Have you ever sent a message and then instantly regretted it? Or sent a private message to the wrong person? It’s a thought everyone wants to shake off immediately. Well, in that respect, WhatsApp users have one less thing to worry about.
Because the popular messaging app lets you delete a message for both yourself and the person you’ve sent the message to. However, there are some caveats, and it’s essential to know about them in advance. This article will tell you everything you need to know about deleting messages in WhatsApp.
Deleting the Messages
Imagine wanting to complain about your boss to your friend, but instead of texting the message to your friend, you accidentally send it to your boss? It’s a nightmare scenario, and it has often happened before.
If you’re using WhatsApp, there’s a chance you can fix that. Once the message is sent, and you realize it went to the wrong person, here’s what you should do:
- Go to the conversation and tap and hold the message you want to delete.
- On top of the screen, tap on a little trash can icon.
- When the pop-up screen appears, select “Delete for Everyone”.
That’s all you need to do. The inconvenient part of this process is that some clues of what happened stay behind. The person will see that there was a message and that it was deleted. They won’t know what it said, which is much better. It can always be easily explained as a mistake. For you, it will say, “You deleted this message”.
The Time Limitation
Now, here’s a vital thing to remember. You can only delete the message on WhatsApp within a seven-minute time frame. After that, the “Delete for Everyone” feature is gone. This might seem frustrating, but in a lot of ways, it makes sense.
WhatsApp understands that people are never too far from their phones and that it usually takes them a few minutes to read the message after they hear the notification sound. And often, it’s a lot quicker than that. That’s why you must react fast when you realize that you’ve made a mistake.
The person might see the message in a matter of seconds, and once they do, it won’t matter if you delete it or not. The damage has been done. But as long as the WhatsApp ticks don’t turn blue, you have a chance to change the outcome of this mistake.
Is There a Way to Cheat the System?
The time limit that WhatsApp gives you to go back and erase the message or messages becomes very hard to accept when the person you’ve messaged hasn’t seen it yet, but the seven minutes is up. The “Delete for Everyone” option is gone, and now it’s just a matter of time when they’ll read it. You can still delete it for yourself, but that won’t make you feel any better.
However, there is something you can do that’s worth a shot, not that it guarantees the desired outcome. Still, many people have reported that it fixed their issue. You can alter your phone’s date and then go back and delete the message for everyone.
This option is useful in an unlikely scenario that the person you messaged hasn’t seen what you sent even after days or weeks. Maybe they’re traveling, or their phone is simply off. Here’s what you should do:
- Disconnect your phone from the Internet (Wi-Fi & mobile data).
- Go to your phone’s settings and change the date of your phone to one day before the message was sent.
- Select the message or messages and tap the delete button. Select “Delete for Everyone”.
- Go back to settings and correct the phone’s date.
- Connect your phone back to the Internet.
This should do the trick. And whether the messages were read or not, they will now be deleted for both yours and the recipient’s phone. Sure, this seems like a little bit more work, but it’s worth it if you’re finally able to delete the messages.
Sometimes people change their minds about sending a photo or a text message long after those seven minutes are up. Some even want to go back and erase entire conversations. Deleting all of that can take a long time, but for peace of mind, they’d gladly do it.
Type with Caution
Everyone has made this mistake before, in one form or another. Maybe you’ve pressed “reply all” instead of “reply” to an email, and then proceed to say something you probably shouldn’t have said. Or you’ve posted on your feed instead of sending it as a direct message. It happens. So, if you were absent-minded or just typed very quickly when composing a WhatsApp message and made a mistake, be quick about fixing it. And you may have a chance of avoiding embarrassment.
Has this kind of thing ever happened to you before? Let us know in the comments section below.