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What do the checkmarks mean on WhatsApp?

Checkmarks appear on WhatsApp when you send or receive messages, and they mean different things.

whatsapp icon on blurred smartphone background
Image: KnowTechie

Quick Answer: WhatsApp checkmarks indicate the status of sent messages, showing whether messages are sent, delivered, or read.

What do the checkmarks mean on WhatsApp? You’re not alone if you’ve ever caught yourself asking this question.

This is because billions of people use WhatsApp—2.7 billion people, in fact. Therefore, questions like what WhatsApp checkmarks mean are expected.

Whereas nearly everyone knows what the two blue checkmarks mean on WhatsApp, the same cannot be said of the other types of checkmarks.

In this article, you’ll learn more about WhatsApp checkmarks, the different types of WhatsApp checkmarks, and what each checkmark means.

What are WhatsApp checkmarks?

blue checkmarks on whatsapp background
Image: KnowTechie

Checkmarks on WhatsApp are read receipts that show you the status of sent messages including text, photos, audio files, or videos.

Through these checkmarks, you can tell whether your chats and posts are being delivered and engaged with.

WhatsApp checkmarks appear on the mobile app, WhatsApp Web, WhatsApp Desktop, and WhatsApp for Windows.

Types and meanings of different WhatsApp checkmarks

whatsapp checkmark options
Image: KnowTechie

There are different types of checkmarks on WhatsApp. A checkmark will appear for each message you send. Here’s a breakdown of WhatsApp checkmarks and their meanings.

  • Gray checkmark – message sent. If you see one gray checkmark indefinitely, you may have been blocked
  • Two gray checkmarks – message delivered to recipient’s phone or any of their linked device
  • Two blue checkmarks – message read

Note that the two gray checkmarks will appear even if the message is delivered to a linked device other than the recipient’s phone, and even when the phone is off.

For group chats, the two gray checkmarks indicate that your message has been delivered to all participants, while the two blue checkmarks mean that all group participants have read your message.

How to view your Message Info on WhatsApp

WhatsApp allows you to view the read receipts for messages you send, a.k.a, your Message info. This contains details like when your message was delivered, read, or played by the recipient.

You can view message info for individual and group chats on the mobile app. Here’s how:

Open WhatsApp on your phoneiphone home screen
Open an individual or group chat for which you want to get the message infoWhatsApp contact screen
Tap and hold the sent message in questionWhatsApp message screen
Alternatively, you can tap on the more info button (the i in a circle), or on More options, then InfoWhatsApp read messages screen

Your Message Info details and what they mean

Once you enter your message info center, you’ll find one of three status reports:

Delivered – your message has been delivered to the recipient’s phone or linked device, but they are yet to see it.

Read or seen – the recipient has either read your message or seen the picture, audio file, or video you sent. It could also mean that the recipient has seen your voice message, but has yet to play it.

Played – the recipient has played the voice message you sent.

Note that the Message info center for a group chat will continue to show the original message info even when people leave the group, without accounting for their exit.

Why can’t I find my read receipts?

whatsapp business screenshot
Image: KnowTechie

If you can’t see the two blue checkmarks, blue microphone, or “Opened” next to your sent messages or voice messages, these could be the reason(s):

  • Poor network or connection issues from you or the recipient.
  • The recipient probably hasn’t opened your message.
  • The recipient may have blocked you.
  • You or the recipient disabled read receipts.

The best way to check these is by waiting it out and seeing if something changes. You can also check your read receipts settings, which we’ll detail below.

Can you turn off read receipts?

whastapp logo on encrypted background
Image: KnowTechie

Of course, you can disable read receipts on WhatsApp. However, when you do, you won’t be able to see the checkmarks again.

Also, note that WhatsApp currently does not allow you to disable read receipts for group chats or play receipts for voice messages.

That said, here’s how to disable read receipts on WhatsApp:

1. Open WhatsApp

iphone home screen
Image: KnowTechie

2. Tap on the three dots or at the bottom right click the settings (More options) button

WhatsApp settings on iphone
Image: KnowTechie

3. Tap Account, then Privacy

WhatsApp setting screen iphone
Image: KnowTechie

4. Now, turn off Read receipts and kiss goodbye to WhatsApp checkmarks

Image: KnowTechie

And there you have it, you’ve successfully changed your Read Receipts setting on WhatsApp.

WhatsApp checkmarks explained

Now that you know what checkmarks mean on WhatsApp, you can easily tell when your messages have been delivered, read, or played.

Plus, you can always tell the exact time your message was delivered, read, or played by the recipient.

Read receipts or checkmarks are popular with social networks and instant messengers like Facebook, Instagram, and Telegram, among others. You may also want to check out other cool things you can do with WhatsApp.

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Joy Okumoko is a freelance technology writer who loves all things tech. She spends her spare time crocheting and working on her crafts.

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