How to Delete a WhatsApp Message Before Being Read

In my long years as a corporate support technician, this was one of the most recurring incidents. Some user called us all in a hurry commenting that he had sent an email by mistake to some head of the company and asked if we could recover it before the recipient read it. In those cases, the problem used to be quite significant, but luckily the email service allowed us to reverse if the user sent an email by mistake on certain occasions. Now, what about WhatsApp? Can a WhatsApp message be deleted before it is read by the contact to whom it has been sent permanently? The short answer is “yes, but with nuances.”

How to permanently delete a WhatsApp message before anyone reads it

For quite some time, WhatsApp has had a functionality that allows you to delete sent messages and thus prevent another person from reading them. Now, for this to happen, you must meet certain requirements:

  • Both you and the recipient of the message must have the latest updated version of WhatsApp.
  • You have a time limit of one hour. After 60 minutes, you will not be able to retrieve any message sent.

Of course, for all this to work, the recipient should not have read the message. If you see that the message already has the famous blue check, that means they have already read it.

In addition, there will always be a trace, and that is after deleting the text, you will see a message in its place indicating that there was a message there before and that it has been deleted. If the recipient is a little curious or ill-considered, they will probably ask you what that message contained.

The Procedures

That said, if you have mistakenly sent a message on WhatsApp, you can delete it forever, both for yourself and for the other person, by following these steps:

  • Select the message you want to delete by long pressing on it.
  • At the top of the screen, click on the trash can icon.
  • Choose the “Delete for all” option.

Once deleted, it will display the following text instead of the original message:delete for all WhatsApp

Remember that if you sent the message more than an hour ago, the option to delete for everyone will not be available. In this regard, WhatsApp also warns that if you sent a multimedia file, it is possible that the recipient still keeps that file in the WhatsApp photos folder.

Another detail to consider is that WhatsApp also does not inform you in case the deletion for all has not been possible. If you have doubts, there will be no way to know for sure.

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