Have I been blocked on WhatsApp or not?

Three signs to look for on your contact list

WhatsApp is a great way to text friends, message groups and stay in touch with those abroad. It works on multiple mobile platforms and everyone seems to be using it. Everyone gets it. Without having to create usernames and import any contact list from external services, the app simply works from the moment you install it. What's happening behind the scene is the app pulling the contacts and telephone numbers already stored on your device with one particular caveat: it's also getting those you don't want to hear about!

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Since WhatsApp doesn't provide the option to delete any contact — you get what's on your contact list — the most immediate reaction is to block the ones you don't want. Blocking on WhatsApp means this person won't be able to send any messages to you but they won't get any error message either. If the app is protecting the privacy of its users not giving a clear message you have been blacklisted by a contact, how will I know I have been blocked by any of my WhatsApp contacts?

Already discussed in previous posts in great detail, the app is giving you some clues that could indicate you have been blocked. None of them on their own guarantee that you are blocked on someone's phone but a combination of them can give you an idea of what's really happening.

Before you even try to send a message, you can observe details on the profile of the suspected blocker. The idea is to look for unusually idle accounts that you know from other friends that are currently using WhatsApp. Note that the latest iOS version as well as Android and Windows platforms, users can easily disable the "last seen" timestamp on advanced settings. This was something enabled on every account but more and more people are opting out — perhaps hiding their WhatsApp addiction!

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Even if we cannot count with the last activity it's worth checking other editable profile items. Status updates is one of them but at least in my case, only a few people change them at all. A very active user might have the same standard status message unchanged for over a year, so you can't really say. What is interesting here is that a contact that has blocked doesn't have an available status (not visible), which is the first clue you should look for.

The latest WhatsApp version updated for iOS 7 has a prompt asking new users to add a profile picture, making this second hint even more relevant. You might see the small version of a contact's avatar, but loading the full version tapping on the photo itself won't load or might load a different image. Since a contact's picture is not visible to blocked users, this is another piece of the puzzle you want to find who has blocked you.

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There's one more thing you can try: since messages from blocked contacts are never delivered to its recipients, try sending one and check the delivery status. If you are a seasoned WhatsApp user you will know the meaning of the ticks or checkmarks appended to the messages you sent. The first is to confirm the message has reached WhatsApp's servers and the second one that it has arrived to the recipient. In an effort to preserve user's privacy, the second checkmark simply indicates the message was delivered, not that it was read.

Although WhatsApp FAQs explain how a single checkmark can be due to not having opened the app for a while or not having access to data cellular network at that moment, for me this is a good sign — in combination with the other points — that you have been blocked.

Top image by Jorge Gonzalez