Are you having trouble logging into your WhatsApp account? Getting an error while verifying your phone number with the OTP? Sometimes you will encounter the following error message on WhatsApp:
You need the official WhatsApp to use this account
Using an app other than the official WhatsApp has privacy and security risks.
Use WhatsApp to register or log back in.
Even if you’re using the official version of WhatsApp directly downloaded from the Play Store, you could still come across this error. No matter how many times reinstall the app or try other basic troubleshooting, the same error will pop up on your screen every time.
If you’re stuck with this WhatsApp error and finding it hard to resolve, this article is here to assist you. We will discuss the reasons why this error occurs and provide you with potential solutions to fix it. Without further ado, let’s get started now!
Reasons behind the “You need the official WhatsApp to use this account” error
Before we get into the solutions, it is important to know the reasons that can cause this “You need the official WhatsApp to use this account” error. Below we have listed all the reasons:
- You are not using the official version of the WhatsApp application. Or perhaps you are using an outdated app.
- You might have downloaded some third-party WhatsApp mods on your phone like GB WhatsApp or WhatsApp Pro.
- WhatsApp has banned your account due to security reasons or for violating WhatsApp’s Terms of Service.
- Play Protect has marked your WhatsApp as a harmful app due to security reasons or by mistake.
- There are some privacy and security issues in the WhatsApp version you’re using.
- WhatsApp might be having compatibility issues with the current software version of your device.
How to fix the “You need the official WhatsApp to use this account” error
To overcome this issue and regain access to your WhatsApp account, you can try the following methods:
1. Install official WhatsApp
There are several other ways you can install WhatsApp on your phone such as side-loading the app on Android via APK file, or using a third-party app store other than the official ones.
You should avoid using these alternative methods to install or update WhatsApp. If you’ve done that in the past, it might be the reason behind this “You need the official WhatsApp to use this account” error.
2. Uninstall WhatsApp mods like GB WhatsApp
Unofficial WhatsApp modifications, also known as mods, are custom versions of the WhatsApp application created by third-party developers.
These mods often offer extra features and customization options that go beyond what the official WhatsApp provides. However, they come with risks, including potential security vulnerabilities and incompatibility with the official WhatsApp servers.
Uninstalling these WhatsApp mods is a crucial step to resolving the “You need the official WhatsApp to use this account” error. Here’s how you can do that:
- First, find the unofficial WhatsApp mod that you have installed on your device. This can be an app with a name like “GB WhatsApp”, “WhatsApp Plus“, or any other variant.
- Locate the WhatsApp mod app on your home screen.
- Long-press the app icon until a pop-up appears.
- Now tap on “Uninstall” option to delete the app.
- A confirmation dialog will appear, asking if you’re sure you want to uninstall the app. Confirm your decision by tapping “OK“.
3, Disable Play Protect on Play Store
Play Protect is a built-in security feature on Play Store that scans apps and devices for potential threats, such as malware or harmful behavior.
While this feature is designed to protect your device, there are times when it might mistakenly flag legitimate apps as potentially harmful.
If Play Protect has marked your WhatsApp as harmful, it can also lead to the “You need the official WhatsApp to use this account” error.
To fix this issue, you can disable Play Protect feature on your phone temporarily. Here’s a step-by-step guide for that:
- Open the Play Store app on your Android phone.
- Tap on your profile picture in the upper-right corner.
- Tap on “Play Protect” option from the pop-up menu. If you see WhatsApp listed under Harmful apps, it is confirmed that Play Protect is causing the error on WhatsApp.
- Tap the settings (gear) icon in the top-right corner.
- Turn off the toggle button that says “Scan apps with Play Protect”. This will disable Play Protect on your device.
- Now close and reopen WhatsApp. Hopefully, this should fix the “You need the official WhatsApp to use this account” error.
Remember that while disabling Play Protect can help in cases where legitimate apps are being flagged incorrectly, it’s also a good practice to keep this feature enabled for overall device security.
Once the “You need the official WhatsApp to use this account” error has been fixed on your WhatsApp, consider re-enabling Play Protect by following the same steps but toggling the switch back to the “on” position.
4. Update your phone’s operating system
Another common reasons behind encountering the “You need the official WhatsApp to use this account” error is an outdated operating system on your mobile device.
If your device’s operating system is not up to date, it might lead to compatibility issues with the latest version of WhatsApp which can cause this error message.
To resolve this, you can update your phone’s operating system. Here’s a detailed guide on how to do it:
- Open the Settings app on your Android phone.
- Look for “Software update” option. You can type it into the search bar.
- Tap on “Download and Install”. Wait for your device to search for an available update. If an update is available, download it right away.
- Once the download is complete, you’ll be prompted to install the update. This process may take some time.
- After your device has been updated, go to the Play Store and update WhatsApp as well.
- Open WhatsApp and register with your phone number. If everything worked fine, you won’t face the “You need the official WhatsApp to use this account” error.
- Open the Settings app on your iOS device.
- Go to “General”.
- Tap on “Software Update”. If an update is available, you’ll see it listed here.
- Tap on “Download and Install” option. Now wait for your iPhone will download the update. Make sure you’re connected to Wi-Fi and have enough space on your device.
- Once the download is complete, tap “Install” to update your iOS. This process might take some time and your iPhone will restart multiple times during the process.
- After the update is installed, go to App Store and update WhatsApp. Close and reopen WhatsApp to see if the “You need the official WhatsApp to use this account” error has been fixed.
5. Use a different phone
When all else fails and the “You need the official WhatsApp to use this account” error persists, try logging in to your WhatsApp account from a different phone.
If another phone number is already in use on WhatsApp in your secondary phone, you can install the WhatsApp Business app or use cloning to create a duplicate WhatsApp application.
Why this method is helpful? – Using a different phone can help you isolate the issue and determine whether the error is specific to your previous device or if it’s a problem related to your WhatsApp account.
If the error is resolved on the new device, you may choose to continue using WhatsApp on it. However, if you’re attached to your previous device or have specific reasons for using it, you can use alternative workarounds like using WhatsApp Web.
7. Use WhatsApp Business app
If you’re having trouble logging in to your regular WhatsApp account, consider using the WhatsApp Business app as an alternative. This workaround can help you bypass the error you’re facing on your main WhatsApp and get back to your messages.
Once you’ve got the WhatsApp Business app installed on your phone, open it up and tap on “Agree and Continue” to accept the WhatsApp Business Terms of Service. In the next step, you will be asked to enter your phone number.
If all goes well, you won’t encounter the frustrating “You need the official WhatsApp to use this account” error while verifying your phone number with the OTP using this method.
6. Use WhatsApp Web
As you may already know, WhatsApp Web is a browser-based web version of WhatsApp messenger that allows you to access your account and messages on your desktop PC, or tablet.
If you are unable to fix the “You need the official WhatsApp to use this account” error on your mobile device, you can temporarily bypass this issue and get access to your messages by using WhatsApp Web.
Earlier, WhatsApp only had OR code based system to let users log in to their account on WhatsApp Web. Now a feature has been added that allows you to log in using your phone number directly.
WhatsApp Web only works on desktop browser so you will need to request desktop site on your mobile browser to access the web version on your phone. Here’s a step-by-step guide:
- Open any browser on your device such as Chrome on Android or Safari on iOS.
- Visit the WhatsApp Web website at web.whatsapp.com
- Tap the menu (three dots) button in the upper-right corner and then enable “Desktop site” option. If you’re using Safari browser, tap on aA in bottom-left corner and then click on “Request Desktop Website”.
- Now your browser will take you to the desktop version of WhatsApp Web. Check if the URL in the address bar is correct. If you’ve been redirected to the main WhatsApp domain, change the URL to web.whatsapp.com and revisit the link.
- Now tap on “Link with phone number” option.
- Select your country and enter your phone number. Tap on “Next” button to continue.
- Now you’ll see a code displayed on your screen. Enter this code on your WhatsApp. You can use a different device to log in to your WhatsApp account and then verify this code.
- Once the verification is done, you will be able to access your chats and messages on WhatsApp Web on your primary device without getting the “You need the official WhatsApp to use this account” error.
8. Contact WhatsApp Support
If nothing worked for you, this is the last solution!
WhatsApp has not addressed this “You need the official WhatsApp to use this account” error in their Help Center, however, you can reach out to their support team and ask for the help directly.
All you need to do is visit the Contact Us page on the official website of WhatsApp. There you will see a contact form to submit your support request. Enter all the required details such as your phone number, email, and device OS.
When filling out the form, it’s important to be as detailed as possible. Explain the error you’re encountering, the steps you’ve taken to troubleshoot it, and any other relevant information.
After submitting the support request, you’ll need to wait for WhatsApp Support to respond. They will send you an email reply to the email address you have provided in the contact form. Carefully read and follow all the instructions.
You will be guided through specific steps to troubleshoot the issue. This is what we’ve got in response from WhatsApp Support when we asked about the “You need the official WhatsApp to use this account” error:
Note: If you’re having trouble getting an OTP code from WhatsApp, check out this guide on how to fix the OTP not received issue on iPhone.
Frequently asked questions
If you see this message, it means you’re using an unsupported version. To fix this, uninstall the unofficial WhatsApp and download the official version from the Play Store.
Your account might be banned from using WhatsApp due to various reasons, such as violating their terms of service, engaging in spam or automated behavior, using WhatsApp mod versions, sending inappropriate or offensive content, impersonating someone, or receiving multiple user reports.
A temporary ban on WhatsApp can last from a few hours to a few days. All you can do is wait for it to finish automatically. If you believe the ban is unjustified or you want more information, you can reach out to WhatsApp support.
Yes, using third-party WhatsApp mods like GB WhatsApp can lead to a ban on your WhatsApp account. WhatsApp considers these mod versions as violations of their terms of service.
We are glad this guide has assisted you in figuring out the cause behind the “You need the official WhatsApp to use this account” error on your WhatsApp. Once you’ve identified the root cause, you can follow the suggested solution to fix it.
Out of the 8 different methods that we have outlined in this article, let us know which one resolved the issue in your case. If you’re facing any other problem while logging into your WhatsApp account or verifying your phone number with the OTP, please don’t hesitate to share in the comments below.
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