How To Delete An Unread WhatsApp Message

So you mistakenly sent a WhatsApp message to your crush, pouring out your heartfelt emotions in the most surreal way possible. Life does not end there. With the delete feature of WhatsApp, you can avoid this embarrassing moment in your life.

It does not have to turn into a severe scenario. The fact remains that sometimes, we may want to delete a message before it reaches the intended recipient.

Keep reading to find out the ways to delete an unread WhatsApp message in different cases.

  • What To Look Out For
  • Symbol 2
  • Symbol 4
  • Case 2 – The Message Has Been Sent, But Not Yet Delivered
  • Case 3 – The Message Has Been Delivered, But Have Not Been Read
  • Effect Of Deleting In Case 3
  • Case 4 – The Recipient has read the Message

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What To Look Out For

Who would have thought that there are little things to look out for in our chats that hold meaning? In all cases that would be listed, there is something that you need to watch out for to delete a message.

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You would notice that at the end of each message of every chat, there is a symbol. That symbol has one of four possibilities that are essential to know about. Based on these symbols, you can determine the complexity of deleting the message.

All of these symbols appear in seconds, but some factors determine if you will see all the symbols at once or if there would be a hiccup along the way. These symbols apply to individual chats and group chats as well.

Symbol 1

The first symbol is somewhat tricky as there is a possibility that you might not notice it. The reason for not seeing this symbol is because the symbol is dependent on a fast Wi-fi or internet connection.

The symbol looks like an alarm clock that signifies that the message has not been sent. To explain further, it means that the message has not even left your mobile phone at all.

As mentioned, with fast connectivity, this may not be seen as messages would be immediately sent. However, a slower network would take a little longer to send the message, and this symbol will be seen in that situation.

Symbol 2

The second symbol is more noticeable as it is the symbol that is seen first with speedy networks. The symbol is a single grey tick mark that signifies that your message has been sent.

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Having your message sent can mean one of three things. The first of which is indicated with this symbol. It lets us know that your message has been sent, and it is now stored on the WhatsApp server.

This symbol says just that and no more. The recipient has not received it, but it has left your device, and it is now on the WhatsApp server.

Symbol 3

The third symbol follows the second symbol as it is the subsequent chain of command. There is no barrier between symbol 2 and 3 to stop it from happening except in cases where the internet connection was immediately cut off before it showed. That is the only exception.

Symbol three is two grey mark ticks. This symbol means that the message has not only left the sender but has left the WhatsApp server as well.

At this point, the message or photos has been received on the recipient’s phone, which means that the message can be viewed on the recipient’s phone.

Symbol 4

The fourth symbol is the last and what should be looked out for the most. It is also well known as it signifies if your crush has read the humiliating message.

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This symbol is a double tick similar to symbol 3, but this time the color is blue. When this symbol is seen, it means that the recipient has opened the message you sent and, most probably, seen and read it. This symbol might be the most difficult to delete as it has already been read.

So, deleting may be of no use.

Case 1 – The Message Has Not Left Your Mobile Device

Okay, so the first case is when the message has not left your mobile device. That would mean the first symbol is still showing on the message due to whatever reasons. Mainly, it is caused by a disruption in your internet connection. This is the case that has a minimalist effect on both the sender and the receiver.

In this case, delete a message, press the message to select it, and then click on the delete icon above to delete. For iOS, by long-pressing, an option for delete would already be provided. Afterward, the famous alert box would come up asking you to confirm that you are certain that you want to remove the message with three options.

The “Cancel,” “Delete for Me,” and “Delete for Everyone.” In this case, either of the two deleting options is fine as the message has not even left your device yet. This works for multiple messages, too, by selecting all the messages if you need to delete more than one message.

Case 2 – The Message Has Been Sent, But Not Yet Delivered

So you have seen the second symbol with a grey tick, and you wonder if you could make it before it gets delivered to the recipient. An excellent way to stop the flow of the message to be received is to turn off your internet connection immediately.

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While this might not always work as 4G and 3G internet speeds can get it delivered in milliseconds, it is good to try, and this is the first aid.

Deleting A Message For Case 2

Deleting a message, in this case, is not much different than case 1. The message already left your phone but has not been delivered to the recipient’s phone. In this case, if you have fast fingers, the first thing to do is to turn off your internet connection.

Turning off your internet connection would stop the normal flow of allowing your message(s) to leave the WhatsApp server and be delivered to the recipient. It takes speed, but if you can achieve this quickly and still see symbol 2, you are on a roll.

Afterward, you need to go through the normal deleting process by holding the message(s) and clicking on the delete icon. In this case, it is safer to choose “Delete for Everyone” in case a message slipped through and got delivered without you knowing.

Case 3 – The Message Has Been Delivered, But Have Not Been Read

This part is where things start to get complicated. In this case, the message(s) is out of your hands and out of the WhatsApp server as well. It has been delivered to the recipient and what is left is for the recipient to turn on an internet connection, open WhatsApp, and read the message(s).

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The good news is that the few seconds it takes the recipient to do all these might be enough time to delete the message(s).

Deleting A Message For Case 3

There are time limits for deleting a message in this case. A general deleting tactic would be discussed that cuts through the 7-minute limit, one-hour limit, seven days limit, one-month limit, and so on. That is because the recipient might take a shorter or longer time to open the message.

First, turn off your internet connection, and make sure you turn it off correctly. The second is to exit WhatsApp and follow up by disabling it in Settings to prevent some processes from running in the background.

Next is to change your date in Settings and go back to a day, time, or hour before the message to be deleted was sent. This part cuts through all limits, as discussed. The last step is to turn on your internet connection, open WhatsApp, and delete the message(s) usually.

Effect Of Deleting In Case 3

The method should only be used in serious cases. Deleting a message over four months old can raise suspicion by WhatsApp that you are doing fraudulent activities.

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It is also important to “Delete for Everyone,” While the message would be completely erased from your screen, it leaves a footprint. The message “This message was deleted” would remain, however.

Case 4 – The Recipient has read the Message

The fourth symbol scenario. WhatsApp probably had a reason for giving the symbol in this scenario bright colors – two blue ticks. Can a message be deleted after it has been opened and read?

Deleting A Message For Case 4

Of course, you can. To do this, you must follow the basic deleting procedure for messages as discussed in earlier cases. To run it over, long hold the message(s), and select the delete icon. After that, choose “Delete for Everyone.”

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This would delete the message(s) on both sides and leave the footprint, “This message has been deleted.” The critical question here should be, “Was deleting the message of any use”?.

That is because the message has already been opened and, most probably, read. The answer depends on how long the message is, but you shouldn't get your hopes up.


Unless you have a magic wand or you can really turn back time (not adjusting time settings on your phone, but the real deal), then you are out of luck.


As WhatsApp's popularity continues to be a major messaging platform, the chances are that sending a wrong message can happen often. Tips on how to delete a sent message were shared in this blog post.

The tips apply for single chats and group chats, texts, images, other media, and WhatsApp Web.