WhatsApp is rolling out a brand-new feature that lets users delete messages they’re already sent. The update is being rolled out to the messaging app’s more than one billion users. WhatsApp users will be able to delete messages that they have either sent to a group or an individual chat. Messages that have been successfully deleted in a chat will be replaced by “this message was deleted”.
There is one catch though – WhatsApp users are only able to delete messages within seven minutes of sending it. The WhatsApp team said: “Deleting messages for everyone allows you to delete specific messages you have sent to either a group or an individual chat. “This is particularly useful if you sent a message to the wrong chat or if the message you sent contains a mistake. “Messages you successfully delete for everyone will be replaced with “This message was deleted” in your recipients’ chats. “Similarly, if you see ‘This message was deleted’ in a chat, it means that the sender deleted their message for everyone.”
WhatsApp gave a breakdown for how to delete sent messages in the iOS and Android app in an FAQ post on their website.
Here’s a step-by-step guide for how to delete messages sent to everyone in WhatsApp:
- Open the app and go to the chat containing the message you wish to delete.
- Tap and hold the message > choose Delete from the menu. Optionally, select more messages to delete multiple messages at once.
- Tap Delete > Delete for Everyone.
In the FAQ post, WhatsApp added: “You can only delete messages for everyone for up to seven minutes after sending.
“Once seven minutes have passed, there is no way to delete messages for everyone.”
To be able to use the new version delete sent messages feature, you have to make sure both you and the recipient have the latest version. If you or your recipient does not have the latest version, the feature will not work.
WhatsApp also warned that the feature is not a guaranteed way to make sure your recipient does not see the offending message. They said recipients may see your message before it’s deleted or if the deletion was not successful. And if your attempts to delete a WhatsApp message to everyone was not successful, you will not get a notification.