What does one tick mean on Whatsapp? The answer

As one of the most popular ways to keep in touch with friends, many of us are sending and receiving Whatsapp messages on a daily basis. So, it makes sense that we want to know exactly how it works, and what the small grey ticks that pop up on Whatsapp indicate.

What exactly is the difference between one grey tick and two grey ticks, and how does the tick system work? We’re going to check it out in more detail.

What does one tick mean on Whatsapp? The answer

The answer is that one grey tick appearing next to a Whatsapp message indicates that the message has been sent. When it changes from a single grey tick to two grey ticks, this means that the message has been received by the other person.

We’re going to clarify for you what it is and what it indicates in a little more detail. To put it simply it indicates which step your message is at in a chain of events that takes place when you hit that send button, and that’s what we’ll talk about here.

We’re also going to go over the other icons just for clarification so whatever icon you see you’re clear as to what’s going on.

The one tick

The one tick is the first icon you will see next to your message, this indicates that the message you have just sent on has in fact been sent. The message is in the first stage of sending and receiving now. It’s left your device but not arrived at the destination device yet.

There is a slight delay with this, but it is usually pretty quick, you should only see the icon for one or two seconds before it moves on to the double tick.

If it gets stuck on the one tick then that means the device you are sending too does not have connection, either it is off, or the device has no internet connection. So if you see only one tick, this means that the message hasn’t been received.

The two ticks

The two tick means your message has been received by the other phone. When the icon changes from single to double ticks, this means that the message has reached the recipients phone.

Once at this stage, there’s nothing left to worry about. The job is done, message received, just time to wait for your response. However, they still haven’t opened up and read your message at this stage.

The two blue ticks

The two blue ticks, this icon is for when the message has been sent, received and finally, it has been read. The person on the other end of your message has opened their app and viewed the message. This is the final stage, and the icon won’t change once it has got to this stage.

So, if your friend hasn’t replied to you then you can check if they’ve read it then call for them for being an idiot and forgetting to respond.

Something to note here is that there is an option that prevents the two tick icon moving on to the two blue tick icon. This option can be turned on in Whatsapp and prevents other from seeing when you’ve read a message, just in case you want to pretend you haven’t read something.

It’s a nice addition if it’s an important message and you need some time to think of a reply without seeming like you are, or you just want to read a Whatsapp message without letting the other person know.


In conclusion, it’s a pretty simple icon that is very intuitive once you’ve been using the app for a while. You’ll get used to seeing messages go out and go through the difference icons.

Usually a very quick process the sending at least is usually done within a few seconds. The read icon is of course sometimes more delayed depending on the person on the other ends availability but that’s the same for any messaging.

Whatsapp is generally a reliable app, and though Whatsapp may stop working on the odd occasion, it’s usually easily accessible. All in all, the difference between one grey tick and two grey ticks is pretty simple to understand.

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By day he's an engineer and by night (well, evening or very early morning but night sounds way cooler) Alex runs the Apps UK ship. He has a keen interest in language, fitness & especially social media - he is always on the lookout for the next hot platform.

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