Sent the right message to the wrong people? Said something wrong (to the right people)? Find out here how to unsend a WhatsApp message and repair the damage. You have to be quick, though.
First, Two Rules That Shall Prepare You for Life’s Big Realms
Know them, and you will be prepared to challenge practically anyone at any time. At the least, you can distract and confuse them. Are you prepared for the rules? Well, as chance would have it, these rules are very similar, so you practically only have to remember one to know them both: “offside” in association football and “en passant” in chess.
All right, I wanted to talk about chess and taking pieces… but that shall have to wait for another day; now, let’s talk about WhatsApp and taking messages (away; even after they have been sent):
How to Unsend a WhatsApp Message on a Mobile Device (iOS or Android)
To delete a message you have sent in WhatsApp:
- Tap and hold the message you want to unsend in WhatsApp.
- Select Delete from the menu that has appeared.
Tip: You may have to tap More or the right button (▶︎) to reach Delete in the menu.
Note: After selecting Delete, you can check further messages to unsend more than one at a time.
- Tap the Delete button (🗑) at the bottom of WhatsApp.
- Select Delete for Everyone from the menu that has appeared.
Important: You can unsend a message for 7 minutes; after that, you can only delete the message from your own chat history.
- Optionally, tap and hold the placeholder message, then select Delete from is context menu.
Hint: The placeholder reads: “🚫 You deleted this message.”
Note: Use the Delete button at the bottom as before and select Delete for Me to clean up your chat.
How to Unsend a WhatsApp Message on the Web
To undo sending a message in WhatsApp Web:
- Position the mouse cursor over the message you want to delete in WhatsApp Web.
- Click the downward-pointed caret (⌄) that appears in the message.
- Select Delete message from the menu that has shown.
- Now select DELETE FOR EVERYONE under Delete message?.
To unsend multiple messages in one go using WhatsApp Web:
- Click the menu button (⡆) for the chat.
- Select Select messages from the menu that has appeared.
- Make sure all messages you want to unsend are checked.
- Click the Delete messages button (🗑) in the bottom toolbar.
- Select DELETE FOR EVERYONE.
How to Unsend a WhatsApp Message: FAQ
How long do I have to unsend messages in WhatsApp?
You have around seven minutes to undo sending a message in WhatsApp. After that time, you can no longer delete the message for others in a conversation, only for yourself.
Will unsent WhatsApp messages disappear without a trace?
Messages you or others have unsent, will be replaced with This message was deleted in chat.
Is there a chance older versions of WhatsApp will still show the message after unsending?
Unsending messages was introduced with WhatsApp 2.17.80 in November of 2017. Earlier versions of WhatsApp may receive and show messages fine but fail to retreat them once they are unsent.
(How to unsend a WhatsApp message tested with WhatsApp 2.19 and WhatsApp on the web; updated July 2019; title image: StockUnlimited)