TURNING ON Disappearing Messages can be a life saver if you are a regular WhatsApp user.
This feature automatically “unsends” texts – to avoid a massive log of all your messages stored on ether.
It’s a cybersecurity nightmare to store all your messages.
And some of your texts could even prove embarrassing.
I’m grateful What is it added a new feature called Disappearing Messages earlier this year.
This is text that automatically self-destructs after a certain amount of time.
And it’s very easy to activate it.
How to send lost WhatsApp messages
So how do you activate WhatsApp disappearing messages today?
Open your app on your phone then go to Settings > Account > Privacy.
Look for Disappearing Messages and then set the switch to the On position.
Then choose a time period for the messages to disappear – 24 hours, 7 days, or 90 days.
A message will appear in the chat confirming that Disappearing Messages has been enabled.
To enable it on an existing chat, you need to archive and then unarchive it first.
You can also enable Disappearing Messages on a specific chat by tapping the individual settings of the WhatsApp contact.
The system is not stupid, of course.
If someone takes a screenshot or records your chat, there is no way to delete that content from their phone using the official WhatsApp features.
As always, the best way to keep embarrassing or regrettable content off the internet is to not post it in the first place.
But if you’re really worried, using Disappearing Messages is a great system to work with.
Remember: only texts sent after you enable Disappearing Messages will be deleted. It won’t go back in time and scrub the old letters for you.
The text will also not be deleted in other chats that have been forwarded.
And the Disappearing Message will remain in the recipient’s backup – but will be deleted when the user restores from a backup.
Citing a message can also cause the text to remain in the chat, even if the original message has been deleted.
If you want to try out the new WhatsApp features first, consider joining the beta using our guide below.
How to get WhatsApp beta
Scroll down the page until you see “Become a Beta Tester”.
Tap the “I’m In” button and then click “Join” to confirm.
Now all you have to do is wait for the update to the beta version of the app.
Follow Apple’s guide here.