There was a time when you couldn’t take back a message you once sent over WhatsApp. I remember the time a coworker who was clearly imbibing accidentally sent a begging and pleading text to the work group.
It was clearly meant for an ex-girlfriend of his. He sent it late at night and no one responded till the next morning because it was just too awkward.
There were also situations when someone was complaining about a coworker and sent the message to the coworker instead of the friend. That just made things much worse than they already were.
Thankfully, those unpleasant moments can totally be avoided now because you can delete WhatsApp Chats in a variety of ways.
Delete Chats Just for You
For a while now, WhatsApp has worked on this brilliant upgrade and has kind of saved many lives. Whether you are an Android user or someone with an iPhone, you will get two options.
One deletes the message just for you. I like to use this for emojis that I hate seeing on my phone. The other is to delete it for everyone. I believe this is more widely used.
The first one removes the message just for you, but the person who received the message can still see it.
This is how it works on an iPhone.
Step 1: Open the chat and tap and hold the message you want to delete. It is also called long pressing.
Step 2: You will see options pop in front of you in the form of a mini menu. From that choose the “delete for me” option.
Here’s how it works on an Android phone.
Step 1: Open WhatsApp and go to the specific chat where you want to make the change.
Step 2: Long press the message you want to delete. At this point, every message will get a tick box next to it. This means you can select multiple messages to delete.
Step 3: On top of the screen, you will see a delete button. Tap on it.
Step 4: You will get two options. Select the “delete for me” option.
Deleting WhatsApp Chats for Everyone
This is the option you want to use if you want it to be deleted for everyone who receives the message. This can be done in both individual chats and groups.
When you delete it, instead of the message, you will see a note that says, “this message was deleted”.
It is not like the message vanishes without a trace. If you were trying to lie about parts of a conversation, unfortunately, this will not work for you. However, the message will be deleted. So, I suppose, there is some legroom for your lies.
If you are doing this on an iPhone, this is what it looks like.
Step 1: Open WhatsApp and go to the specific chat window where you want to delete the message.
Step 2: Long press the message you want to delete. A menu will appear on the screen. At this point, you can select multiple messages that you want to delete.
Step 3: Once the messages are selected, you will notice that both “Delete for me” and “Delete for everyone” options are available in front of you.
Step 4: Tap on “Delete for everyone” and hope that the recipients haven’t seen it.
The process is pretty much the same for Android users too.
Step 1: Open WhatsApp and go to the chat window where you want to make changes to a conversation.
Step 2: Select the message or messages you want to delete by tapping on the tick box next to each of them.
Step 3: There will be a trash can button to delete the messages. Tap on that.
Step 4: You will see both “Delete for me” and “Delete for everyone” buttons. Pick the “Delete for everyone” option because that’s what we are here to do.
Now, wait and watch to see if someone replies, “I saw that”. If no one does, well, pat yourself on the back for a job well done.
Sometimes these deletions fail. There could be any number of reasons for that including one of you not using the latest version of the app.
And you won’t know it because it’s not like WhatsApp sends a notification.
So, if you are not careful about your messages when you are sending them, you might just end up in trouble despite the wonderful delete button.
How to Delete WhatsApp Messages Permanently from Server
Now, WhatsApp says that the messages themselves are not stored on its servers once they get delivered. But it does store metadata like the time and date of the message. It does, however, save the messages on its server till the time they are delivered.
So, if the person you messaged is out of the network area, the message will stay on the server for 30 days. After that, it automatically gets deleted from the servers too.
When you delete a message, it might stay in your smartphone’s memory. There are recovery programs like mSpy that you can run on your phone to retrieve these ‘deleted’ messages. Now, that doesn’t feel good, does it?
So, if you are trying to hide your messages from someone, you might want to install software like iMyFone Umate to get rid of them permanently by deleting the WhatsApp back up on your phone.