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(Pocket-lint) - Have you ever sent a WhatsApp message that you quickly regretted? Or maybe you second-guessed it later that day or the following week? Either way, same here. It's not a great feeling, and it really makes us wish the messaging service had some sort of undo button.

Well, did you know it does?

Starting in 2017, WhatsApp began allowing users to delete their sent messages with a feature called "Delete for everyone". There are a couple of caveats to how it works - like that you have to delete your sent message within a certain timeframe. Still, here's everything you need to know.

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How to delete your sent WhatsApp messages

Update and open the latest version of the WhatsApp app on your phone and follow these steps:

  1. Go to the chat with the message you wish to delete.
  2. Tap and hold the message, then choose Delete from the menu.
  3. You can also select more messages to delete multiple messages at once.
  4. Then, tap Delete, and then tap Delete for Everyone.

Tip: Tapping Delete for Me instead of Delete for Everyone will only delete the message for you. Your recipient will still see it.

How long do you have to delete a message?

To successfully delete a message you sent to someone on WhatsApp, you must decide to do so within the first two days. You can't delete it after that, WhatsApp explained on Twitter.  Originally, WhatsApp capped the ability to delete messages to 7 minutes after they were sent, and then it extended that to an hour. The ability to delete a message within two days first started in August 2022. 

Can a recipient tell if you delete a message?

Yes. Your recipient will see a "This message was deleted" notice (which won't look suspicious or anything). Seriously, though, they can also accidentally read messages you've sent before you've had a chance to delete them. 

Who can delete messages?

The ability to delete messages you've sent on WhatsApp up to two days afterward is now rolling out to all WhatsApp users on Android and iPhone.

Want to know more?

Check out WhatApp's help center. Pocket-lint also has the following tutorials and how-to guides on WhatsApp if you'd like to know more about how the Facebook-owned messaging platform works in general:

Writing by Maggie Tillman.
Sections WhatsApp Apps