Finally! WhatsApp lets you send 'view once' voice messages — here's how

WhatsApp logo on iPhone
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

In a world where digital privacy is increasingly valued, WhatsApp has taken another step forward with its latest update. Following the introduction of the View Once feature for photos and videos in 2021, WhatsApp has now extended this privacy option to voice messages. Imagine sending a voice note that self-destructs after being listened to, leaving no trace behind.

The concept is simple yet powerful: not every piece of information we share needs to linger in the digital realm indefinitely. The View Once feature ensures that your voice messages remain confidential, providing an extra layer of security that makes it perfect for sharing secrets or sensitive information.

View Once adds an extra layer of security by preventing messages from being forwarded, shared, copied, saved, or captured in a screenshot. Whether you're communicating sensitive information or simply prefer a more ephemeral digital conversation, the View Once feature offers a fresh perspective on how we use WhatsApp for a broader range of communications.

How to send view once voice messages in WhatsApp

This how-to guide takes you through the steps of sending and opening View Once voice messages on WhatsApp. These steps were carried out on a Google Pixel 8 but should work the same on any device on which WhatsApp has been installed.

1. In a WhatsApp thread, slide the Mic icon up

(Image: © Future)

To send a view once WhatsApp message, begin in the usual way for sending a voice message by selecting the microphone icon. You'll need to slide the icon up to lock the recording mode.

2. Select the 1 icon while recording

(Image: © Future)

When the recording has begun, tap the View Once icon, which is a number 1 circled with a dotted line.

Record your message and hit the send icon when you're finished.

3. Receiving a view once voice message

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Your message will appear on the recipient's WhatsApp screen as a notification of a Voice message with the View Once icon next to it. Unlike regular voice messages, it doesn't display call length or any other details.

4. Open view once message — WhatsApp warning page

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You can listen to a view once message by tapping the notification. You will get a warning message notifying you that the voice message will disappear from the chat after you close it and that you can't share, forward, copy, save, or take a screenshot of it.

To continue, tap OK.

5. Open view once message

(Image: © Future)

You can now listen to your message. When you have finished listening to your message, it will display a notification saying 'opened' on the conversation screen, and you can't open it again. 

The screenshot above shows a regular opened voice message above a View Once voice message so that you can see the difference in how they appear.

The View Once feature is a step forward in WhatsApp’s mission to improve privacy and security. There are, however, some caveats. While View Once media is designed to disappear, recipients could still capture screenshots or record the content using external devices. It's also important to be aware that encrypted media may persist on WhatsApp's servers for a limited period, and View Once voice messages will be accessible to WhatsApp if a recipient flags your message as offensive.

So, while View Once can improve the privacy and security of your exchanges, you need to balance its advantages with its limitations. You should only send messages to people who you trust.

To learn more about getting the most from WhatsApp, check out our guides on how to block someone on WhatsApp, how to unblock someone on WhatsApp, and how to lock WhatsApp with your FaceID on an iPhone.

Emma Street

Emma Street is a freelance content writer who contributes technology and finance articles to a range of websites, including Tom's Guide,, and BestMoney. She has over 15 years of experience working in technical development within the fintech industry. When not writing about tech, Emma can be found writing romantic fiction, reviewing films, and updating her tea blog.