WhatsApp gives you seven minutes to delete messages you’ve sent but now regret, but a simple trick lets you extend this indefinitely. We explain how to delete WhatsApp messages before they are read
Deleting a sent WhatsApp message is really easy. You just tap and hold it, then tap the bin icon that appears in the top bar and say Ok to the message that pops up asking if you really want to delete it.
What you probably want to know, though is how to delete that message so the recipient cannot see it either. And that’s simple: just select the ‘Delete for everyone’ option.
This is possible for up to seven minutes after a message has been sent, although naturally only worthwhile if they’ve not actually read it yet.
According to WABetaInfo this time limit is being extended to 1 hour, 8 minutes and 16 seconds, at least on iOS. But both Android and iPhone users can actually delete WhatsApp messages after an even longer period of time, as we outline below.
You’ll know if a message has already been read by whether or not there are two blue ticks – this means it’s been read, whereas two grey ticks simply means it has been delivered. (If they have read it on a smartwatch or on the lock screen as a notification there’s a possibility that they will have read it but the ticks won’t be blue.)
When a message has been deleted it will be replaced with a message notifying both parties that a message has been deleted, which could lead to some awkward questions.
Delete for Everyone works with all types of WhatsApp messages, whether they are text messages, videos, images, GIFs or documents. It works on both iOS and Android.
How to buy yourself more time – Delete WhatsApp messages after 7 minutes
If you’ve sent a WhatsApp message, immediately regretted it, and now find it’s too late to use the Delete for Everyone feature (because seven minutes have already passed), there is a workaround to extend this deletion period.
• Turn off Wi-Fi and mobile data
• Go to Settings, Time and Date settings and roll back the date to a time before the message was sent
• Open WhatsApp, find and select the message, tap the bin icon and choose ‘Delete for Everyone’
• Turn on Wi-Fi and mobile data and reset the time and date to normal in order for the message to be deleted on WhatsApp’s servers (and to continue using your phone)