What Happens When You Uninstall WhatsApp? Find the Answer Here

by J. Robertson Macaulay D. Young Updated On Aug 25, 2022 Published On May 17, 2022 WhatsApp

Do you want to uninstall WhatsApp but you are worried you may not be able to get your data back? Sometimes, the only way to fix a problematic app is to uninstall it and then reinstall a newer version.

But when it comes to communication apps like WhatsApp, it is easy to worry that you will lose your data if you uninstall the app.

In this article, we will find out what happens when you uninstall WhatsApp from your device. Let’s start with the difference between deleting your account and uninstalling the app.

what happens when you uninstall WhatsApp

Uninstall WhatsApp App vs. Delete WhatsApp Account

Uninstalling WhatsApp means that you have removed the app from your phone. When you do this, you lose access to your account and you therefore will not be able to send and receive messages.

But your account will still be registered and when you install the app on the device again, you can pick up where you left off and continue sending and receiving messages on the app.

Deleting your account on the other hand will delete all your messaging history, remove you from all WhatsApp groups that you may have joined and hide your profile from other users.

What Happens to Your Messages

If you uninstall the app, all you have to do to get the messages back is reinstall the app.

Once the verification process is complete, you will see the option to restore the chats from a Google Drive Backup for Android devices or iCloud for iPhones.

So, uninstalling the app will not cause you to lose your messages and media, but only as long as you have a backup to restore the messages from.

If you fail to choose “Restore” during the setup process, your WhatsApp app will appear blank, without a chat history.

The best way to remedy this is to uninstall the app and reinstall it again to begin the verification process again.

If you are using an Android device, you can also restore the backup from a local backup that is stored in the device’s local storage as long as you don’t delete the “WhatsApp Folder.”

For iOS devices, there is no local backup, and your only backup and restore option is iCloud.

What Happens to Your Media Files

Uninstalling WhatsApp will not remove any WhatsApp media files that may be stored on your device.

You will still be able to access all photos, videos, audio, and documents that you received via WhatsApp on your device even after uninstalling the app.

What Happens to Your New Messages and Calls

Uninstalling the app will not prevent other users from sending you messages and calling you via WhatsApp.

But because the app is not installed on your device, you will not be able to see these calls and messages. You will see the notifications as soon as you reinstall the app.

What Happens to Groups

You will remain a part of all groups even if you uninstall the app. If you are the Admin of the group, you will also retain your admin status.

What Happens to Your Profile Picture

Even if you uninstall WhatsApp on your device, your profile picture will remain visible to your contacts and users who are allowed to see it.

Your profile picture is part of your settings and since you haven’t deleted your account, they will continue to be applicable.

What Happens to Your Settings and Blocked Numbers

Your settings and blocked numbers will also remain the same after uninstalling the app. They are also part of your account settings and these remain consistent regardless of the number of times you delete the app. Your settings will only change if you delete your WhatsApp account and create a new one.

What Happens to Your Visibility in Contact Lists?

Uninstalling WhatsApp on your device will not change the way other users see you and as such you will still be visible in contact lists.

Other users will be able to contact you, you just won’t set the messages until you reinstall the app.

How to Know if Someone Has Uninstalled WhatsApp

Since users can still send messages to some who has uninstalled the app on their device, there is no way you can tell for sure that someone in your contacts list has uninstalled the app.

But there may be some signs. For example, if you regularly communicate with this person and then all of a sudden they are not responding to your messages, there is a chance they may have uninstalled the app.

You can tell by the number of ticks next to the message if the person has seen your messages. If there is just a single tick for a while, then they may have uninstalled WhatsApp.

If the person’s “Last Seen” is many days old, then they may have uninstalled the app from their device.


You may be forced to uninstall WhatsApp for one reason or another. But as you can tell from our analysis above, as long as you have a backup, there is not much to worry about. You can reinstall the app and be able to pick up where you left off.

J. Robertson Macaulay D. Young

Mako is a technical writer with a passion for all things tech. Whether you're wondering about how to fix your iPhone or Android device or trying to get something to work in your settings, Mako is your go-to for professional help. He loves writing, testing solutions, and most of all, making sure his research is factually accurate.

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