Deleting a sent WhatsApp message is really easy. You just tap and hold it, then tap the bin icon that appears in the top bar and say Ok to the message that pops up asking if you really want to delete it.

What you probably want to know, though is how to delete that message so the recipient cannot see it either. And that’s simple, just select the ‘Delete for everyone’ option.

This is possible for up to seven minutes after a message has been sent, although naturally only worthwhile if they’ve not actually read it yet.

You’ll know by whether or not there are two blue ticks – this means it’s been read, whereas two grey ticks simply means it has been delivered. (If they have read it on a smartwatch or on the lock screen as a notification there’s a possibility that they will have read it but the ticks won’t be blue.)

When a message has been deleted it will be replaced with a message notifying both parties that a message has been deleted, which could lead to some awkward questions.

Delete for Everyone works with all types of WhatsApp messages, whether they are text messages, videos, images, GIFs or documents. It will also work on both iOS and Android.
How to buy yourself more time – Delete WhatsApp messages after 7 minutes

If you’ve sent a WhatsApp message, immediately regretted it, and now find it’s too late to use the Delete for Everyone feature (because seven minutes have already passed), there is a workaround to extend this deletion period.

• 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

Next article: How to Backup and Restore WhatsApp Messages on iPhone