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Here's how to use WhatsApp without a SIM card in your phone

Get WhatsApp working, with or without a number!
By

Published onFebruary 22, 2024

WhatsApp is great, but it has one major limitation: it requires a mobile phone number to work. Thankfully, there are a few ways to use WhatsApp without a SIM card.

These methods require you to download WhatsApp on your device, either via the Google Play Store, Apple App Store, or directly from WhatsApp’s official website. If you choose the second method, be sure to check out our guide for installing apps without the Google Play Store.

QUICK ANSWER

You can use WhatsApp without a SIM by verifying your account using another device's phone number. To do this, download WhatsApp on your phone without a SIM and enter your other phone's number during the setup process. When WhatsApp sends you a message with the verification code, enter it into the phone without a SIM card.

You can also accomplish this using a landline phone. You'll just have to request a call, instead of a text message. Alternatively, you can use an SMS or VOIP app.


JUMP TO KEY SECTIONS

Editor’s note: All steps in this guide were assembled using a Google Pixel 7 running Android 14 and an Apple iPhone 12 Mini running iOS 17.3.1. Remember, steps can vary depending on your device and software.

Do you have another phone?

samsung galaxy s24 ultra vs galaxy s23 ultra reflectivity screen off

You can use WhatsApp without a SIM card if you happen to own another phone that works. This could be any device that supports text messages or calls. Even if it’s a feature phone.

How to set up WhatsApp on Android without a SIM by using a second phone:

  1. Download and open WhatsApp on your phone without a SIM card.
  2. Pick your language, then read the privacy policy and terms of service offered by the welcome screen.
  3. Hit Agree and continue.
  4. Enter your other device’s phone number.
  5. Press Next.
  6. Verify your number is correct and press Yes.
  7. The app will send a text message to your active device.
  8. Get the code and enter it into the phone without a SIM.
  9. Enter your personal info and follow the instructions. You should be good to Go!

How to set up WhatsApp on iPhone without a SIM by using a second phone:

  1. Download and open WhatsApp on your phone without a SIM card.
  2. Enter your other device’s phone number and hit Done.
  3. Verify the number and select Yes.
  4. The app will send a text message to your active device.
  5. Get the code and enter it into the iPhone without a SIM.
  6. Enter your personal info and follow the instructions. You should be good to Go!

If you already have a phone with WhatsApp set up, you might also want to learn how to transfer WhatsApp to a new phone.

Landline method

This method is also easy, but you do need a landline number or some kind of home phone number. We know those are becoming scarce lately, but it’s one way to get things done!

How to set up Android WhatsApp using a landline phone:

  1. Download and open WhatsApp.
  2. Pick your language, then read the privacy policy and terms of service offered by the welcome screen.
  3. Hit Agree and continue.
  4. Enter the landline phone number.
  5. Press Next.
  6. Verify your number is correct and press Yes.
  7. You’ll be asked to verify the number with an SMS code. Since your landline phone won’t get the SMS at all, tap on Need help getting a code?.
  8. Select the Call me alternative option.
  9. Answer the call and enter the verification code in WhatsApp.
  10. You’re in! Follow the instructions and enter your info.

How to set up iPhone WhatsApp using a landline phone:

  1. Download and open WhatsApp on your phone without a SIM card.
  2. Enter your other device’s phone number and hit Done.
  3. Verify the number and select Yes.
  4. You’ll be asked to verify the number with an SMS code. Since your landline phone won’t get the SMS at all, wait for the time to run out and select Need help getting a code?.
  5. Select the Call me alternative option.
  6. Answer the call and enter the verification code in WhatsApp.
  7. You’re in! Follow the instructions and enter your info.

Use a virtual phone number and texting app

Sadly, not everyone has access to a secondary cellphone or landline number. You might still want to use WhatsApp without a SIM card, though.

If you really can’t get a hold of any phone number for a call or text verification, but have access to an internet connection, you can use a third-party app. Some applications grant you a virtual phone number, as well as calling and texting capabilities. Some of them are free, too! A very popular one is Google Voice, but there are great alternatives. Here’s a list of our favorite free text apps.

Once you have a phone number, simply follow the same steps above to sign up for WhatsApp, but use your VOIP number instead.

Use your phone without a SIM card as a linked device

WhatsApp logo on smartphone next to other devices Stock photo 3

Did you know you can have the same WhatsApp account on multiple devices? You will need a primary device, and then you can have up to four linked devices that can also access the same WhatsApp account. All devices will be logged out if the primary device doesn’t connect in 14 days.

This is a good option if you actually have a primary device with WhatsApp, and you want to use your phone with no SIM card as a secondary WhatsApp handset.

How to turn your Android phone into a linked device for WhatsApp:

  1. Download and install WhatsApp on your phone without a SIM card.
  2. Launch WhatsApp.
  3. Hit Agree and continue.
  4. You will be asked for your phone number. Don’t enter it. Instead, tap on the three-dot menu button.
  5. Select Link to existing account. WhatsApp will create a QR code.
  6. Go to your other phone and launch WhatsApp.
  7. Go into the Settings.
  8. Tap on Linked Devices.
  9. Select Link a Device.
  10. Scan the QR code on your Android phone without a SIM card.

How to turn your iPhone into a linked device for WhatsApp:

  1. Download and install WhatsApp on your iPhone without a SIM card.
  2. Launch WhatsApp.
  3. Hit Agree and continue.
  4. Click on the three-dot menu icon in the top-right corner.
  5. Select Link as Companion Device. WhatsApp will create a QR code.
  6. Go to your other phone and launch WhatsApp.
  7. Go into the Settings.
  8. Tap on Linked Devices.
  9. Select Link a Device.
  10. Scan the QR code on your iPhone without a SIM card.

FAQs

As long as WhatsApp supports the country, you can use a number from that region to use WhatsApp. Very few countries have banned the use of WhatsApp, including China, North Korea, Syria, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates.

You can use a single number on a primary device, as well as four linked devices. Only one WhatsApp account can be linked to a phone number, though. This means that if you’re using a landline, only one person from that household will be able to use that phone number to create a WhatsApp account.

Yes. You’ll need to link the accounts to different numbers.

You can’t use WhatsApp on a Windows or macOS computer alone, but you can use WhatsApp Web to link your WhatsApp account to a browser and use it remotely. Everything still runs through your phone, though.

WhatsApp needs to verify a phone number to work, but it doesn’t necessarily need to be the number linked to a SIM card installed on the same phone. This means you can use WhatsApp on a phone without a SIM card as long as you can verify it with another active device, or if you use the secondary phone as a linked device.

Sadly, if you’ve lost access to an old number, you won’t be able to verify it on WhatsApp. You need to get a code via a call or a text message. This is a mandatory step.

WhatsApp uses calls and texts for verification, but this is mostly for security reasons. The service, itself, relies solely on data. You don’t necessarily need cell service to use WhatsApp; you need data. This includes both cellular and Wi-Fi data, so you could use a phone without cell service as long as you’re connected to Wi-Fi.