Can WhatsApp messages be deleted after they have been sent

Delete WhatsApp messages retrospectively - this is how it works

Dennis Steimels

A very practical function: you can delete WhatsApp messages after sending them or even have them removed automatically.

EnlargeWhatsapp messages "Delete for everyone"
© AdriaVidal /

Probably each of us has already sent a message via WhatsApp that we wanted to call back later or a message that went to the wrong person. In such cases, it is very useful that Whatsapp integrates a function to delete messages for all chat participants up to an hour after they have been sent. Whatsapp also offers "self-erasing messages" like Snapchat. Means: The messages disappear automatically after seven days.

Delete messages afterwards on Android and iOS


  • In the Whatsapp chat, long tap on the message to be deleted until it is highlighted.

  • A trash can symbol appears at the top, which you have to tap.

  • A window with "Delete message" opens. Select "Delete for all".

  • The message will be removed for you and the recipient. The message "You have deleted this message" appears.


  • In the Whatsapp chat, long tap on the message you want to delete until a menu pops up.

  • Tap the Delete option that appears in red.

  • A blue tick appears on the left next to the message, the message is selected. You can now tap more and delete them all at once.

  • Now tap on the trash can symbol at the very bottom. Select "Delete for all".

  • The message will be removed for you and the recipient. The message "You have deleted this message" appears.

Note: You can use the "Delete for all" function within one hour of sending the message. After that, you can only delete messages for yourself; the recipient can still see them.

You should also note that the recipient may have read the message before you could remove it. In addition, there is a possibility to be able to read deleted messages anyway. The recipient may know the trick.

Self-deleting messages will automatically disappear after 7 days

All messages to a contact with activated "self-deleting messages" are automatically deleted after seven days, as long as the function has not been deactivated again. All messages exchanged before and after are of course not affected.

Android and iOS:

  • Select a Whatsapp chat and tap on the name of the contact at the top to access the chat settings.

  • Tap Self-Erasing Messages, then tap On.

  • The message now appears in the chat that new messages will automatically disappear after seven days.

Note: Your chat partner can simply activate or deactivate the settings like you. Even in group chats, each participant has the option of selecting or deselecting self-deletion. Unless you set that only the group admins can do this.

EnlargeSelf-deleting messages in Whatsapp last for 7 days, then they disappear automatically.

Whatsapp recommends sending "self-erasing messages" only to people you really trust. And justifies this with the fact that the interlocutors can do the following:

  • Expiring messages can be forwarded or a screenshot can be taken at any time before they disappear

  • Contents from expiring messages can be copied and saved before they disappear

  • A camera or other device can be used to snap a picture of the expiring message before it disappears.

  • When expiring messages is turned on, media sent in chat will disappear. However, they will remain on the device if automatic download is enabled.