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WhatsApp FAQ: What do I do if my phone is lost or stolen?

Athryn Mitchell

Mobile phone analyst, Editor-in-Chief of TransPhone. Find more on her Fackbook or Google+.

Losing your phone could be a serious problem, because all your personal information including contacts, messages and other important stuffs are in it. For people who are using WhatsApp, there is one more thing to worry about. We can hardly do anything about those contacts and messages unless a backup file is previously done. But, we can get the WhatsApp accounts back. Please note that this article does not show the way to get your phone back.

Can we deactivate the account from another device? The answer is No! To let you have a clue on this, I will start with how to deactivate WhatsApp.

Step 1. Lock Your SIM Card
Firstly, you should make a call to your mobile provider and offer them whatever information that is necessary. This would make it impossible to verify your account on that lost phone, because either the SIM card or a phone call is needed.

Step 2. Activate WhatsApp on a New Phone
Secondly, use a new SIM card with the same number that you have lost and activate the account. This is a rather tricky thing, in that an account can only be used on one phone only. Since you have made the way to verify the account on the old phone impossible, our goal to get it back is well achieved.
The details are as the following.
1) Open WhatsApp and click "Agree and continue".
Launch WhatsApp
2) Choose your location and enter your phone number.  Click "OK".
Verify Phone Number
3) Confirm your phone number. If you find something wrong with it, click "Edit". And if not, click "OK".
Confirm Phone Number
4) Wait for a seconds. When SMS verification failed, you can try hitting the button "CALL ME" to receive a vocal code.
SMS Verification
1. Even if your SIM card is locked in step 1, phone stealers can still use WhatsApp through Wi-Fi.
2. When the account is disabled, your contacts can send you messages, which will be kept for up to thirty days. And you will not be deleted from your contacts' Favorites/Select Contact lists unless they are willing to do so.
3. Any deactivated account that is not used in thirty days will be deleted by the system.
4. All the messages sent to you in the thirty days will be received when you activate the account again.
5. Chat history cannot be restored unless you have a backup.

If you have not yet decided to use it on a new phone, the account can be disabled as well. Just send an email with your phone number in international format to the WhatsApp team through the address: support@whatsapp.com

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