How to Troubleshoot WhatsApp Contacts Not Showing Problem

Keisha Alice
Jan 31, 2024

Many users have been shrouded in the dense fog of WhatsApp contacts not showing, even though WhatsApp stands out as one of the most popular platforms, connecting individuals worldwide with seamless communication. This discrepancy can be frustrating, leaving users wondering why some of their contacts seem to have vanished from their WhatsApp contact list.

Today, let's dive into the phenomenon of contact not showing in WhatsApp, and explore effective solutions to get your WhatsApp contacts visible again.

fix whatsapp contacts not showing


Part 1: Why Contacts Are Not Showing in WhatsApp

Users often find themselves bewildered when the saved contacts is not showing in WhatsApp. Understanding the root causes behind this problem is crucial for implementing the right solutions. From syncing problems to software glitches, various factors contribute to the disappearance of contacts on WhatsApp. Unravel the reason and proceed to solve the complication.

WhatsApp Contact Sync Issues: WhatsApp relies on the synchronization of contacts from your phone's address book. If there are problems with the contact sync process, such as errors or delays, it can result in contacts not appearing in WhatsApp.

App Permissions of WhatsApp: WhatsApp requires certain permissions to access your device's contacts. If the app doesn't have the necessary permissions, it won't be able to display your contacts.

Privacy Settings: Contacts may not appear if they have set strict privacy settings in WhatsApp. If a contact has restricted who can see their information, you may not be able to view their details unless they adjust their privacy settings.

Incomplete Numbers: If you save your phone numbers without a full format, WhatsApp might fail to read them.

Old WhatsApp Version: Using an outdated version of WhatsApp might lead to compatibility issues or bugs that could affect the display of contacts.

Network or Server Issues: Connectivity problems or issues with WhatsApp servers can impact the ability to sync contacts. If the app is unable to connect to the servers, it may not retrieve the latest contact information.

Blocked Contacts: If you've blocked a contact, they won't appear in your WhatsApp contact list. Check your blocked contacts list in WhatsApp settings to see if the missing contact is listed there.

WhatsApp Backend Issues: WhatsApp relies on a server-client architecture, where the app on your device communicates with WhatsApp servers to retrieve and synchronize data, including contact information. If there are problems with the servers, it can impact the synchronization process and cause issues such as missing contacts.

Learn more: To restore deleted Android contacts, this guide provides you with 4 effective methods.

Part 2: How to Fix WhatsApp Contacts Not Showing

Now that we've identified the potential culprits causing contacts to go missing on WhatsApp, let's explore practical steps to rectify the situation. We've compiled a comprehensive list of solutions to guide you through the troubleshooting process. Let's get started.

2.1 Reset Your WhatsApp Contacts

If your contacts are playing hide-and-seek on WhatsApp, a simple reset might do the trick. Resetting your WhatsApp contacts can help refresh the app and bring those elusive contacts back into view.

On Android:

  • Open WhatsApp on Android, and click the "Menu" icon.
  • Click "Refresh".

refresh whatsapp when the contacts doesn't show up

On iPhone:

  • Click Settings, and choose "Privacy & Security".
  • Click "Contacts", and turn on "WhatsApp".

turn on whatsapp option on contacts settings

2.2 Save Phone Number in Full Format

"Why are my contacts not displayed in WhatsApp?" In fact, WhatsApp relies on accurate phone number formats to identify and display contacts. Ensuring that phone numbers are saved in the correct format in your device's contacts can be a straightforward yet effective solution to the visibility issue.

Thus, please make sure your phone numbers are complete, including the country code, area or regional code (if applicable), and the local subscriber number. If not, please complete it on your Contacts app. Then refresh the contacts on WhatsApp.

edit and complete your phone number on your contacts app

Guess you need: Where are your WhatsApp local backups? And how can you restore the backup data? Fear not, this tutorial will tell you all you want.

2.3 Update WhatsApp

Keeping your WhatsApp application updated is essential to benefit from the latest bug fixes and improvements. An outdated version of the app might be the reason behind the contact display problem, so be sure to check for and install any available updates.

  • Go to App Store, and find "WhatsApp".
  • Then click "Update" to update it to the latest.
  • Then relaunch the app, and check your contacts.

update whatsapp to fix the whatsapp contacts not showing issue

2.4 Check WhatsApp's Backend Issue with Downdetector

At times, the issue may not lie on your device but could be related to WhatsApp's servers, so all contacts are not showing in WhatsApp. Consulting platforms like Downdetector can help you determine if there are ongoing server issues affecting WhatsApp globally.

  • Go to https://downdetector.com/ on your device, and type "WhatsApp".
  • Choose "WhatsApp" or "WhatsApp Business".
  • Then it will show you whether WhatsApp is down or works normally.

check whatsapp server with downdetector

2.5 Update the Operating System of Your Phone

An old OS can cause quiete a few issues, such as performing slowly and app bugs. If your network is stable but your WhatsApp contacts doesn't show on your Android phone unexpectedly, you can check your OS first.

Update Android OS:

  • Go to Settings, and choose "General management".
  • Click "Software update" to check if there is a new version.
  • If yes, click "Download and install" to update your OS.

install new os on android to fix whatsapp issue

Update iOS:

  • Tap the Settings app on iPhone, and choose "General".
  • Click "Software Update" > "Download and Install".
  • You can also turn on "Automatic Updates". Then it will update itself.

update ios if whatsapp contacts is not showing on your iphone

Once updated, please run your WhatsApp app again, and check your refresh your WhatsApp contacts.

Check it out: Switch from Samsung to OPPO and plan to bring your contacts to the new phone? Then you can utilize these practical ways.

2.6 Check WhatsApp Permissions

WhatsApp relies on various permissions to function properly. Ensure that the app has the necessary permissions to access your contacts, as a lack of permissions can lead to contacts not being displayed.

Give Permissions WhatsApp on Android:

  • Go to Settings and choose "Apps".
  • Locate "WhatsApp" and choose "Permissions".
  • Then enable the "Contacts" option. After that, the app can access your contacts on your Android phone.

allow whatsapp to access contacts on android

Give Permissions WhatsApp on iPhone:

  • Open Settings and choose "WhatsApp".
  • Then make sure the switch of "Contacts" is on.

turn on contacts permission on iphone for whatsapp if the contacts don't show

Further reading: If your Samsung contacts disappear from your Galaxy phone, you can follow this guide to fix it.

2.7 Log In Again on WhatsApp

Logging out and then logging back into your WhatsApp account can sometimes resolve underlying glitches or sync issues. This simple step might be the key to restoring visibility to your contact list.

On Android:

  • Go to Settings, and choose "Apps".
  • Choose "WhatsApp" and click "Storage".
  • Then click "Clear cache" and "Clear data". Once done, you will log out of your WhatsApp account.
  • Then open WhatsApp to sign in with your phone number and account.

On iPhone:

  • You cannot log out of WhatsApp on iOS devices directly.
  • Please delete the WhatsApp app from your iPhone, and then reinstall it.
  • Now, you can log in to your WhatsApp account again.

2.8 Enable WhatsApp Sync

Enabling sync options within WhatsApp ensures that your contacts stay updated across devices. Please explore the settings menu to verify that sync options are enabled and functioning correctly.

  • Launch the Settings app on your Android phone, and click "Users & accounts".
  • Choose "WhatsApp" and check "Contacts".
  • Then click the "More" icon and tap "Sync now".

enable whatsapp sync

2.9 Unblock Your Contacts

If your contacts are blocked on your phone, it cannot be shown on the WhatsApp app. Thus, please release the contacts on your mobile phone.

Unblock contacts on Android:

  • Click the Phone app on Android, and choose the "Menu" icon.
  • Tap the "Settings" option and the "Block numbers" feature.
  • Then you can select the phone number and remove it from the blocked list.

unblock contacts on android

Unblock contacts on iPhone:

  • Navigate and launch the Settings app on your iPhone, and choose the "Phone" option.
  • Select "Blocked Contacts".
  • Unblock the contacts that you want.
  • Once done, check your WhatsApp contacts again.

unblock the contacts when they don't show on whatsapp

Tips: Effectively Recover Deleted WhatsApp Contacts on Android Devices

Bonus: Back Up WhatsApp Data Without Data Loss

Ensuring the safety of your WhatsApp data is crucial to preserving your cherished WhatsApp contacts, conversations, media, and other important information. Regularly creating backups with Coolmuster WhatsApp Recovery not only secures your data against unforeseen circumstances but also facilitates a seamless transition when switching devices or recovering from a potential data loss event.

Furthermore, you can view your backup WhatsApp data on your computer anytime, and extract your WhatsApp attachments from the chats with ease. Plus, ranging from Android 4.0 to the latest, the software is compatible well with them.

Guide on backing up WhatsApp data with WhatsApp Recovery:

01Step 1: Download and install Coolmuster WhatsApp Recovery on your PC. Then choose "WhatsApp Recovery".

02Connect an Android phone to the PC with a USB cord, and enable USB debugging on the phone. Then select the mobile device and click "Next" on the interface.

use whatsapp recovery to back up whatsapp data

03It will guide you to turn on end-to-end encryption on WhatsApp. When getting a 64-digit key, it will input the key to the box automatically. Please click "Confirm" > "View It" to check your WhatsApp conversations.

view whatsapp contacts and data on pc

04Select the WhatsApp chats and files that you want to back up, and click "Recover to Computer" to save the WhatsApp chat history to your PC.

back up whatsapp contacts and chats to a computer


The enigma of WhatsApp contacts not showing up can be disconcerting, but armed with the right knowledge, it becomes a challenge easily overcome. By following the troubleshooting steps outlined in this guide, you can navigate through the maze of potential issues and ensure that your WhatsApp contact list is once again complete. Whether it's a simple reset, adjusting phone number formats, or exploring advanced sync options, these solutions cater to a spectrum of user needs.

After getting your WhatsApp contacts back, you can back up your WhatsApp data completely to your PC with Coolmuster WhatsApp Recovery. Then all your info will not be lost anymore.

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