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Do the Blue Ticks Not Match the Last Seen Status? Here’s Why

Have you seen a WhatsApp message you sent has been read, but the last seen status is before you sent the message? Let’s figure out why that might be the case and their last seen status is not keeping up.

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WhatsApp Blue ticks but last seen earlier

Hello friends. It’s Frankie Caruso the instant messaging app wizard here to teach you another impressive magic trick today.

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Today, we are getting to the bottom of a recurring issue on WhatsApp: where double ticks do not coincide with the last seen time for a contact. I have received many emails on this specific topic, so it is information that I know many of you need.

So, the question is:

How am I seeing blue ticks on a contact’s chat screen but their last seen status shows they were not online? Why do the ticks not coincide with the last seen time stamp?

While yes, this seems strange, there are explanations.

Many might expect the time stamp to coincide with the time the message was read as indicated by the time under the blue ticks on the chat screen.

This is going to be the case most of the time. There are some exceptions to note, however.

Why Am I Seeing Blue Ticks, But the Last Seen is Dated Earlier?

As was already stated, there are actually a few different reasons that this might be the case. There is one key point you must consider, however.

The last seen time is an indication of when the person was last on WhatsApp with an active data connection (4G, 5G, or Wi-Fi.)

The blue ticks, however, will show a message has been read whether that recipient was offline or connected through one of these data streams.

Therefore, last seen and blue ticks are not a connected part of the service.

I have found that there are roughly five reasons that you might see that a person has read their message but the last seen status has not updated or reflected this.

Let’s take a look at these individually.

They are choosing to be invisible on WhatsApp

Suppose you send a message, and it is delivered appropriately.

Then, the person who receives it disables their data connection just before opening the message. They open WhatsApp, read the message, and exit the app before reactivating their internet connection.

This has made it so the last seen did not change. When used intentionally, this is one of the tricks for becoming invisible on WhatsApp.

So, the contact has disabled their connection and read the message. Or, there is the chance that they just lost their network signal for the brief time they were using the app.

Either way, you are going to look at the access time and see that it shows you the last time they were on WhatsApp while connected to an active network.

The message, however, will show that it has been received and read with double blue ticks icons when it was looked at – even if the person has not necessarily appeared online.

They replied from the notification banner

Notifications can also skew the information you have between a read receipt and the last seen status of WhatsApp.

Both iOS and Android devices both offer the change to directly reply to a message from the lock screen or home screen without having to open the app at all.

When this happens, the message receives a reply and a blue tick indicator of the initial message being read appears, but the last seen status is no different.

Frankie-Caruso


Frankie’s Take:

When you reply from the notification bar to a WhatsApp message, your last seen will not change. In some cases, blue ticks will not appear either, however. To the recipient, it may seem like the message was never read or yet received.

The contact used Siri or their Google Assistant to read the message

Both Android and iOS devices allow you to read (and reply) to incoming messages through WhatsApp through their respective personal assistant functions Siri or Google Assistant.

When doing so, the last seen will not change but the blue ticks will change to read when the assistant has read the message to you, regardless if you have replied or not.

Frankie-Caruso


Frankie’s Take:

It is also possible to quickly read WhatsApp messages without impacting your last seen through widgets on the lock screens for either iPhones or Androids. They allow direct access to chats without requiring the login to the physical app.

Additional Causes for Incorrect Last Seen/Time Stamp Discrepancies

I have two other, and much rarer, cases where the last seen and the blue ticks indicating read messages are different.

The first might be the time zone of your phone. If you have a phone set to a time zone other than that of your contact, this could explain how their last seen varies from the read receipt time stamp for the blue ticks in the chat window.

Second, you could just be experiencing an application glitch or error.

A way that you can help to avoid these potential software issues is to always make sure you are running the latest version of WhatsApp by checking regularly for updates. If this is not a regular occurrence, app errors could very well be the culprit. Everything will return to normal provided you are using the most recent version.

Frankie-Caruso


Frankie’s Take:

In addition to these listed options, there is a slightly more complicated reason for the discrepancies: someone has blocked you on WhatsApp. You can click here to see how to find out for sure.

FAQs for WhatsApp’s Last Seen Status

Can you change the last seen time manually in WhatsApp?

No. You are never able to do this.

The only way to manipulate this time stamp is through methods I have described above.

If I change the time zone on my phone, will my last seen reflect the new time zone change?

Last seen is based on the time zone of the recipient and not the sender. So, if you live in New York and I live in Rome. So when you log in to send a message at 12 PM in New York when it is 6 PM in Rome, the last seen for you on my account will be 6 PM.

Can I show a different last seen status to different people?

No. You cannot control the last seen in any capacity, let alone the complexity of showing different times to different contacts.

Conclusion

I wanted to keep this guide brief, but before I depart, I want to quickly recap what we went over to ensure that you did not miss anything pertinent to your questions.

First, I went over some of the common reasons that you might have a discrepancy between a last seen status on WhatsApp and blue ticks indicating a message was read. Typically, this is achieved through the deactivation of data on a device so that the online status does not change when navigating WhatsApp.

This quick trick lets you read messages on WhatsApp without appearing online. In doing so, the last seen status on your profile never changes.

Next, I went over four other causes that could lead to this difference, including:

  • Using notification banners to respond directly to messages
  • Using Siri or Google Assistant to read and reply to messages
  • Having different time zones between your phone and theirs
  • WhatsApp application errors

Now, I really am done.

If you do have any questions, concerns, or comments about this information, you can make use of the comment box below the post so I can get back with you.

Come to visit the blog often to keep up to date with all the latest information about WhatsApp and other messaging applications you use every day.

A hug,

Frankie Caruso

PS – Didn’t find the answer you needed? Unsure why a contact isn’t replying (and you are dying to know when they are online)? Take a look at my guide on how to know when a WhatsApp contact is online.

PPS – If you want to learn more tricks about WhatsApp and other popular services, follow us on YouTube and get signed up for our free weekly newsletter.

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About Frankie Caruso

I'm Frankie Caruso. I'm a professional amateur in that ugly business of social media, instant messaging apps and computer security. I help all those frustrated people who call themselves digital illiterates to understand something about this confusing digital world.