Home » Social Network » WhatsApp » How to Delete a Sent WhatsApp Message Before it’s Delivered

How to Delete a Sent WhatsApp Message Before it’s Delivered

Here are the three ways to ‘unsend’ a WhatsApp message in case you wrote a mistake. They will work on both iOS and Android.

Delete a Sent WhatsApp Message Before it is Delivered

Hey, it is your best friend Frankie here. Have you ever been in a situation where you sent a message to the wrong person, or just wish you would have thought a little harder before hitting send on a message?

WhatsApp actually is one of the best applications for helping you to utilize your better judgement and remove a message you’ve sent erroneously. While you have seven minutes to remove a message you’ve sent, there are still more ways to remove the message even after these initial seven minutes have passed.

Let’s say that you have sent a picture to the wrong person. Fortunately, there is a way that you can remove this message before it ever gets read. With the frequency of sending messages, the danger of sending the wrong message to the wrong person is ever present.

In extreme cases, you might find you’ve sent a compromising photo to someone unintentionally. It isn’t difficult to do if you are switching between multiple threads.

As was earlier stated, you have a total of seven minutes to remove the sent message or image from the thread. If you are lucky, the recipient hasn’t had the chance to read or see the message (you can learn more about this by reading about WhatsApp ticks).

Regardless of whether or not the message has been read, you can still remove the message to help delete your incriminating trail of evidence.

3 Methods of removing erroneous messages/pictures from WhatsApp

This guide will show you three methods of removing erroneous messages/pictures from WhatsApp:

  1. Retrieving the message before it was ever sent
  2. Delete a sent message within seven minutes
  3. Delete a sent message after seven minutes (with this interesting trick)

Let’s break them down one by one.

Method #1. How To Retrieve A Message Before It Sends

If you are trying to get a message back before it officially sends, this is a two-step process:

  1. First, long click the message you sent in error
  2. You can then tap on a prompt to delete this message

Bear in mind that this is only going to work if the message has not officially sent (indicated by two gray marks).

What if I have sent a photo or video to someone mistakenly? Again, you can stop this before it sends, but this requires a lot more fast actions.


Frankie’s Take:

As you know, WhatsApp is going to take a few seconds to actually deliver your message or load your media you are attempting to send into the thread and then send it out. Within these moments, there are actions you can take to prevent this from actually happening.

Step 1: Turn off Wi-Fi and Cellular Data

The fastest way that you are able to accomplish this is by putting your phone in airplane mode. This should be part of the drop down menu bar from your notification banner along the top of your phone’s screen.

To know that you have done this successfully, return to your thread. You should see a red exclamation point beside your message indicating that it could not be sent.

Step 2: Delete the Message

From here, you need to click on the options and choose to delete the message. Another click of the delete option will completely remove the file from your WhatsApp messages log, which will ensure that no one reads it or sees it.

The key to this process is speed. You have to get familiar with the layout of your phone to easily access airplane mode and shut down connections immediately. You don’t even need to close WhatsApp, just disconnect from available networks.

Method #2. Deleting A Message Within 7 Minutes

This is a feature to the application, and it allows the sender to remove a message within seven minutes, whether or not that message has been read.

Ensure that you have updated to the most recent version of the application, or you will not have this feature available to you. Your seven minute clock starts as soon as the message has officially sent.

In order to delete the message, here is what you need to do:

  1. Open the thread and choose the message that needs to be discarded
  2. Long pressing on this message will bring up an options menu
  3. Choose Delete, then click on the basket symbol
  4. Finally, choose “Delete for Everyone” option to remove any possibility of it being seen by others in the chat.


If you need more information on how to permanently delete a message, read my guide.


Frankie’s Take:

By doing this, the message will be gone to anyone who can access the thread. Understand though that once you have deleted a message, there will be a box that remains on the thread indicating that you have deleted a message that was added to the thread.

👉 If seven minutes have passed, you can still get rid of a message on the app.

Use the following simple trick.

Method #3. Deleting a Message After 7 Minutes

All you have to do in order to do this is to go back in time a little bit. Yes, literally change the time on your phone back to a point that falls within the seven minute window that allowed you to delete the message.

This will give you access to that menu, and you can remove the message via the process explained in the second removal method.

To clarify:

  1. Start by enabling airplane mode to disconnect from the internet/mobile data
  2. Completely close WhatsApp
  3. Open your phone settings and manually change the time back to one minute before you sent the message you need to delete
  4. Turn off airplane mode and open WhatsApp
  5. Open the chat and follow the above mentioned steps for deleting a message


Here’s the end of this guide. I hope I’ve given you some useful and practical information. Just to make sure you haven’t missed a single step, I’m gonna give you a quick recap.

There are three ways to delete messages sent on WhatsApp before they are read.

The first method involves you turning off Wi-Fi or the data connection and deleting the message.

The second method uses a WhatsApp option that allows you to delete the message within 7 minutes of it being sent.

Finally, the third method – The Time Back – consists of going back in time, setting a time on your phone before the message was sent and deleting it. It seems pure fantasy but it works believe me!

That’s all for the moment.

If you have any doubts or questions comment on the post, I will be happy to help you. I’ll be waiting for you again on my blog messagingapplab.com.


PS – Did you know that messages deleted from WhatsApp are stored in a cloud and are easily recoverable? Check out my guide on how to permanently delete a message.

Share this article!
About Frankie Caruso

I'm Frankie Caruso. I'm a professional amateur in that ugly business of social media, instant messaging apps and computer security. I help all those frustrated people who call themselves digital illiterates to understand something about this confusing digital world.