Does Snapchat Delete Unread Snaps?

Snapchat is among the most popular and most widely used messaging and chat platforms. The network boasts in excess of 150 million daily users from all over the world. The app is most popular in English-speaking countries, Scandinavia, India, and Japan. It is also popular in France, Portugal, and several other EU countries.

TechJunkie's Fast Answer
Yes, after 24 hours or 30 days.
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The automatic deletion of messages after they are read or seen is Snapchat’s main feature and it’s been so since the platform’s launch back in 2011. It is well known that Snapchat deletes messages, videos, and stories, but does Snapchat also delete unread snaps?

Snapchat Messages

One of the key marketing points of Snapchat is that nothing lasts forever. Communications between you and others will automatically delete. Texts, photos, and videos will all disappear after some time, or after someone has viewed the information. Once deleted, your content is gone for good.

Your Snapchat stories are viewable for 24 hours after posting. But what about your messages and snap? The content that you send to friends? Even if you’ve sent a private message to other Snapchat users and they’ve never read it or responded, will Snapchat delete that too?

The answer is yes. Snapchat will delete ‘Unread’ content.

Here’s how it works: The time it takes for your unread content to disappear varies depending on the form of communication. Your unread messages are no longer available after 30 days. Some of these unread messages may disappear after 24 hours.

The basic rules are as follows:

  • If you’ve sent a one-on-one message – This will automatically be deleted after 30 days
  • Messages in groups – These are automatically removed after 24 hours.

It’s important to mention that there is a difference between snaps and messages. The snaps you’ve sent are in video form. The messages are the text you’ve sent. Both of these are accessed by selecting the ‘Message’ icon in the lower left-hand corner of the app.

What About Unread Snaps?

Unread snaps, like all other unread content, are deleted after they expire. Depending on the context, unread snaps may be deleted after 24 hours or 30 days. Here’s how Snapchat will handle your unread snaps:

  • If you have sent a snap in a one-on-one chat, Snapchat’s servers are set to delete the unopened snap after 30 days. If the recipient opens the snap within 30 days, it will be deleted as soon as it’s seen.
  • If you have sent a snap to a group chat, Snapchat’s servers will wait for 24 hours before they delete it. If, however, all participants see the snap within the designated timeframe, the snap will be deleted before the time expires.

Change the Settings

Snapchat doesn’t give you much in the way of controlling your unread messages, but it does allow you to change the timeframe ‘read’ messages are deleted.

You can do this by:

  1. Open a new chat to the contact in question
  2. Tap on the user profile icon in the upper left-hand corner
  3. Tap on the three dots in the upper right-hand corner
  4. Tap ‘Delete Chats…’
  5. Set to ‘After Viewing’ or ’24 Hours After Viewing’

If you’re concerned about a lingering unread message you can tap on the ‘Clear Conversation’ option. If you or the other user has saved the conversation this function will not work. It will still exist in the saved conversations.

Saving Conversations

If you’d like to save a conversation you can. Once the message is sent, long-press the text. Choose the option to ‘Save in Chat’.

From here you can tap on the user icon in the upper left-hand corner just as you did previously. Scroll down and you will see the ‘Messages Saved in Chat’ box. You can also choose the ‘Delete’ option here to remove the message you’ve sent.

Snaps You Can’t Delete

If you were wondering whether you can delete the snaps you send to your friends before they are set to expire, get ready for some bad news. There is little, if anything, users can do to delete the snaps they send. Officially, there is no “Delete” option for the snaps like there is for messages.

None of the methods listed above work for a snap, only the messages. The one-on-one snaps will be available for 30 days, whereas the group snaps are available for only 24 hours, even if they’re unread.

If you’re serious about getting rid of a Snap that was sent in error, there are a few things to try. Some of the methods users have tried include:

Deleting the Account

Some users have tried this method, hoping that all their communication would be deleted along with the account. However, Snapchat waits 30 days before deleting the account for good and, with it, keeps all the messages and snaps sent to and by the deleted account.

If you take this route, your snap will remain visible to the recipient, and Snapchat will delete it once they open it.

Blocking the Recipient

Keep in mind that by blocking the recipient, you are also removing them from your friends’ list (you also get removed from theirs). If you block them before they open the snap you don’t want them to see, your conversation will disappear from their profile, along with the problematic snap.

However, the snap and the conversation will still appear on your account.

Snaps You Can Delete

Snapchat will not allow you to delete a snap you sent to a friend. However, you are able to delete the snaps you submitted to Our Story. The snaps you contributed to ‘Our Story’ are viewable around the platform for various amounts of time. Some will be available for 24 hours, while others might be available for much longer. Here’s how to remove them:

  • If it is a snap you posted less than 24 hours ago, go to the Stories screen and tap the button next to “Our Story”. Next, find the snap you want to remove, open it, and tap the trash bin icon at the bottom of the screen. This will remove it from Search, Context Cards, and the Map.
  • If it’s been more than 24 hours, in Settings, go to “Our Story Snaps” to see the ones that are still active. Find the one you want to be removed and tap the trash bin icon to remove it.

Snapchat also allows you to delete snaps from a Custom Story at any time. If you do not delete them, Snapchat servers will do so 24 hours after posting.

Frequently Asked Questions

If I block someone on Snapchat, do my snaps and messages disappear?

When you block another user on Snapchat any remaining communications that have yet to expire will continue to show for the recipient. These messages and Snaps will no longer be available for you to view.

Once another person is blocked, they will no longer see your username or profile but they can still view any messages until they expire.

Can I manually delete my unread messages?

You can manually delete or retract unread messages that you’ve sent (this won’t work with Snaps though). Long-press the message that you sent and click the option to delete it. The other user(s) will be notified that you removed a message so be prepared to explain.

Will messages delete immediately if I delete my account?

Unlike blocking someone, if you delete your account all of your saved chats, active chats, and snaps will disappear. If you’ve sent a Snap that you absolutely want to delete you could close your Snapchat account (it’s not practical but the option exists).

My unread messages are still showing. What’s happening?

If you open your Snapchat messages and some are still showing from months ago, it’s likely because they are saved in the chat. If you’d like to delete them you can long-press the message and tap ‘Unsave in Chat.’ The messages will automatically disappear. You can also tap on the option to delete the message to expedite the process.

6 thoughts on “Does Snapchat Delete Unread Snaps?”

Avatar Liz says:
I would like to know the answers to the questions above too. Does a deleted snap say opened after 30 days?
Avatar Cali says:
I hope so bc it happened to me this morning. A snap I sent my bf a month ago came up as opened and since he hasn’t had snapchat in a year I got upset thinking he was lying and it caused a fight. He swears he had nothing to do w it and by seeing everyone else’s comments I think that does happen after 30 days .
Avatar Chloe Fisher says:
I sent a message to my deceased Fiancé and it is showing up as he read them. No one else has his account info. I’m just a little confused about what’s going on and why it’s showing it as read.
Avatar ameena asif says:
I sent snaps and they were pending but after days( probaby after 30 ) it’d say ‘ open’
for example i sent a snap on Aug 13th and on Sep 13th it read ‘ opened’ . I mean, i know snaps get deleted like they disappear but this one kept saying ‘ opened’
I have send pending snaps to someone else that would just disappear and not say ‘ opened’ ( thats when snapchat deletes them right ? ) why is it that it says ‘ opened’ now ?
Avatar Agatha R. says:
I sent a snap message to my bf, right before he deleted his account and created a new account. It remained in my recent conversations (unopened) for almost 2 weeks, and then suddenly disappeared. Souldn’t it have stayed in recents for the 30 day window, until the account was completely deleted? (Barring the possibility of him reactivating his deleted account and blocking me so I wouldn’t find out)
Avatar Kristina H. says:
This is happening to me as well. My husband claims he doesn’t have Snapchat anymore and I’ve even checked his download history and everything. But, twice I’ve accidentally checked his name when sending to more than one person and it says opened after 30 days. So of course this has caused fights. We need answers!
Avatar Cali says:
Happened to me this morning . My bf stopped using snapchat about a year ago and I accidentally sent him a snap a while back and everything I’d go on snap I’d see that it stayed on delivered BUT this morning I randomly go on and seen it said “opened” then it said 4 weeks ago I’m assuming it’s when I sent the snap. A few days ago it was still as delivered. Also it caused a fight and he swore he hasn’t been on snap then I seen this page and I’ve noticed after 30 days it has happened to other ppl . Also it helps to check their score my bfs snap score stayed the same (it goes up every time u receive or send a PIC snap) it goes up by 1 for each pic doesn’t matter if it’s sent or received but it won’t go up w messages . Anyway so I was confused why a number didn’t go up if he “opened” my message. But I’m guessing it’s bc it has been 30 days and it shows up like that..

Also keep in mind that for the snap score to go up a point they have to open the pic snap and vise versa. So just keep ur eye on that snap score ;)

Avatar Evelyne says:
Actually it sounds like YOU caused the fight. He wasn’t even aware of it, and you freaked out on him. Trust issues? Poor guy
Avatar Cami says:
An ex of mine passed away almost a year ago. Sometimes I send a chat when I’m sad. His account should be inactive. However, every time I have sent a chat message, it will appear as “opened”. Sometimes it’s after a month, sometimes 2 months. What is happening here? If Snapchat automatically deletes snaps/chats after 30 days, would it say “opened” on my end as a technicality? Just wondering. It freaks me out every time
Avatar Laura says:
Did anyone ever respond to your question? I have recently had this happen to me and was curious. I can’t find any info related to it.
Avatar Jane says:
I would like to know as well. Any answers?

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