What Happens When You Uninstall WhatsApp

Social media and instant messaging apps can get on our nerves. You must have thought of going on social media detox after deleting those apps at least once. At times, it’s just a single app such as WhatsApp that annoys the hell out of us. With the pressure to reply instantly and a barrage of spam messages, uninstalling it seems a good idea.

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But what happens when you uninstall WhatsApp? You must have several queries related to old and new messages, profile picture, settings, and other WhatsApp data.

Well, take a seat and fasten your seat belt as we go on this journey of answering all your queries regarding uninstallation of WhatsApp.

Let’s get started.

What Happens When You Uninstall WhatsApp App

It’s important to know the difference when you uninstall WhatsApp app and delete the WhatsApp account. Both are two different things.

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Uninstalling WhatsApp app means you’ve merely removed the app from your phone, whether it’s to reclaim iPhone storage or free up space on Android. After that, you lose access to your account temporarily for you won’t be able to send and receive messages during that period from your phone. But, your account is still registered with WhatsApp, and with a simple reinstall, you can start using it again as if nothing happened. Alternatively, you may continue using it from the desktop or web.

What Happens When You Delete WhatsApp Account

Deleting WhatsApp account means getting rid of any association you and your number have with the service. So, deleting WhatsApp account will result in following things:

  • Ripe out all chats and message history
  • Remove you from all your WhatsApp groups,
  • Hide your WhatsApp profile from other people’s WhatsApp contacts
  • Your phone number will no longer will be associated with WhatsApp account
  • All your WhatsApp data will be removed from WhatsApp servers
  • If you reactivate WhatsApp with same number, you can’t see old messages.
  • All WhatsApp backups on Google Drive will be deleted.

That means deleting WhatsApp wipes out history and every evidence of your presence on the app.

Can You Recover Deleted WhatsApp Account?

WhatsApp takes up to 90 days to wipe your WhatsApp data after you place the account deletion request. However, after that grace period is over, you can’t access or recover all the WhatsApp data and backup. After that, it’s impossible to recover your WhatsApp data.

You can always re-register with the same phone number and reactivate your WhatsApp account.

So if you want to just uninstall the app to take a temporary break, here’s what happens to your WhatsApp Data.

What Happens to the Old Messages on WhatsApp

When you reinstall WhatsApp on the same phone after proper verification, you will get the option to restore the WhatsApp backup (if you’ve created one) of your chat history and media files from the cloud — Google Drive for Android and iCloud for iPhone.

While nothing happens to your old messages and media provided you select the restore option when asked during the reinstallation process. If you miss that window, your WhatsApp app will appear blank without any chat history except the groups that you are part of. In case that happens, uninstall it again and then choose the restore option.

However, the backup the disappearing messages sent to you while WhatsApp was uninstalled from your phone. Your contacts will only see a single tick on the very day when you uninstall WhatsApp.

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On Android phones, you can restore chat history and media from your local backup, (without Google Drive) if you don’t remove the WhatsApp folder from your phone. Local backup facility isn’t available on iPhone, so if you uninstall WhatsApp on iPhone and you don’t have an iCloud backup, your chats history disappear.

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What Happens to Media Files on Phone

Uninstalling WhatsApp from your phone will not delete existing WhatsApp media files such as received photos, videos, documents, etc. All of them will be accessible on your phone via a file manager, gallery app, and other similar apps.

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What Happens to New Messages and Calls

When you uninstall WhatsApp, people can still message and call you. However, since the app isn’t installed on your phone, you will not be notified about it. Only when you reinstall WhatsApp, you will receive those messages and missed call notifications.

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What Happens to Groups

You will continue to be part of your groups even if you uninstall WhatsApp. Also, if you are an admin of the group, you will continue to be the admin. However, you won’t be able to receive notifications of new mentions or messages from the WhatsApp group.

Can People See Your Profile Picture

Yes, depending on your previous privacy settings, your contacts can still see your last profile picture and About. It won’t be removed after you uninstall WhatsApp. But, if you delete your WhatsApp account, your profile picture will be deleted too.

What Happens to the Last Seen

If the last seen feature was active before uninstalling WhatsApp, your friends would see the time when you were last active before you uninstalled WhatsApp.

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What Happens to Settings and Blocked Numbers

Both remain unaffected when you uninstall WhatsApp. Meaning, after reinstallation of WhatsApp, you will have the same account and privacy settings. Similarly, the previously blocked numbers will continue to appear in the block list.

Does WhatsApp Change Visibility in Contact Lists

After uninstalling the app, WhatsApp won’t remove you from your friends’ chat or contacts list. However, deleting the account will have a different effect for your account isn’t detected as an active WhatsApp user. So others won’t see you in their WhatsApp contacts.

What Do Ticks Indicate

You must be aware what the various ticks on WhatsApp mean. To recap quickly:

  • A single grey tick on WhatsApp means that the message was sent.
  • A double grey tick indicates the message was delivered.
  • A double blue tick means the message was read.

When you message a WhatsApp account owner who has uninstalled the app, you will receive only a single grey tick for such messages.

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How to Know If Someone Uninstalled WhatsApp

There is no direct way to identify if someone has uninstalled WhatsApp. You can only assume that if you see single grey ticks for sent messages. However, that’s not a precise way to know that. It’s possible that the person might be in a no-internet zone or his/her phone might not be working.

Grace Period for Reinstalling WhatsApp

WhatsApp account is tied to a phone number. Now people often change their numbers, and to tackle that WhatsApp has a security measure in place. That is, if a WhatsApp account is inactive for 45 days and you register it on a new device, WhatsApp will consider it as a new account. Thereby WhatsApp deletes original owner’s user data such as profile picture, groups, and account settings.

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How to Uninstall WhatsApp

There are a number of ways to uninstall WhatsApp. For the sake of simplicity, I’ll address just one of them.

On Android, open WhatsApp in Play Store and press the Uninstall button. On iPhone, long press the WhatsApp icon on the home screen. Once the icons start shaking, tap on the cross icon on WhatsApp.

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How to Restore Backup of Uninstalled WhatsApp Account

If you want to reinstall WhatsApp, download it from the respective app store on your Android and iOS devices.

After installed, the setup process will look similar to the one when you set it up for the first time. That is, you will have to verify your number again and assign a name. However, since you didn’t delete the account, WhatsApp will load your previous profile picture automatically.

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After verification, WhatsApp will ask whether you want to restore the backup from the cloud.

On Android phone, the message is a bit confusing for the same can be used to restore from local backup too, provided you are reinstalling it on the same phone. Tap on Continue to restore the backup.

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On iPhone, go to the Settings option in the bottom-right corner, head to Chats, select Chat Backup and tap on ‘Restore Chat History’ to recover your WhatsApp chats.

FAQs About Uninstalling WhatsApp

How to know if someone has uninstalled WhatsApp?

When you message the person, you’ll get single tick and the message or media file will never be seen. If you try calling the person, you’ll on hear the ring but no response.

Will my contacts know when I uninstall WhatsApp?

WhatsApp doesn’t inform your contacts or anyone whenever you uninstall the app from your phone or desktop.

Will my contacts know if I delete WhatsApp?

Since WhatApp doesn’t notify anyone if you delete WhatsApp, your contacts will only get single tick and won’t see your profile picture. That’s a bit confusing since it’s quite similar to getting blocked. But only after confirming with you directly, they can know that you’ve deleted WhatsApp.

How to restore WhatsApp backup without uninstalling it?

No. There’s no official way to restore WhatsApp backup from Google Drive or Apple iCloud without uninstalling the WhatsApp app. You may take a fresh backup, uninstall WhatsApp, reinstall the app, and restore the backup during fresh installation.

Can you recover a deleted WhatsApp account?

After you press Delete from the WhatsApp app to delete your account, WhatsApp takes 90 days to wipe all your details from WhatsApps servers. However, you can’t re-register and reactivate your account to recover old chats and media files. After the delete request, only if you reactivate with the same number and restore a physical backup, you may have a chance to delete old chats – but before the 90 days grace period.

When to Uninstall or Delete WhatsApp?

Uninstalling WhatsApp just deactivates the account that you can restore anytime. It can be best defined as log out on steroids where old messages aren’t deleted (if a backup is created) and you will also receive new messages after reinstalling WhatsApp.

It comes handy when you want to disable WhatsApp for a brief period without deleting your WhatsApp account. You can also uninstall the app to troubleshoot it in case of a problem.

Last updated on 28 December, 2022

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