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.

But 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 grey 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.

After your message has been successfully delivered, they’ll eventually change to two blue ticks, which means that the message has been read.

To put it simply, this indicates which step your message is at in a chain of events that takes place when you hit the send button.

We’re going to look at what the ticks mean in a little more detail so you know what each stage means.

One grey tick on WhatsApp – Sent

A single tick is the first icon you will see next to your message, and 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 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.

It could also mean that the other person has deleted WhatsApp from their device. You can look at their online status to determine the last time they were online.

So in conclusion, if you see only one tick, this means that the message hasn’t been received due to network issues – a lack of Wi-Fi or mobile data connection, or they’ve deleted WhatsApp on their phone.

Two grey ticks on WhatsApp – Received

Two ticks means your message has been received by the other phone.

When the icon changes from a single tick to double ticks, this means that the message has reached the recipient’s phone.

Once at this stage, there’s nothing left to worry about. The job is done and the message received, so you just have to wait some time for your response.

However, they still haven’t opened up and read your message at this stage. You can do this in single conversations and group chats within your WhatsApp app.

Two blue ticks on WhatsApp – Read

Two blue ticks will show when the message has been sent, received and been read by the other person.

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 to not show read receipts to the other person, and this 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 good idea to turn off read receipts 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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