WhatsApp by Facebook stock photo 9

WhatsApp is a top-rated messaging app, with billions of chats sent every day. However, that also means there’s a good chance that a message or two will end up in the wrong place. If that sounds like a problem you’ve faced, you’ve come to the right place. We’ll walk you through how to delete a WhatsApp message in a hurry.

See also: How to backup WhatsApp: Never lose a message again

We’ll walk you through the easiest ways to get rid of a single message, a chat, or wipe your entire history. There’s also an unofficial way to delete WhatsApp messages up to a week old, so we’ll touch on that, too.

How to delete a WhatsApp message

WhatsApp use in hand
Dhruv Bhutani / Android Authority

If you accidentally pressed send on a message to the wrong group, fear not. You have up to an hour to delete a message for everyone before it becomes a set-in-stone part of history. The steps are straightforward, so just head to the group chat in question first. Then, follow these steps:

  1. Press and hold the message (or messages) to select it.
  2. Tap on the Delete button with a trashcan icon.
  3. Select Delete for everyone.

The message should be gone, though we can’t help it if your recipients read the message before you got to it. They may have also saved images you sent to their phones, which you can no longer delete. If you want to delete a message from your own chat, follow the steps above and press Delete for me instead of Delete for everyone. Luckily, you don’t have to worry about the one-hour time limit in this case.

See also: How to delete a WhatsApp account

How to delete a WhatsApp chat

android 11 beta chat bubbles whatsapp
Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority

If you really, really sent the wrong message, you can always take things a step further. Instead of axing a message, why not purge the whole chat? It’s an extreme measure, but it should do the trick. Depending on your needs, follow these steps:

Individual chats

  1. In the Chats tab, press and hold the chat you want to delete.
  2. Tap on the Delete button with a trashcan icon, then press Delete.

Group chats

Group chats take one more step before you can delete them, and that is to exit the group first. This allows the rest of the group to carry on without you.

  1. In Chats, press and hold the chat you wish to escape.
  2. Tap More options with the three-dot icon, then press Exit group and confirm.
  3. Press the group chat once more, then tap Delete with the trashcan and Delete.

Clearing all of your chats

Yout last option for deleting chats is to purge the entire slate. This will eliminate all of your individual chats and status updates, but you’ll still have to exit each group chat one at a time.

  1. In the Chats tab, head to More options.
  2. Enter the Settings menu, followed by Chats and Chat history.
  3. Press Delete all chats.

There you go, one empty WhatsApp chat menu. Hopefully, you don’t have to do this too terribly often.

See also: How to add and delete a WhatsApp contact

What about deleting week-old chats?

WhatsApp by Facebook stock photo 6

We teased it right up top, but there’s a special way to extend your one-hour delete for everyone option that doesn’t involve a time machine. It’s far more difficult than the last few methods, but sometimes you have to do what you have to do. Here’s how to delete an older WhatsApp message:

  1. Make a note of the date and time of the message you plan to delete.
  2. Force quit out of WhatsApp.
  3. Disable cellular data and activate Airplane Mode.
  4. Enter the Settings menu and change your phone’s date and time before you sent the message.
  5. Select the message you want to delete, and press Delete for everyone.

There you go, one deleted message with no time limits involved. The idea is to trick WhatsApp into thinking you never missed the cutoff time. Don’t forget to change your date and time back to the present and double-check that the process actually worked. If it did not, you might want to try again.

Also, you cannot delete messages older than four months, or WhatsApp will know that something is up. You must also make sure that you’re on the latest version of WhatsApp.

There you go, plenty of ways to get rid of your WhatsApp messages. One of these is bound to work and should save you from some embarrassment. We can’t promise that your recipients haven’t read the message already, but at least it gives you a chance.