WhatsApp has become such a standard in our day to day life, that we can’t even imagine a time without it. The instant messaging app is full of features that most users do not even use! Listening to the calls of its users, WhatsApp introduced a feature that let you delete a message even after you sent it! In this article, we will cover what exactly happens when you delete a message on WhatsApp.
What is the ‘Delete Message’ feature on WhatsApp?
WhatsApp users have been asking for an option to delete sent messages for quite a while. WhatsApp heard their prayers and introduced the function back in 2017. However, initially, the function only let you delete a message a few minutes after you had sent it.
WhatsApp updated that setting to let you delete messages at any point in time. The Delete Message function also lets you delete media that you have sent within the chat. The function can also be used in group chats to delete messages.
What happens when you delete a message before the person has seen it?
You can tell the status of your message by the ticks that appear beside it. If a user has not yet seen your message, then the ticks will remain great. As soon as the message has been seen, it will turn blue. When you delete a message in a chat, the options you receive depend on how old the message is.
When you delete a message before a person has viewed it but within an hour of sending it, you will receive an option to ‘Delete for me’ or ‘Delete for everyone’. Deleting the message for you only deletes it from your side of the conversation. If you choose to delete the message for everyone, the message will be deleted from the other person’s side too.
They will not be able to view the message when they come online. However, deleting a message in this way will leave a notification that a message has been deleted. This notification will be visible on both sides of the conversation.
What happens when you delete a message after a person has seen it?
You can also delete a message after a person has already viewed it. You can tell that the message has been viewed by the blue ticks that appear beside it. If you delete a message within an hour of sending it, you will receive the same options as above; ‘Delete for me’ or ‘Delete for everyone’. If you choose to delete the message for everyone, the message will be deleted from the other person’s side too. Even though the person has already viewed the message, it will be deleted from their side and replaced with a notification that the message has been deleted.
If you delete a message further up in the chat and have messages after that one, the user will not be notified in a new chat. That means the ‘Message deleted’ notification will only be in place of the deleted message. So if they didn’t scroll back up, they may never even know that you deleted a message!
What happens when you delete a message in a group?
You can also delete a message in a group chat on WhatsApp. Naturally, this gets a little more complicated since there are more people involved in the viewing of the message. Luckily, WhatsApp follows pretty much the same rules in groups as it does in individual chats. You can delete a message that you have sent in a chat irrespective of who has seen it, as long as it is within the one-hour timeframe.
If you delete a message in a group you will receive the same two options; ‘Delete for me’ or ‘Delete for everyone’. If you delete the message for everyone, the message will disappear to be replaced by a notification indicating that the message was deleted. Even if the message was viewed by everyone in the group, you can delete the message if it was sent within the hour. Once deleted the message will not be visible to anyone; whether they have seen it before or not.
Can you undo delete?
No. Once you delete a message on WhatsApp, there is no way to retrieve it. Whether you delete it just for yourself or for everyone, the message cannot be brought back. Similarly, others cannot undo a deleted message from you. The only way to view a message that has been deleted is by asking the person what it was.
Can you delete someone else’s message on WhatsApp?
Yes, you can. You can delete messages from the other person but only on your account. The messages will still remain on the other person’s account. Similarly, in groups, you can delete messages from others, but only for yourself. The messages will still be visible for everyone else in the group. That means only the person who sends the message has the power to delete it for everyone.
Can you delete a WhatsApp message without the other person knowing?
Unfortunately, there is no way to delete a message without having the notification show up on the other person’s account. This is a privacy feature that WhatsApp implements to prevent users from deleting old messages without informing the person. If you delete a message just for yourself, there will be no indication that the message was there at all. However, if you delete a message for ‘everyone’ WhatsApp will send the person a notification indicating that a message was deleted.
What happens to the WhatsApp notification when you delete a message?
As you probably know, both Android and iOS let you preview messages in the Notification panel. This means users can read a message without even opening WhatsApp, keeping the message status as ‘unread’. If you were to delete a message while the message was still in the notification panel, the notification would also reflect the ‘Message deleted’ notification. That means the other person cannot view a message that you have deleted even in their notification panel.
How can I delete WhatsApp messages after one hour?
While technically you should not be able to delete a message for everyone post one hour of sending it, there is a trick you can use to circumvent this restriction. Follow the guide below to learn how to delete a WhatsApp message for everyone hours after sending it. Before you go ahead, locate the message that you want to delete and note the time and date of the message.
How to delete a WhatsApp message after an hour
The first thing you need to do is turn off all network connections. To do this, simply turn on Airplane mode on your device. Swipe down to view your notification panel, then tap the Airplane mode (Flight mode) button.
Now you need to force close WhatsApp. To do so, open your device Settings > Apps > WhatsApp. Tap ‘Force stop’ in the bottom right corner.
Now you need to change the time and date on your device to match that of the message that you want to delete. Since WhatsApp only lets you delete messages within an hour of sending them, select a time that is close to that of the sent message.
Open your device Settings and go to General management > Date and time. Turn off the ‘Automatic date and time’ if you have to, then set your new date and time.
Now launch the WhatsApp app and locate the message that you want to delete. Tap and hold on the message to select it, then tap the Delete button in the top panel.
Select ‘Delete for everyone’. The message will be deleted from both accounts. Now turn off Airplane mode and go back and correct your date and time. The message will remain deleted!
We hope this article helped. If you have any queries, feel free to reach out to us in the comments below.
This was very helpful. Please note that in addition to putting your device into airplane mode, you also need to disconnect from Wi-Fi. Otherwise, the Wi-Fi will reset the time stamp for your WhatsApp message and prevent you from deleting for everyone.
This is very interesting. I was looking for a delete function not so much for deleting but to fix a badly typed msg. It’s a little more work than it should be to correct edit but at least it works when very needed. (Editing or using the wrong recipient when typing (very easily done on the PC app as you can go to several different people quite fast and end up with the wrong one.
My other concern, not a big one but still… Once you’ve deleted for everyone, does the msg still shows “Deleted msg” as it shows on your own device? I wish it would not as I don’t like the idea for other to know I deleted as they don’t know what or why I did.
Thank you for this article! This was a huge help! Decided after a few hours of sending a message breaking bad news through WhatsApp was not a good idea and thankfully they hadn’t read it yet.
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