Disappearing Messages on WhatsApp: Turn Them On or Off

What are disappearing messages on WhatsApp? Is it necessary to disable the WhatsApp messages disappear feature? Does it add to the privacy or security of users while chatting with unknown people?

Disappearing messages on WhatsApp

WhatsApp is the world’s most popular and widely used communication application, and its security features and settings constantly evolve. 

NOTEEven though WhatsApp messages are encrypted, the app is not available in every country. The laws on internet censorship vary globally; for instance, not accessible in China. To unblock WhatsApp in China or any country, you need to change your IP address. For this, we recommend using FastestVPN to access any app worldwide securely. FastestVPN encrypts your connection further, especially when using public or free WiFi

The concept of disappearing messages was first created by Snap Inc. but later copied by Meta as a new feature for WhatsApp. However, as always, WhatsApp seems to be thriving a whole lot more, considering that Snapchat lost a lot of followers as WhatsApp began to advance. 

WhatsApp is a communication app that not only allows you to share permanent pictures, videos, voice notes, and text messages but gives you options beyond that. 

There is now an “Unsend” feature, but you can only use it within an hour of the sent text. As great as that is, there is still more: the disappearing messages on WhatsApp option. 

In this guide, we’ll show you how WhatsApp disappeared messages work, if it’s a security benefit, and whether or not you can recover WhatsApp texts that disappear. 

What are Disappearing Messages?

Disappearing messages are exactly what it means: messages that don’t remain on the app you are using. There are many apps that are known for this feature, be it Snapchat, Telegram, etc. but WhatsApp trumps all.

It gives some major benefits, specifically maintaining online privacy and security. It prevents pictures or videos from being exposed if they’re of an explicit nature. This is to help everyone keep conversations private, but only to a certain degree. 

If we’re talking about WhatsApp, the disappearing messages feature is the same, allowing you to send media or text messages for a short time. Once viewed by the recipient, it will immediately get deleted from both ends.

 However, even if disappearing messages on WhatsApp are a safety measure, does not mean they’re 100% safe. The recipient can still take a quick screenshot or a photo of it from another smartphone or device. 

Do Disappearing WhatsApp Messages Delete for Both Sender and Reciever?

Yes, disappearing WhatsApp messages are deleted for everyone. It is deleted once viewed or after some time. 

However, note that if your settings for disappearing texts are not enabled, then it can remain and be used in any way possible by the recipient. 

Another risk is if the person you’re sending the text to quotes it, you will not be able to make it disappear. This is why enabling WhatsApp settings is crucial, and taking precautions on the kind of content you send is advised. 

Key Notes Before You Enable Disappearing Messages on WhatsApp

  • The WhatsApp feature for disappearing messages can be set for 24 hours, 7 days, or up to 90 days. If you don’t open the WhatsApp text during the time that was set, the messages will disappear from the chat. However, the message preview option is sometimes still displayed. 
  • If the disappearing message settings on WhatsApp are disabled and the text is forwarded to another chat, the message will still remain. 
  • When you send a text that should disappear on WhatsApp, it might not be if the recipient or you quote it. However, it remains for a little time, but enough for a screenshot to be taken. 
  • When you send a “disappear message on WhatsApp,” ensure that you don’t run a backup before it’s deleted. This will make the message remain until chats are restored from backup. 
  • It’s a sad fact that the disappearing message functionality on WhatsApp is not available in some countries. An option would be to delete your message manually before it’s viewed. 

How to Turn On Disappearing Messages On or Off by Default

If you’re planning on enabling the disappearing WhatsApp messages option by default for all your chats, here is how to get started: 

  • Open your WhatsApp app. 
  • Click on the 3 vertical dots on the top-right of the screen. 

Click on three dots

  • Go to “Settings.”  

Select settings

  • Now, select “Privacy.”

Open Privacy settings

  • Click on “Default message timer.”

click on default message timer

  • Select between “24 hours, 7 days, or 90 days.”

disappearing messages on WhatsApp timer

Turn On WhatsApp Disappearing Messages on Specific Chats

Sometimes, all you want or would like is to enable the disappearing message filter option on specific WhatsApp chats. Here is how to do it: 

  • Open WhatsApp.
  • Select a specific chat by typing the name or group of the person. 

Select specific chat

  • Long-press on the chat to mark it and click on the three dots on the top-right of the screen. 
  • Click on “View contact.” 

View contact

  • Scroll down and click “Disappearing messages.”

Disappearing messages for specific chat

  • Now, under “Message timer,” select “24 hours, 7 days, or 90 days.”

disappearing messages on WhatsApp timer

If you need to disable the WhatsApp messages disappearing option, simply click on “Off.”

Can You Recover Disappearing Messages on WhatsApp?

If you run a WhatsApp backup, there are chances that you’d be able to recover disappearing messages on WhatsApp. It is like a simple recovery feature from various chatting apps. However, ensure that you recover disappearing messages before or during the set time. If done after that, all those messages are permanently deleted. 

Is the View Once Feature Different from the Disappearing Messages on WhatsApp?

They’re slightly different. Even though both serve almost the same purpose, the Disappearing Messages feature is for texts, voice notes, and other media content, whereas the View Once feature allows you to time only photos and videos. 

How Do You Backup Old WhatsApp Messages?

To back up all old WhatsApp messages, go to the settings and click on “chats.” Here, you will be able to access all of your chat settings. Click on “chats,” select “Chat backup,” and then tap on “Back up.” settings. You’ll find “chat backup” near the bottom of the page, next to an icon in the shape of a cloud. Tap “chat backup.” Wait a few minutes for the WhatsApp chat backup to complete. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Why have my WhatsApp messages disappeared on my new phone?

All data must always be transferred or backed up on WhatsApp to your Google Drive, iCloud, or iTunes accounts. If not done correctly, you lose all chat history when you change to a new phone.

How do you retrieve disappeared messages on WhatsApp?

If you have your disappearing messages feature enabled on WhatsApp, you cannot recover them. Always ensure there are backups of the important files or media content that you share or are sharing.

How do you read disappeared messages on WhatsApp?

To read disappearing texts on WhatsApp, you will need to check them before the set time runs out.

How do you get disappeared messages on WhatsApp?

It's easy to get the disappeared message option on WhatsApp. For default, click on the three vertical dots on the right side of the screen, select Settings > Disappearing messages > the timer. For specific chats, you need to long-press them individually, view the chat info, and enable the disappearing chat option.

If I block someone on WhatsApp will the old messages disappear?

Yes, you will be if the disappearing messages feature is off. When you block someone on WhatsApp, you won’t be able to send or receive messages, make calls, check their last seen, or WhatsApp status. In fact, you’re not even notified if you’re blocked.

How do you make old messages disappear on WhatsApp?

If your messages on WhatsApp are too old, you might be unable to delete them. You can delete the newer ones, but it’s pointless if the recipient has already viewed them.

Do messages on WhatsApp disappear when you factory reset your phone?

Yes. If you do not back up your WhatsApp chats to your Google Drive, iTunes, or iCloud, you lose older messages, along with other data. This is why backing up data regularly and deleting duplicates is handy.

To Conclude

You now know how to recover disappearing messages on WhatsApp and how to enable the option by default or for specific chats. However, just because your messages disappear from WhatsApp chats does not always make it safe. This is why we recommend keeping your chat content safe and explicit-free. 

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