We’ve all, at some point in our lives, fallen foul of the phenomenon of ‘WhatsApp Regret’.
Sometimes it takes the form of sending a message while drunk, then waking up the following morning and realising the error of your ways.
Occasionally it’s far more instant, though, and you realise almost immediately that you Shouldn’t Have Done That.
It can be a spur-of-the-moment slight, or a message whose phrasing could be interpreted the wrong way, but you can easily find yourself wishing you could delete a message before that double-tick turns blue.
If only you could somehow undo it. Well, now that you mention it…
As explained in a recent update to the WhatsApp FAQ, first spotted by TheNextWeb, you are about to get a seven-minute window to correct those mistakes. Indeed, some of you might already have it, as it seems the update has been rolled out for some (but not all) users.
You have the option of deleting messages for yourself, or for everyone in a chat. While the process will let people see you’ve struck your comment from the record, that will often be a much better option than them being able to see the message itself.
“Messages you successfully delete for everyone will be replaced with ‘This message was deleted’ in your recipients’ chats,” the post explains.
“Similarly, if you see ‘This message was deleted’ in a chat, it means that the sender deleted their message for everyone.”
There is a slight caveat, though – in order for this to work, both you and the recipient need the latest version of the app.
WhatsApp is also keen to point out that you won’t be notified if you’ve been successful in deleting the message for all recipients.
And, of course, there’s every chance they will see the message before it’s deleted if you’re not quick enough.
If you want to delete messages for everyone, just follow these three steps (within the seven-minute window):
1. Open WhatsApp and go to the chat containing the message you wish to delete.
2. Tap and hold the message > choose Delete from the menu. Optionally, select more messages to delete multiple messages at once.
3. Tap Delete > Delete for Everyone.
If you’re successful, that ‘this message was deleted’ text will show up for everyone else in your chat, while you’ll see the words ‘you deleted this message’ on your end.