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Quoted WhatsApp messages can be seen even after the original has been deleted

While the original message is deleted, it still shows up in the quote.

Published onFebruary 20, 2018

  • Messages deleted using WhatApp’s “Delete for Everyone” feature found to still show up if they have been quoted.
  • While the original message gets deleted, it can still be seen in the quote.
  • WhatsApp’s “Delete for Everyone” feature allows users to delete sent messages.

I imagine that we have all had the experience of sending a message to a friend, only to realize once it’s gone that you sent the message to the wrong person (or, even worse, group). That is why it was such a relief when messenger app WhatsApp introduced a “Delete for Everyone” feature last year.

This feature is great because, assuming you realize within seven minutes of your message being sent, it allows you to delete the incorrectly sent message. This includes not only text but also pictures and video. Users simply have to click on the message and select “Delete for Everyone” to remove it from all the people in the chat.

While the time limit means it is perhaps still not good enough to delete regrettable messages in the morning after a night out, it was more than good enough to delete the odd message simply sent to the wrong person.

However, an article by The Next Web seems to suggest that if the message you try to delete has already been quoted by someone, then the deleted message can still be seen. Their tests showed that while the original message was gone, the quoted text still showed up.

How to delete WhatsApp messages
WhatsApp stock photo from Dec 2021 1

If a message has already been quoted, then that means it has been seen by at least one recipient anyway, and the feature was never foolproof—checking the Android notification history could in certain cases show the deleted message. There is also the simple fact that whoever you sent the message to could have taken a screenshot. So this news shouldn’t be a deal-breaker for WhatsApp users.

Realistically, the only way to know for sure that no one will have read your embarrassing message is to not send one in the first place. Be careful out there, folks.