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, unless that message is kept. The most recent selection only controls new messages in the chat, not previous messages you've sent or recieved. You can choose to turn disappearing messages on for all of your chats, or select specific chats. Disappearing messages can be kept in the chat so that they won’t disappear. Learn more about kept messages here.
In an individual chat, either user can turn disappearing messages on or off. In a group chat, any group participant 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.
- In certain countries, disappearing messages aren't available for payment or order related messages. You can still delete these messages individually from your own chat history.
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 > Privacy > Default message timer and select a duration.
If you’ve turned on disappearing messages, you and others in the chat can still keep messages to prevent them from disappearing, as long as the duration time hasn't passed.
Once the message has been kept, it will be visible to everyone in the conversation and not disappear when its duration expires. If someone keeps a message that you’ve sent, you’ll get a notification. As the sender of a message, you have the ultimate control over who can keep your message. If you decide to unkeep your 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.
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.
- How to turn disappearing messages on or off: Android | iPhone | KaiOS | Web and Desktop
- How to turn disappearing messages on or off in a group: Android | iPhone | KaiOS | Web and Desktop
- How to change group admin settings: Android | iPhone | KaiOS | Web and Desktop