There are a number of reasons why people change phone numbers, but regardless, every time they change phone numbers, they’re inevitably going to have to change a few things around, one of which is the registered phone number with their WhatsApp Messenger account.
There are a number of ways to go about doing this. We’ll focus on the world’s top three operating systems for the sake of this article, but feel free to chip in via the comments for other operating systems.
For iPhone users, the process is actually quite simple. Once the phone number change goes through your carrier correctly, open up WhatsApp and access Settings. Next, you’ll need to select Account. You’ll see an option to Change Number. Select this and enter your current phone number (the number you have already registered) in the first text box. Enter your new phone number (i.e. the one you’re trying to change to) in the second text box. Once you’ve done so, simply touch Done to continue.
Once your new number has been successfully registered, your old number will be deleted from WhatsApp and all of your account information will be associated with the new number.
Android and Windows Phone owners have a few more options they’ll need to consider (or iPhone users if they want to delete their accounts and start fresh). If you are permanently changing phone numbers, you can delete your WhatsApp account and then simply verify your new number.
If you would like to only temporarily change your WhatsApp number and plan on using your old number in the future, or there’s another reason you do not wish to delete your account, you can simply delete and reinstall WhatsApp. Note that deleting the application from your device will not delete the account tied to your previous number. Once reinstalled, you can verify your new phone number. When you’re ready to switch back, simply delete the app again and log in with your old number once your change to the old number (or the SIM swap) is complete.
Regardless of what you choose, you’ll want to ensure your WhatsApp contacts have your new phone number saved in their address books to make sure they can find you easily.
It’s also important to note that you want to avoid switching phones and SIM cards frequently; if you attempt to switch your WhatsApp account between different devices or SIMs too much, you may be blocked from re-verifying your account at a certain point and you’ll have no choice but to start fresh.