Deleting a sent WhatsApp message is simple: tap and hold the message to select it, tap the bin icon, then choose 'Delete for everyone'. You have seven minutes to do this by default, but as we explain below this time limit can be extended.
Unfortunately, some changes coming to WhatsApp on 12 November mean it's not always going to be the best solution to get you out of a tight spot - especially in group conversations where multiple parties are involved.
Right now the company keeps trying to delete your sent message for as long as it takes, which should be immediate providing the recipient(s) has their phone switched on and an active internet connection. If a message has not been delivered it never will be, since it will have been removed from the server.
However, in future it will give up trying to delete the message after 13 hours, eight minutes and six seconds. That could spell trouble if one of your participants receives the message but then goes out of range or switches off their phone without reading it. You might think the message has been successfully deleted, when really it hasn't.
A couple of other caveats: you must ensure you delete the message before two blue ticks appear, signalling that the message has been read. And you will still have some explaining to do, given that WhatsApp reports within the conversation thread that a message has been deleted.
How to delete a WhatsApp message after the time limit
So what if you send a message and only eight minutes later do you realise your regret - is it too late? Thankfully not. Here's a workaround for deleting sent WhatsApp messages after the time limit, courtesy of @AndroidJefe.
- Turn off Wi-Fi and mobile data
- Go to Settings, Time and Date settings and roll back the date to a time before the message was sent
- Open WhatsApp, find and select the message, tap the bin icon and choose 'Delete for Everyone'
- Turn on Wi-Fi and mobile data and reset the time and date to normal in order for the message to be deleted on WhatsApp's servers
Read next: How to delete a sent Facebook message