WhatsApp adds an undo Delete for Me option to recover accidentally deleted messages

Dec 22, 2022

WhatsApp Messenger has a new feature that lets you recover a message that you deleted. But you'll have to be nimble fingered, as you only have 5 seconds to correct your mistake.

WhatsApp gets an Undo option to help you retrieve accidentally deleted messages

The feature was tested in the beta channel of the app a few months ago, but now the Meta-owned instant messaging service is rolling out the option for all users.

Before we see how it works, let us discuss why this could be an important change. When you select a message in a WhatsApp chat and choose the delete option, the message gets removed, and you can't access it anymore. There's nothing unusual about it, because that's how it is designed to work, but the option that you selected can actually make a difference.

Image courtesy: The Verge

Let's say you made a typo in a group chat, or posted something by mistake, for example, a link that you wanted to share with someone else, you can remove the message by picking the Delete for everyone option. However, if you accidentally chose to delete a message for yourself, instead of deleting it for everyone, that becomes a funny situation. Everyone else in the group would be able to see the message that you deleted, but you cannot.

That's a rather silly limitation, isn't it? That's why WhatsApp has introduced an Undo Delete option. Here is the catch, the undo feature does not work if you chose the delete for everyone option. I'm not sure why WhatsApp has this restriction in place, a person may want to use the undo action in both scenarios.

There is another reason why this feature can come in handy. What if you had deleted the wrong message, or maybe you changed your mind and decided that you wanted to view the deleted content? The Undo button can save the day.

Want to try it out? Update WhatsApp Messenger to the latest version on your Android mobile or iPhone, and send a message to someone, you can try it in the "Message Yourself" chat. Tap on it to select it, and then hit the delete button. Select the Delete for me option. You should see a pop-up that says Undo, tap on it to recover the message. It isn't limited to text messages, you can also use it to recover images, videos, links, etc. As I mentioned earlier, the undo action has a short window, i.e. a 5-second limit, beyond which you will lose access to the message permanently.

Now that you have corrected your mistake, you may choose to delete the message for everyone. The Undo option works in both personal chats and group conversations. There is no setting to manage the feature, or to control the time limit. WhatsApp's Undo Delete for Me option is only available for mobile devices, it does not work in the desktop app.

While the Undo option is useful, WhatsApp really needs an edit button. The messaging service was reportedly testing an edit feature in the beta version a few months ago. So maybe there is a chance we could see it in the near future.

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WhatsApp adds an undo Delete for Me option to recover accidentally deleted messages
WhatsApp adds an undo option to help you recover accidentally deleted messages. Here's how it works.
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  1. bruh said on August 18, 2023 at 1:25 pm

    Uhh, this has already been possible – I am not sure how but remember my brother telling me about it. I’m not a whatsapp user so not sure of the specifics, but something about sending the image as a file and somehow bypassing the default compression settings that are applied to inbound photos.

    He has also used this to share movies to whatsapp groups, and files 1Gb+.

    Like I said, I never used whatsapp, but I know 100% this isn’t a “brand new feature”, my brother literally showed me him doing it, like… 5 months ago?

  2. 💥 said on August 18, 2023 at 3:55 pm

    Martin, what happened to those: 12 Comments (https://www.ghacks.net/chatgpt-gets-schooled-by-princeton-university/#comments). Is there a specific justifiable reason why they were deleted?

    Hmm, it looks like the gHacks website database is faulty, and not populating threads with their relevant cosponsoring posts.

  3. 45 RPM said on August 19, 2023 at 6:29 pm

    The page on ghacks this is on represents the best of why it has become so worthless, fill of click-bait junk that it’s about to be deleted from my ‘daily reads’.

    It’s really like “Press Release as re-written by some d*ck for clicks…poorly.” And the subjects are laughable. Can’t wait for “How to search for files on Windows”.

    1. owl said on August 20, 2023 at 12:51 am

      > The page on ghacks this is on represents the best of why it has become so worthless, fill of click-bait junk…

      Sadly, I have to agree.

      Only Martin and Ashwin are worth subscribing to.
      Especially Emre Çitak and Shaun are the worst ones.

      If ghacks.net intended “Clickbait”, it would mark the end of Ghacks Technology News.
      Ghacks doesn’t need crappy clickbaits. Clearly separate articles from newer authors (perhaps AIs and external sales person or external advertising man) as just “Advertisements”!

      We, the subscribers of Ghacks, urge Martin to make a decision.

  4. chessandonions said on August 20, 2023 at 12:40 am

    because nevermore wants to “monetize” on every aspect of human life…

  5. Frank Rizzo said on August 20, 2023 at 11:52 pm

    “Threads” is like the Walmart of Social Media.

  6. Ashray said on August 21, 2023 at 4:06 pm

    How hard can it be to clone a twitter version of that as well? They’re slow.

  7. Paul(us) said on August 21, 2023 at 5:16 pm

    Yes, why not mention how large the HD files can be?
    Why, not mention what version of WhatsApp is needed?
    These omissions make the article feel so bare. If not complete.

    1. Paul(us) said on August 21, 2023 at 5:18 pm

      Sorry posted on the wrong page.

  8. Marc said on August 21, 2023 at 6:00 pm

    such a long article for such a simple matter. Worthless article ! waste of time

  9. plusminus_ said on August 21, 2023 at 7:54 pm

    I already do this by attaching them via the ‘Document’ option.

  10. John G. said on August 21, 2023 at 11:43 pm

    I don’t know what’s going on here at Ghacks but it’s obvious that something is broken, comments are being mixed whatever the article, I am unable to find some of my later posts neither. :S

  11. Tom Hawack said on August 23, 2023 at 2:28 pm

    Quoting the article,
    “As users gain popularity, the value of their tokens may increase, allowing investors to reap rewards.”

    Besides, beyond the thrill and privacy risks or not, the point is to know how you gain popularity, be it on social sites as everywhere in life. Is it by being authentic, by remaining faithful to ourselves or is it to have this particular skill which is to understand what a majority likes, just like politicians, those who’d deny to the maximum extent compatible with their ideological partnership, in order to grab as many of the voters they can?

    I see the very concept of this Friend.tech as unhealthy, propagating what is already an increasing flaw : the quest for fame. I won’t be the only one to count himself out, definitely.

    1. Tom Hawack said on August 23, 2023 at 2:34 pm

      @John G. is right : my comment was posted on [https://www.ghacks.net/2023/08/23/what-is-friend-tech/] and it appears there but as well here at [https://www.ghacks.net/2023/07/08/how-to-follow-everyone-on-threads/]

      This has been lasting for several days. Fix it or at least provide some explanations if you don’t mind.

  12. Tom said on August 24, 2023 at 11:53 am

    > Google Chrome is following in Safari’s footsteps by introducing a new feature that allows users to move the Chrome address bar to the bottom of the screen, enhancing user accessibility and interaction.

    Firefox did this long before Safari.

  13. Mavoy said on September 16, 2023 at 2:17 pm

    Basically they’ll do anything except fair royalties.

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