With more than one billion users, WhatsApp Messenger is the most popular messaging application in the world.

WhatsApp allows you to send messages to contacts over an internet connection, rather than using your text allowance.

The free app is available for Android devices, iPhones and iPads, BlackBerry handsets, Windows Phone devices or Nokia phones, as well as compatible Macs and Windows PCs. Find out how to download it.

If you’ve been using WhatsApp, you may get to a stage when you want or need to block someone so that they can no longer contact you – and you them – on WhatsApp. If that is the case, here’s what you need to do.  

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To block a contact

Perhaps the person you want to block is one of your contacts – but you no longer want to communicate with them via the app.

Here’s how to block a contact, depending on your operating system.

Android:

  1. Open the WhatsApp app on your phone 
  2. Tap your phone’s menu button (or the menu icon if your phone doesn’t have a menu button)
  3. Go to Settings, then Account, then Privacy, then select Blocked Contacts
  4. Tap the add contact icon – a small icon the shape of a person with a plus sign on the left
  5. A list will appear. Choose the contact you wish to block

Apple:

  1. Open the WhatsApp app on your phone
  2. If you have a chat open, navigate back to the main Chats screen
  3. Select the Settings icon at the bottom right of the screen, then Account, then Privacy, then Blocked
  4. Tap Add New and choose the contact you wish to block

Windows Phone:

  1. Open the WhatsApp app on your phone 
  2. Select More (the three dot icon), then Settings, then Contacts, then Blocked contacts
  3. Select the plus icon at the bottom of the screen
  4. Select the contact you wish to block

[Read more: WhatsApp: What do the ticks mean? Message delivery problems and read receipts explained]

To block an unknown number

If someone’s contacting you via WhatsApp using a number you don’t recognise, then you may feel that you need to block them.

Here’s how to block an unknown number, depending on your operating system.

Android:

  1. Open the message from the unknown contact
  2. Select Block

If the message is spam, you can report it. When you receive the first message from a number not in your phone, choose Report Spam.

Apple:

  1. Open the message from the unknown contact
  2. Select Block

If the message is spam, you can tap Report Spam and then Report and Block.

Windows Phone:

  1. Open the messaget from the unknown contact 
  2. Select More (the three dot icon), then block and block again to confirm

If the message is spam, you can report it. When you receive the first message you can select Block and Report Spam. Select Block and then Block again to confirm.  

To unblock a number

We all change our minds or make mistakes – so if you’ve blocked someone on WhatsApp and then have a change of heart, luckily, you can unblock them and start chatting again.

Here’s how to unblock a contact, depending on your operating system.

Android:

  1. Open the WhatsApp app 
  2. Tap your phone’s menu button (or the menu icon if your phone doesn’t have a menu button)
  3. Go to Settings, then Account, then Privacy, then select Blocked Contacts
  4. Select and hold the name of the contact you want to unblock
  5. A menu will pop up. Select Unblock

Apple:

  1. Open the WhatsApp app 
  2. If you have a chat open, navigate back to the main Chats screen
  3. Select the Settings icon at the bottom right of the screen, then Account, then Privacy, then Blocked
  4. Swipe left on the name of the contact you want to unblock
  5. Select Unblock     

Windows Phone:

  1. Open the WhatsApp app 
  2. Select More (the three dot icon), then Settings, then Contacts, then Blocked contacts
  3. Press and hold on the contact you wish to unblock until some options appear
  4. Select Unblock