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Whatsapp ticks: what do they mean? A complete guide

25/07/2017

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.

One of the most important features to have been added is the delivery and read receipt system. If you have noted when using the app, once you send a message, you will note a grey tick below the text.

After some time, another tick will be added and they will remain grey in color. Shortly after the two ticks will turn blue.

Many people who have used the app to communicate are yet to understand the purpose of the ticks. It is common to find people being anxious about the length of time that a recipient is taking to reply to one’s message.

Engaged couples decided to break up because of ticks. Friends wait for hours to see the color 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, you can finally know if your message has been delivered or read by the recipient. Here is a complete guide that will help you understand WhatsApp ticks.

What are ticks?

These refers to symbols incorporated in WhatsApp and are used to provide information to users when it comes to sending, receiving and reading chats.

The ticks usually appear below the chat text after the time indicating when the chat was sent. They are part of the delivery and receipt system which has become popular among other messaging apps.

Types of WhatsApp ticks

There are three commonly used WhatsApp ticks. They include:

 – Single gray tick

– Two gray ticks

– two blue ticks

These symbols can be found within a single message, regardless of the type we send (text, photos, video, audio note, location), and are located at the bottom right of the green box.

whatsapp ticks in iPhone

P.S. In the same location, you can find another symbol: the clock. This indicates that the message has not been sent yet.

a. Single grey tick ()

As said earlier, WhatsApp is normally used by people to send chats to a single or multiple recipients. There are two ways of sending a message to a contact.

The first method involves the use of the new message button. By tapping on the new message button, users have access to a new chat window. Tapping on the back button will take you to the corresponding contact so that you can send the chat.

The other method involves tapping on the contacts tab followed by the specific message. Using the chat window at the bottom, users can type in a few words before sending. Once you send the message, you will be redirected to the conversation stream.

Here, you will note a grey tick just beside the time when the message was sent.

The single grey tick symbolizes that the message has been successfully sent by WhatsApp servers to the contact but it has yet to be received.

In group chats, the single grey tick symbolizes that the message has been sent to group members but members are yet to receive it.

b. Two grey ticks ()

Now, you already know that a single grey tick simply means that the chat has been sent to the recipient but has yet to be received. If you keep monitoring the chat stream, you will notice that the single tick will be paired with another after a few seconds.

The two grey ticks are designed to symbolize that the message has been delivered to the recipient.

This happens only when the recipient is online. One thing you need to note is that the recipient has not read the message at this stage.

So, be patient. The recipient will be reading the message shortly and you will know this.

There are times when the single grey tick will be present for a long duration. Don’t let paranoia kick in.

This may be as a result of one of the following reasons.

  • The recipient’s phone may be off
  • The recipient may be experiencing network connection issues
  • The recipient may have received the new message notification but they have yet to launch the app
  • The recipient may have blocked you which may be unfortunate.

In group chats, two grey ticks means the chat has been delivered to members but they are yet to read the contents. So be a little patient as all members may not be online at the same time.

c. Two blue ticks (✓✓)

If you noticed that the two grey ticks have suddenly turned into blue or deep blue color, it means the recipient has read your message. The only way they could do that is by launching the app and tapping on the notification.

This will direct the user to the conversation stream window where they can tap on a specific contact to read any new chats. This happens for one on one chats.

In group chats for the double grey ticks to turn into deep blue, all members of the group must have read the message.

How to disable WhatsApp ticks

Privacy has become an issue when it comes to messaging apps like WhatsApp. While the delivery and read receipt system is very convenient, some users have complained about its use.

For starters, there are users who feel that the system compromises their privacy. How? Basically, friends and other users will learn that messages have either been read or not. Furthermore, the feature may be collecting more information.

So, how can users disable this feature? Well, it’s quite simple. Here are the steps.

  1. Step One – The first thing you need to do is ensure that your WhatsApp version is the latest. You can simply update to the current version by visiting the App Store or Play Store.
  2. Step Two – Launch the app, tap on the menu located on the top right corner, select Settings > Account Information > Privacy and disable “Read Recipient.”

It is important to note that once you disable the colors of ticks on WhatsApp, neither you nor other users will know when your messages have been received or read.





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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?