Quite a few users reported that Whatsapp won’t sync their contacts. The app displays phone numbers instead of contact names. It can be frustrating when something like this happens as you won’t be able to identify and start communicating with a person. In this article, we’ll explain why this issue happens and how can you fix it.

Whatsapp has changed the communication game by merging your mobile phone contacts with the app data. Now you can send text messages, media files, and initiate voice and video calls over the internet. Therefore, you end up paying less in phone bills.

Moreover, you don’t need to make a separate contact list as Whatsapp contacts are updated when you save them on your mobile phone SIM card, phone memory, or email account. However, if you are seeing the phone numbers on Whatsapp, it can be difficult to communicate as you can not recall which person is using that particular phone number.

Why is my WhatsApp not syncing with contacts?

whatsapp won't sync contacts

If Whatsapp is not syncing your phonebook contacts, you need to rule out the following possibilities.

  • You have not refreshed your Whatsapp contacts
  • You are using an older version of Whatsapp on your phone
  • There is a temporary glitch in the app
  • You are blocking Whatsapp to access contacts on your mobile device
  • You have not assigned proper permissions to Whatsapp

How do I allow WhatsApp to sync my contacts?

How do I allow WhatsApp to sync my contacts?

To fix the Whatsapp contact syncing issue, the first thing you can do is to check if the app has the necessary permission to access your contacts. To do this on your Android phone:

  • Tap on Settings on your cell phone
  • Scroll and tap on App Management
  • Choose Whatsapp from the app list and then tap on Permissions
  • Make sure that the Contacts are not under the “Deny” option. If so, click on Contact and then tap on “Allow”
  • Assign all other necessary permissions to Whatsapp as well

You can allow Whatsapp to sync your contacts by another method.

  • Again, tap on Settings and locate Users & Accounts
  • If Whatsapp is already installed on your phone, you’ll see Whatsapp under user accounts
  • Tap on Whatsapp and verify that the box beside the Contacts option is checked
  • Next, tap on the two vertical dots on the top right side and select “Sync now”
  • Now relaunch Whatsapp and see if that fixes the issue

How to sync your contact with Whatsapp?

How to sync your contact with Whatsapp?

If allowing Whatsapp to access your contacts and syncing the app through user accounts did not solve your issue, you can try the following fixes to let the app show contact names instead of numbers.

Refresh Whatsapp contacts manually

A lot of times, the problem of Whatsapp not syncing contacts can be fixed by refreshing Whatsapp contacts on your phone. To do this, launch Whatsapp and tap on the New chat green box located at the bottom right side of the screen.

Afterwards, tap on the three-dotted menu in the upper right corner and select Refresh. Now go back to your chats. You should be able to see the contact names now on Whatsapp.

Force Stop Whatsapp

Sometimes, Whatsapp can malfunction due to temporary glitches. To fix this, you may need to force stop the app to reset its settings.

  • Tap on the Settings icon on your mobile phone and scroll to locate Apps Manager
  • Find Whatsapp and tap on it
  • Now select the Force Close option and launch Whatsapp again
  • Verify that you can see Contacts instead of phone numbers on Whatsapp

Update Whatsapp

If you are using an older version of Whatsapp, your phone is prone to numerous errors(Interlink here with Whatsapp won’t download photos article when published). Therefore, you need to check if your phone is running the latest version of the app. To check this:

  • Grab your phone and open Google Play Store/App Store
  • Tap on your profile and navigate to Manage apps
  • Next, tap on Updates Available and scroll to locate Whatsapp
  • Hit the update button next to Whatsapp
  • Launch the app to check if the issue is fixed

How can I update my WhatsApp without the play store?

How can I update my WhatsApp without the play store?

If you can not access Google Play Store or App Store due to an error, insufficient disk space, or an incompatible device, you can update Whatsapp through the following method.
  • Backup all your Whatsapp data
  • Open a browser on your mobile phone and go to a website that contains the APK for Whatsapp 
  • Select the latest version from the list and download the APK file on your mobile phone
  • Now run the downloaded APK file on your phone
  • Allow the permission on your mobile to install the APK file from unknown sources
  • Once the Whatsapp APK is installed, you’ll have the latest version of WhatsApp


Whatsapp is making life easier for people by letting them communicate and share media under one single platform. However, certain Whatsapp issue makes life harder for the average user, We hope that this guide helped you get your contacts back on Whatsapp.

You can also try uninstalling and reinstalling Whatsapp from your phone. If the issue persists, contact your phone manufacturer and ask them to provide you with more information about security permissions on your phone.