How to disable WhatsApp in case of cell phone theft?

WhatsApp seems like an essential tool in our life, but sometimes you have to turn it off. Whether it’s for a bad reason (eg, theft or loss of your cell phone) or a good reason (a task or fun that requires your focus, without interrupting your messages).

In the first situation, measures are urgent, to prevent other people from accessing your messages and contacts.

In the second, you can just unplug the application from the internet, while other apps remain connected. With a few simple commands, the offline mode is activated for a few hours or even days, preventing him from receiving messages. It works on both Android and iPhone versions.

1. How to disable WhatsApp in case of theft

  • Contact the operator and ask for the blocking of chip with your phone number. Then buy a new SIM and ask the operator to reactivate the original number.
  • Write an email to;
  • In the subject field, just write “Lost/Stolen: Please deactivate my account”. The message can be straight to the point: your phone number, including area code and country code (+55 in the case of Brazil);
  • O email confirming the deactivation of your account will arrive a few hours later. Be smart: the period of 30 days for the profile to be reactivated will start from the moment you receive this message;
  • If you do not activate the profile on another cell phone, it will be deleted;
  • When you’re back in possession of the cell phone line used to access WhatsApp, it’s time to reactivate your account in the app. just do the process of verifying your number.

When the temporary deactivation of the Whatsapp account occurs, it is as if it is suspended. Only messages that have not reached the device will be delivered. That is, the user’s profile will continue to exist, the name will appear visible to contacts and the messages they send you will be pending until you activate the account again.

2. How to temporarily take WhatsApp offline


  • Go in Settings, choose option “Applications” and find the WhatsApp icon;
  • In the app settings, select “Force Stop” and confirm with “OK”;
  • Still on the settings page, select “Data Usage” and turn off the “Background data” option. This will make the app offline for the operator’s mobile data (3G or 4G);
  • On the same page, uncheck the option “Wifi”, to also prevent WhatsApp from connecting to a network;
  • On newer Android models, Setup may only show the option “Turn off notifications”. In this case, you continue to receive the messages without being notified via pop-up and alarm.


For those who own an iPhone, the story is different. Apple’s operating system does not allow disconnecting a single application entirely – only access to mobile networks can be turned off individually.

Still, there is a trick for you not to be bothered by WhatsApp messages even if they keep coming to your device. See below:

  • Open the settings and scroll until you reach the icon of “Whatsapp”; click on it;
  • On the application page, uncheck the option “Cellular Data”. This will only disable WhatsApp’s connection to the operator’s mobile network, via 3G or 4G;
  • Since the iPhone doesn’t allow you to leave a single app offline for the Wi-Fi connection, it’s worth at least muting notifications. Still on the settings page, choose the “Notifications” icon and uncheck the option “Allow Notifications”.

*With text by Helton Simões Gomes

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