Back to Techtips

July 2021: Enable disappearing, self-destruct messages on WhatsApp, Signal and other apps

WhatsApp, Instagram, Telegram, and Signal enable users to tweak the settings to auto-delete messages when they are done with the chats. WhatsApp has a time window of 7 days to delete the messages while Instagram does it immediately. Users can set the self-destructing timer as per their discretion in Signal and Telegram.

It first started with Snapchat, the ability for users to send self-destruct or disappearing messages. As the questions of privacy around apps is growing serious by the day, users who are not keen on keeping chats as a keep safe or for screenshots that would later win them an argument can opt for disappearing or self destruct messages for when they are done with their chats, they are really done with them. WhatsApp, Instagram, Telegram, and Signal enable users to tweak the settings to auto-delete messages. WhatsApp has a time window of 7 days to delete the messages while Instagram does it immediately. Users can set the self-destructing timer as per their discretion in Signal and Telegram. You can follow the given steps to enable disappearing messages.

To enable disappearing messages on WhatsApp for an individual contact:

-- Open WhatsApp.
-- Select the contact where you want to enable disappearing messages.
-- Click on the three dots on the right-hand side.
-- Go to View contact.
-- Tap on Disappearing messages > Select On.

To enable disappearing messages on Signal

-- Open a chat window.
-- Tap on the three dots in the right.
-- Select Disappearing messages.
-- You can set the window from five seconds to one week for the messages to self-destruct.

To send a disappearing or view-once photo on Signal:

-- On Signal iOS or Signal Android, navigate to your group or individual conversation.
-- Select an image or capture a photo or video.
-- Tap the icon with an infinity sign to switch to the view-once icon or 1x.
-- Select Send. The photo or video won't be stored in your Signal conversation history.

Telegram also gives users the option to enable secret chats that let users exchange messages that are entirely end-to-end encrypted. Follow the given steps to enable secret chats with a user.

-- Open Telegram
-- Tap on the compose button
-- Select New Secret chat
-- Select contact with whom you want to have an end-to-end encrypted chat.

To enable self destruct timer, on Telegram:

-- Select the three dots on the top right of the contact you have entered a secret chat with.
-- Select Set self-destruct timer.
-- Select the time interval in which you want your messages to be deleted. The function works like disappearing messages and if you were to select the self-destruct time interval as one hour, messages every hour will get deleted.
To disable the self-destruct timer, repeat the same steps, and select ‘Off’ in the self-destruct timer section.

To enable Vanish mode in Instagram:

-- Open the Instagram app on your device.
-- Tap the 'direct or messenger' icon on the top right.
-- Open any chat window you wish to enable the vanish mode for.
-- Swipe up from the bottom of the screen to enable vanish mode.

After you have turned on the Vanish mode, all the read messages will vanish.
If you wish to disable the vanish mode, then open the chat window you have enabled the vanish mode for. Then, swipe up from the bottom screen again or tap 'turn off vanish mode' on the top of the chat window to turn off the vanish mode.

Compiled and approved by the technical support Department

Other Useful Links