The truth about claims WhatsApp is about to stop working

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A whole host of articles have caused panic by suggesting that WhatsApp is about to stop working on “53 smartphones” – but most people seem to be able to continue chatting as before.

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The new reports are the latest in a series of reports suggesting that WhatsApp will stop working on older phones when the November 1 deadline approaches. The latest run of them has probably been published because that deadline is now less than a month away.

But many devices that are believed to be losing access are not doing so at all. At least some of the phones on that list of 53 devices are fine to use WhatsApp as they were before.


So while the November 1 deadline is anecdotal – WhatsApp has said that, from that date, it won’t be supported on some older phones – it doesn’t affect nearly as many phones as has been reported.

Several reports point to WhatsApp’s support page, which actually suggests that users should have at least Android 4.0.4, or iOS 10. Any version before this is not supported by WhatsApp, and therefore may lose their connection to the service, as claimed.

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According to the Wayback Machine, that restriction was added to the iOS page sometime around March this year. WhatsApp has long been demanding that devices be updated to those new versions of the operating system.

The November 1 date only applies to Android devices. On WhatsApp’s support page, there’s a note specifically saying that older devices will lose their access to the service, as “WhatsApp will no longer support Android phones running OS 4.0.4 and older”.

“Please switch to a supported device or save your chat history before that,” advises WhatsApp. Instructions for doing so are listed later in this article.

But it may not be the time to panic right now, as the new cause for concern — the list of 53 devices that are reportedly covered by the change — isn’t quite right.

The estimated list of 53 phones is large, although many of them are less mainstream devices. However this includes phones that were widely popular at the time they were purchased, such as the older iPhones and a range of Samsung Galaxy devices.

The problem is that the list appears to be wrong. It looks unusual—losing access to the iPhone 6s Plus, but the 6s isn’t listed, despite the same phone being in a different size—and it seems to be because it’s not accurate enough.

For example, it lists three iPhones that are believed to no longer be able to use WhatsApp, for example: iPhone 6, iPhone 6s Plus and iPhone SE. But all those phones can get iOS 10 — which was supported all the way back to the iPhone 5 — and the iPhone 6s Plus is also able to download the latest iOS 15 update.

The fastest and most reliable way to know if you’ll be affected is to see what operating system you have. To do this, click on Settings and find the version number; If it is less than the required update, and there is no option to download a new one, then you are most likely affected by the change.

If so, it may be time to either get a new device or save the chat if you lose it, or both. Switching from the old one to the newer Android phone is relatively easy, though it might prove to be a bit more complicated if you decide to switch for the iPhone; anyhow, Full details of what to do to change can be found on WhatsApp’s website.

You may also want to export your chat history so that it is handed over to you due to some deadline or new phone changes with your account or WhatsApp. Instructions for doing so can be found on a separate page on WhatsApp’s website.


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