WhatsApp might remove time limit for deleting messages

WhatsApp might remove time limit for deleting messages

WhatsApp is one of the most popular communication services ever, with billions of people using it across the world at any given time. WhatsApp is generally an improvement over SMS messaging in most areas, but it still has some limits — especially with deleting your own messages. There’s currently a time limit on how long you have after sending a message to delete it, but according to a new report, that might be going away soon.

WhatsApp didn’t support deleting messages for everyone in a conversation until 2018, when a timer was added that gave people 4,096 seconds (68 minutes and 16 seconds) to delete a message after it was sent. WABetaInfo has now found evidence in the latest WhatsApp Beta update that the time limit might be removed. There doesn’t appear to be any additional limits or issues, at least for the moment — you’ll be able to delete any message you sent at any point in history.

WhatsApp screenshot showing a "delete for everyone" button on a message from September

Credit: WABetaInfo

It’s not clear when the new functionality could arrive, and it’s also possible WhatsApp might give up on it. The change isn’t even live in the beta releases yet, so assuming WhatsApp continues development, it probably won’t roll out to everyone for several weeks or months.

Meta (remember, Facebook changed its name) has been hard at work on WhatApp over the past few months. Limited iPhone-to-Android chat transfers arrived a few days ago, testing started for cashback for UPI payments in India, and end-to-end encrypted backups was released in October. The service is also working on a redesigned Picture-in-Picture mode and the ability to pause voice recordings.

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About author

Corbin Davenport
Corbin Davenport

Corbin is a tech journalist and software developer based in Raleigh, North Carolina. He's also the host of the Tech Tales podcast, which explores the history of the technology industry. Follow him on Twitter at @corbindavenport.