Popular messaging service WhatsApp will no longer work on millions of mobile phones worldwide – here’s the full list, and what to do if affected.
In an updated blog post, WhatsApp revealed that support has been withdrawn for devices running the following operating systems from February 1, 2020:
- Android versions 2.3.7 and older
- iPhone iOS 7 and older (i.e., the iPhone 4 and older models)
While only a relatively small proportion of the smartphone market will still be running these old operating systems, it may well nonetheless come as a shock to people who can no longer chat with their friends and family via their preferred messaging service – so here are your options going forward:
1) Update your phone’s operating system
If possible, it’s advised to update your operating system to the most recent version. You can usually check if your device is eligible for an update via the Setting app on your phone, and if you are indeed due for a revised version of the OS then you can simply install it and WhatsApp should work again as normal.
2) Get WhatsApp for your laptop or desktop
Fortunately, a desktop version of WhatsApp is also available for macOS or PC (Windows 8 and above). You can download this via WhatsApp’s website, and once you register your phone number with the account and authorise access from your phone then you should once again be able to access your messages. However, the convenience of using WhatsApp on your mobile device will be lost.
3) Buy a new phone
If you’ve clung on to your smartphone this long already then this is probably the news you dreaded hearing, but your best option is probably to buy a new one. Not only will you be able to run WhatsApp on any current-generation iPhone or Android device, but you will likely be very pleasantly surprised by how smoothly your other favourite apps run, and how much extra storage space you have – not to mention physical features such as screen quality and camera performance in comparison to older devices. Here are some of our buying guides to inform your decision: