WhatsApp won't work on some phones in 2019: What to do?

An illustration photo shows WhatsApp logos on a mobile phone in Sao Paulo, Brazil, December 16, 2015 (Nacho Doce/File Photo/Reuters)

WhatsApp is clearly one of the most used apps today. With its availability on various mobile platforms, the Facebook-owned messaging app has garnered over a billion users worldwide. But as we step into 2019, WhatsApp won't work on some phones.

Before you panic, most users will remain unaffected by this change as WhatsApp support will be withdrawn from phones running on the Nokia S40 platform after December 31, 2018. This isn't s surprise move as WhatsApp had earlier announced the end of support for Nokia S40 phones back in June before it extended the deadline till the end of the year.

Nokia S40 will join other platforms that WhatsApp no longer supports, including BlackBerry OS, BlackBerry 10, Windows 8.0 and Nokia S60. In case you're not sure if your phone runs on Nokia S40, here's a list of phones that are currently powered by the aging mobile OS.

"The decision was taken because we will no longer be actively developing for these platforms and some features might stop functioning at any time. When we look ahead to our next seven years, we are looking to focus our efforts on the mobile platforms that a vast majority of people use. These platforms/phones don't offer the kind of capabilities WhatsApp needs to expand its features in the future," WhatsApp in a statement.

Don't lose your chats

The decision has been made and the only option to continue using WhatsApp is to upgrade your phone. If you're considering an upgrade, there's a seamless way to preserve all your precious chats.

Open WhatsApp > go to Settings > select Chats > then Chat Backup > tap Back Up.

By doing this, all your chats, including media will be backed up to Google Drive (not protected by WhatsApp's end-to-end encryption). Once you upgrade your phone and download WhatsApp, you'll be prompted to back up all your chats from the drive and it will retrieve all your messages and media on your new phone. This is the most seamless backup experience, but make sure you do not skip backing up chats on your new phone while setting up the app.

That's one case. But if you still choose to use the Nokia S40 phone even without WhatsApp, there's a way to archive your chats outside the app. This way, even when you don't have WhatsApp, you can still go through the chats.

Exporting your chats doesn't work like the backup process we discussed above. You'll have to choose individual chats and export them to whatever platform. You will be able to save chats to Google Drive, email them via Gmail or transfer them to another device via Shareit or Bluetooth.

To do so, open WhatsApp > go to Settings > select Chats > then Chat History > tap Export chat > select the chats you want to export.

Alternatively, you can open the chat you wish to export, tap the three dots on the top right corner, select "More" and then Export Chat. This will let you do the same.

There's no way of selecting multiple people's chat, so you'll have to do it one-by-one.

These backup and export chat options will also come in handy for regular users. More importantly, users of old iPhones running iOS 7 or older and phones that are still running Android Gingerbread OS. WhatsApp support for both these aging operating systems will end on February 1, 2020.