Need to clear out the clutter in your WhatsApp message history? If you need some extra space with which to organize your chats, you can delete individual messages, whole chats or group chats, or even your entire message history! You can erase messages just from your device, or erase messages for everyone in a conversation.
Whether you want to clear out some space in your inbox, or accidentally sent a message to the wrong person and want to remove it, we can help you out.
What this article will cover:
If you want to save your messages before you clear them off your phone, check out our tutorial on how to back up WhatsApp messages.
How WhatsApp message deletion works
In a WhatsApp chat, you can select and delete individual messages within that chat or remove all messages in the chat at once. You can remove a message only from your own device or delete a message you’ve sent for everyone in a conversation if the other people in the conversation haven’t read it yet. Additionally, if you visit your chat settings menu, you can erase all messages in all of your active chats or clear your conversation history all at once.
Do you want to see how that’s all done in practice? Of course you do! Below are screenshot-guided instructions for how to remove messages within the app.
How to delete a WhatsApp message on your own device or for everyone
Grab your mobile device and tap the WhatsApp app icon to launch it.
Tap the Chats category and then touch the conversation you wish to delete messages from.
Press and hold on the message that you wish to erase. In the menu that pops up above the message, tap the trash can.
If there’s more than one message you’d like to remove from the conversation, tap on any other message while they are highlighted in blue. Then tap the trash can icon at the top. Any message still highlighted in blue will be deleted.
To confirm you want to delete the message, tap Delete for Me.
If you are in a group chat, you can decide if you want to just delete the message for you, or remove it from everyone’s devices. If you’re in a group chat, you can choose to tap either Delete for Me or Delete for Everyone, depending on the action you’d like to take.
If you don’t want to bother with deleting individual messages and would rather just clear a whole conversation from your inbox, we’ll show you how to do that next.
How to delete chats or group chats
From the main menu, tap the Chats category. Then press and hold on the conversation you’d like to erase.
Next, tap the trash can icon in the top menu.
If you’d like to remove all the messages from a chat without deleting the conversation from your list of chats, tap the filing box instead to archive the chat.
Tap Delete to confirm you want to delete the chat. You can also tap the check box beside “Delete media from my phone” to erase everything stored on your phone associated with the chat, including images, videos, and so on.
You cannot erase a group chat unless you have already left that group. If you’d like to erase a group conversation, see our WhatsApp groups tutorial to learn how to leave a group.
Want to clear out your entire chat history and start fresh? Check out the instructions on clearing your history in the next section.
How to delete your entire WhatsApp message history
Tap the three dots in the top-right corner to access a menu of additional features. Then select Settings.
Then, select Chats.
Next, tap Chat History.
Here, you will have two options for getting rid of your entire message history:
- If you tap Clear All Chats, it will delete all messages within all of your active conversations, but will leave those conversations active.
- If you tap Delete All Chats instead, it will erase all of your active conversations and all messages within them. (Note that, again, this will not remove group chats unless you are no longer a part of the group.)
That’s a quick primer on how to erase WhatsApp messages that you no longer need! If you’d like to learn about other things you can do with this awesome app, check out our free WhatsApp course. Learn about other fun messaging and chat apps here.