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Undo WhatsApp messages: the deletion period has been drastically extended


So far, anyone who wanted to withdraw a WhatsApp message had about an hour to do so. Now the messenger has revised the regulation. What users should know about it.

Enlarge image

WhatsApp app icon: The service is the most widely used chat software in Germany

Photo: Patrick Sison/ AP

Anyone who sends a chat message via WhatsApp that he or she later regrets or accidentally sent to the wrong person can use a delete function to get out of the affair.

Under the name “Delete for everyone”, the messenger offers the option of subsequently removing messages from the chat history that you have sent yourself.

The recipients will then see that a message was deleted in the chat, but no longer its content.

The time window in which "Delete for everyone" was possible was very short so far, WhatsApp itself spoke of "about an hour".

On Monday evening, the service belonging to Meta announced almost casually via Twitter that the time limit had been massively increased to “just over two days”.

Tech blogs such as "9to5Mac" immediately provided detailed information: According to them, the new limit is now two days and twelve hours.

Previously read it at exactly one hour, eight minutes and 16 seconds.

DER SPIEGEL was able to roughly understand the two-and-a-half-day statement by "9to5Mac" based on the latest Android version of WhatsApp: three-day-old chats could no longer be deleted, but chats that were almost two-and-a-half days old could actually still be deleted.

The new regulation affects both individual and group chats.

Deleted does not always mean completely gone

With the "Delete for everyone" function, WhatsApp messages can be deleted that have been sent but not read at the time of deletion, as well as those that a chat partner has already seen.

WhatsApp itself points out that its delete function does not always make everything that has been sent disappear: Depending on the settings of the chat partner, it is possible, for example, that their mobile phone saves photos received via WhatsApp.

The other party also has the option of backing up content in the form of a screenshot before it is removed.

Another risk: According to WhatsApp, in the event of problems, users are


notified that and why the "delete for all" did not work.

If you want to delete one or more of your own messages in the app, you first mark them by tapping on them for a long time.

A trash can icon will then appear at the top of the app.

If you tap on it, two options called "Delete for everyone" and "Delete for me" are offered - provided you are in the right time slot.

The latter option, for which there is no time limit, only deletes everything marked from your own chat view.

The content remains visible on the chat partner.

WhatsApp does not offer the option of editing messages afterwards, for example to correct spelling mistakes.


Source: spiegel

All tech articles on 2022-08-09

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