Has WhatsApp just stopped working on your phone? Here's why, and what to do

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If you own a phone running Windows 10 Mobile, there's bad news: WhatsApp has ended support for the operating system, and the app will no longer work on your device.

WhatsApp (which is owned by Facebook) had initially planned to drop Windows 10 Mobile on December 31, but pushed the cut-off date back to January 14 to give users a little more time to prepare. Now, though, the deadline has passed and users attempting to log in on their Windows phones will find themselves unable to do so.

One way around the problem is to upgrade to a new handset, but if you'd prefer to hang onto your old phone, you can still keep up with the group chats by downloading the WhatsApp desktop app for Mac or Windows.

You can also use WhatsApp Web in a desktop browser, but you'll need to borrow a friend's phone to scan the QR code generated on the website. WhatsApp Web won't work with mobile browsers.

We advise against trying to log into WhatsApp on your phone using any third-party apps, as these might not be secure.

The final countdown

Windows 10 Mobile users aren't the only ones losing WhatsApp support; old iOS and Android devices will soon be dropped as well. If your phone is running iOS 7 or older, or Android 2.3.7 and older, you'll find yourself unable to use the mobile app from February 1.

Any phones running these operating systems will be pretty old (they date from 2013 and 2010 respectively) but if you've managed to keep your handset running that long then you'll need to switch to the desktop version when the time comes.

Alternatively, you could try convincing your friends and family to switch to a different messaging app, such as Telegram, which will keep supporting the old operating systems for longer. Just make sure you suggest it before the deadline hits.

Cat Ellis

Cat is the editor of TechRadar's sister site Advnture. She’s a UK Athletics qualified run leader, and in her spare time enjoys nothing more than lacing up her shoes and hitting the roads and trails (the muddier, the better)