Fix Not Receiving WhatsApp Messages Unless I Open the App

Why not receiving WhatsApp messages unless I open the app and how to fix it on your mobile phone? All things are listed here to help you. If you need to reinstall WhatsApp, it’s better to back up WhatsApp data first.

Kathy by Kathy Updated November 20, 2023
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Why not receiving WhatsApp messages unless I open the app?

WhatsApp is a widely used messaging application that allows users to send messages, create group chats, share their live location, and make voice and video calls with other WhatsApp users. But for some users, they can only receive WhatsApp messages when they open the app.

whatsapp icon

Do you know why this issue occur? There are some common reasons.

⭕ The WhatsApp notification settings are disabled.
⭕ Some chats have been muted, so you won't receive any notifications for them.
⭕ Your phone is in Do Not Disturb mode or Low Power mode.
⭕ The WhatsApp is not running in the background.
⭕ The Internet connection is slow or unstable.
⭕ An outdated WhatsApp is running on your device.
⭕ Some app or phone issues can disrupt WhatsApp's functioning.
⭕ If WhatsApp has been logged into on your computer or web, it can affect notifications on your phone.

Now that you have known the specific reasons, you can explore the solutions one by one below to see if they work. It's worth noting that while this article is primarily written for iPhone users in terms of methods and steps, many of the methods below also apply to Android users.

However, due to different operating systems, you will need to adapt the instructions to your specific device.

Fix not receiving WhatsApp messages unless I open the app iPhone

There are 9 ways for you to fix the issue. And if you need to delete the app to solve the problem, don’t forget to back up your WhatsApp data before the process.

Method 1. Restart your iPhone

Restarting your iPhone is indeed a simple and effective solution to various software-related issues or temporary bugs such as WhatsApp not receiving messages, WhatsApp not updating, and more. Here is how to do it:

For iPhone X/11/12/13 or later: Press and hold either volume button and the side button simultaneously until the power-off slider appears > Drag the power-off slider to the right to turn off your device.

restart iphone

For iPhone 6/7/8 or SE(2nd or 3rd generation): Press and hold the side button until the power-off slider appears on the screen > Drag the slider to the right to power off your iPhone.

For iPhone SE (1st generation), 5, or earlier: Press and hold the top button > When the power-off slider appears, drag the slider to turn off the device.

After a while, press and hold the side/top button until you see the Apple logo to turn on the iPhone.

Method 2. Unmute WhatsApp chats

Muting a WhatsApp chat prevents message notifications, which means you won't be alerted to new messages. If the error within your WhatsApp is caused by this action, then just open WhatsApp on your iPhone > Long press on the chat thread and select Unmute from the menu to solve this issue quickly.

unmute whatsapp

Method 3. Check network connection

If this issue is caused by poor network quality, you can try connecting to a more stable network or reset your network settings to make it: Go to the Settings app > General > Reset > Choose Reset Network Settings.

reset network settings

After a while, reconnect to the Wi-Fi network to see if the question is fixed.

Method 4. Check WhatsApp notification settings

If you previously turned off WhatsApp notifications on your iPhone, it could be the reason for the error. You can re-enable them to solve it. Open the Settings app on your iPhone > Choose Notifications > Click WhatsApp and toggle the switch next to Allow Notifications > Change other relevant settings on this page according to your need.

allow whatsapp notifications

Method 5. Disable Do Not Disturb or Low Power Mode

Using "Do Not Disturb" or “Low Power Mode” on your iPhone might hinder the background operation of various apps, including WhatsApp. Then the not receiving WhatsApp notifications on iPhone issue can appear. You can turn off the feature to solve it.

Turn off Do Not Disturb: Swipe down from the top of your Home Screen to open Control Center > Tap the Focus button where the Do Not Disturb crescent moon appears. If there is no moon icon, Do Not Disturb is currently turned off.

Turn off Lower Power Mode: Go to Settings > Battery and toggle the switch next to Low Power Mode to make it.

low power mode

Method 6. Allow WhatsApp to run in the background

When you exit WhatsApp, it's advisable not to swipe up to force close it completely, as this action could lead to the not receiving WhatsApp messages unless I open the app on iOS 15/16/17 issue.

Method 7. Log out of WhatsApp web

If you are simultaneously logged into WhatsApp on both your mobile device and its desktop application or website, you may not receive WhatsApp messages on your phone until you manually open the app.

To address this, you can open WhatsApp on your iPhone > Click Settings > Choose WhatsApp Web/Desktop > Tap on Log out from all devices or Log out from all computers > Choose Log out to make it.

log out of whatsapp web

Method 8. Set time automatically

If your iPhone's time is not accurate, it can lead to WhatsApp notification issues. To address this, ensure that your iPhone's time is set to automatic in the Settings: Open Settings and go to General > Tap on Date & Time > Toggle on Set Automatically to enable automatic time settings.

set time automatically

Method 9. Update or reinstall WhatsApp

If the above methods don't work, you can go to the App Store to see if WhatsApp needs an update. If it does, click "Update" to update the app. If your app is already up to date, you might need to uninstall WhatsApp to fix this issue. 

Before the process, it’s better to back up your WhatsApp data to avoid data loss. Then the professional FoneTool can help you a lot.

laugh Super-fast backup speed: You can easily move all WhatsApp data from iPhone to PC in a very short time. And thousands of photos can be transferred in a few minutes.
laugh Universal restore: You can restore the iPhone WhatsApp backup to another iOS device even if they are using different Apple IDs.
laugh No data leakage: FoneTool only relies on a USB connection, and all your data will be moved n an absolutely secure environment.
laugh Easily to export data: Once the backup is completed, you can simply export the WhatsApp backup data to your computer to view them directly.

So why not use this handy tool to back up your WhatsApp data on iPhone, with its powerful feature, you can accomplish the backup task without opening it.

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Step 1. Connect your iPhone to computer with a USB cable. Then open FoneTool.

Step 2. Choose WhatsApp Manager > Go to Backup WhatsApp > Click the Get Started button to continue.

back up whatsapp

Tip: You can also go to WA Business to back up your WhatsApp Business data even if it can’t function normally.

Step 3. You can check Enable Backup Encryption to protect your private data > Select a destination to save your WhatsApp backup from the Backup Storage Path option > Click Start Backup to begin the task.

start to backup

Tip: This feature can easily help you finish the backup process when the WhatsApp auto backup is not working on iPhone.

Then you can easily delete WhatsApp from your iPhone and go to App Store to reinstall it. Once the process is completed, you can launch FoneTool again and go to the Backup History page to restore the backup to your iPhone.

restore backup


When you encounter the not receiving WhatsApp messages unless I open the app issue on iPhone/Android, these ways above can help you easily solve the problem.

If you need to delete and reinstall the app on your iPhone, you can use FoneTool to back up the data first. With the WhatsApp backup feature, you can back up your data in many situations such as WhatsApp icon disappears on iPhone.

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