Sometimes you see a WhatsApp message has been read, but the person’s last seen occurred before reading it. Let’s see why this happens.
Hi everybody, my name is Frankie Caruso, and I’m a technology expert and applications tester. Here we look at a particular case involving WhatsApp messages, double ticks and the last seen time. I’m writing this article to answer the many emails I’ve received recently from readers.
The question is:
How is it that in a contact chat’s screen I see the blue ticks but the last seen is earlier? Why don’t the double ticks coincide with the last seen on WhatsApp?
This may seem strange, but there is an explanation. In fact, we would expect the last seen to coincide with the time when the message was read, and therefore with double blue ticks that appear below the text of the message.
This is true for the majority of cases, but there are exceptions.
Why do I see the blue ticks, but the last seen is dated earlier?
There is a logical explanation for this case. The last seen time indicates the time when the person was on WhatsApp with an active data connection (or Wi-Fi).
This may interest you: Whatsapp Ticks, What Do They Mean? A Complete Guide
The double blue ticks indicate the time when the message was read by the recipient, whether it was online or offline.
Suppose we send a message that is properly delivered. The person who receives it, before opening it, disables their data connection. Then they open WhatsApp and read the message. Finally, they exit WhatsApp and reactivate the data connection.
This procedure, when used voluntarily, is one of the tricks to be invisible on WhatsApp. The contact disables the connection and reads the message. Sometimes, however, it can also happen that there is no network signal.
Either way, if you look at the last access time, it will correspond with the last time the contact opened WhatsApp before turning off their data connection. But the message will have the double blue ticks for when it was actually read, even if the person was not online.
Here we clarified the mystery: the last seen and read receipt (blue ticks) are two separate things and are not always interconnected.
Other cases of incorrect timestamps on messages
There are three (less rare) cases of discrepancies between your last seren and blue ticks on WhatsApp.
The first of these might be the time zone on your phone. If you are using the app on a phone set to a different time zone of the recipient, it might happen that the last seen time is before the blue ticks of receipt.
The second of these might be an application error. A good precautionary measure to take is to always ensure that you have the latest version of WhatsApp running by checking for updates. If it is not happening regularly, app errors could be thee reason. Everything will return to normal.
One final reason that you might have a mismatch in information between the Last Seen and blue ticks is directly responding from the preview of the message in a popup.
I should explain…
New versions of iOS (iPhone) and Android operating systems allow you to reply to received WhatsApp transmissions from the notification preview on the home screen.
When this happens, WhatsApp:
- Does not change the Last Seen information (so it remains listed as the last time you logged in).
- Delays the time of the message until you reaccess the account
There are three main reasons why the last seen and message response time might differ. In addition to these few simple answers, there are more complicated solutions for the problem, such as the contact blocked you (find out by clicking here) or they used techniques to stay invisible on the messaging app.
We have now reached the end of this rather brief guide, but before I say goodbye, let’s get a quick recap of what it was all about. We need to make sure you didn’t miss anything.
First, I explained the common cases where there is a discrepancy between the Last Seen on WhatsApp and the reading time. This is usually the deactivation of data on a mobile phone. This trick allows you to access WhatsApp and read your messages without ever appearing online. Therefore, your Last Seen status never changes.
In the next portion, I explained three other potential causes that might also lead to this problem:
- Different time zones on your phone
- Application errors
- Direct responding from notification previews
Now, it really is the end. If you have doubts or questions, write them in the comment box and I can answer you as soon as possible.
Come back and visit this blog to stay up to date on the latest information.
PS – If you did not find the answer you sought, or you are unsure why a contact is not replying (and you are dying to know when they are online) I suggest you look at the guide on how to know when a WhatsApp contact is online.
PPS – If you are still unsure about some checkpoints, you should take a few minutes and read my article about what the ticks mean and how to interpret them in WhatsApp.