WhatsApp Disappearing Messages: Everything You Need to Know


WhatsApp is finally catching up to its rivals with new features it has been releasing this year.

Chat apps like Telegram, Wickr, Signal, Snapchat, Confide among that others already have self-destructing messages feature.

WhatsApp disappearing messages disappear after seven days and this feature is available for group chats and individual chats.

Here’s how to set-up Disappearing Messages on WhatsApp

  • Head over to WhatsApp: and select a chat either group or individual.
  • To get to chat setting, just tap the group name or the chat name
  • Swipe down through the option until you see the Disappearing messages option and enable it.

Here’s everything else you need to know:

  • Media and messages won’t disappear from outside the chat or from any device they’re saved on – this means that the already downloaded media(if you already haven’t disabled this option – Go to Settings > Chats> Chat Settings> Media Visibility> Disable this toggle) will stay on your phone
  • If you don’t open the message within the seven day period, the message disappears. However, the message preview might still be displayed in notifications until WhatsApp is opened.
  • When you reply to a disappearing message, the quoted text might remain in the chat after seven days.
  • If a disappearing message is forwarded to a chat with disappearing messages disabled, the message won’t disappear in the forwarded chat.
  • If you create a backup before a message disappears, the disappearing message will be included in the backup. However, Disappearing messages will be deleted when you restore from a backup.

Long way to go

WhatsApp’s Disappearing messages feature has a long way to go.

Rival chat apps have this feature but is customizable according to a user’s preference and not just an on and off option.

WhatsApp could have also disabled media being downloaded on the phone by default when the disappearing meassage is enabled.

Another thing they could have done is disable screenshots being taken on messages with the disappearing feature or at least notify the other person that a screenshot of their chat has been screenshotted – something Snapchat and Telegram already do.

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