The world of personal messaging has gotten very large in recent years, and there is now a wide range of messaging apps. Your favorite messaging app probably depends on where you live and what device you use everyday. In the United States, Apple fans rely on iMessage to handle the majority of their conversations, while Android users probably use Facebook Messenger, Google Allo, or other chat applications on the platform. People outside of the United States are flocking to WhatsApp, which has become the de facto messaging platform for hundreds of millions of users around the world, especially in Africa, India, South America, and Europe.
WhatsApp is increasingly popular in the US as well because of its simplicity and features. WhatsApp handles basic messaging but adds enhancements like improved photo support, stickers, and sent and read receipts. Using WhatsApp is like using an improved version of SMS on any other phone, which is what makes it so appealing to users around the world. One of the best features is the ability to easily block someone through the service. This allows you to remove yourself from a potentially dangerous or uncertain conversation.
It’s easy to block other users from the WhatsApp interface, and you can also easily unblock them if you change your mind. However, things aren’t so simple on the other side of the fence. It’s frustrating to be blocked, especially if you don’t know why or if you think the reasons were unjust. Is it possible to get back in touch with your contact? And how can you tell that you’ve been blocked in the first place? I’ll answer both those questions in this article.
How to Know if You’re Blocked
As is typical on social media and communication apps, WhatsApp does not proactively inform a blocked user of the change in status. There’s a good reason for that; such a message could trigger real-world harm or danger to the person who has blocked a WhatsApp contact. However, it’s possible to tell whether or not you’ve been blocked. There are several small clues that will alert you to your blocked status.
One technique is to see if your contact’s profile picture has stayed the same over time. If they are known to update their photo regularly, that could be an early sign that you’ve been blocked, as the new photos will no longer be making their way to your copy of the app. Another method is to look at their contact info to see when they were last online and last seen. If this information is no longer shown to you, it could be for two distinct reasons: either that user has updated their privacy settings to no longer show that information to contacts, or that individual has blocked you. The acid test, however, is to send the individual a message.
When you send a message in WhatsApp there are two checkmarks that get displayed on the message. The first checkmark appears when the message has been sent. The second checkmark appears when the message has been delivered. If your contact has blocked you, that second checkmark will never appear. If you want to really make sure, try making a call to the contact on WhatsApp – if you’re blocked, the call won’t be placed.
A Word on Harassment
We strongly suggest that you do not use WhatsApp (or any other social media app) to harass, intimidate, threaten, or bother other people. If you’ve been blocked on the service, it’s worth taking a step back and considering the reasons that may have led to your block. If you think the other person has blocked you unfairly or for unknown reasons, it’s still worth remembering that the person who blocked you obviously doesn’t want you to contact them. Since a block isn’t permanent on WhatsApp, there may come a time where that person will unblock you on the service legitimately and you’ll be able to contact them again. Maybe they just need a cooling-off period, or a break. Maybe the block doesn’t have anything to do with you personally.
The methods I present in this article are not to be used to harass another individual. If you’ve been blocked on WhatsApp, there’s a good chance that your contact just doesn’t want to hear from you. For that reason, these methods are only to be used to contact someone who has blocked you in case of a family emergency or other critical life-threatening, or health-related issues.
How to Message a Person Who Blocked You
With that word on harassment out of the way, there are three basic methods for sending a message to someone who has blocked you. None of these methods is foolproof, and if the person really doesn’t want to hear from you, they’ll be able to block these methods as well, but at least you’ll get to send your one message.
Sending a Message Through SMS
The first method is an obvious workaround, but one that many people forget all about. While millions of people around the world have moved away from using SMS to contact their friends and family, every single smartphone still comes with the capability to send to an SMS number. Since WhatsApp contacts rely on using your device’s phone number to add and store users in your device, it’s incredibly simple to switch over to your device’s SMS app and send a text to the contact that blocked you. If you had them as a WhatsApp contact, you have their phone number. While there’s a good chance that you could be blocked entirely, both on and off WhatsApp, it’s still worth trying to send a basic text to the user that you’re trying to contact.
Of course, if the person has blocked you on their SMS messaging app as well as WhatsApp, that’s probably a bit of a hint about whether they want you to keep trying or not.
The next method is through the use of group messages on WhatsApp. This is probably the most stable of the three options for contacting a blocked user on WhatsApp, because there’s really no way to block a user who is contacting you in a group message. While you can easily block an individual personally, stopping all communication between you and that person, there’s no way to block a user within a group chat in WhatsApp. This seems like an odd omission on the part of WhatsApp, but it’s something you can use to your advantage.
To take part of this workaround, you’ll need a friend willing to start a group chat involving both you and this other person, who happens to be in contact with the user who blocked you. (You can also do this with the new account that you set up in the third option, presented below.) Once you’re pulled into a group chat, you’ll be able to communicate with the other user. The user who originally blocked you can leave the group and can mute notifications from the group chat, but you’ll again be able to send at least one message. It’s a bit strange that group messages still allow blocked users and the contacts that blocked them to speak with each other, but it’s a valid way to make a last ditch effort at conversation.
Creating a New Account
The third option is to create a new WhatsApp account. WhatsApp relies on your phone number to add and message contacts on the service. At the same time, WhatsApp also gains access to contacts from your device’s contacts list, whether or not your device uses the same phone number as your account. So what you can do is create a secondary account by using a secondary phone number. This relies on you already having the other person’s contact information saved in your phone, as well as your ability to sign up for a service like Google Voice.
The first thing you need is an alternate phone number. Plenty of applications exist to give you new or temporary phone numbers, and our personal favorite is Google Voice. When you sign up with your Google account, you’ll be given a new number based on your location. Unfortunately, Google Voice can only be registered from the United States right now. There are guides online to helping you gain access to Google Voice numbers outside the United States, as well as popular alternate number services that are based around your country of origin. If you’re outside the United States and do not have the ability to use VPN and IP masking to sign up for Google Voice, feel free to select your favorite secondary number service from any reputable site online. There are lots.
Once you’re armed with your new number, you’re ready to begin setting up a new WhatsApp account. We’ll be using the Android version of WhatsApp to test out this service, so keep in mind that your mileage may vary on iOS or any other operating system.
Start by logging out of your WhatsApp account completely. Alternatively, you can uninstall the application and reinstall it from the App Store or Play Store to guarantee a fresh slate. Once you’ve reached the login screen for WhatsApp it will ask for your phone number to register your account and verify your device. Instead of entering your current phone number, enter the secondary number you created through Google Voice or whatever app service you chose. Hit the “Next” icon, and WhatsApp will alert you to the number they’re going to verify. Make sure you entered your number correctly; once you’ve ensured the correct number has been entered into your device, hit “OK” to continue to the next step.
After this, WhatsApp will give you a prompt to automatically detect your verification code via SMS messages. While this is typically an easy method to skip, do not allow WhatsApp to do this. The text is going to your Google Voice number and not to your device’s SMS inbox, so WhatsApp won’t be able to detect the code from within your phone. Instead, click “Not Now” to send the code. Once you’ve received it inside your alternate inbox, enter the six digits into the field on your device. Your device should automatically verify the number. You’ll be asked to input a name for your WhatsApp account (this can always be changed later; it isn’t a username), and once this is done, you’ll be brought to your new inbox.
Despite using your alternate number, you can still view your contacts automatically from within the device, though take note that they won’t see your name in your account unless you give them your alternate number or you start messaging them through the service. Once you’ve reached this point, you can begin to message the user who blocked you. It’s worth noting, of course, that once that user figures out you’ve created a new account, you could very easily be blocked again, so choose your words carefully before communicating with them. Note also that you could use this secondary account to create a group chat between the secondary account, your primary account, and the person you wish to contact.
We really cannot stress enough how important it is to only use the above strategies in emergencies only. If someone has blocked you on WhatsApp, there’s almost certainly a good reason for it, and you should take heed and not try to contact the person in any way. That said, we’ve all had former friends or estranged family members leave our lives only to need to contact them to inform them of something serious or important unrelated to the relationship between you and them. In that case, this can be an incredibly helpful workaround. Likewise, we hope this guide helps show someone who has blocked individuals on WhatsApp the ways that these blocks can be worked around, if only to help people put the extra work in place to keep their blocked users actually blocked. WhatsApp is the main tool of communication for so many users around the world, and we hope that this guide will help keep things a bit safer for everyone.
Want to get more information about WhatsApp? We have a lot of resources for you to draw on.
Moving phones? Check out our guide to moving your WhatsApp messages from iPhone to Android.
Want to protect your privacy? Read our tutorial on hiding your phone number in WhatsApp.
Need to verify a WhatsApp account? We’ll walk you through verifying your WhatsApp account without a phone number.
People can look at your WhatsApp profile – here’s our guide to finding out who viewed your WhatsApp profile.
Want to know how it all hangs together? Check out our tutorial on how WhatsApp works.