Through this detailed article, we will take you through all the steps involved in deleting WhatsApp messages, whether you want to delete them for yourself or for everyone.
We will also see if it is possible to delete WhatsApp messages beyond the stipulated one-hour rule.
How to Delete WhatsApp Messages for Yourself
If you simply want to delete WhatsApp messages for yourself, the process is quite simple. Doing this will get rid of the messages from your own phone, but your recipients will still be able to see them. This can further apply to messages you have sent as well as those you have received.
Take a look at the following steps to delete the messages for yourself:
- Navigate your way to the chat that comprises the message you want to delete for yourself.
- Find the message in the chat.
- Hold the message for a few seconds and click on the ‘Delete’ option (in the form of a trash can symbol).
- Next, click on ‘Delete for me.’
- The message will now be deleted and you won’t be able to see it anymore.
If you want to delete multiple messages, you can simply tap and select all the ones that you want to delete.
With this method, you can delete the messages for yourself whenever you want. There is no time restriction beyond which you can stop deleting messages.
If you want to delete your entire chat with someone, you can do this by holding the chat for a few seconds in your ‘Chats’ window. Then, you can simply click on the trash can symbol at the top of the screen. This will delete your chat with the person. Once again, it will only get deleted for yourself and not for the other person.
How to Delete WhatsApp Messages for Everyone
If you want to delete certain messages on your WhatsApp chat with an individual or group in a way that it can no longer be visible to anyone, you can make use of the following process:
- Make your way to the chat that contains the message(s) that you want to delete for everyone.
- Tap the message and press on it for a few seconds until you can see the trash can icon.
- Once you click on this icon, you will be able to see three options: ‘Cancel’, ‘Delete for me’ and ‘Delete for everyone.’
- Click on the ‘Delete for everyone’ option to get rid of the message for both you as well as the other recipients.
In place of the message you deleted, a message that says ‘This message was deleted’ will appear. This means that your recipient will still be able to tell that you deleted something from the chat.
If you want to delete multiple messages for everyone, you can simply select all the required messages and delete them.
In this method, however, there is a one-hour time limit. This means that you can only delete messages for everyone within an hour of sending them. Beyond that, it is difficult to get rid of the messages for everyone.
Further, you must make sure that you as well as your recipients are not using an older version of WhatsApp. In such a case, it is possible that the message might not get deleted for both of you. This also depends on how old their version is.
It is also entirely possible that your recipient might have already seen your message before you delete it, either in the chat or from their notifications. You might not be able to assure that the person will not read your message unless you delete it immediately after sending or unless both of your read receipts are on.
This kind of method only works for the messages that you yourself have sent and cannot apply to messages sent by the recipient. If they choose to delete the message for everyone on their own, you will be able to see that through the ‘This message was deleted’ replacement message.
Can You Delete WhatsApp Messages Beyond the One-Hour Rule?
There is no official way to delete WhatsApp messages for everyone beyond the one-hour rule. If, however, you want to delete them for yourself, you can easily do so.
However, there is a way around this that can allow you to delete WhatsApp messages for everyone up to a period of a week. This method has only been tested on Android. To do this, you can go through the following steps:
- Turn your Wi-Fi and mobile data off.
- Go to your phone’s Settings and then to the ‘Apps’ option.
- Locate and find WhatsApp there and then click on ‘Force Stop.’
- Next, change your time and date to the date right before the one when you sent the message.
- Go to WhatsApp and delete the message for everyone.
- You can then reset the date and time while also turning your Wi-Fi and data on.
This method might not work if your service provider can automatically detect time zones. Since it is not an official method, you should exercise caution while using it.
Another recent feature that WhatsApp has introduced is that of Disappearing Messages. By going to an individual or group chat, you can turn this feature on by clicking on the name of the person or group. This will make any new messages disappear after seven days of sending them.
This, however, does not get rid of older messages.
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Those were some of the methods that you can make use of to delete WhatsApp messages, both for yourself and for your recipients.
The first two methods will be ideal for you to use based on WhatsApp’s own provisions, even though there will be a time limit for you if you want to delete the message for everyone.
With the new Disappearing Messages option, you can also get rid of new messages after a week of sending them, provided that you have this feature on.
Now that you know what to do, you can try it out on your own with your own messages.
Lorenzo has been using the internet for as long as he can remember. He was there for the early days of message boards, he watched social media take over, and he’s excited to see what comes next.