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Every WhatsApp message you send going forward can now disappear if you want

This won't affect existing chats, but it's a useful feature for those of you out there who want some more privacy.
By
December 6, 2021
WhatsApp by Facebook stock photo 4
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority
TL;DR
  • You can now set the WhatsApp disappearing messages feature as your permanent default.
  • Messages will auto-delete after 24 hours, seven days, or 90 days.
  • This only works in one-on-one chats and your chat partner will be notified of the feature.

Last year, WhatsApp introduced a new privacy-centric feature that allowed you to make your messages disappear. For it to work, though, you needed to manually activate the feature within all your chats.

Today, however, WhatsApp disappearing messages can now be set as the permanent default for all your one-on-one chats. That means every time you start a new chat, your messages will auto-delete after a set period of time without you needing to think about it. Unfortunately, this does not work for existing chats. They will need to be manually deleted.

See also: How to message a WhatsApp number without adding it as a contact first

We have instructions below on how to turn this feature on. Once it’s on, your new one-on-one chats will have an alert that says the disappearing messages feature is on and that it’s the default. This is to alert your chatting partner of the feature. Obviously, if you want to turn it off for a specific chat, that’s possible to do.

You can set your messages to auto-delete after 24 hours, seven days, or 90 days. This is a nice extension of the feature since only the seven days option has been available since last year.

Unfortunately, group chats will not have WhatsApp disappearing messages by default. Instead, you’ll need to continue to manually turn this on, assuming the admin(s) of the group allows for it.

How to set WhatsApp disappearing messages as default

  1. Open WhatsApp on your Android or iOS device.
  2. Head to Settings > Account > Privacy > Default message timer.
  3. Select the duration of your chats: 24 hours, seven days, or 90 days.
  4. Going forward, all new one-on-one messages will auto-delete after the amount of time you just set.