WhatsApp now doesn't work on some older operating systems

Josh Peachey's picture
by Josh Peachey

Facebook-owned messaging service WhatsApp is no longer supported on millions of older operating systems (OS) around the world.

According to an online FAQ on the WhatsApp website, the service now only supports iPhones running iOS 9 or later, Android smartphones running version 4.0.3 or later, and certain phones powered by KaiOS 2.5.1 or later, including JioPhone and JioPhone 2. 

The company said that owners of smartphones on Android version 2.3.7 or earlier and iOS 8 or earlier will only be able to continue using the service until February 1.

The announcement that this would happen was made in 2017, giving users adequate time to either install a more current OS or purchase a more modern smartphone.

For those still on outdated operating systems on their smartphones, the move forces them to install a more recent OS. WhatsApp says that this means they will be more secure online because they will have the latest security updates from Google and Apple. 

For some, the very old iPhones and Android devices won't be able to update to a newer OS, meaning that they will have no choice but to buy a more modern smartphone in order to keep using WhatsApp.

CCS Insight analyst Ben Wood told BBC: “WhatsApp clearly had no option but to ensure its service remains secure, however, it faces the difficult side-effect that the app is no longer compatible with older smartphones.”  

According to Sensor Tower’s Store Intelligence Data Digest, WhatsApp was the most downloaded app in 2019 with more than 850 million downloads.