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How to fix ‘Waiting for this message’ error on WhatsApp?

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  • 4 min read

Used by over a billion people worldwide, Facebook-owned Whatsapp is unarguably the most popular messaging app but has been embroiled in controversy about user data privacy.

While the service usually works without any hiccups, several people have complained about finding themselves on the receiving end of the following message: “Waiting for this message. This may take a while” — an error message that appears instead of the text sent to you from contact.

Here we’ve discussed why you’re seeing the ‘Waiting for this message’ error on Whatsapp and how to fix the issue.

Why are you seeing the WhatsApp ‘Waiting for this message. This may take a while’ error?

The ‘Waiting for this message. This may take a while’ error on Whatsapp is displayed when the message sender’s phone is offline, and the end-to-end encryption on the app isn’t able to encrypt and send the message to you.

While this typically happens due to poor or no internet connection on the sender’s phone, it can also be caused if the person has recently reinstalled Whatsapp.

So, basically, you see this error because Whatsapp is unable to encrypt the messages from the sender’s end.

Also read: WhatsApp vs Signal vs Telegram: Which one is the most secure?

How to fix ‘Waiting for this message’ error on WhatsApp?

If you see the ‘Waiting for this message. This may take a while’ error on Whatsapp, follow any of the two methods below to resolve the issue.

Wait for the encryption to work

As mentioned above, the error is caused because end-to-end encryption offered by Whatsapp isn’t able to perform its function properly — encrypting messages — and hence you’re unable to view them.

You can either wait for these messages to get encrypted whenever the other person comes online on Whatsapp or ask the concerned person to open Whatsapp on their phone to encrypt the send messages.

You can read more about Whatsapp’s end-to-end encryption here.

If you can’t reach the person, you can either wait it out or go for the extreme measure listed below.

Backup your Whatsapp, log out and log in

Suppose you were waiting on an important text from contact and are seeing the ‘Waiting for this message. This may take a while’ error, you can backup your Whatsapp chats, log out of the app, close the app, restart it, log in and restore the backup to resolve the issue.

While this is evidently an extreme measure (and waiting for the other person to come online might seem easier), if the message contains something significantly important and you can’t wait for it, this is the best way to fix the ‘waiting for this message’ error on Whatsapp.

Follow the steps below to backup your whatsapp chats.

  • Tap on the Three-dots menu icon on the top-right of the Whatsapp chat screen.
  • From the menu, select Settings.
  • On the next page, tap on Chats.
  • Then on Chat backup.
  • Now tap on the Back Up option and wait for the backup to complete.

Once your Whatsapp data is backed up, log out from the app, close the app from the recent lists, and re-open it again. Now log in to the app, and while setting up the account again, restore the backup.

You’ll now be able to see the message sent by your contact instead of the ‘Waiting for this message. This may take a while’ error on Whatsapp.

Also read: Is Signal Safe? Should you use it instead of Whatsapp? FAQs



Writes news mostly and edits almost everything at Candid.Technology. He loves taking trips on his bikes or chugging beers as Manchester United battle rivals. Contact Prayank via email: