Here’s what it means when you call someone on WhatsApp, your phone rings and then says unavailable:
This message happens when one or both of you cannot establish a stable connection. That means the problem can be with your connectivity, their connectivity, or WhatsApp servers.
It’s also possible that the connections are fine, and you have been blocked by the other person.
So if you want to learn all about why you get an unavailable on WhatsApp when you call someone, then you’re in the right place.
Let’s jump right in!
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Is the Problem on Your End When WhatsApp Says Unavailable? (3 Causes)
WhatsApp communication involves three parties. There is you, the person you are trying to reach, and the WhatsApp infrastructure between the two of you.
If the problem is with the other person or WhatsApp, it’s hard for you to directly resolve it. But, if the issue stems from your device, then there is troubleshooting that can help.
This is all coming from the assumption that you are using a phone, but any device with WhatsApp will troubleshoot the same way.
#1 You Are Not Connected to the Internet
It’s pretty simple. WhatsApp uses your internet connection in order to communicate. If you use WhatsApp on a phone, it means that you have two sources of internet.
Your phone can connect to a local Wi-Fi network, or you can use the internet via your carrier service.
If WhatsApp gives you the unavailable message, check your internet connection. If you can’t load other apps or websites, you know this is the problem.
Try turning off Wi-Fi and going again (or turning Wi-Fi on if your carrier internet isn’t working). This will usually resolve the problem.
Additionally, if you do not have unlimited mobile data, check how much is left. If your data plan is exhausted and your connection has slowed to near zero, then this might be the cause. By the way, learn all about how much data WhatsApp uses here.
#2 A Firewall Is in Your Way
Sometimes, your internet connection is fine, but you still can’t connect to WhatsApp. There’s a chance that this is due to a firewall.
Firewalls can restrict certain types of connections, and your firewall might stand between you and WhatsApp servers.
The easiest way to check this is to switch your internet. Turn off your Wi-Fi and see if it resolves the problem. If your carrier network works fine, that tells you something.
If you can complete calls on the carrier network and not Wi-Fi, and your regular internet functions are fine on Wi-Fi, then you probably have a firewall issue.
You can go into your firewall settings and try to whitelist WhatsApp. In other words, you’re going to give WhatsApp specific permission to get past the firewall.
#3 Battery Savers or Other Apps Are Interfering
WhatsApp is a communication app. As such, it tries to make and sustain demanding internet connections. This makes it more battery-hungry than the average app (although nowhere near the hungriest).
If you use any apps or features to save battery life, they might switch WhatsApp off, especially if your battery is a little low.
Other apps can also interfere with WhatsApp. Security software on the phone and data management apps have both been known to cause errors with WhatsApp. If you can trace the problem to any of them, you might have to turn off or remove the app in order to complete your call.
Is the Problem on Their End When WhatsApp Says Unavailable? (5 Causes)
Now that you have gone through essential troubleshooting for why you can’t connect from your phone, we can consider the other half of the equation. It might be the other phone that can’t connect.
It might be that WhatsApp itself is the problem. These common sources of an unavailable message are all out of your control, but knowing about them can help you determine how to work around the problem.
#1 They Are Not Connected to WhatsApp
If your internet connection can be a problem, so can the connection of the person you are calling. Assuming you are calling out of the blue, there are countless reasons why they wouldn’t be connected.
The phone could be off. They could be out of service. They could have WhatsApp turned off. They could be without internet access.
Any of those things could be the case, and all of them will tell you that they are unavailable when you call. WhatsApp is similar to traditional calling in this respect.
You have no idea if the person on the other end is actually available or not when you call them. Even if the app says they are online, they could still be physically unavailable, and the connection might be impossible.
#2 The App Is Out of Date
This can actually apply to both people. If the app is out of date, depending on what is included in the missing update, it could prevent communication. Some updates carry core changes to how WhatsApp functions. These changes can prevent apps on different versions from being able to connect.
Plenty of other updates won’t create this issue, but it always helps to remember updates and give them a try. At the very least, your app will be current and secure.
#3 There Are Regional Restrictions
Some countries do not allow calling through WhatsApp. The list changes as countries update their own rules, but the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is a great example right now. If either of you is in the UAE, you will not be able to complete WhatsApp calls.
Naturally, that extends to any country that prohibits calling through this app. WhatsApp strives to comply with international regulations, and while you are in a prohibited region, you will not be able to connect to WhatsApp servers. Likewise, you cannot call someone in a restricted region.
#4 WhatsApp Server Downtime
Sometimes, WhatsApp has to take a server offline in order to do work on it. This is avoided as much as possible, but server downtime can never be completely dodged.
If your nearest server is down, you won’t be able to place any calls. If you try to contact someone whose nearest server is down, you’ll get the unavailable message.
You can always check with WhatsApp to see if server downtime is a current issue. It’s not a common occurrence, but when other fixes aren’t working, it can help to remember this one.
#5 You Have Been Blocked
You have the freedom to block contacts on WhatsApp. Most communication apps offer a similar feature.
When you are the one who is blocked, it doesn’t delete contacts from your app. Instead, every time you call, you will get the unavailable message.
WhatsApp does not explain why this is the standard outcome for a blocked contact. But, since you know, you can keep it in mind. Sometimes, people block people. It’s part of modern communication.