I have a phone that has had WhatsApp installed on for over 2 years now, and the phone number registered for the account is now history (it's been long gone and there is no chance I will get that SIM back because it is from another country).

I got a new phone today with a new SIM, when I start WhatsApp, I put in my old number but it needs to send a message to the number and that is not possible.

Is there any workaround for this, I don't want to lose all my WhatsApp contact.

  • There is a chance if you have friend or family who could reach to your old phone. Migrating whole app could be hard as it needs root on both phone and you would need TitaniumBackup to backup and restore. That would be more easy to backup contacts only and restore it on your new phone. There is app(s) on Google Play which can backup your whatsapp contacts like https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.sacconsultancy.waex Commented May 26, 2014 at 3:02
  • I don't care much about the contacts really as much as i care not to change my number, i have the sim card but it's not working because it's been over a year and i haven't used it or charged it at all and even when i tried it, it seems that it have been cancelled completely and since it's from another country now, it useless. No solution other than rooting.
    – ykh
    Commented May 26, 2014 at 5:32

3 Answers 3


If you are concerned about the contacts and not the chat history, then back up the contacts in your old phone and import them into your new phone. Sign in to WhatsApp with your new number and it will read all the contacts in your new phone and your contact will be updated.

The only downside is you need to send a WhatsApp message to all the contacts saying that you changed your number.

  • Exactly that is the problem that i want to avoid, so is there no solution to this problem at all ?
    – ykh
    Commented May 26, 2014 at 5:30
  • Anyway you need to tell the people that you changed your number rite??. I dont understand.
    – samnaction
    Commented May 26, 2014 at 7:01
  • There is a provision in Whatsapp to change numbers. In the app goto Settings > Account > Change number and enter both the numbers (old and new). It should be able to migrate the numbers. Disclaimer: I have not tried it, only from one of my friend's experience. This method might require you to be register the first number so you might be out of luck.
    – k1chy
    Commented May 26, 2014 at 9:20
  • 1
    @k1chy even that step need the user to tell his contact that he changed his number
    – samnaction
    Commented May 26, 2014 at 9:32
  • 1
    The point is to not change the number. You can keep using an old number for as long as you like, even after you no longer have the SIM, as long as you don't switch phones. But the moment you load the app on a new phone, you have to verify again, which seems to be impossible if you don't have current access to the SIM or service. For instance, I just bought a new phone in a different country than the one where I normally use cell service, and I can't add my account to this new phone until I get back to where I can receive calls and texts on my number. Seems like an oversight to me.
    – jdmcnair
    Commented Jul 25, 2017 at 20:26

Try this:

  1. Backup your WhatsApp from old phone using Helium Backup. Follow the instructions for backing up WhatsApp (or any other application for that matter).
  2. Once the backup is complete, you'll find a folder named "Carbon" on your phone storage.
  3. Install Helium on the new phone and get this backed up folder on your new phone and place on the same location on the storage.
  4. Start Helium and backup WhatsApp using the "Restore and Sync" tab available in the app.

Note that, unless rooted, you need to connect your phone to PC using USB cable to start the backup. Follow the instructions given on Play Store page.

  • 1
    Helium (the latest version of Nov 8, 2018) said that for WhatsApp, "Backup Disallowed" so this method does not seem to work.
    – leeyuiwah
    Commented Nov 8, 2018 at 14:43

There is a provision in WhatsApp to change numbers. In the old phone (assuming you still have it with functional WhatsApp) in the Whatsapp app, go to Settings > Account > Change number and enter both the numbers (old and new) and confirm.

It should be able to migrate the numbers. Then you can register WhatsApp with the new number on the new device.

Disclaimer: I have not tried it, I am providing a solution only from one of my friend's experience.

  • I think this only works if you former phone number is still active
    – Adriano
    Commented Mar 1, 2015 at 22:19

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