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SmartphoneKnow-how 1313

Deleting WhatsApp messages: A life saver? Sometimes.

You’re not paying attention for a second and…oops, you’ve sent your WhatsApp message to the one person who was never supposed to see it. Lucky that WhatsApp has introduced the possibility to delete messages. Unlucky that this feature doesn’t always work.

Are you known to make a blunder? If so, I’m, sure you’re a big fan of WhatsApp’s ability to delete and revoke messages after you’ve sent them.

This feature has been around for more than a year now, but WhatsApp has just made a major adjustment to it (rather surprisingly): Instead of having 7 minutes to revoke your message, you now have no less than 68 minutes to do so. This extended time period is available with version 2.18.31 for iOS and version 2.18.69 in the playstore.

But even if you delete your message, the recipient might still get it.

The irks and quirks of deleting WhatsApp messages

Unfortunately, it’s not always possible to revoke a message. There are at least five cases in which the recipient will get your message even though you have deleted it.

  1. if the recipient sees your message before you delete it
  2. in group chats
  3. if the recipient has an old WhatsApp version
  4. for pictures
  5. if you only delete the message for yourself

The first case is simple: If the recipient reads the message in the chat window or the lock screen mode before you delete it, there’s nothing you can do. You can still delete the message from the chat – it is then displayed as deleted – but it doesn’t change the fact that the recipient has read it.

Green: A message that you have deleted. White: Messages that you aren’t supposed to see.

The same applies to group chats, whereas chances are much higher that someone sees your message (either in the chat itself or as a preview in the lock screen mode) before you delete it.

Number three is also more likely to happen in a group chat: If one or several recipients have an old version of WhatsApp, deleting your message won’t work. People who never update their apps or have an ancient smartphone will still see your deleted messages.

The thing about pictures

In theory, images can be deleted. What comes in handy is that there's no preview of image in the lock screen mode. If you're fast enough in deleting an image you weren't supposed to send, the recipient probably won't notice and will only see that you've revoked something. If you're not fast enough, it gets tricky. You'd think that if the person has seen the picture, as described in our first case above, you can still delete it – and if it's within the 68 minutes time period, the person may not have been able to view the picture in detail and it will be deleted, a bit like with Snapchat, where pictures only appear for a short time.

This sounds good, but it’s not how it works. Even if you delete images, they are still stored in the recipient’s image gallery.

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A friend of mine once took a screenshot of a conversation and wanted to send it to another friend – but sent it to the very person she was texting with. This friend, who didn’t delete the picture fast enough, came under real pressure to explain what she was doing.

This is really unfortunate, but the good news is you can avoid it happening by being careful and double-checking who you’re sending pictures to.

To delete a message, make sure to click «Delete for everyone».

Make sure to select the right option.

If you click «Delete for me», you’re in real trouble: The message disappears from your phone, but not from anyone else’s. It’s impossible to get it back in order to delete it for everyone.

The unknown

Even if you’re lucky enough to have deleted a message before anyone else has seen it, you’re not 100% sure if it worked. WhatsApp doesn’t confirm that you’ve been successful in revoking a message.

You’ll have to wait and see how or if the recipient reacts to find out if you’re message was deleted or now. Too bad. 😉

User
Testing devices and gadgets is my thing. Some experiments lead to interesting insights, others to demolished phones. I’m hooked on series and can’t imagine life without Netflix. In summer, you’ll find me soaking up the sun by the lake or at a music festival.

13 comments

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User Alessandro Bottinelli

Ich hatte auch schon dummerweise einen Screenshot der Person geschickt, mit der ich gechattet habe.. Hab dann nichts mehr von der Person gehört 😅 Seither achte ich ganz genau darauf, wem ich was schicke. Mich stört aber eine Sache an der Löschfunktion; der Empfänger sieht, dass was gelöscht wurde. Hierdurch gerät man dann aber doch auch in Erklärungsnot. Wäre cool, wenn das mal geändert wird ^^ Ich habe die Funktion zwar seit es sie gibt nie benutzen müssen, aber wenn ich sie mal brauchen sollte, dann solls auch so aussehen, als wäre nie was gelöscht worden xD

05.04.2018
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User fumo

Wenigstens gebt ihr offen zu verlogen zu sein, danke für diesen Kommentar :)

06.04.2018
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User timtimstief

Hättest einfach noch zum gesendeten Screenshot dazu schreiben müssen: "jetzt lies dir selber nochmals durch was du gerade geschrieben hast!"

06.04.2018
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User Alessandro Bottinelli

@Timtimstief
Daran hatte ich gar nicht gedacht xD Das hätte sogar zum damaligen Kontext gepasst ^^

06.04.2018
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User RetoBarbon

Wer sich etwas Zeit nimmt oder nähme beim Schreiben. Nicht aus einer Nachricht auch noch ein Screen-shot Gespött macht oder gar Zwietracht säht, der/die kann mit der Löschfunktion nicht nur Leben sondern auch glücklich sein. Es die Qualität, die mit der Menge an Kommunikation nicht mithalten kann.

06.04.2018
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User carcharoth

"Das Bild wird trotz Löschung in der Foto-Galerie auf dem Phone des Empfängers gespeichert."
Ist nicht immer so.
Man kann deaktivieren, dass WhatsApp die Bilder automatisch in der Galerie speichert, wenn man z.B. nicht möchte, dass die Galerie zu 90% aus irgendwelchen fremden Bildern besteht.

05.04.2018
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User pires

Ist so aber standartlich ist dies nicht deaktiviert und die meisten User sind "Einfache" Anwender welche nichts eingestellt haben nach ihrem geschmack. Der Empfänger müsste diese Funktion somit aktiviert haben was eben nicht bei allen der Fall ist und somit doch ein Nachteil.

05.04.2018
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User carcharoth

Ich wollts nur der Vollständigkeit halber erwähnt haben ;)

05.04.2018
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User fumo

Vollständigkeit ist hier nicht erwünscht, belass es bei den Halbwahrheiten!

06.04.2018
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User Anonymous

Von der reinen Funktionalität ist Whatsapp noch meilenweit von z.B. Telegram entfernt. Was die Privacy betriff sowieso, Whatsapp gehört Facebook und man schaue sich nur einmal die Nachrichten an in den letzten paar Tagen...

05.04.2018
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User Löchliwasser

Ja und Telegram ist weit hinter Threema oder Signal - aber wenn dann halt kein Mensch die App benutzt, bringt auch die beste, sicherste Messenger App leider nichts.

05.04.2018
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User fabian_sigrist

"Praktisch ist dabei, dass es keine Vorschau des Bildes im Sperrbildschirm gibt." Stimmt so nicht ganz, man kann die Benachrichtigung vergrössern und dann wird eine Bildvorschau angezeigt unter Android.

06.04.2018
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User poufpouf

supprimer whatsapp est plus sur et plus radical. De toutes manières, tout le monde dit des bêtises, alors qu'il suffit de...se taire.
Didier

15.04.2018
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