Typically, when someone deletes messages they sent you on WhatsApp – even after reading the message – the deleted texts will carry a “This message has been deleted” placeholder. Now, your friend or other contact may have deleted these messages manually. And you wonder what happens to old messages that suddenly disappear in a WhatsApp conversation without a placeholder notifying you that the sender deleted it?
If you can’t find a specific message from your WhatsApp conversation with a friend or colleague after a while, it’s probably because they deleted it or the messages disappear turned on. Before we explain why WhatsApp messages disappear, let’s understand why WhatsApp messages disappear.
Why do WhatsApp messages disappear?
There are two ways to look at this concern. First, if someone decides to randomly delete a few messages from your conversation, you will see This message has been deleted placeholder. You can’t do anything about it unless this message is part of a backup. But the moment you restore this backup, this deleted message will disappear. In short, if someone has made manual efforts to remove messages from the conversation, there is nothing that you can do about it. It is their choice and once these messages are deleted they are erased forever from WhatsApp servers.
These deleted messages cannot be recovered or restored unless you have transferred the conversation to another chat or taken a screenshot or exported the chat as an archive.
The other new method is the missing messages feature which automatically deletes messages or media after activating the option. Again, there is no way to get these deleted texts back unless you have forwarded the messages to another chat with endangered messages enabled or taken screenshots of the conversation.
In short, you will need to actively take screenshots or transfer chats to another window to keep track of a conversation. Such things can put anyone on edge. So be sure to only engage in informal or formal chat with reliable people on WhatsApp. We can only recommend that you avoid sharing confidential information, passwords or other types of details on WhatsApp. This is mainly because anyone can take a screenshot or click on a photo of the conversation although the messages can be deleted and unrecoverable and permanently deleted from WhatsApp servers.
Now find out what are disappearing messages and how you can stop WhatsApp conversation texts Evanensco! (coming out of Harry Potter) on you.
What are the messages that disappear
You get tons of messages, pictures, videos, voice notes, and all types of files from individual and group chats. Now, how often do you revisit these posts? Maybe for reading or for reference? You hardly do it, right? Especially the thousands of text messages you received from group chats. The problem with these old WhatsApp messages and media files is that they compose and consume your device storage. As WhatsApp says, some messages don’t have to be there forever. Hence the introduction of missing messages. Basically all messages you send after activating this feature can be qualified as missing messages because they will be deleted after one week (7 days). You can even have fun with these disappearing messages as long as no one is seriously harmed or hurt in the process.
When message disappearance is enabled for an individual or group conversation on WhatsApp, text and media files sent and received will be automatically deleted for both parties after seven (7) days. Yes, this is the time limit that WhatsApp offers users as the feature is now and could introduce a timer selection ranging from seconds to hours – I’m the one thinking out loud.
Besides the storage saving benefit of this feature, there is also the added benefit of privacy. In fact, WhatsApp’s Disappearing feature is almost akin to Telegram’s Secret Chat feature. Let’s see how it works and how to know when you text someone who has missing messages enabled.
How messages that disappear work
First of all, we have to point out that this feature works on all supported devices and platforms, namely WhatsApp for Android, iOS and even on WhatsApp Web. Follow the steps below to activate disappearing messages.
Step 1: Launch WhatsApp and open the chat whose disappearance messages you want to activate.
2nd step: Next, tap the contact name (or phone number) to open the Contact Info page.
Step 3: Tap Missing messages.
When you return to the chat window, you will be notified that new messages you send after activating the messages disappear will disappear from the chat seven (7) days after they are sent. WhatsApp will notify the contact / recipient that you have enabled disappearance messages for the conversation.
The same procedure applies for Android and iOS devices, as well as for WhatsApp Web and the WhatsApp Desktop app.
Note: For group chats, only the group administrator can turn endangered messages on or off. However, all group members will be notified when the feature is turned on or off.
Messages that disappear: things to watch out for
Some indicators let you know that the person or group you are texting has activated disappearance messages.
The most obvious is the notification that WhatsApp sends to you when an individual or group admin has turned on Endangered Messages.
The notification is pretty obvious and out in the open. However, this notification can get lost in a myriad of (subsequent) messages. This brings us to the second (and unavoidable) indicator of disappearance messages.
Show Image Icon
Look for a timer or countdown icon in the lower right corner of the contact or group chat display image.
If you find one, it means that any messages you send or receive – during that period – will disappear from the conversation after seven (7) days.
How to prevent WhatsApp messages from disappearing
This is the most important question for you, and it is understandable to avoid such discomfort. Think of the Missing Messages feature like a car with two drivers. The two parts of the chat (sender and recipient) are therefore in control. For context, if Alex texts Jennifer on WhatsApp and activates the missing messages, the feature will be automatically activated for Jennifer as well.
Interestingly, if Jennifer would rather not have her messages disappear after 7 days, she can turn off the disappeared messages on her end. She just needs to go to chat settings and set disappearance messages to Off (see steps above).
It is important to note that messages sent during the period in which message disappearance was turned on and off will disappear after seven days.
To put this into perspective, if Alex turned on 7:00 p.m. Messages Disappear and sent you a series of text messages before disabling Disappearance before, say 8:00 p.m., messages received (or sent) within the 1 hour period that Disappear activated messages will disappear after 7 days. So, the only way to stop or prevent messages from disappearing in WhatsApp is to turn off the Endangered Messages option.
Can deleted messages be recovered or canceled
The answer is no. Once deleted, messages are gone forever – unless you’ve taken screenshots or uploaded the text to another chat window or app. For media files like pictures, videos, documents, GIFs, etc., you can save them to your device before they are deleted.
This is neither witchcraft nor a bug
So there you have it; the reason why you no longer find old messages in a WhatsApp conversation after a few days. Your WhatsApp is not buggy; The sender also doesn’t use some sort of clever witchcraft to remotely erase messages on your phone. You can check our WhatsApp troubleshooting section if you have any other WhatsApp related issues or queries.
Did WhatsApp notify you saying that disappearing messages are disabled? Click on the following link to find out what this message means and what you can do about it.
Last updated on Nov 19, 2020
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