About disappearing messages
Disappearing messages is an optional feature you can turn on for more privacy.
When you enable disappearing messages, you can set messages to disappear 24 hours, 7 days, or 90 days after the time they are sent. The most recent selection only controls new messages in the chat. You can choose to turn disappearing messages on for all of your chats, or select specific chats. This setting won’t affect messages you previously sent or received in the chat. In an individual chat, either user can turn disappearing messages on or off. In a group chat, any group participants can turn disappearing messages on or off. However, a group admin can change group settings to allow only admins to turn disappearing messages on or off.
- If a user doesn’t open WhatsApp in the 24 hour, 7 day, or 90 day period, the message will disappear from the chat. However, the preview of the message might still be displayed in notifications until WhatsApp is opened.
- When you reply to a message, the initial message is quoted. If you reply to a disappearing message, the quoted text might remain in the chat after the duration you select.
- If a disappearing message is forwarded to a chat with disappearing messages off, the message won’t disappear in the forwarded chat.
- If a user creates a backup before a message disappears, the disappearing message will be included in the backup. Disappearing messages will be deleted when a user restores from a backup.
Note: Only use disappearing messages with trusted individuals. For example, it's possible for someone to:
- Forward or take a screenshot of a disappearing message and save it before it disappears.
- Copy and save content from the disappearing message before it disappears.
- Take a photo of a disappearing message with a camera or other device before it disappears.
Disappearing messages for your account
You can turn on disappearing messages by default for all new individual chats.
- iPhone and Android: Go to WhatsApp Settings > tap Account > Privacy > Default message timer and select a duration.
Media in disappearing messages
By default, media downloaded in WhatsApp will be automatically downloaded to your photos. If disappearing messages are turned on, media sent in the chat will disappear, but will be saved on the phone if auto-download is on. You can turn auto-download off in WhatsApp Settings > Storage and Data.