You can now restore accidentally deleted messages on WhatsApp

Selecting “Delete for Me” on WhatsApp when you wanted to select “Delete for Everyone” has the potential to cause so much embarrassment for you when the message you had just sent was not intended for those who have received it. Maybe, for instance, you wanted to send a meme to your cousin’s group making fun of the way a certain uncle speaks, but you chose your whole extended family’s group instead.  You can imagine the awkward conversation with the uncle after.

In a new update, however, WhatsApp is now giving you a five-second window in a feature called “accidental delete” that lets you reverse the action of selecting “Delete for Me” in an individual or group chat

Once you have chosen “Delete for Me” a floating notification will hover for 5 seconds with the “Undo” button giving you a few seconds to reverse your actions if you wanted to delete the message for everyone but you chose “Delete for Me” in a panic.

However, this does not work when you choose “Delete for Everyone” when you only wanted to delete the message for yourself. Once you select the option to delete for everyone and then have a change of mind, the action is irreversible, at least for now.

While a five-second window to undo your actions is a great addition to WhatsApp, it is still not sufficient in some cases. Imagine deleting a message and leaving the conversation for a minute, then you come back to it only to realize you chose the wrong option and the group is discussing your message and your five-second window is long gone.

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For a start, however, we will happily take what WhatsApp offers with the hope they add to the feature in the coming weeks and months. It is easy to forget that the ability to delete messages that you had already hit send was only introduced in 2017 with only a 7-minute window. This window for deleting for everyone now stands at 60 hours, the equivalent of 2 whole days and 12 hours.

The “accidental delete” update is already rolling out to stable versions of WhatsApp on Android, iOS and desktop, therefore, you will not have to wait for long before it appears on your end.

Naftaly is a Computer Science graduate with a passion for tech, video games and pop culture. When he is not writing articles for AndroidKenya, he is probably rewatching the Lord of the Rings trilogy for the hundredth time. Email at Twitter @KarisNaftaly