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How to send view once messages on WhatsApp

View Once brings a Snapchat element to WhatsApp. Just be aware of its limitations.
September 11, 2023

WhatsApp rolled out its view once messages feature in mid-2021, giving users the ability to send disappearing media to others on the platform. WhatsApp believes the feature will benefit users sending sensitive or personal info like a “Wi-Fi password” or “new clothes you’re trying on.” But how do you use WhatsApp’s View Once messages feature? Find out more below.


In a private or group chat, tap the paperclip icon to add media, tap the 1 icon to set the media as view once, then tap Send.


How to send a view once message on WhatsApp

1. Open a private or group chat.

Select any contact, group chat, or start a new conversation.

2. Tap the paperclip icon

In the chat, tap on the paperclip icon to bring up the attachment box. Select Gallery, to attach an existing image or video, or Camera to snap a new photo or record a new video. WhatsApp will only allow videos up to 16MB.

3. Tap the 1 icon

It’s easy to miss, but once you’ve selected your image, be sure to tap the 1 icon next to the Send button. It should resemble a 1 within a circle with half a solid line and half a dotted line. Upon tapping this icon, its background will switch to solid green. You’ll also get a confirmation on screen that the media is now set as view once.

4. Tap Send

You can now send the media. The recipient will be made aware that the content can only be viewed once. After they view the media, WhatsApp will change the message status to Opened in the chat (but only if they have read receipts switched on).

WhatsApp view once messages: What you should know

While the feature will restrict users from viewing images or videos multiple times, it’s not as snoop-proof as we’d like. While WhatsApp won’t store media on the recipient’s phone, the app won’t notify you if a recipient screenshots an image. And yes, recipients can screenshot images. However, they won’t be able to use any WhatsApp recovery methods to see them once they’re gone, so that’s nice.

Before using WhatsApp’s View Once feature, be aware of its limitations. Overall though, it’s a welcome inclusion to WhatsApp’s feature list. If you don’t yet have the chat app on your Android phone, grab it using the button below.