WhatsApp’s new feature that allows users to delete sent messages is now available to everyone, a week after it started rolling out to select users of the app. The ‘Delete for Everyone’ feature lets people recall messages sent on individual chats as well as WhatsApp groups, and is available across different platforms, such as Android, iPhone and Windows Phone.
One of the biggest use cases of the Delete for Everyone feature can be when you send a message to the wrong chat, or if the message sent contains a mistake. It is the latest feature added to WhatsApp in a long list of features introduced this year, and is biggest change to the chat app since blue ticks aka send receipts.
The Facebook-owned service confirms messages that have been successfully deleted for everyone will be replaced with “This message was deleted” in your recipients’ chats. Similarly, if you see “This message was deleted” in a chat, it means that the sender deleted their message for everyone.
How to get WhatsApp ‘Delete for Everyone’ feature, and how it works
Make sure you the latest version of WhatsApp is downloaded on your phone. The recipient must also have the latest version installed for the Delete for Everyone feature to work.
Select the message(s) you want to delete
Tap the delete/ trash icon on the screen
Now the dialogue box will show the new option Delete for Everyone
Once you hit the Delete for Everyone dialogue box, the sent message will be replaced with “You deleted this message”. Also, remember that the feature will not work if the other person is not on the latest version of WhatsApp; in this case, recipients may see the message before it’s deleted or if deletion was not successful.
WhatsApp says that the feature will be applicable only if the user is quick enough. The company explains that users can only delete messages for everyone for up to seven minutes after sending. This means that once seven minutes have passed, there is no way to delete messages for everyone.
Apart from ‘Delete for Everyone’, WhatsApp has renamed the regular delete option, calling it Delete for Me. This, as before, allows users to delete the message they’ve sent or received from the device. However, this will have no effect on the recipients’ chats. This feature will not change anything on the recipients end and they can continue seeing the messages in their chat screen.
To delete messages for yourself, users can head to the chat containing the message they wish to delete and tap and hold the message to delete multiple messages at once. In this case, users will have to use tap Delete (the trash icon) at the top of the screen, and then select Delete for Me.