WhatsApp now lets you delete messages so recipients can't see them

We've all been there before: maybe you made a typo, perhaps you sent a text to the wrong person, or maybe an adult beverage encouraged you to send something you shouldn't have. Whatever the case, there are situations throughout life where being able to recall and delete a message that you sent to someone would be extremely useful. Thankfully, WhatsApp will soon allow you to do just that.

You've been able to delete messages in WhatsApp for a while now, but doing so would only delete it on your end. With this latest update, you'll now have the option to delete a message either just for yourself or for you and the person it was sent to.

With the update, holding onto the message you'd like to delete and tapping the trash icon near the top of your screen will showcase a few different options – Delete For Me, Delete For Everyone, and Cancel. When choosing to delete a message for everyone, the message on your screen will be replaced with "You deleted this message", whereas your recipient's screen will show the text "This message was deleted."

You only have seven minutes to recall a message after you've sent it.

This will likely be a very welcome addition for a lot of users, but there are some things to keep in mind. For starters, WhatsApp only gives you seven minutes to delete a message after you've sent it. Once those seven minutes are up, the person you sent the message to will be able to see it until the end of eternity. Additionally, WhatsApp doesn't give you any sort of notification if you were able to successfully delete a message or not.

I'm currently running v2.17.400 of the WhatsApp beta, so it appears that the rollout is a server-side thing. The feature should be making its way to more and more devices over the next couple days, however, so keep checking now and then to see when it lands on your phone.

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Joe Maring

Joe Maring was a Senior Editor for Android Central between 2017 and 2021. You can reach him on Twitter at @JoeMaring1.