How to Enable Dis­ap­pear­ing Mes­sages in WhatsApp

Parth Shah

WhatsApp is finally taking privacy and security on priority and adding many useful features to the app. Earlier this year, the Facebook-backed company released a view once to send disappearing media in chat. With a recent update, WhatsApp is taking Disappearing messages further. Here’s how you can enable and use disappearing messages in WhatsApp.

Send disappearing messages in Whats App

The disappearing messages function was limited to 7-day only. WhatsApp is taking it forward by adding new duration options like 24 hours, 7 days, and 90 days.

Enable Disappearing Messages By Default in WhatsApp

The company allows users to enable disappearing message timer by default for new chats and groups. It’s hidden under the Settings menu. Here’s how you can access and enable a message timer in WhatsApp.

Step 1: Open WhatsApp on Android or iPhone.

We are going with the WhatsApp Android app in the screenshots below for reference.

Step 2: Tap on the three-dot menu at the top and open Settings.

Step 3: Select Account.

Open whatsapp settings
Open account menu

Step 4: Tap on Privacy.

Step 5: Select Default messages timer under Disappearing messages menu.

Select privacy
Default timer in privacy

You can either select 24 hours, 7 days, or 90 days. All new individual chats will start with disappearing messages set to the selected duration when you enable this option.

Message timer for chats

This setting will not affect your existing chats. Your current WhatsApp remains unaffected by this change.

All your new chats are set to disappear after the set time. In our case, we selected 24 hours to delete the chat from both sides after 24 hours.

Enable Disappearing Messages for WhatsApp Groups

You have an option to enable disappearing messages in WhatsApp groups as well. When you create a new group from scratch, you will see an option to enable and use message time for groups. Here’s how it works.

Step 1: Open WhatsApp on your phone.

Step 2: Tap on the More menu at the top and select New group.

Step 3: Select group members from the following menu and go forward.

Disappering messages for groups
Disappearing messages for new groups

Step 4: Give it a group name and you will see the Disappearing messages option below.

Tap on it and select the message timer to delete WhatsApp messages automatically. You can either select 24 hours, 7 days, or 90 days. We hope WhatsApp offers more time to choose from – something like 30 days, 45 days, or 60 days.

Use Disappearing Messages for Existing WhatsApp Chats

When you enable disappearing messages from WhatsApp Settings, it will apply to new chats only. Your existing chat threads remain unaffected. However, you can easily allow disappearing messages for any chat. Here’s how.

Step 1: Open WhatsApp and select a chat in which you want to enable disappearing messages.

Step 2: Tap on the contact name at the top.

Step 3: Select Disappearing messages.

Disappearing messages in chat
Message timer for chats

Step 4: Select Message timer from the following menu and you are all set to see messages disappearing after a set time.

Use Disappearing Messages for Existing WhatsApp Groups

While WhatsApp has implemented an option to add a message timer while creating a group, you can add disappearing messages for existing WhatsApp. Go through the steps below to make changes.

Step 1: Open a WhatsApp group.

Step 2: Tap on the group name at the top.

Step 3: From the Disappearing messages menu, select the message timer for the group.

Send disappearing messages in Whats App in groups
Send disappearing messages in Whats App groups

In some cases, you might not have permission to change the settings. Either group admins or those who have permission from groups admins can make the changes.

Disable Disappearing Messages in WhatsApp

If you don’t want messages getting disappear from all chats, you can always disable the option from WhatsApp Settings.

The thing is, you may not want to enable a message timer for all new WhatsApp chats. Some WhatsApp chats might be too important to you to keep the messages longer. Disable disappearing messages in WhatsApp using the steps below.

Step 1: Open WhatsApp and go to Settings.

Step 2: Select Account and open Privacy.

Select privacy
Default timer in privacy

Step 3: Tap on the default messages timer.

Turn off disappearing messages

Turn off disappearing messages for new WhatsApp chats, and WhatsApp won’t automatically delete messages for you.

Leave No Trace on WhatsApp

While WhatsApp has done a decent job with privacy options, it’s no match for Telegram's secret chat and other functions.


The above article may contain affiliate links which help support Guiding Tech. However, it does not affect our editorial integrity. The content remains unbiased and authentic.

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Parth Shah

Written By

Parth Shah

Parth previously worked at EOTO.tech covering tech news. He is currently freelancing at Guiding Tech writing about apps comparison, tutorials, software tips and tricks and diving deep into iOS, Android, macOS, and Windows platforms.