While it has its share of detractors, WhatsApp’s dominance in the instant messaging space remains unchallenged. Over the years, WhatsApp has added several sought-after features to its repertoire, including multi-device support. However, the app continues to face several issues and bugs to this day.
This article explores several ways to fix this problem on Android smartphones.
Contacts are not showing up in WhatsApp – why does it happen in the first place?
There are several reasons why contacts don’t suddenly appear in WhatsApp. Indeed, there are several manifestations of this problem. For example, it could occur on a phone that works perfectly without you actually having to “screw something up”.
In some cases, the problem occurs after moving WhatsApp from one device to another. In the first case, the problem could be caused by a bug in the way WhatsApp syncs the contacts saved on the phone.
The problem can also occur on devices that have recently updated to a new version of the software, which in turn has changed the permissions granted to WhatsApp. Anyway, whatever the root cause of the problem is, let’s try some solutions that may help you fix it!
How to fix WhatsApp not showing contact names problem?
As mentioned above, depending on the cause of the problem, the solutions to fix this problem vary. Listed below are some of the more common solutions to this problem.
Check the permissions granted to WhatsApp
Android has become very secure over the years. An unintended consequence of this is that all apps now require explicit user permissions to access data stored on the phone. And this data also includes your contacts.
In case your phone suddenly stops showing WhatsApp contact names, this is the first thing you need to check. Here’s how you can do it on Android smartphones.
- You open “Settings” and touch “App” or “App management” (this may change slightly depending on the phone brand / operating system).
- Tap the app list and scroll down to WhatsApp
- Touch “Authorizations” then “Contacts” .
- Make sure you have granted access to contacts within this option.
- In case permissions have already been granted, it would be a good idea to select “Do not allow” once and then tap again “Allow” .
Once these steps are done, open WhatsApp again and check if the contact names reappear. If not, it’s time to move on to step two.
Update WhatsApp contacts
In case your contacts’ names are still not showing after granting permissions, it might be a good idea to use the option “Update contacts” on WhatsApp. Here’s how you can do it.
- Open WhatsApp and tap the chat bubble in the bottom right corner.
- Tap the three dots in the top right corner and tap “Update” .
That’s all! WhatsApp will take a few seconds to scan your contact list and make contact names reappear.
In case these two options haven’t worked, it’s time to move on to slightly more drastic options. We will start with a very popular generic solution for most app related problems.
This method involves clearing the app cache or app storage. Make sure you select the option “Clear cache” . We have detailed the steps required to do this in the detailed article linked below.
In case this option didn’t work for you, it’s time to force a WhatsApp sync with your contacts. Here’s how to do it.
Force synchronization of WhatsApp
- You open Settings on your phone, then tap “Users and accounts” or “Password and account” .
- Select WhatsApp from the list, then tap “Account Synchronization”.
- Tap the toggle button next to contacts to force your phone to sync your contacts.
- Check if the contacts reappear on WhatsApp.
Remove the WhatsApp account
In case forcing a WhatsApp sync didn’t work, the next step is to remove your WhatsApp account from your phone. Before proceeding further, be sure to back up all chats to Google Drive. We have a dedicated article explaining how to do exactly this.
Once you’ve managed to backup your WhatsApp chat, open the same menu as before (password and account) – but this time – select the option that says “Remove account” .
You will receive a warning that this will remove all messages, contacts and other data. Since you have backed up your chats to Google Drive, you don’t have to worry about this anymore and you can tap on “Remove account”.
Once this is done, the installation of WhatsApp on your phone will remain as new and you can try to set up your account again. After setting it up, wait a few moments for WhatsApp to sync your contacts and restore all messages from Google Drive before using it normally.
The last resort: uninstall / reinstall WhatsApp
In case all of the above methods fail, the last option we have before us is to check if you are on the latest version of WhatsApp. If so, it’s time to uninstall and reinstall WhatsApp on your device.
However, in case you see a new version of WhatsApp available for download, make sure you install the latest version and check if the problem is resolved. If you’re already on the latest version, it’s time for a full reinstall.
And with that, we come to the end of this article. We sincerely hope that the steps mentioned here will really help you solve the problem. If not, please let us know in the comments section below so we can investigate the issue further. Do you know any other methods we missed? If yes, please let us know and we will be happy to add the same to this list with due credits.