Whatsapp ticks: what do they mean? A complete guide


Are you wondering what Whatsapp ticks mean? Do you always see these blue, green, and grey marks, but you don’t know how to interpret them? Here you will find out what they are and their meaning.

What are the ticks on WhatsApp? What do they mean? Can you turn them off? All these questions may have an answer for those who have already been using Whatsapp for a long time… or maybe not! Ticks over everything has been said to be giving rise to misunderstandings. Engaged couples decided to break up because of ticks. Friends wait for hours to see the colour of ticks change. Aspiring detectives seek answers questions like “Has he/she seen my messages?” or “Has he/she seen the pictures that I sent”. Well, let’s go deeper and learn more about the infamous WhatsApp ticks.


#1. What are ticks?

WhatsApp ticks are symbols that instant messaging applications used to provide information to users about sending, receiving, and reading messages (or multimedia content such as photos, video, and audio notes). Marks, despite the controversy, should provide some important information to make communication easier.

Ticks can be of three types:

v   – one green tick (or gray, depending on the background of the screen message)

vv – two green ticks (or gray, as in the previous case)

vv – two blue ticks (the color here is deep blue, no doubt)

These symbols can be found within a single message, regardless of the type we send (text, photos, video, audio note, location), and are located exactly at the bottom right of the green box next to the time. Here’s an example:


WhatsApp Ticks

P.S. In the same location, you can find another symbol: the clock.

This indicates that the message has not been sent. Also, when you click “send” in a message, for an instant you’ll see this symbol (clock), then replaced by ticks.


#2. The meaning of ticks

Explaining what and where  are the ticks on WhatsApp, we move on to their meaning. Symbols – or rather “indicators” – are responsible to report to you some information about the messages sent. You find marks only in messages that you sent, the ones with the green box, while there aren’t any in received message, those in the grey box (which displays only the time).

Specifically, the three different types of ticks have this meaning:

 one green/grey tick -> indicates that the message was successfully sent (but not received).

vv two green/grey ticks -> indicate that the message has been received by the recipient (but not read).

vv – two blue ticks -> indicate that the message has been read.


whatsapp ticks in iPhone


#3. Ticks into groups

Ticks are also in Whatsapp groups, the conversations that bring into connection more than two users. In this case, ticks works similarly, but each option is activated when all members of the group have made the action related.

 one green/grey tick -> The message was sent to the group.

vv  two green/grey ticks -> the message was received by ALL participants

vv – two blue ticks -> the message was read by ALL the participants into the group.


#4. Why ticks are not 100% reliable

The ticks system, however, is entirely reliable. Let’s see in which cases:

  • The single tick is always reliable. When it appears, it means the message was sent.
  • Double green/grey ticks are unreliable. By rule, when you see it, it is certain that the message has been received but not read. This is true, but only partly. There are at least three cases, in fact, where the recipient has read the message even if the ticks are still green/grey but not blue.

Case 1: If you haven’t updated WhatsApp, and therefore, ticks cannot become blue.

Case 2: The recipient used the technique to read the message without making the ticks blue (which remained green even if the message was delivered and read).

Case 3: If the recipient has read the message from the lock screen but did not open the application.

  • Blue ticks mean the message was probably read. But if they don’t appear, it doesn’t mean that the recipient has not read the message.


#5. That’s why in some cases blue ticks don’t appear

–       The recipient is using an outdated version of WhatsApp

–       Either you or the recipient have internet connection problems

–       The recipient hasn’t opened the message


#6. How to disable ticks

After the ticks’ introduction, WhatsApp has quickly received several criticisms from users who have frowned upon the possibility that their friends could check if a message was read or not. Where is the privacy? They wondered. Eventually, WhatsApp introduces the option to disable ticks.

To disable blue ticks on Android devices, follow this procedure:

  1. Update to the latest version (available on the Play Store)
  2. Open WhatsApp
  3. Select Settings> Account Information> Privacy
  4. Disable the “read recipient”

So, you will have disabled the blue ticks. Remember that not only can others not see if a message that you received is read or not, but you cannot use this function for the messages you receive on your phone.


#7. FAQ

Finally, some frequently asked questions about the ticks and their answers that summarize most of the topics in this post:


+ Why does one tick appear?

–       The recipient might have Internet connection problems (for example, may be in an area where there is no signal)

–       The recipient may have the phone off


+ Why don’t double blue ticks appear?

– The recipient sleeps or is busy and has not read the message

– The recipient has used the trick to read a message without making blue marks appear

– The recipient has turned off the read receipt

– The recipient has blocked you (if you have this suspicion, here you’ll find a mini-guide to find out if you have blocked)


+ Are the blue ticks retroactive?

Let see a special case arising from a question made by a user to WhatsAppLab.


A.S. asks:

“I sent two messages to the same person with an interval of one week between each. The first sent has only two grey ticks indicating the message was delivered but not read while the second has blue ticks that confirm the reading.


(1) How is it possible that you read the last message and you don’t see the previous one?

(2) Did he/she disable the read receipt and then activated it later on? “


Let’s give an answer to these questions:


(1) How is it possible that you read the last message and you don’t see the previous one?

This is possible because the blue ticks are not retroactive. This means that when the recipient received the last message, but one, had disabled the read receipt (double blue ticks). Then he/she re-activated it and then in the next message you see the blue marks that confirm the message has been read.


(2) Did he/she disable the read receipt and then activate it later on?

As already explained above, there was the deactivation of blue ticks and then the recipient re-activated it again. As mentioned before, in fact, the double control is not retroactive. So when activated will not affect previous messages.


+ Are the ticks reliable?

– Not 100%. Read above to find out more details


You still have doubts or questions about the ticks of WhatsApp? Contact me through this page, and I’ll be happy to help you! Meanwhile, if you want to discover more about the extraordinary world of WhatsApp, check out the other pages on this site!

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  • Anabella

    My first message sent at 1.00pm still has one tick (not delivered), but my second message sent at 5.00pm (4 hours later) has two ticks (delivered). Why? Was I blocked when I have sent my first message and then unblocked later on? As I read somewhere if you send message when blocked the ‘recipient’ will never get it, even if you get unblocked later on.

    • Hello Anabella,
      there are good chances that you were blocked when you sent the first message and then unblocked later on. Also, an internal application error may have occurred but I doubt it. You were most likely blocked.

  • Hello Shirley,
    it’s just a bug. This happens to many people.

  • I don’t think the two are correlated. Did you call this person through WhatsApp?