How to delete WhatsApp messages (2021)

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Pavel Yosifovich
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The function for delete sent messages it is one of the best introduced by WhatsApp in recent years, but you have to know how to use it correctly.

Deleting a message sent on the messaging platform before the recipient reads it involves the taking into consideration a number of fundamental aspects that we explain in this guide.

If you want to successfully delete the messages sent by WhatsApp, pay attention to the following sections in which we solve the most frequent doubts about this function.



We have already warned you: to delete a message on WhatsApp you'll have to be quick.

There are a few things to keep in mind before deleting a WhatsApp message.

How long does it take to delete a sent WhatsApp message?

WhatsApp has integrated the function to delete sent messages in 2017 with a precise time limit: 7 minutes.

The time window to go back and fix an error by sending the wrong message was short, then this function could not be used correctly.

Fortunately, WhatsApp has extended to 60 minutes the time it takes to delete a message sent to all members of a conversation , a limit that still is in force Right now.

Once those 60 minutes have elapsed, you will not be able to delete the message and the rest of the attendee will be able to read it normally, as well as store any pictures or audio you shared on their phones.

Without a doubt, the time limit is one of the things to take into consideration before deleting a WhatsApp message.


Remember that the 7-minute margin is behind you and that you now have 60 minutes - or 1 hour, whatever you want to call it - to delete a message sent on WhatsApp, whether you do it from an Android phone or an iPhone.


We recommend: How to get started on WhatsApp, a basic guide with everything you need to know

How to delete messages in chats and groups

Once we confirm that you have 60 minutes to delete a message, we will review the process you need to go through to do this, in an individual chat or in groups.

How to delete WhatsApp messages for all recipients

First we focus on deleting messages for all members of the conversation, a function that allows you to delete it even on recipients' mobile phones and try to prevent them from reading it.

The steps are as follows:

  1. Open WhatsApp and access the chat in the sent message you want to delete is located.
  2. Select the message holding down on it. You can select multiple messages to delete at the same time.
  3. Click on the trash can icon that appears in the top bar e select the "Delete for all" option. Remember that this feature will only be available if less than 60 minutes have passed since the message was sent.

Therefore, the message will be deleted for all recipients. Note that if the recipient was chatting when you sent the message, it is very likely that he took the time to see it.


How to delete WhatsApp messages just for you

In addition to deleting a message sent to all members of the conversation, you can also delete it just for yourself.

This will only change the conversation on your mobile, not the conversation of the other participants. The steps to delete a message just for you are:

  1. Open WhatsApp and access the chat in the sent message you want to delete is located.
  2. Select the message holding down on it. You can select multiple messages to delete at the same time.
  3. Click on the trash can icon that appears in the top bar e select the "Delete for me" option.

In this case, there is no time limit, so you can easily delete messages sent over an hour ago.


In following screenshots you can see how is the process to delete sent messages on WhatsApp, for everyone or just for you.

The two options for deleting a WhatsApp message are “Delete for all” and “Delete for me”.

How to delete old messages

We have already seen that the age of the messages must be less than an hour if you want to be able to delete them easily for all members of a WhatsApp conversation.

Beyond that limit, you can delete messages for yourself without time limit.

However, you should know that there is a trick to delete old WhatsApp messages for all chat members even if it's been an hour since you sent them.


Note that recipients have most likely read the message in question if it's been two or three days since they received it.

Despite this detail, and in case it comes in handy at some point, we will explain step by step how to "trick" WhatsApp to delete old messages.

  1. Open WhatsApp and enter the conversation hosting the message you want to delete.
  2. Click the message you want to select, click the three-dot button in the upper right corner and select Information.
  3. Note the exact date on which you sent the old message you want to delete, it will be useful later.
  4. Activate the flight mode cell phone.
  5. Close the WhatsApp app. You can do this from Settings> Applications> WhatsApp> Force stop.
  6. Now is the time to change the date and time of the phone. Go to Settings> Date and time and turn off the automatic date and time. Then edit both data to set it a few minutes after the date and time you sent the message.
  7. Go to WhatsApp ed delete the old message for all recipients by following the procedure we explained in the previous section.


Deleting old WhatsApp messages is possible with this trick.

Can messages be deleted out of time?

In an "official" way it is not possible delete messages sent by WhatsApp once the famous 60 minutes we have talked about several times in this guide have passed.

However, we just saw in the previous section how this is possible "Fool" WhatsApp with a simple trick to delete old messages.

Other than this case, you always can delete messages in your conversation - not for the rest - without any time limit.

Once we have clarified these key concepts that you should know before deleting a WhatsApp message, we must also point out that there is always the possibility that the recipient is in the conversation when you send the message, or it takes very little time to access it.

In short, all the information explained in this guide will be very useful for you to master the function of deleting WhatsApp messages, ideal for when you're wrong when sending text, images or audio.


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