Using WhatsApp Messenger with a Google Voice Number


whatsapp I am a big fan of WhatsApp messenger , a BBM like messengers application, which works on Android, iPhone, Blackberry, and Nokia.

WhatsApp uses your phone number as your identity, although aside from an SMS message during initial setup, no messages are actually sent via SMS. One of the only complaints I had with WhatsApp was I could not complete the setup using my Google Voice number, you know the only phone number I actually use or give out. This dramatically limited the usefulness of WhatsApp as no one could find me, and if I started a conversation I first had to identify myself.

I contacted WhatsApp support recently, and while they state that using a Google Voice number is not officially supported there is an easy way to make it work.

I successfully configured WhatsApp for Android to work with my Google Voice number, I suspect it should work the same on iOS and Blackberry.

Here are the steps

1. Install WhatsApp
2. When prompted for a phone number enter your Google Voice number
3. Allow the automatic confirmation process to fail (5 minutes on Android), while that is happening you will receive a text with a 3 digit code in your Google Voice account hang on to that
4. On the manual confirmation screen use the code received in your Google Voice account (if that does not work use the "call me" option to receive a call on your Google Voice number with a code.

That’s it, you should now have WhatsApp configured to use with your Google Voice number.

If you are already using WhatsApp here are their instructions for changing your phone number


If you are using WhatsApp feel free to chat with me there.

8 Responses to Using WhatsApp Messenger with a Google Voice Number
  1. Kathy Brown
    November 1, 2011 | 4:30 pm

    THANK YOU!!! This makes WhatsApp much more usable for me, and I already used it a ton.

  2. Lars Berntrop-Bos
    November 2, 2011 | 4:16 am

    Now if only Google Voice would be available OUTSIDE of the US of A…

    • Mitch Cohen
      November 2, 2011 | 10:06 am

      It is reportedly being tested in Europe

    • Pete
      December 7, 2011 | 7:36 am

      I use Google voice in Holland

  3. Juergen
    January 25, 2012 | 3:05 pm

    Can anyone confirm if this is workin on IOS ?

    • Chris Whisonant
      January 26, 2012 | 4:50 pm

      Juergen, it worked seamlessly for me on iOS when I installed WhatsApp last month. I entered my GV#, got my notification of the 3 digit code, put it into WhatsApp, and had no problems or timeouts.

  4. brian
    March 18, 2012 | 10:32 am

    would love to try this on my ipod touch but WhatsApp has been pulled from the App Store

  5. JayZed
    August 17, 2012 | 8:33 am

    Very cool. In fact, I did not even need the code. After it failed, it asked for my name and photo and then I was in. I bet they configured it for all the google voice customers. (BTW, think what will happen when GV hits Europe and then India and then Philippines…maybe even China. Wow, that will be the day.)