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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.

WhatsApp Ticks

Hello and welcome to my blog! I am Frankie Caruso and I will be your guide through this article. This one is going to help you understand the ticks on WhatsApp. What do they are? 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, and these include:

 – Single gray tick

– Two gray ticks

– Two blue ticks

Meaning of WhatsApp Ticks

These symbols are located on the individual messages that get send, regardless of the type (text, photos, video, audio, location.) They are located in the bottom right of the green box.

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

I should clarify regarding groups in WhatsApp, however.

These change for groups, as two grey marks appear when all participants have gotten the message. The two blue ticks appear only when all recipients have read the message or seen the content.


Frankie’s Take:

I cannot be any clearer on that point. Remember though, read receipts (blue ticks) do not always appear and I can explain why in a moment.

Let me now divulge a gem that only few people know.

No matter what checkmarks exist or don’t, WhatsApp now has a section dedicated to information about the message sent. This is very useful in that you can now track the progress of the message you have sent off.

In order to access this information, you need to:

  1. Open an individual or group chat
  2. Tap and hold the specific message you have sent
  3. Tap on the “i” symbol on iPhone or the three vertical dots symbol on Android.
  4. Click on Info.

Frankie’s Take:

This section can divulge a lot of great information, including showing the times of when messages get sent, received, and ultimately read.

Hopefully this has cleared a little bit up for you.

Now, you need to learn a little about the reasons that a message might not get delivered or read by the recipient.

Why Hasn’t My WhatsApp Message Been Delivered?

There are several reasons that you can send a message and it is not delivered, and some of the most common of these include:

If on the one hand the blue ticks can be useful to know whether a recipient has actually read the messages that you have sent, it can also be an obstacle. If you do not want to let this person know whether the messages they send have gotten read or not, there are ways to accomplish this.

After the controversies that can exist over a small blue tick, which I am not going to bore you with right now so you don’t end up annoyed and cussing me out, WhatsApp has offered a solution.

Now, you can choose to make blue ticks (read receipts) optionally visible.


Frankie’s Take:

It is important to know that if you turn off blue ticks, it does not hide your online status. What I am referring to is the ‘online’ writing that appears below the name of someone that you are chatting with at any given time.

Disabling Read Receipts in WhatsApp

No matter why you are interested in the information, such as being a privacy nut or wanting to keep something hidden from prying eyes (caught you, didn’t I?), I can help. Here is how you are going to turn off the blue ticks on WhatsApp.

No matter if you are using an iPhone or Android phone, the process is the same.

  1. Open up WhatsApp
  2. Go to Settings (three vertical dots in the top right corner)
  3. Choose Account and then Privacy
  4. Scroll to near the bottom of this menu and uncheck Read Receipts

Frankie’s Take:

IMPORTANT – you cannot disable read receipts from your group chats or from voice messages. There is no way to accomplish this. You need to be careful, then, not to fall into a ‘Vocal Traitor’ trap. Want to know what that is? I am going to explain it in detail down below here.

Bonus Trick: Vocal Traitor Method

Here is something you should watch out for, as it is a mean move based from a flaw I found in WhatsApp.

To make the two blue ticks appear even if someone turns off the Read Receipt option, you just send them a small voice message after your text message. Only needs to be a few seconds long.

If the recipient listens to the voice message, the blue ticks appear. Even If the text itself does not turn blue, the knowledge that they accessed the chat to listen to the voice message all but guarantees they’ve also read the message you sent.

You get caught in this trap, and you are screwed.


Frankie’s Take:

If your contact is looking for a workaround for you turning off the blue ticks on your account, a voice message might be the answer. You need to be careful to listen to these messages at the right time, otherwise you can get pulled into a trap where they know they are getting fooled. Only use this trick yourself when you really need it.


That’s all the new information on this topic that I have for you – but let me recap this all quickly:

   Single gray tick – Message Sent

 Two gray ticks – Message Delivered to Recipient’s Phone

 Two blue ticks – Message Read by Recipient

You have now learned that there is a method for turning off Read Receipts (Blue Ticks) for received text messages, photos, and videos.

You also got introduced to the Vocal Traitor method that can get used as a wildcard to determine if someone disabled blue ticks. A way to learn if they have read your messages sent prior.


Before we say goodbye, I have one more important piece of information for you.

Many people in the comments have labeled problems and had questions about WhatsApp ticks – here are some examples:

Hey Frankie, I saw from the information in the message that it was read so why are the two gray checkpoints still popping up?


Dear Frankie, why is there a difference between the Last Seen and the message I received?


…the message I sent was read, so why is it saying it wasn’t delivered?

It goes on and on.

I have explained these questions in a guide that I recommend you take a moment to read about main reasons for mismatches in WhatsApp ticks and the messages you send.

If you have doubts, or would like to ask me some questions about the post, you can do so through the comment box below. Come back and visit often as I keep my posts up to date with new features and information.

A hug,

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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.