WhatsApp is constantly testing new features that make users' experience better. One of the recent introductions to the world's most popular cross-platform instant messaging app was "Delete for Everyone" – a feature that allows users to delete a sent message within seven minutes. This helps in deleting those embarrassing messages you sent by mistake, but a simple trick can render the feature useless.
WhatsApp "Delete for Everyone" was rolled out last year, but there's a workaround to keep a message even after it has been deleted by the sender within seven minutes.
How does it work?
Prior to launching the "Delete for Everyone" feature, WhatsApp had introduced the quote-reply feature. With the help of it, users can now make keep any message even if it has been deleted from a group of individual chat, The Next Web reported.
To clarify some doubts, the only way to keep a message in the chats even after it's been deleted is to quote it before the sender removes it within seven minutes. For instance, if I send an unintended message to the wrong person or group and the recipient of that message replies using the quote feature, the message will show in the quoted box even if I delete the original message.
It's worth mentioning that the recipient cannot quote-reply to a deleted message. The limitation to this particular trick is that it can only work when the deleted messages have already been read or interacted with. The whole purpose of deleting an accidentally-sent message is to stop the other person from reading it. If the person has already read and replied using quotes, there's little motivation to delete the original message.
We can independently confirm that this trick works. WhatsApp FAQs do not have any reference to how the feature works in cases of quotes, but TNW says it could well be another case of "it's a feature, not a bug" mystery.
Not the first time
Flaw or not, this isn't the first time WhatsApp's "Delete for Everyone" has faced criticism. Spanish tech blog AndroidJefe had shown how it's possible to recover deleted messages from Android notification history. A third-party app named Notification History can go through the Android notification log to dig up the deleted message.
If you're running stock Android, a Settings widget can also give access to the notification log. But for the user to retrieve deleted messages, they must be interacted with, even if it means swiping away from the notification area. This trick only captures the first 100 characters, which means those lengthy messages cannot be tricked.