Can you delete a WhatsApp message AFTER you send it?

By Kirstin Buick
17 December 2016

Spoiler: Yes! Here's how.

Recent local events, which you can read about here, have had us double and triple checking we're sending to the correct recipient on even the most inane WhatsApps.

But what happens when you make the awful mistake of sending a text to the wrong person? Even if it's not a graphic picture or a badly-lit selfie, your blood is going to run cold after you hit send.

The good news is that there is something you can do about it -- but you've got to act fast!

First thing's first: turn off your cellular data and wifi ASAP. The simplest way to do that is to turn on airplane mode.

If you're using a smartphone, hold your finger on the message you want to delete. A little menu will appear, on which a delete option is available.

If you don't see it, you may have to tap the little arrow on the right to show more options.

whatsapp how to

Be warned now -- this trick only works if the message has not yet delivered to the other person's phone, i.e. if there's no tick next to it.

What if there is? Well, there's a way to get around that too!

If there's a single tick next to the message, it means it's been received by WhatsApp's servers, but not by the recipient's phone.

Quickly go into their contact info in WhatsApp (tap on their name at the top of the screen).

Scroll down to "Block sender".

whatsapp block

While this certainly works to temporarily block a text from going through, HowToComp notes that if you unblock the contact before 30 days have passed, the message will be sent. It seems this is how long the WhatsApp servers hold messages for.

Unfortunately, if the message has gone through -- double ticked -- even if the person hasn't read it, there's not much you can do to recall it.

Aside from swiping their phone and throwing it in the toilet. But we wouldn't recommend that.

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