About disappearing messages

Disappearing messages is an optional feature you can turn on for more privacy.
You can set messages to disappear 24 hours, 7 days, or 90 days after they’re sent unless that message is kept. The duration you choose only affects new messages in the chat, not messages you’ve already sent or received.

How to use disappearing messages

You can choose to turn disappearing messages on for all chats or select specific chats. In individual chats, either you or the person you’re messaging can turn disappearing messages on or off.
Anyone can turn disappearing messages on or off in group chats by default. But, group admins can change group settings to allow only admins to do this.
You can set disappearing messages as default for new individual chats by tapping Settings > Privacy > Default message timer and selecting a duration.
  • You can set messages to disappear after 24 hours, 7 days, or 90 days. If you don’t open WhatsApp within the time you set messages to disappear, the message will disappear from the chat. But the message preview might still be displayed until the person you’re messaging opens WhatsApp.
  • If a disappearing message is forwarded to a chat with disappearing messages off, the message won’t disappear in the forwarded chat.
  • When you reply to a message on WhatsApp, the original message is quoted in your response. If you have disappearing messages turned on, the quoted message might still be visible in the chat after the duration limit has passed.
  • 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.
  • Disappearing messages are excluded from all backups and can't be restored by design. WhatsApp can't restore your disappearing messages for you, since we do not store your messages.
  • Disappearing messages aren’t available in certain countries for payment or order-related messages. You can still delete these messages from your own chat history individually.

About kept messages

Anyone in a group chat can keep disappearing messages to stop them from disappearing as long as the set duration time hasn’t passed.
  • A kept message will be visible to everyone in the conversation and won’t disappear when its duration expires.
  • The message sender has ultimate control over who can keep it. If someone keeps a message you've sent, you'll get a notification. If you decide to unkeep the message, no one else in the chat can keep it again.
  • You’ll have approximately 30 days to unkeep a message from the time it was kept.
Learn more about kept messages.

Media in disappearing messages

By default, any media you download in WhatsApp will be automatically saved to your photos. But if disappearing messages are turned on, media sent in a chat will disappear and won't be saved to your photos.
Related resources:
How to turn disappearing messages on or off: Android | iPhone | Web and Desktop
How to turn disappearing messages on or off in a group: Android | iPhone | Web and Desktop
How to change group admin settings: Android | iPhone | Web and Desktop

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