Ways to auto-delete confidential messages on WhatsApp

WhatsApp has a feature called Disappearing Messages to protect confidential messages. This feature allows users to decide whether to automatically delete messages 24 hours, 7 days, or 90 days after they are sent. That is, before you send a message to someone on WhatsApp, you can decide whether the messages will be stored in their inbox, or will be deleted automatically after a certain period of time.

Let’s take a look at how WhatsApp’s Disappearing Message works, details of the rules for turning on and off Disappearing Messages.

How Disappearing Messages Work

WhatsApp’s Disappearing Message feature will work in both personal chats and group chats. However, previously sent messages are not covered by this feature.

In a normal private chat, any user can turn on or off the Disappearing Message feature. In the case of group chats, only the group admin can turn on or off the disappearing message feature by changing the group setting.

Even if a user does not open the chat within the selected time, the message will be deleted within the selected time. However, the preview of the message may remain in the notification.

When replying to a message, the message that is replied is shown in the form of a quote. If you reply to a disappearing message, in that case there will be a reply even if there is no message. If the disappearing message is forwarded to another chat, then that chat will not be deleted after the specified time.

If a user backs up the message before the message is deleted, then the message will be saved in the backup. However, after restoring the backup, the disappearing message will be deleted.

WhatsApp recommends using the Disappearing Message feature only with trusted people. Because if someone takes a screenshot or saves it before the message is deleted, then the privacy of the message may be lost.

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Rules for launching disappearing messages

In Chat, any user can turn on the Disappearing Message feature. After turning on the feature, new messages will be deleted after the selected time.

To turn on the Disappearing Message feature in WhatsApp:

  • Log in to WhatsApp and select the desired chat
  • This could be a chat with a person or a group chat
  • Tap the name of the contact / group
  • Now scroll down a little from the options that will come up
Rules for using WhatsApp Disappearing Messages
  • Tap on Disappearing messages
  • Then tap Continue any prompt
  • Select the time after which you want to delete new messages from 24 hours, 7 days and 90 days.
Rules for using WhatsApp Disappearing Messages

Rules for turning off disappearing messages

If you do not stop using the Disappearing Messages feature, all future messages will be deleted after a certain period of time. Any chat user can turn off this feature. To turn off the Disappearing Message feature:

  • Sign in to WhatsApp and enter the chat with the disappearing message on
  • Tap the name of the contact / group
  • Tap on Disappearing messages
  • At the prompt, actually tap Continue
  • Select Off

👉 Learn about the WhatsApp two-step verification feature

Let me tell you again, this feature will be applicable to the messages sent after the Disappearing Message feature is turned on. Messages sent earlier will not be deleted as a result. Also, if someone takes a screenshot, backs up or forwards, the message will remain. Moreover, once the image or video file is downloaded, it will not be deleted automatically. So understand the feature well before using it.

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