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(Pocket-lint) - Encrypted chat app, Signal, offers a number of privacy features, including Disappearing Messages. The WhatsApp rival has offered Disappearing Messages for a while - long before WhatsApp did - though it's now possible to set it so Disappearing Messages are on by default for any newly initiated chats.

Setting the feature to be on by default means that any messages sent and received within a new chat will automatically delete after the time set, which can be anywhere between four weeks and 30 seconds when using the standard options, or less when choosing a custom option.

It is worth bearing in mind that the recipient can always screenshot your chat - or take a photo with another device - and Disappearing Messages doesn't stop that being possible, but turning it on by default at least means messages will disappear if you don't want a history of the conversation on your phone, or you want to save storage space.

This feature guides you through how to set Disappearing Messages on by default on Signal. If you want to know more about Signal and the features it offers, then you can read our separate feature.

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How to turn Disappearing Messages on by default on Signal

To turn on Disappearing Messages by default on the Signal messaging app, follow the steps below:

  1. Open the Signal app
  2. Tap on your profile image in the top left corner 
  3. Tap on Privacy
  4. Tap on Default Timer for New Chats under the Disappearing Messages menu 
  5. Select the duration

You can choose between 4 weeks, 1 week, 1 day, 8 hours, 1 hour, 5 minutes, 30 seconds or a Custom Time.

Writing by Britta O'Boyle. Originally published on 12 August 2021.