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What Do the Check Marks in WhatsApp Mean?

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One of the biggest advantages that WhatsApp has over traditional SMS texting is the ability to see if the other person has received or read your messages. WhatsApp communicates these by using check marks, but not everyone knows what the ticks in WhatsApp mean.

Let’s go over the meaning behind each stage of the check marks in WhatsApp so you never have to guess if your conversation partner has seen your message.


What Do the Check Marks Mean in WhatsApp?

The check mark icons in WhatsApp signify the read receipt feature, letting you know if the other party has received or read your message yet.

In WhatsApp, a single gray check mark means that your message was sent, but hasn’t been delivered to the other person yet. Two gray check marks mean that your message successfully made it to the other person’s phone, but they haven’t opened it yet. Finally, when the other party has opened your conversation and looked at the message, you’ll see two blue check marks below it.

While WhatsApp lets you link multiple devices to your account, these are all routed through your phone, which is the primary device for your account. Thus, whether you read a message on your phone or your computer, it will update the checks for the other person.

These read receipts work a little differently in WhatsApp group chats (any conversation with three or more members). When all group members have received your message, you’ll see a gray double-check next to it. Once everyone has read the message, this changes to two blue checks.

If you’d like, you can even see the exact time your WhatsApp message was read. In a group chat, this lets you see when each person received the message and when they opened it.

How to Disable Read Receipts in WhatsApp

You’ll send WhatsApp check marks to other people by default, since the read receipt feature is enabled automatically. If you’d like to disable read receipts on WhatsApp, it’s easy to do so.

Open WhatsApp and tap Settings (which is under the three-dot menu in the top-right on Android). Choose Account > Privacy and disable the Read Receipts slider to stop sending them.


Be aware that if you turn off your read receipts, you won’t see them for other people’s messages, either. You can’t disable read receipts for group chats on WhatsApp, even if you turn off this slider.

For more tips like this, check out everything you need to know about WhatsApp privacy.

Reasons Why Your WhatsApp Message Is Unread

If it seems like it’s taking a long time for another person to see your WhatsApp message, there are several possible causes:

  • If either party has read receipts turned off, you won’t see read receipts.
  • If the other person blocked you on WhatsApp, you won’t see whether they read your message.
  • The other person’s phone may be turned off, in airplane mode, or not online due to a weak internet connection.
  • Of course, your conversation partner might be busy and hasn’t gotten to your message yet because they didn’t have time.


There’s also a chance that the other person used a trick to read your message in secret without sending a read receipt. For example, they might have gone into airplane mode to look at the message, so WhatsApp won’t mark it as read since they were offline when they saw it. Both Android and iPhone also let you preview a message from the notification, which won’t trigger the receipt.

If they have done something like this, there’s little you can do about it aside from asking them if they saw your message.

Now You Understand WhatsApp Check Marks

We’ve gone over how to find out if someone received or read your message on WhatsApp. This is a handy function that lets you confirm the other person is aware of what you said, without asking for confirmation in a follow-up message.

Meanwhile, there are many more WhatsApp tips to learn if you want to master the messaging service.



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