WhatsappWhatsApp disappearing messages is an optional feature that allows you to send a message that will quickly disappear from your chat history. This can be useful if you need to keep a conversation private especially if someone gets access to your phone.
On the same note, if you have a lot of chat conversations going on at the same time, it can be hard to keep up with them all. This is true if you have multiple groups or if you use WhatsApp on two different devices.
The feature gives you time duration options for when you wish to have the messages disappear. You can enable the messages to disappear after 24 hours, 7 days, or 90 days. Likewise, you can enable disappearing messages for multiple existing chats. This makes any new message sent in the chat disappear after the duration you select.
Note that the process only applies to messages sent after you enable it and not before.
How To Enable WhatsApp Disappearing Messages
You can enable WhatsApp disappearing messages by going into the settings for your WhatsApp account, then selecting “Privacy,” scrolling down, and clicking on the “Default Message Timer” section.
It’s important to note that either user in an individual chat can turn on or off disappearing messages.
1) Go to WhatsApp and open the “Chats” tab.
2) Tap the three-dot menu icon at the top-right corner of the screen.
3) Select “Settings.”
4) Tap “Account.”
5) Next, select “Privacy.”
6) Now, scroll down and click on the disappearing messages.
7) A pop-up asking you to start new chats with disappearing messages will show.
8) Choose a time frame of your choice (24 hours, 7 days, or 90 days).
This does not affect existing chats, but you can apply the timer to specific chats by selecting them one by one.
Again, you can either enable disappearing messages for selected chats or for all of your chats.
What if you want to disable disappearing messages?
You can disable the “disappearing messages” feature on WhatsApp at any time. Once you do this, any new message you receive will no longer disappear.
To do this,
1) Visit WhatsApp and select chats.
2) Click the three-dot menu icon in the top-right corner.
4) Click on Account.
6) Now, scroll down and select the default message timer.
7) Tap the “Off” button.
Does the feature apply to WhatsApp groups?
Yes, the feature applies to any of your WhatsApp groups. Any member of the group can turn on and off disappearing messages. But group admins can change the group settings to allow only admins to turn on and off disappearing messages.
Take note that you cannot edit group settings to enable this feature if you’re not an admin.
At the same time, if a participant doesn’t open WhatsApp in the selected time frame (a 24 hour, 7 day, or 90 day period), the messages will disappear from the chat history.
However, if you reply to a disappearing message, the quoted text will remain in the chat, but you may not preview it after the duration you select.
Related: How to use WhatsApp Web without a Smartphone
Also note that if a participant forwards a disappearing message to another chat, the message will be viewed and won’t disappear in the forwarded chat.
Some users also backup their WhatsApp messages on Google Drive. And if a disappearing message is included in the backup, then the messages will not be deleted but will be stored in the drive. The messages will only be deleted when a participant restores from a backup.
Disappearing messages feature doesn’t guarantee full privacy on WhatsApp. Any participant can screenshot, forward, or copy and save a message before it disappears.
That said, media and other documents sent in the chat will disappear, but will be automatically saved if users have enabled auto-download.