What You Did Not Know About WhatsApp “Delete for Everyone” Feature?

All the WhatsApp users are probably aware of the “Delete for Everyone” Feature in WhatsApp which was introduced almost a year ago. However, did you know that this feature doesn’t work as it is intended to? Shockingly, you can never be certain if the message you sent by mistake or had seconds thoughts after sending, is actually deleted for everyone by WhatsApp.

When tried and tested under normal circumstances, the WhatsApp “Delete for Everyone” feature works fine, and the messages do get deleted if the “Delete for Everyone” option is chosen within an hour which is the new time increased from the initial 7 minutes. Any message sent before an hour cannot be deleted for all but only for yourself. But there are certain exceptions or loopholes in “Delete for Everyone” feature in WhatsApp Messenger.

Also Read:  Privacy On WhatsApp: Everything You Need To Know

Unknown Facts About WhatsApp “Delete For Everyone” Feature

Delete for everyone

As simple as it sounds, the “Delete for Everyone” Feature in WhatsApp does not function as it should and has many conditions or exceptions which may cause this feature not to work as expected. In simple words, the WhatsApp message you intended to delete for everyone may not get successfully deleted, and there might be one or some receiver, who can view it.

Time Limit to Delete a WhatsApp Message

The first feature is well known but did you know that the time limit to delete a WhatsApp message for everyone has increased from 7 minutes to 1 hour or 60 minutes. Increasing the time limit, is a welcome modification but it is quite probable that people might read the message within an hour and there would be no sense of deleting it.

Time Limit

WhatsApp Updated Version

For the WhatsApp “Delete for Everyone” feature to work successfully, one of the conditions that should be fulfilled is that all the parties involved in the conversation must have the latest updated version of WhatsApp. If any of the parties has an outdated older version, then the “Delete for Everyone” feature in WhatsApp will not work. If an attempt is made by the sender to delete the message for all the receivers, then it would only delete for the users with the latest version and not for the receiver with an older version. This bug is present for both Android and iOS smartphone users.

Also Read: How To Become A WhatsApp Beta Tester For Android?

This Feature Does Not Support Deleting Media on iOS Phones

This feature does not work with messages containing media on iOS devices. Apple’s Privacy Policy does not allow any app to access the device gallery without appropriate permission. Hence any media message sent to an iPhone user will automatically get stored in the Photos app. If the sender attempts to use the WhatsApp “Delete for Everyone” feature to delete a message containing media for all the receivers, the message will disappear from the WhatsApp chat interface in an iOS phone, but the media sent can always be recovered from the Photos app.

Note: This feature is applicable to iPhone users only.

Deleted Messages on WhatsApp can be Captured

The deleted WhatsApp message can also be viewed by the smartphone notifications or other apps designed to record all activities of your smartphone. The notification log on Android keeps track of all the incoming and outgoing activities on your smartphone. There are also certain apps like WhatsRemoved which when configured properly, can present a list of all the deleted messages on WhatsApp. There are also chances that one of the receivers might be using WhatsApp or might be active on the smartphone, in any case, he/she would instantly see the message at the moment when it arrives.

Android notification

Note: The built-in Android notification system, if configured displays all notifications. In the above image, the Android text amidst the entire code displays the text written by the sender. It will appear as it even if the sender deletes the message. Alternatively, you can use an app like WhatsRemoved to display deleted WhatsApp messages.

Also Read: How To See Deleted WhatsApp Messages On iPhone

Quoted Messages cannot be Deleted

Another limitation with Delete For Everyone feature is if anyone replies on the deleted message by taking your message as a quote, then even if you have deleted a message, it will stay there with the quoted response. So, this would give some idea of the original message to all the receivers on the group.Quoted message

No Notifications Received if the Delete for Everyone has been Successful

Recall this message

Unlike Outlook and Gmail, WhatsApp “Delete for Everyone” feature does not send an intimation to the sender if the message has been successfully deleted from all the receivers or if it failed in case of a particular person.

Also Read: 10 Best Lock Apps For WhatsApp 2020 – WhatsApp Chat Locker App For Android

The Mystery of 420 and 4096.

When the “Delete for Everyone” feature was introduced by WhatsApp, it let users use this feature within 7 minutes or 420 seconds. This time was increased to 1 hour 8 minutes and 16 seconds or a total of 4096 seconds which is generally described as 1 hour for easy calculations.

It is WhatsApp or Facebook’s own policy, and they can set the time as long as they want but if you have read Dan Brown or watched The da Vinci Code too seriously then use of strange numbers creates a doubt. The reason for keeping such a specific time is not yet disclosed officially by the officials of WhatsApp or Facebook.

I was fine with the initial 7 minutes although it did strike my mind that why it could not have been a simple 5 or 10 minutes. But what caught my attention was the 1 hour 8 minutes and 16 seconds or a total of 4096 seconds. So far, I have deciphered that 4096 is a perfect square of 64 and a perfect cube of 16.


Also, 2 to the power of 12 gives 4096. And 2:12 could be a pointer to the 12th verse of the second chapter in the epistle of James, brother of Jesus Christ, which states:

“Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom.”

-Chapter 2, Epistle of James

This could imply that although WhatsApp has provided its users with the facility to delete the messages sent, it also believes in Freedom of Speech and once should not be afraid of tying or broadcasting their views to all, provided they are sensible and logical.

But that is strictly my view, and of course, I can always be wrong.

What are your thoughts on WhatsApp “Delete for Everyone” Feature now?

Now that you know that the “Delete for Everyone” Feature in WhatsApp does not function 100%, it is time to be careful while sending messages on WhatsApp. It is better to be cautious and take a moment to think before posting a new message or replying on one. Remember it takes a small pebble to shatter a piece of glass or create ripples in water but sometimes a lifetime to mend small things in life.

Eagerly waiting for your thoughts on the mystery of 4096 seconds and your comments on WhatsApp” Delete for Everyone” feature in the comments section below. Follow us on social media – FacebookInstagram and YouTube.

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