How to delete WhatsApp messages after you've sent them

Did you know that you can erase your WhatsApp messages?
 (Photo: Shutterstock)Did you know that you can erase your WhatsApp messages?
 (Photo: Shutterstock)
Did you know that you can erase your WhatsApp messages? (Photo: Shutterstock)

WhatsApp users will soon be able to delete messages up to an hour after sending - but how does it work?

The popular mobile messaging platform actually already offers the erase function for a limited time, but a new update will extend this window to around an hour.

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Even those who use the app every day may not be aware of their ability to 'take back' sent messages.

It means that whether you have misspelled something, sent a message in the wrong chat group or even just written something that you now regret, you can remove it from the conversation.

How do I delete WhatsApp messages?

To delete a WhatsApp message, all the sender needs to do is hold their finger down on the message until the option to 'Delete' pops up.

The app will ask you to confirm this by tapping the trash can icon, then give users the option to either 'Delete for Everyone' or 'Delete for Me'.

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Everyone in your chat group will know you deleted your message, but won't know what it said (Photo: Shutterstock)

Will the deleted message disappear completely?

Providing everyone in your chat is using a recent version of the app, hitting 'Delete for Everyone' will remove your original message and replace it with a notification informing everybody in the conversation that a message has been erased.

Choosing 'Delete for Me' will only remove the message for you - others in the chat will still be able to see it.

What's the catch?

Of course, if someone else in your chat reads your message before you are able to delete it, they will still know what was said, even if the message is consequently removed.

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Especially in a large group conversation, you may not have time to delete a post before it is seen by one or more people.

One and a half billion users

First released in January 2009, WhatsApp now has user base of over one and a half billion, making it the most popular messaging application of all time.

The platform was acquired by Facebook in 2014 for a total of $19 billion – the social media giant’s largest purchase to date.

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