WhatsApp logo

Disappearing messages are an excellent feature for privacy. You choose a timeframe, and messages go away after that amount of time. WhatsApp is making its disappearing messages feature better, as you can now make it so all new conversations will feature messages that delete automatically.

With the latest update to WhatsApp, you can turn the ephemeral feature on by default for all new chats. That means that anytime you start a conversation with a friend on the service, the messages will be stricken from the record after a certain amount of time (chosen by you).

Before the new update, you had to turn on disappearing messages each time you started a new chat. Now, you can enable it across the board for any chat you join, which will save you a little time if you’re opening new conversations frequently.

The change will only apply to new conversations, so if you have a bunch of existing WhatsApp message threads, you’ll have to remake them if you want to turn on disappearing messages.

The messages will disappear for both parties after 24 hours, seven days, or 90 days if either chat member has turned the feature on. The feature wouldn’t offer much privacy benefit if one member of the conversation could keep the messages past the selected time frame, so this makes sense.

We're rolling out a new disappearing messages option on WhatsApp today so you'll be able to make all new chats disappear…

Posted by Mark Zuckerberg on Monday, December 6, 2021

In a Facebook post, chief executive Mark Zuckerberg added, “Not all messages need to stick around forever.”

Of course, there’s always the option to forward a disappearing message. You can also take a screenshot if you want a message to stick around, so it’s not a perfect system, but it’s better than nothing.

RELATED: How to Take a Screenshot on iPhone

Profile Photo for Dave LeClair Dave LeClair
Dave LeClair was the News Editor for How-To Geek. He is now a Mobile Analyst for PCMag. Dave started writing about technology more than 10 years ago. He's written articles for publications like MakeUseOf, Android Authority, Digital Trends, and plenty of others. He's also appeared in and edited videos for various YouTube channels around the web.
Read Full Bio »