How to Know Whether Someone is Connected to WhatsApp

By Max. D Gray. Updated: December 1, 2019
How to Know Whether Someone is Connected to WhatsApp

WhatsApp is an instant messaging service for smartphones which relies on an internet connection to send texts, voice messages and even make calls. One of the elements of WhatsApp which initially made it stand out, is the ease with which you can see if people have received or read your message, and whether they are replying.

If you have sent an important message for professional or personal reasons, you might want to make sure it has been received. This could be due to impatience, anticipation or even because you want to delete the WhatsApp message before it has been seen. OneHOWTO shows you how to know whether someone is connected to WhatsApp on both iPhone and Android. We'll also show you why this may not be as easy as it used to be.

Steps to follow:

If you want to know how to know if someone is online on WhatsApp, we can tell you that it works essentially the same for Android phones as it does for iOS on iPhone. The considerations you make are the same and the settings are more important than the device you use. The only real differences are the standard operational and design discrepancies.

Open your WhatsApp application and click or tap on the icon “Chats”. On iPhone this is on the bottom of your screen and on Android it is at the top. Select the person with whom you'd like to talk from your message list or tap. Click on his or her name and you'll see your conversation appear. You can also tap the ‘write message’ icon and you can search for their name. You will also be able to see your chat history if you have previously spoken to that person.

How to Know Whether Someone is Connected to WhatsApp - Step 1

To know if a contact is connected to WhatsApp or not, you only need to take a look at the top part of the screen under the contact's name. Right beneath the name there's another line of text that reads “online” if the contact is connected at that precise moment.

If at that moment your contact is sending you something, you'll see that the text reads “typing or “recording audio”.

How to Know Whether Someone is Connected to WhatsApp - Step 2

However, if the person is not currently using WhatsApp, you will read “last seen today at...” followed by a time. This indicates the last time your contact used WhatsApp and that they are currently not connected. This does not necessarily mean a person has read your message, rather it indicates the last time that person was connected to WhatsApp.

How to Know Whether Someone is Connected to WhatsApp - Step 3

You can also go into your “Chats” section, where you will see the list of your recent chats. You won't be able to see if they the person is currently online, but there is some helpful information here. If you were the last person to send a message, you will see one of a number of possible symbols in the message list. These are known as ‘Read Receipts’. Here is what each one means:

  • A clock symbol: this means that the message has not yet been sent to the WhatsApp servers. This is likely to be because you are not currently connected to the internet.
  • 1 grey tick: this means that the message has been sent to the WhatsApp servers, but not yet received by the contact to whom you sent the message. This is likely because the recipient has not been connected to the internet since the message was sent.
  • 2 grey ticks: this means that the message has been received by the recipient, but not yet opened/read.
  • 2 blue ticks: this means the recipient has received and opened the message. If they opened the message, it is probably to read it, but not definitely the case.

With smartphones, there are often push notifications which show you the text of a message without entering the app. It's possible that your contact has read your message on their phone without actually opening it (and therefore it does not display the 2 blue ticks).

How to Know Whether Someone is Connected to WhatsApp - Step 4

I can't see any online status on WhatsApp

WhatsApp is end-to-end encrypted which means the messages should be safe from third parties. However, WhatsApp is owned by Facebook and there are growing concerns over safety on WhatsApp in general. This has not been helped by events such as the Cambridge Analytica scandal. Beyond these concerns, there are general safety concerns over allowing people to know when you are connected. Safety isn't always the issue as some people simply don't want others to know they have read a message so they can get on with other things.

This is likely why WhatsApp has changed its privacy settings. You are able to hide your last connection or your online status in the settings. This is in the top right hand menu of the Android version and the bottom right ‘cog’ symbol on the iPhone version. In here you will be able to change the privacy settings so that the ‘Last Seen’ option can be toggled off. To do this you need to:

  • Open the ‘Account’ menu
  • Continue to the ‘Privacy’ menu
  • Select the ‘Last Seen’ option
  • Choose from ‘Everyone’, ‘My Contacts’ or ‘Nobody’

If you click ‘Everyone’ this means that anyone who adds you to WhatsApp (even if you have not added them) will be able to see your connection status. ‘My Contacts’ limits this to only people you have added and ‘Nobody’ means that your online status will be visible to no one.

If someone else has changed their privacy settings like this, then you will not be able to see the last time they were on WhatsApp, but you can see those who haven't changed their settings. WhatsApp also seems to have added a fairness element to the settings. If you your privacy settings don't show your connection status, you will also be unable to see other people's.

How to Know Whether Someone is Connected to WhatsApp - Step 5

Similar settings are applicable to Read Receipts. If you go back into the Privacy settings, you will see at the bottom there is an option to turn off Read Receipts. This means others will be unable to see if you have read a message. However, you will also be unable to see if they have read your message. When it goes through the server, it will simply appear with two grey ticks regardless if it has been read.

If you want to know more about using WhatsApp, you can take a look at our article on how to use WhatsApp on your PC. This is particularly useful if you are having problems with your smartphone.

If you want to read similar articles to How to Know Whether Someone is Connected to WhatsApp, we recommend you visit our Internet category.

Write a comment

What did you think of this article?
eileen sordi
Haven't found the answer to above question.
OneHowTo Editor
Hi Eileen,

We unsure which question you mean. Let us know some more info and we can try to help. Otherwise, the answer to the title question is in the article text.
I want to know my special user is online or not in whatsup
I have 2 friends who tell me they downloaded WhatsApp. They are not in my WA contacts list. Is there another way to know if they downloaded correctly?
OneHowTo Editor
Maybe your cache needs to be refreshed. Switch your device on and switch it on again.
They should appear on your whatsapp list then
Hope this helps
Anxel Torrente
This article didn't answer the question "How to know whether someone is connected to WhatsApp?". What it answered was the question "How to know if your whatsapp contacts are online?", which wasn't the subject. My last comment is "Do it again and do it correct!".
OneHowTo Editor
Being connected and online are synonyms
How to tell if someone is not connected to internet
OneHowTo Editor
Dear Lin, it's a bit more complicated to know if someone is connected to the Internet or not and it requires highly technical skills to do so, as well as not being very ethical. Hope our article on how to know whether someone is connected to WhatsApp is useful though!
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