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WhatsApp to stop working on millions of smartphones

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WhatsApp, the hugely popular instant messaging app, is set to be blocked on millions of smartphones in just a few weeks.

On 1 November 2021, smartphones that aren’t updated to a certain level will no longer be able to support WhatsApp. And while many devices will simply need a software update, some older phones won’t be able to update to the required level and will be blocked from using WhatsApp forever.

It’s thought that around 40 different smartphones are going to be blocked from using WhatsApp, which could impact millions of mobile phone users. If your smartphone is on the list, you’ll either have to update your operating software (OS), or get a new smartphone entirely.

Apps often stop supporting older smartphones as fewer people use the devices over time. If you’re on an Android smartphone, you’ll need to update to Android 4.1 or higher to continue using WhatsApp. And if you’re an iPhone user, you have to be running on iOS 10 or higher.

This means anyone using an iPhone 4 or older will need to upgrade to a new smartphone to continue using WhatsApp, as the device is too old and doesn’t support iOS 10 or above.

Also, people who’ve never upgraded the OS on an iPhone 6S, iPhone 6S Plus or iPhone SE (2016) will need to update to iOS 15 immediately as those devices ran on iOS 9 when they launched.

Popular Android smartphones that will need to be updated include the Huawei Ascend Mate and the Samsung Galaxy S3.

Here's a list of the phones that will no longer support WhatsApp:

  • Alcatel
  • Archos 53 Platinum
  • Ascend D Quad XL
  • Ascend D1 Quad XL
  • Ascend D2
  • Ascend G740
  • Ascend Mate
  • Ascend P1 S
  • Best L2 II
  • Best L3 II
  • Best L4 II
  • Best L5 II
  • Best L7 II
  • Caterpillar Cat B15
  • Galaxy Ace 2
  • Galaxy Core
  • Galaxy SII
  • Galaxy S3 mini
  • Galaxy Trend II
  • Galaxy Xcover 2
  • Grand Memo
  • Grand X Quad V987
  • HTC Desire 500
  • iPhone SE (2016 edition)
  • iPhone 6S
  • iPhone 6S Plus
  • Lenovo A820
  • Lucid 2
  • Optimus F3
  • Optimus F3Q
  • Optimus F5
  • Optimus F6, Enact
  • Optimus F7
  • Optimus L3 II Dual
  • Optimus L4 II Dual
  • Optimus L5
  • Optimus L5 Dual
  • Optimus L7
  • Optimus L7 II Dual
  • Optimus Nitro HD
  • Optimus 4X HD
  • Run F1
  • THL W8
  • UMi X2
  • Wiko Cink Five
  • Wiko Darknight
  • Xperia Arc S
  • Xperia Miro
  • Xperia Neo L
  • ZTE V956

Leaving aside out-of-date apps, updating your operating system is important as these updates can help protect your device against security risks.

You can usually find software updates in the general settings menu on most smartphones. From there, it’s just a case of downloading and installing the update, which shouldn’t take too long. To avoid using up any of your data, make sure you’re on Wi-FI when you start the update.

If you’re on a much older device, this could also be the perfect time to upgrade to a new smartphone. With spectacular new phones like the iPhone 13 range now available, you can get a great deal on the latest devices, as well as cheap deals on slightly older models like the iPhone 12 and iPhone 11.

Check out our iPhone 13 buyers guide for all our best deals on Apple’s latest and greatest smartphone.

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