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Deleting WhatsApp messages: Is it just you or everyone does it?

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Did you know that there are two ways to delete WhatsApp messages? You can choose to remove photos, videos, voicemails, and regular texts from your smartphone, or you can remove them from the other party's smartphone as well. In this guide, NextPit tells how you can perform each action.

Have you actually typed a text message with grammatical mistakes or accidentally sent the wrong picture via WhatsApp? Did you forward a piece of fake news to your family members? Or how about the regret that comes with texting your ex in your drunken stupor? Fret not, it is not the end of the world, as there is the possibility to delete your sent WhatsApp messages with just a few taps on iOS and Android. However, you will first have to decide whether you want to...

But beware! Deleting a message on the recipient's smartphone is an action that is only possible for a limited amount of time after sending it. This means you are unable to delete whatever crazy declaration of love and regret to your ex that you sent last night. 

Deleting WhatsApp messages on your own smartphone

The first option relates to deleting messages on your own smartphone. In order to do this, you enter a chat or group, press and hold the message that you want to delete for a few seconds. Upon doing so, you will see a trash can icon in the top right corner of the screen that you will need to tap. You will be prompted whether want to delete the message on your smartphone or not - and if this message is in a chat group, you can choose to delete for everyone as well. 

WhatsApp Delete Message for Me NextPit
This is how you delete messages on your own smartphone / ©
  1. Press and hold the message that you want to delete for a few seconds.
  2. Select the trash can icon in the upper right corner.
  3. Select "Delete for me".

Tip: If you want to clean up your phone, you can also delete entire chat histories with specific people or chat groups. In order to do this, tap on an account in your contact list as opposed to a single message. The deletion process is performed in the same manner as deleting individual messages. However, you cannot undo this step. Therefore, it is recommended to simply archive unwanted chat histories.

Deleting WhatsApp messages for all recipients

Have you accidentally sent a private photo to a person who should not have it stored on their smartphone? Fret not, you can undo that mistake on WhatsApp (albeit for a certain period of time after sending it). It does seem that the magic number before deleting WhatsApp messages for others is 1 hour, 8 minutes, and 16 seconds - so you might want to think on your feet.

When deleting, you do the very same thing as when deleting messages on your own smartphone. In the subsequent window that pops up, you will see another option that is "Delete for all". If you select this option, the message will be deleted on the other party's device, or if it is in a group, then that same message would be deleted for all recipients.

WhatsApp Delete Message for everyone NextPit
For a certain period of time, you can also remove messages on other smartphones / © WhatsApp / Screenshot:
  1. Press and hold the message that you want to delete for a few seconds.
  2. Select the trash can icon in the top right corner.
  3. Selects "Delete for everyone".

However, do bear in mind that WhatsApp will display a notice that the message has been deleted. This is how the other party will see that you have removed something from the chat history. In some situations, this can certainly be just as embarrassing as the corresponding content.

Do you not want to leave a chat history on WhatsApp or prefer to send messages that can be viewed only once? Check out our tutorial on how you can send self-deleting messages or "view once" messages on WhatsApp.

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Benjamin Lucks

Benjamin Lucks
Product Reviewer

Benjamin works as a freelance journalist and is always on the lookout for special features that make new cell phones, headphones and gadgets interesting for the reader. If he doesn't succeed, he comforts himself by writing short stories and using his digital camera.

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    Bobby Goreja Nov 24, 2021 Link to comment

    Great!! Very helpful. Thanks !!