Why Can’t I Delete What­sApp Mes­sages for Everyone

Mehvish

Did you send a wrong message in WhatsApp to someone, and now you can’t find the Delete for everyone option? Many times, the option goes missing or it doesn’t work. Wondering why? Let’s find the answer in this post where we tell you why can’t you delete WhatsApp messages for everyone.

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Earlier, if you sent a wrong message on WhatsApp, it was gone, and there was no way to stop it. Fortunately, things changed when WhatsApp introduced the Delete for everyone feature. But it also gives us trouble at times.

Let’s see what’s the issue behind that and why can’t you unsend messages on WhatsApp.

What Is Delete for Everyone in WhatsApp

If you delete a message on WhatsApp, you get two options — Delete for me and Delete for everyone. The first one is your old delete button that will only delete the message on your phone. Hence, the name Delete for me. It will not unsend or delete messages from the recipient’s phone.

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The Delete for everyone will magically delete the message from your own and the recipient's phone. It works in personal and group conversations both. In the latter, the message will be deleted from all the group participant's phones.

What Happens When You Use Delete for Everyone

When you press the Delete for everyone button, the message gets deleted instantly from all the phones that had it. No confirmation box will appear. So be careful when you use it.

Once you delete it, you will not get a notification whether the message was deleted successfully or not. Instead, the message will be replaced by deleted text. While the sender will see the text ‘You deleted this message’, the recipient will see ‘This message was deleted’ at the place of the deleted message.

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Now let’s dive into the main thing.

Why Can’t You Delete WhatsApp Messages for Everyone

Since it is a special feature, it doesn’t work all the time. The feature has to meet certain requirements for proper functioning. So if you can’t see the Delete for everyone button on your messages or it didn’t work when you used it, there are several reasons for that.

Let’s check them out.

1. Time Limit for Deleting WhatsApp Messages

Unlike the normal delete that works all the time, there is a time limit in using Delete for everyone. You can unsend messages within an hour of sending them only. After that, you will not see the Delete for everyone option. So, if it’s missing when you press the delete icon, you might be trying to delete it after an hour of sending a message.

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2. Received Messages

The Delete for everyone feature works for the sent messages only. Meaning, you can only unsend messages that you have sent and not for somebody else. For instance, if you are a group admin and someone sends an inappropriate message, you cannot delete it using the Delete for everyone feature. That’s one of the privileges that is currently missing in the powers of WhatsApp admins.

However, you can use the Delete or Delete for me option to remove the received messages from your phone.

3. Quoted Texts

Strangely, Delete for everyone doesn’t work for quoted texts. Picture this — you send a message, and someone sends a response quoting that message. Now, if you unsend the original message that you sent, technically, the quoted message of yours should also get deleted. But that doesn’t happen. Only the message that you sent will be removed, and the quoted message will stay.

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So if you tried using Delete for everyone feature and you wondered how the quoted message didn’t disappear, we hope you have found your answer. Fortunately, if you delete the message first and later someone quotes it, then the text will not be visible.

4. WhatsApp Pictures on iPhone Not Getting Deleted

The restricted nature of the Apple ecosystem often pinches the users. The iPhone owners experience such restrictions specifically when it comes to deleting WhatsApp messages. That is, Delete for everyone doesn’t delete WhatsApp media files from iPhone.

To understand the point better, you need to know how WhatsApp media files are downloaded on Android and iPhone. On Android, when you download a photo or video from WhatsApp or you have auto-download turned on, the files will get saved automatically to your phone.

For instance, if someone sends you a photo and you download it (before they delete it) or it is downloaded automatically. Later, if the sender deletes the message, then such a photo will be removed both from your WhatsApp and phone.

On WhatsApp for iPhone, things are different. When you receive a photo or video, it’s not directly saved to your phone. Even if you download to view it, the media stays on the WhatsApp servers unless you manually press the Save button, or you have the ‘Save to Camera Roll’ setting enabled in WhatsApp.

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Now, when someone sends you a WhatsApp photo on iPhone, and you have Save to Camera Roll enabled or you save it manually, then if they unsend it, the photo will not be removed from your phone. That is, the photo will only be deleted from WhatsApp and not from your phone. You can still access it via the Photos app. However, it will not show up in WhatsApp.

If the iPhone user didn’t save it or doesn’t use the Save to Camera Roll setting, then you are safe. Meaning, if you unsend messages, then they will be removed completely, leaving no traces.

5. Latest Version of WhatsApp

The Delete for everyone is a new feature. So both you and the recipient must be using the latest versions of WhatsApp, i.e., the versions that support this feature. If any one of you is using an old version that didn’t support it, this feature will not work.

Does Clearing Chat Delete WhatsApp Messages from the Recipient’s End

No. Clearing chat will only remove WhatsApp messages on your phone. It will not have any impact on the messages on the receiver’s phone. You need to press the delete icon and select the Delete for everyone option to unsend a message for everyone.

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Can Anyone Read My Deleted WhatsApp Messages

That depends. If the person has already seen your message, then deleting it will only remove it from their phone and not the person’s memory. However, if they haven’t seen it, there are tricks to view the deleted message on WhatsApp.

Think Before You Delete

Sometimes, when we are deleting a WhatsApp message, we use the Delete for me option instead of Delete for everyone. Therefore, you should be careful while deleting messages as now you will not be able to unsend the message as you don’t have access to it.

Next up: Thinking of uninstalling WhatsApp? Find out what happens when you uninstall WhatsApp from your Android or iPhone.

Read Next
What Happens When You Uninstall WhatsApp
Also See
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Mehvish

Written By

Mehvish

Mehvish is a technology enthusiast from Kashmir. A computer engineer by profession, she's always been keen to help when someone finds technology challenging. She keeps to herself and is an introvert. This doesn't stop her from being curious about the world around, especially when it comes to technology.