I have a long history of chats, several groups and multiple contacts (who have me in their address books) on Whatsapp for iPhone.

How can I preserve them all if I switch for a week to a new SIM card (which I buy for travel, from a different cell operator)? Is it possible to make the switch seamless for my friends, so they don't have even to add my new number (and of course, I'd like that their history of chats with me doesn't break on this switch)? After a week, I would like to switch back to my original SIM card -- and again don't want to loose anything. My iPhone device will remain the same all the time, and I'm not going to reset it during that period.

Whatsapp FAQ is quite unclear on this...

2 Answers 2


It proved trivial:

  • power down iPhone
  • change SIM card
  • turn iPhone on
  • launch Whatsapp
  • Whatsapp asks something like "Mobile network changed. Switch to new phone number?". Tap "No"

That's it. All groups, chat history and contacts preserved. My friends see me (and chat history with me) as I never changed SIM card or number.

Later switch back to the original number works exactly the same.

Mind the warning from Whatsapp FAQ: "Please do not swap SIM cards ... frequently, or you will create problems in the verification process." But with two changes "to new and back to the old" in half an hour, I of course didn't experience any problems.

  • I've been staring cross-eyed at those Whatsapp FAQs for a day now, trying to figure out what they mean. It does not sound as simple as you say, but one would hope that it would be that simple. Thanks for this answer. I'll be touching down in London tomorrow and testing them out.
    – garyp
    Commented Jul 30, 2014 at 21:13
  • Welcome, @garyp :-)
    – yurkennis
    Commented Jul 30, 2014 at 21:22
  • 1
    This worked for my wife on her Verizon Samsung Galaxy, and my daughter on her iPhone. They are visiting the UK from the US. The iPhone is running iOS 7.0, and she had to enter the APN manually. I read that in 7.1 you don't have to. For the Android, also had to enter the APN manually. Verizon provides an annoying notification on the Android to the effect that the SIM card is from an unknown source. But all features seem to work on both phones.
    – garyp
    Commented Aug 1, 2014 at 16:21

I would look here: http://www.whatsapp.com/faq/en/general/28030001

Before you stop using a phone number or phone, you should migrate or delete your WhatsApp account. A simple way to delete your old account and migrate to a new number is by using our Change Number feature.

And here: http://www.whatsapp.com/faq/en/general/20971798

To use our Change Number feature on the phones listed below, please click on the appropriate article for specific steps: Android | iPhone | BlackBerry | Nokia S40 | Windows Phone | BlackBerry 10.

Specifically this part:

If you are planning on using your old number in the future - for example, if you will temporarily use this new number on vacation - or you simply do not wish to delete your old account number, just delete and reinstall WhatsApp. Deleting the application will not delete the account tied to your previous number. Once reinstalled, you can verify a new phone number.

  • Have you tried following these steps? Specifically, does this process allow to migrate back to the original number? And, from your first link, "Make sure your contacts delete your old phone number from their address books and input your new number" -- which is what I want to avoid.
    – yurkennis
    Commented Feb 21, 2014 at 22:28
  • No, I personally do not use WhatsApp, but the third comment block there lies out exactly the steps you should be taking.
    – Kruug
    Commented Feb 21, 2014 at 22:29
  • The third block doesn't give answer on whether all the history and groups will be preserved and available for the temporary number.
    – yurkennis
    Commented Feb 21, 2014 at 22:31
  • What you want then is to backup the app and all of its data into iCloud or your local itunes backup, delete and reinstall the app, then restore the app.
    – Kruug
    Commented Feb 21, 2014 at 22:40
  • Given the change of number, I doubt that this process will give the result I need.
    – yurkennis
    Commented Feb 21, 2014 at 22:43

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .