People fall out. It happens. And in this digital world we live in, often the first sign that you've upset someone is they block you from communicating with them on various social platforms.

Privacy concerns mean it is unlikely any messaging platform will ever tell you, beyond any reasonable doubt, whether or not someone has blocked you. But you still want to know, right? Are you being ignored or are your messages not getting through at all?

WhatsApp is one of the biggest such messaging platforms, for Android and iPhone users alike. It's so easy to block and unblock someone on WhatsApp (simply by viewing the contact, scrolling to the bottom of the page and choosing Block or Unblock), that some people tend to do so more than they change their underwear. It is the digital version of 'Talk to the hand'.

When you are blocked on WhatsApp, any previous conversations you've had with that person will still appear in the Chats tab, and provided their number is still in your phone contacts they will still appear in the list when you go to start a new chat.

We've often heard that the quickest way to tell whether you've been blocked on WhatsApp is to attempt to call that contact. If you've been blocked the phone won't ring - but this is patently untrue. At your end of the call the phone will still ring, but the person who has blocked you will not receive any notification about the fact you have tried to call them. You have no way of knowing that they didn't have their phone to hand to answer the call, or that they weren't simply ignoring you, so you're left none the wiser.

Also untrue is the idea that you won't see any future changes to their profile picture; in fact, you won't see their profile picture at all.

There are a few things you can look out for that suggest you have been blocked. If you can tick all these things off the list then the chances are you have been blocked on WhatsApp.

Sure signs that you have been blocked on WhatsApp

  1. A contact is ignoring all your messages and has by all accounts stopped talking to you
  2. Sent messages to a contact only ever display one tick - they have been sent, but neither delivered nor read
  3. That contact no longer has a profile picture, and you're certain they did so previously

    Missing WhatsApp picture
  4. When you view a contact, either by tapping on the new chat button and finding them in the list, or by tapping on their name at the top of the conversation, their WhatsApp status will be blank. If someone has never updated their WhatsApp status, it will most likely show 'Hey there! I am using WhatsApp.'

    WhatsApp status
  5. You are no longer able to see 'Last seen' or 'Online' information at the top of a WhatsApp conversation
  6. When you attempt to ring them via WhatsApp they fail to answer the call

How to contact someone who has blocked you on WhatsApp

If someone has blocked you on WhatsApp that is their prerogative, They do not have to talk to you, and they almost certainly feel they have a valid reason for doing so. If they don't want to talk to you, leave them alone.

Supposing it is life or death and it's absolutely vital that you contact that person, know that there is no way to get around the WhatsApp block: you cannot contact them via the platform until they decide to unblock you.

You do, however, still have their phone number, possibly their email address and home address, potentially some mutual friends, or maybe you're still friends on a social network. Them blocking you on WhatsApp does not mean they will also have thought to block you through other channels - but please, please remember that their failings here do not equal an open invitation for you to stalk or harass them, which may ultimately become a legal issue.

Related: How to know if someone has blocked you on iPhone