WhatsApp Contacts Not Showing? Fix It to Find the Desired Friends

Nola Jones Nola Jones
Nov 10, 2023 (Updated: Nov 10, 2023)Filed to: Knowledge

WhatsApp is a great messaging app with features like sending messages in groups, receiving calls, and more. But, you can encounter some bugs like WhatsApp contacts not showing; only numbers are showing up! Having no contacts appearing has been reported by many, and it gets frustrating to find the desired friends. Thus, this entire content explores several ways to get you out of WhatsApp not showing contacts problem. Without any delay, keep reading now!

8 Solutions to Solve WhatsApp Contacts Not Showing Issues

Several things could cause the WhatsApp contacts not showing on your screen. It can occur because of a bug preventing the WhatsApp sync of contacts stored on your device, an outdated app version, or your device no longer reads your SIM card, etc. But, whatever the reason is, it is easy to fix this WhatsApp not showing contacts according to the causes. Listed below are the 8 easy solutions to the problem.

Solution 1. Check Contacts Permissions

All messaging platforms require permission to access your mobile device's data, including your contacts. So, here’s how to verify if you allow the app to access data:

For iPhones:

Head to "Settings," then scroll down to locate "WhatsApp" among other installed applications. Next, on the "WhatsApp" section, make sure to enable the switch button of "Contacts"; it will turn "green" if activated.

iPhone Contacts Permission

For Android:

Go to the "Apps" or "App Management" on the "Settings" app. Find "WhatsApp" and tap the "Permissions" and then the "Contacts" buttons; ensure you’ve chosen "Allow" to grant permission access.

Android Contacts Permission

Solution 2. Refresh the Contacts List

After allowing the the app to access your contacts, it may not refresh automaticlaly. Moreover, the contacts may stuck with old phones. Thus, refreshing the contact list is also a simple way to fix WhatsApp contacts not showing.

On "WhatsApp", tap the "Chat bubble" at the lower right corner of your screen to go to the contacts list. Tap the "More" button with three-dot icon right after and tap the "Refresh" button.

Refresh Contacts List

Solution 3. Enable the Background App Refresh

This method ensures that WhatsApp works appropriately in the background and syncs all your contacts stored on your iPhone; follow the given steps:

Open "Settings" and find the "WhatsApp" application. Navigate to the lower part, where you will see the "Background App Refresh" switch button. Tap on it to make it color "green", implying it has been enabled.

Background App Refresh

Solution 4. Get the Latest Update on the Application

If the WhatsApp contacts not showing is still there, try updating the app to fix some bugs and improve the performance. And luckily, WhatsApp always gives fixes to such bugs. See below the steps for updating on iPhone and Android devices.

For iPhones:

Go to the "App Store" and enter your "Profile" or "Account". Scroll down to see all the listed apps that are up for an update. If you see "WhatsApp" there, tap the "Update" button beside it.

iPhone Update WhatsApp

For Android:

Go to the "Google Play Store", then the "More" button at the upper left of your screen. Tap the My "Apps & games" and scroll down to locate "WhatsApp" if there’s an available update.

Android Update WhatsApp

Solution 5. Use the Standard International Formats in Saving Contacts

It’s possible that the no-showing of contacts on WhatsApp happened due to missing essential details like the country codes. So, save all contacts with their proper codes for them to appear. Remember that adding the number begins with a "Add" button followed by the country and then the contact phone number.

Solution 6. Reset the WhatsApp Sync Settings

There might be an issue regarding the synchronization of your contacts, which is why you’re encountering the WhatsApp contacts not showing up problem. Reset it by following the steps:

Step 1.Head to your device's "Settings" app and tap the "Passwords & accounts" button. Choose "WhatsApp" from the listed apps.

Step 2.Tap the "Account sync" and enable the switch button of "Contacts." Navigate to the "More" button at the top right corner and select "Sync Now". Then, you can restart your WhatsApp call to check the issue. You can also save your precious moments with WhatsApp call recorder.

Reset Sync Settings

Solution 7. Reset Your Device’s Network Settings

Problems with the network settings can sometimes cause the contacts on WhatsApp not to show up since it controls how your device links to the Internet. To do so, follow the steps:

For iPhones:

On the "Settings" app, head to "General," scroll down, and tap the "Transfer or Reset iPhone" button. After that, tap "Reset" and select the "Reset Network Settings" button from the pop-up menu options.

iPhone Reset Settings

For Android:

Open the "Settings" app, scroll down, and tap "System" or "General Management" to choose the "Reset" option. And there, tap "Reset Network Settings" or "Reset Wi-Fi, mobile & Bluetooth." Lastly, tap "Reset Settings" for confirmation.

iPhone Reset Settings

Solution 8. Uninstall, then Reinstall WhatsApp

If all the methods don't fix the WhatsApp contacts not showing the issue, the last option is reinstalling the application. Ensure to have installed the newest version.

For iPhones:

Uninstall the app by long tapping on it on your screen and selecting the "Remove App" button. Afterward, go to the "App Store", find your way to "WhatsApp", and tap the "Download" button with the cloud-like icon to reinstall.

iPhone Install WhatsApp

For Android:

Long tap the "WhatsApp" and tap the "Uninstall" button. Now, open the "Google PlayStore", search for "WhatsApp", and tap the "Install" button.

Android Install WhatsApp

Bonus Tips on How to Backup WhatsApp Contacts to Avoid Data Losing

It is worth noting that before doing the last method in solving the WhatsApp contacts not showing, which is to uninstall the WhatsApp application. You need to make sure to back up the data first and avoid the possible loss of data. Backing up with AnyRec PhoneMover now. The program supports transferring your files between iPhones, Android devices, and computers. This way, you can hand over your WhatsApp data, like the messages and contacts, to another device or back them up to a PC with great ease. Besides the messages and contacts, the program safely protects other WhatsApp data, like photos, music, videos, and more.

AnyRec PhoneMover

Transfer all or selected WhatsApp contacts to iPhone and Android.

Back up the categorized contact to PC or other devices.

Preview, organize, and edit phone data before transfering.

Get the built-in search engine to quickly find any WhatsApp message.

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FAQs about WhatsApp Contacts Not Showing


Indeed, experiencing WhatsApp not showing contacts is a trouble. But you don’t have to worry about this problem with 8 fixed above. You can now enjoy contacting anyone with their name on your WhatsApp contacts list. Additionally, before trying anything, of course, you don’t want to lose any of your important WhatsApp data, so use the AnyRec PhoneMover to back up before fixing WhatsApp contacts not showing up problem. All files, including contacts, messages, photos, videos, and more, are protected by the program. Don’t forget to check it out!

Free Download

100% Secure

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