What reasons are there that WhatsApp shows me online, although I am neither using the application nor the phone as such. I don't know enough about WhatsApp to explain this to a friend who thinks I am lying. Could connection problems lead to a false status?

  • Whatsapp shows your device being connected to the Internet with your Whatsapp account signed in. If you left your device on the kitchen table while leaving for a tour, that does not matter to the app/service. Only when it runs out of power, and the device switches off – or it loses network connectivity, or you actively "go offline", it will change "your" status.
    – Izzy
    Commented Jul 1, 2014 at 16:11
  • @Izzy that's incorrect. Whatsapp shows you 'ONLINE' when you open the app or are actively using the app. If the app is closed - but the phone remains on - the app does not (should not) show you 'ONLINE'.
    – injector
    Commented Jul 7, 2014 at 14:07
  • 1
    @Dark_Cyber And if the app is not closed, but running in background, your status is still "online", as I described: "device being connected to the Internet with your Whatsapp account signed in." I didn't write it shows you online when you explicitly closed the app.
    – Izzy
    Commented Jul 7, 2014 at 14:42
  • I have a workaround for this. May not be ideal but it works 100% for me. Requirements: Root Xposed [Gravitybox] (repo.xposed.info/module/com.ceco.kitkat.gravitybox) ([JB] (repo.xposed.info/module/com.ceco.gm2.gravitybox)) Go to Gravitybox > Key Actions > back button and select the action "Kill running app" Now when you want to go out of WhatsApp and be sure that you won't be online without you knowing just doubble tap or long press the back button (depends on what you chosed). Now WhatsApp will be terminated. You still should get notifications about messages and WhatsApp calls.
    – user108993
    Commented Jun 12, 2015 at 20:55
  • Note: Names of menu entries may vary. My Gravitybox is German and I just translated it.
    – user108993
    Commented Jun 12, 2015 at 20:56

3 Answers 3


Whatsapp by default shows your status to your contact list - only. You have the option to show your status to contact list, everyone or nobody. This option can be reached by going to

Settings > Account > Privacy

Based on your question/scenario, it seems that your app is not working properly. Whatsapp only shows your 'ONLINE' when you access the app or are actively on it. If you close the app - but leave your phone on, the app should not show you 'ONLINE'. I would uninstall the app and reinstall it.

Of note, I would use an app like clean master to make sure that all files associated with the application are truly uninstalled to ensure that you have a clean re-install.

  • I think you are confusing the "status message" with the "online status". The status message is a short message like "in the gym" and you can indeed control who sees that. The online status is shown to everyone, including strangers that have your phone number
    – sports
    Commented Dec 9, 2015 at 19:10

I got two explanations:

Apparently after searching, WhatsApp shows you online if the application is open in the background, even if you're not using it.

If you think you closed the app, i can think of only another explanation, WhatsApp servers are loaded and can't possibly update your status real-time.

If you closed the app for some time, let's say 30min? And it still shows you online, then must be another problem, refer to this

  • The app would need to be frozen or disabled to check this, your first assumption is correct. You are online with a messaging app in the background, therefore you are 'Online'.
    – RossC
    Commented Jul 1, 2014 at 13:20
  • @RossC the app is malfunctioning. Whatsapp does not show you 'Online' unless you are actively on it, or leave the app open. If you open other apps, the whatsapp app remains open but it's now running in the background, at which point it would show a 'Last Seen' not an 'Online' status.
    – injector
    Commented Jul 7, 2014 at 14:17
  • 1
    @Dark_Cyber Hmmm, mine always has me online once I have an Internet connection. And with that, if I close it it tends to re-open anyway. I've since unistalled it, thanks for the heads up!
    – RossC
    Commented Jul 7, 2014 at 14:29
  • @RossC No worries, glad to help. Let me know if that works for you.
    – injector
    Commented Jul 7, 2014 at 14:32

This issue is very much there its because you just switch to another app or any other area of phone without exiting whatsapp properly.

when it shows you online see your status in any other phone now if you are using Android Keep Pressing the Home Key for 3 Seconds you will see all app running in BG just close all however mainly if you close whatsapp you will immediately see yourself as Last Seen at so and so time in other phone.

Same way in Blackberry also you need to exit the app properly or in any phone you have to click settings and then choose Exit at the end in whatsapp.

This has been happening from past few days.

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