change these settings, clear the cache from WhatsApp and check for improvements.
Here’s how to tweak your privacy settings on WhatsApp:
- Open WhatsApp.
- Tap on the 3-dots menu in the top right corner and open Settings.
- Tap Account.
- Select Privacy.
- Under the Last seen, set either Everyone or My contacts.
- Open Status and select My contacts or My contacts except… and choose people you want to hide your statuses from.
- Exit the app and navigate to Settings > Apps > WhatsApp > Storage and clear the cache.
- Open WhatsApp again and check if you can see the contact status.
3. Remove the account and sign in again
If the previous steps failed, you could try removing your WhatsApp account and adding it again. The best way to do so is to clear local data from the app and reset the app. After that, you’ll need to enter your number again. Just don’t forget to back up everything to Google Drive first.
Here’s how to sign out of WhatsApp and sign in again:
- Firstly, open WhatsApp and navigate to the 3-dots menu > Settings > Chats > Chat backup. Add your Google Account and tap Back up.
- Open Settings.
- Tap Apps.
- Expand all apps or open App Manager/Manage apps.
- Scroll down and open WhatsApp from the list of available apps.
- Tap Storage.
- Tap Clear data.
- Restart your device.
- Open WhatsApp, add your cellular number and confirm with the OTP.
- Check the settings once again.
If you still can’t see the contact status on WhatsApp, try reinstalling the app.
4. Reinstall WhatsApp
In the end, we can only suggest reinstalling the app. This is not all that different than the previous step where we cleared data but it won’t hurt and it might help. Again, don’t forget to back up your chats since all WhatsApp data will be gone after you uninstall the app.
Here’s how to reinstall WhatsApp on Android:
- Open Play Store.
- Look for WhatsApp and expand the app.
- Tap Uninstall.
- Restart your device and install WhatsApp again.
- Sign in with your number, restore the backup when prompted, and check for improvements.
This action will automatically update the WhatsApp app to the latest version.
And, on that note, we can conclude this article. Thank you for reading and do share your thoughts with us in the comments section below. We look forward to hearing from you.
Editor’s note: This article was initially published in January 2022. We made sure to revamp it for freshness and accuracy.