WhatsApp Says Call Declined: Meaning?

Here’s what it means when WhatsApps says “call declined”:

If you get a message from WhatsApp that your call was declined, it means that the person you called hit the “decline” button rather than answering the call. 

As for blocking, WhatsApp does not provide a message telling you that you have been blocked. 

Instead, you have to infer that when certain calls are never answered.

So if you want to know all about the meaning of WhatsApp’s “call declined,” then you’re in the right place.

Keep reading!

WhatsApp Says Call Declined: Meaning? (Are You Blocked?)

How Is a Call Declined in WhatsApp? (2 Systems)

Handsome bearded man uses smartphone while having coffee.

Blocking and declining calls are very different actions within WhatsApp.

We’ll go over all of it together, but it’s easiest to separate these concepts.

So, let’s start with declining calls.

If you’ve ever received a call on WhatsApp, you had an option to answer or decline the call.

This isn’t unique to WhatsApp.

Networking calling and other apps often look similar, if not identical, to the WhatsApp experience.

Before we get into how to decline a call, let’s talk about what this means.

Declining a call is not the same as ignoring the call or blocking it.

You have to hit a button in order to decline a call, and when you do, the person on the other end will receive a message saying as much (more on that in a minute).

It’s an active choice, and that’s worth noting.

With that covered, let’s look at how to decline a call on WhatsApp.

#1 On Android

Woman lying on the sofa and using smartphone at home

Let’s start with Android.

If you are going to decline a call, the interactions are a little different, depending on whether or not the phone is locked. 

If the phone is unlocked (you’re likely in the middle of using it), then you will be notified about the call with a drop-down screen from WhatsApp.

There is a red decline button and a green answer button.

Tap the answer button to connect the call or the red button to decline it.

If the phone is locked, the app can still notify you about an incoming call.

In this case, there is still a green button for answering and a red button for declining. 

Instead of tapping the button you want, you have to swipe it up.

That’s the primary difference between the interactions for a locked or unlocked screen when using an Android device.

#2 On iPhone

woman using phone laying in bed at night

The iPhone experience is quite similar to the Android experience, but there are some visual and input differences that are worth noting.

Starting with an unlocked phone, things look familiar.

There is a button for accepting or declining a WhatsApp call, but the colors are different.

Declining is still red, but accepting is blue on iOS.

If you tap the red button, it will decline the call.

When the phone is locked, you once again have a different set of inputs.

In this case, there is a slider that allows you to answer the call.

Swipe it to the right, and the call will connect. 

If you don’t want to answer the call, you can ignore it.

Otherwise, you can decline the call by pressing the power button twice.

This won’t turn off the phone, but it will formally decline the call via WhatsApp.

How Does a Declined Call Appear on the Caller End?

Young afro american woman looking worried talking on mobile phone

So, what happens when you’re the one placing the call?

How do you know that the call is declined?

In the case of WhatsApp, things are pretty easy.

If you call someone and they choose the “decline” option, WhatsApp will give you a message saying that the call was declined.

This provides you with important knowledge. 

The person you are calling chose not to enter into the conversation.

It’s not a simple matter of being away from the phone or otherwise unavailable.

WhatsApp thinks that such information is important for callers in order to decide how to go from there.

There’s one thing we should stop and note at this point.

If you get a message that your call was declined, it specifically means that you have not been blocked by the other user.

That will make more sense in a bit.

Reasons Calls Are Rejected

young man holds a smartphone in one hand and a blue beverage cup in another.

What’s a little more difficult is discerning why a call might have been declined.

The truth is that you can’t really know unless you communicate with the person after the fact and they tell you.

Shy of that, it’s guesswork, but there are a few common reasons for people to decline a call.

The most likely is that they are otherwise engaged.

They might be on a call with someone else, or they might be using the phone for something at the moment and don’t want to answer the call right away.

It’s also possible that they hit the wrong button.

It’s especially easy to do when the phone is actively in use during the call.

There are countless other possibilities, but when a call is declined, you get one important piece of information.

They were near the phone and interacted with it during the call. 

You will not get a “call declined” message unless the person on the other end chooses to decline the call.

If they ignore it, then you just get a ringing and no special message.

How Are Numbers or People Blocked on WhatsApp?

Woman taps cellphone

Now that we’ve covered declining calls let’s look into blocking people.

If you want to block a specific entity on WhatsApp, open a chat with that person (or account). 

In the chat window, you can select More Options > More > Block > Block.

For the last step, you can also choose Block and Report if you think the person’s behavior violates the WhatsApp terms and conditions.

When you do this, you will not be notified when the blocked person calls or sends a message.

You won’t see new messages from them at all.

You also won’t be able to contact them. 

If you try, you will be notified that they are blocked.

You can unblock them to send a message or call.

When you do, messages they sent while they were blocked will be delivered to you.

What Does It Look Like When You Are Blocked By Someone?

Sad woman checking smart phone at home.

Earlier, you read that a declined call message is letting you know that you haven’t been blocked.

That’s a deductive result, but it is correct. 

Someone who blocks your number will not be notified when you try to call them, so WhatsApp will never provide them with a “decline” option.

Your call functionally cannot be declined by someone who has blocked you.

Instead, when you are blocked, the number will just ring.

It will ring endlessly, and you will never connect to that person. Likewise, your messages will not be delivered. 

Potentially, the messages could be delivered if you are ever unblocked, but WhatsApp tries to make it unclear from this end that you have been formally blocked.

This is considered protection of privacy.

What Does It Mean When WhatsApp Says Call Not Answered?

woman with laptop calling on phone in bed at night

Now you know the meaning of WhatsApp’s “call declined.”

However, do you know what it means when WhatsApp says “call not answered”? Is it a sign of being blocked?

“Call not answered” specifically means that the recipient of the call didn’t answer the call or decline it. 

You were not given a response at all, so either you quit trying to call, or the operation timed out.

There are many reasons why this can happen.

Learn all about WhatsApp’s “call not answered” here.

In addition, here’s the difference between the messages “call declined” and “call not answered” on WhatsApp.


  • Theresa McDonough

    Tech entrepreneur and founder of Tech Medic, who has become a prominent advocate for the Right to Repair movement. She has testified before the US Federal Trade Commission and been featured on CBS Sunday Morning, helping influence change within the tech industry.

    View all posts