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WhatsApp now lets you delete messages two days after sending them

WhatsApp updates on iPhone
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

We’ve all sent regrettable messages now and again, but fortunately a new WhatsApp update will help you avoid embarrassment, by letting you delete messages more than two days after you sent them. 

WhatsApp announced the change on Twitter (opens in new tab), noting that this new deletion option is rolling out now and will give users a total of two days and 12 hours to delete messages they’ve sent. What's more, this won't just delete the message for the person doing the deleting, but also for the recipient. This is a big upgrade on the previous deletion time of one hours, eight minutes and 16 seconds previously enabled by the instant messaging service. 

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Of course, this doesn't mean that recipients of an unwisely sent message won’t see it at all, just that it won't be recorded for posterity; well, unless the recipient takes a screenshot of it. But deleting a text that may have gone too far could show intent to take back what was said and extend an olive branch to a metaphorically wounded recipient.

There is an argument that this feature could be ripe for abuse, with the ability for people to delete unsavory messages and claim they'd never said it in the first place, leading to a form of virtual gas-lighting. So, we suggest you use this new deletion feature with a degree of social responsibility and common sense.

To use the new deletion feature, it’s simply a case of tapping and holding on a WhatsApp message then hitting the trashcan icon in the bottom left corner of the app in iOS, or the same icon in the menu served up in the top section on Android.

Next, select the “delete for everyone” option to purge the selected message. Do note, that if it’s outside of the deletion window you’ll only be able to delete it from your view, and not that of the recipient.

If you can’t delete a message going back two days just yet, then hold tight as the WhatsApp update may not have reached you; rest assured that it will soon.

Read next: WhatsApp will soon let you leave group chats on the sly.

Roland Moore-Colyer a Managing Editor at Tom’s Guide with a focus on news, features and opinion articles. He often writes about gaming, phones, laptops and other bits of hardware; he’s also got an interest in cars. When not at his desk Roland can be found wandering around London, often with a look of curiosity on his face.