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WhatsApp to stop working on older phones from next year – here's how to check if you're affected

Messaging service WhatsApp is to stop working on older iPhones and Android devices as well as all Windows phones over the next few months – here's how to check if your handset is affected.

After 1 February 2020, the app will no longer support phones using the following operating systems:
  • Android handsets – versions 2.3.7 or older
  • iPhones – iOS 8 or older
WhatsApp has warned that because it no longer develops for these operating systems, "some features might stop functioning at any time".
It's already not possible to create a new WhatsApp account on phones using these systems, or to reverify existing accounts. But if you already have a WhatsApp account, you can carry on using it on your phone until February.
Plus, mobiles using Windows Phone operating systems will no longer be supported after 31 December 2019. This isn't just confined to WhatsApp – Microsoft itself withdrew support for these phones earlier this month, meaning anyone with the phones will no longer receive any products or security updates, and other third-party apps have also stopped supporting the devices.
If you have an Android phone running OS 4.0.3 or later, or an iPhone running iOS 9 or later, WhatsApp will still be supported on your phone and there's nothing you need to do. WhatsApp will also continue to provide support for phones running KaiOS 2.5.1 or later, which includes the Jio Phone.
See our Cheap Mobile Tips guide for full info on cutting the cost of your mobile phone.

How can I check what operating system my phone uses?

To figure out whether you'll still be able to use WhatsApp on your iPhone or Android phone after February, you'll need to check which operating system your phone uses (these steps may differ depending on your handset model):

  • If you have an iPhone, check your phone's operating system by going to Settings > Apple ID > Your iPhone. The version your phone uses will be listed under 'Device info'.

    If the version is listed as iOS 9 or later, it will still be supported after 1 February 2020.

  • If you have an Android phone, check its operating system by going to Settings > About Phone/About Device > Android Version.

    If the version is listed as OS 4.0.3 or later, it will still be supported after 1 February 2020.

Remember that steps to find your operating system could vary depending on what model of phone you have, so check its user guide for more detailed instructions if you're struggling.

My phone won't be supported – what can I do?

First, check if you can upgrade your phone's operating system to iOS 9 or later for iPhones, or OS 4.0.3 or later for Androids.

This might not be possible if you've got an older phone though. For example, iOS 9 is only compatible with the iPhone 4S or later, so if you have an earlier iPhone model you won't be able to upgrade. If you've got an Android phone it's more complicated, so check your device to see if an upgrade's possible.

If WhatsApp is set to stop being supported on your phone, unfortunately you'll need to weigh up how important the app is to you.

If you're planning to replace your phone, our Cheap Mobiles Tips guide has help on how to avoid overpaying. And if you're committed to a particular brand, our Cheap iPhone Deals and Cheap Samsung Deals guides have more specific info.

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