Self-deleting messages on WhatsApp are still a relatively new feature. We show you how you can set self-deleting messages and how long they are then available.

WhatsApp users have only been able to send and receive self-deleting messages since 2020. Depending on the setting selected, these are then available in the chat for 24 hours, seven or 90 days.

Do you also want to use self-deleting messages on WhatsApp? We show you how to activate this option on your smartphone.

How do WhatsApp self-deleting messages work?

With WhatsApp you can activate the function of self-deleting messages either for all or only certain chats. This works in both individual and group chats – unless the group admin has generally deactivated the function.

You should note that the setting does not apply afterwards. So it only counts for messages sent or received after you set it up.

It is also important to know that self-deleting WhatsApp messages also disappear from the chat if they have not yet been viewed.

In this way, messages can be retained longer

However, there are certain circumstances where the messages may persist longer than intended. For example, the message can be displayed longer in the preview on the home screen.

Even if you reply to a self-deleting message, WhatsApp may permanently display the message in the quote window. If a:e user:in forwards a self-deleting message, it remains available longer in the new chat. Of course, users can also take a screenshot of the message before it disappears.

If you have activated automatic download on WhatsApp and receive a photo or video in a self-deleting message, it will be saved on your smartphone. If WhatsApp deletes the picture or video in the chat, it will remain in your media.

This is how you can activate self-deleting messages on WhatsApp

To enable self-deleting messages on WhatsApp, first open the Messenger app. Navigate to your settings and then select the menu item Privacy.

If you click on the Standard message duration option, you can choose between the different time frames of 24 hours, seven or 90 days or switch off the function of self-deleting messages.

If you want to activate the function in individual chats, click on the name in the respective chat and then on the option Self-deleting messages. This also takes you back to the selection of the respective time window.

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