Whatsapp disappearing messages – how does it work?

How to enable or disable disappearing messages in WhatsApp on your smartphone?

WhatsApp has a feature that allows you to automatically clear messages, which increases the privacy and security of conversations. What are disappearing messages in WhatsApp and how they work.

What are Disappearing Messages in WhatsApp?

Disappearing messages in WhatsApp is a feature that automatically deletes messages after 7 days. This works in both regular chats and group chats (with multiple participants). After a week, the messages will be deleted, and none of the chat participants will be able to read them. However, this only applies to messages sent after the feature was enabled. Correspondence before the activation of disappearing messages will remain untouched.

Disappearing messages can be useful in the following situations:

  • If the user does not want to accumulate messages in the chat, but prefers to delete them from time to time. The function will automatically clear the chats in which the user connects it. Important! Disappearing messages must be activated for each chat separately.
  • After 7 days, none of the interlocutors will be able to read the sent messages again. Therefore, if the user does not want the information in the messages to be available in the long term, this feature can be activated.
  • If the phone falls into the hands of intruders, disappearing messages will not allow them to get confidential information about the user and his interlocutors.

All text messages will be deleted after 7 days, but media files (photos and videos), although they will disappear from the chat, will remain in the gallery. To prevent this, you need to turn off their automatic download in the messenger settings.

While the feature looks safe, there are several ways to bypass it and keep disappearing messages after 7 days:

  • The interlocutor can take a screenshot of messages, which will remain on his device. The user will not be notified about this.
  • The interlocutor can forward messages to the chat, where the function is disabled. There they are stored even after 7 days have expired.
  • If the interlocutor quotes the message by replying to it, the quote may remain in the chat even after a week.

How to turn disappearing messages on and off in WhatsApp?

Since the function is connected separately for each chat, to activate it, you must:

  1. Go to the desired chat.
  2. Click on the name of the interlocutor or the name of the group to open the detailed chat menu.
  3. Click on “Disappearing Messages”.
  4. Select “Next”.
  5. Press “On”.

After that, disappearing messages will be activated. To turn them off, you must follow the same instructions, but at the end click “Off”.

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