Skip to main content

WhatsApp may give you longer to delete messages from other people's phones

WhatsApp message thread on iPhone X
WhatsApp message thread on iPhone X (Image credit: Luke Filipowicz/iMore)

What you need to know

  • WhatsApp is tweaking the way it allows people to delete messages for everyone.
  • Messages can currently be deleted for everyone for around an hour after they were sent.
  • Reports suggest a new beta allows messages to be deleted long after the previous time limit has expired.

WhatsApp is testing a change that will allow people to delete messages from other people's devices for longer than is currently possible, according to reports.

While WhatsApp already allows people to delete messages "for everyone," that's only an option for around an hour after the message was first posted. Beyond that, the message can only be deleted for the sender. Now, WABetaInfo reports that WhatsApp is testing a change that will allow messages to be deleted for everyone for longer, although it isn't yet clear how long the window will be — or even if there will be a window at all.

The feature change is currently available to some people on the latest WhatsApp beta.

Whatsapp Delete For Everyone Screenshot

Whatsapp Delete For Everyone Screenshot (Image credit: WABetaInfo)

We know that the previous limit was 1 hour, 8 minutes, and 16 seconds but, as you can see in this screenshot, we tried to delete a message sent over an hour before and the option "delete for everyone" still showed up, so this is the best way to check if the feature is already available for your WhatsApp account. If "delete for everyone" doesn't show up, don't worry: there will be another beta update that will make the feature available for your account.

WhatsApp is one of the best iPhone apps for people who need to stay in touch with people who don't have access to iMessage, like those using Android devices. The app continues to evolve with WhatsApp recently opening up the ability to react to a message using any emoji they like.

Oliver Haslam
Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.