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I had a WhatsApp account on a phone which has been left at power-off for several months now. The SIM card (number) that the account belonged to has also been removed from the phone for similar amounts of time. So I came home for the holidays and on the 2nd of January I discovered;

  1. The number had "left" groups that my current account and the former one had in common.

  2. The account has actually been "deleted" i.e no profile picture, an "invite" option and the default "Hey there!..." status dated at Feb 24th, 2009. (which appears to be close to WhatsApp's (the company's) inception). Note: I got the phone & created the account in 2016.

  3. From a friend's phone, the profile picture still isn't there but the status (about) is the latest one I put up in 2017

What is going on? Should I be worried that someone turned my phone on / it got stolen?

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  • 30 days - you won't receive message older than 30 days
  • 45 days - if your account is inactive for 45+ days your account will be recycled. your account stays active if you do not use it on another device even after 45+ days
  • 180 days - after this period you will be removed from groups

https://faq.whatsapp.com/en/general/24068052

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  • Do you have an official link talking about 30 days and 180 days? Your link only talks about 45 days and it says it is only recycled after 45 days if the phone number becomes active on another device. On faq.whatsapp.com/general/account-and-profile/…, I read: "WhatsApp accounts are generally deleted after 120 days of inactivity".
    – baptx
    Aug 16 at 10:52
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WhatsApp accounts are generally deleted after 120 days of inactivity.

From WhatsApp FAQ

To maintain security, limit data retention, and protect the privacy of our users, WhatsApp accounts are generally deleted after 120 days of inactivity. Inactivity means the user hasn’t connected to WhatsApp.

An internet connection is required for an account to be active. If a user has WhatsApp open on their device, but they don't have an internet connection, then the account will be inactive.

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  • This link and information is already mention in accepted answer. No use of providing same information in another answer.
    – serenesat
    Aug 10 at 17:28
  • @serenesat not exactly, it did not mention the "120 days", that's why I added another answer. I also added the information as a comment to the other answer but according to StackOverflow support: "Comments are meant to be temporary and can be deleted at any time and for any reason, or even for no reason at all. You should not expect information in comments to stick around indefinitely.". So no need to downvote...
    – baptx
    Aug 14 at 18:48
  • Link you have provided and other answer's link is same. I do not see any information about 120 days in either link. Please add that 120 days information from link into answer. It would be more helpful.
    – serenesat
    Aug 15 at 17:15
  • @serenesat indeed I added the wrong link, I updated it now.
    – baptx
    Aug 16 at 10:51

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