How to change your WhatsApp Phone Number

Martin Brinkmann
Mar 23, 2015
Updated • May 21, 2018
Mobile Computing

My mother made the decision recently to switch from a regular smartphone contract to a prepaid contract. It simply did not make sense for her to pay €30 per month for making a couple of calls, sending some SMS and using WhatsApp.

Along with the change came a new phone number. While it was easy enough to inform all her contacts about the new number, it took me a while before I discovered how to move all WhatsApp data to a new phone number.

There is one important reason why you need to inform WhatsApp about the move. If you don't, and someone else gets that number (as it gets back in the pool some time after the contract expires),  data Whatsapp collected becomes available if the software is installed on the other person's device.

Since you don't want that, as it is a privacy-issue and can lead to social engineering attacks, you'd better make sure that this does not happen. And that is done by notifying WhatsApp about the change.

Changing your WhatsApp phone number

whatsapp change number

It is relatively easy to change the phone number provided that you know that it is possible and where to find the setting.

  1. Open the WhatsApp application on the device using the old phone number.
  2. Tap on the three dots in the upper right corner (menu).
  3. Select Settings from the menu.
  4. When the settings menu opens, select Account from the items listed on the page.
  5. Select change number on the next page.
  6. WhatsApp displays information about the process on the next screen. Basically, changing the phone number migrates account information, groups and settings to the new number. It is important that you can receive SMS or calls (for verification) on the new number.
  7. Enter the old phone number in the first field on the next page and the new one on the second field. Select done afterwards.
  8. You need to verify the new number. How you do that depends on whether you have two phones or only one. If you have two phones, you should have received a verification SMS and use that to authorize the migration. If you have just one phone, you need to switch SIM cards during the process instead.

As soon as you verify the new number, the old gets deleted and is no longer usable. Someone else who registers it at a later point in time starts with a blank account.

All that is left to do now is to inform your contacts about the new number. This can be done directly in WhatsApp and should not be a big issue.

How to change your WhatsApp Phone Number
Article Name
How to change your WhatsApp Phone Number
Find out how and why you change your number in the popular messaging application WhatsApp.
Ghacks Technology News

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  1. Amanda Ashton said on February 26, 2020 at 3:30 am

    my Samsung galaxy note 10plus was stolen and I want to find it’s location by number or imie

  2. oscar said on August 27, 2016 at 5:59 pm

    I want to use old watsapp on window phone,i use nokiax2 nw i use lumia520.i like to used old number because many people know old number,i hv problm to download it.i like old watsapp.i have problm to dowload microsoft acc i forget password

  3. Dhananjay said on April 28, 2016 at 4:10 pm

    Here’s my Issue.

    1. My Indian number is +91 123456789
    2. I Changed my country to China (Indian Number is not with me)
    3. Acquired new China SIM card +86 987654321
    4. Installed Whatsapp with New Chinese number
    4. Now i want to change my Chinese Number with Indian Number, With all the older groups and contacts just like India.

    Please help me :( .

  4. whatsapp user said on June 19, 2015 at 4:01 pm

    Sir ,

    i switched my phone from nokia symbian to microsoft lumia

    but my number is the same ,

    how to get old whatsapp backup of symbian into lumia phone ?

    whatsapp on lumia cannot retrieve older message from the web

    Pls research and let me know if it is possible or not ?

    Regards ,

    1. tomas wilson said on April 18, 2021 at 7:04 pm


  5. JB said on March 23, 2015 at 10:31 pm

    Anyone know how to use WhatsApp without a mobile number? I have an iPhone with no SIM card (by design), but want to use WhatsApp via my wireless.

    1. Finnen said on March 24, 2015 at 1:38 pm

      Whatsapp is tied to your phone number – this is your identificator to send and recieve messages. You can use Whatsapp on a device without SIM (like your iPhone) BUT you need a second phone with a phone number just to register your account on iPhone. So you install Whatsapp on your iPhone and enter the phone number of your second device. Confirmation SMS with the code will arrive on that device and you have to enter that code on your iPhone. And that’s it – you will be registered and you can send and recieve messages from your iPhone by identifying as that number.

  6. Jimmy Gee said on March 23, 2015 at 4:35 pm

    That’s good to know. Thanks for that one, Martin!

  7. Armond said on March 23, 2015 at 12:40 pm

    Great article as always!:) So just wondering so it is not possible to keep the phone number when changing the device in Germany, even if you use the same carrier? Thanks.

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on March 23, 2015 at 1:26 pm

      It is possible under certain circumstances, but not in this case unfortunately.

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