WhatsApp’s “Delete for everyone” feature ineffective, as recipients can still read it via notification log

WhatsApp users were elated when the instant messaging application service announced the “Delete for everyone” message option couple of weeks ago. The new message recall feature called “Delete for everyone (or Delete for me)” in WhatsApp allows users to remove specific messages forwarded in group and individual chats that they didn’t intend to send within a timeframe of 7 minutes.

However, according to a popular Spanish Android blog Android Jefe, WhatsApp is not actually deleting the messages and the recipient can still read a recalled text. Apparently, the deleted message is stored in the notification log of the recipient.

“What we found is that the messages are stored in the notification register of the Android system. So, it’s just a matter of entering that record to see the messages that the other person deleted,” the blog states.

The deleted messages on WhatsApp can be read by using any third-party app, reads the log. While there are few apps in the Google Play Store that can do so, one such app is Notification History.



Here is how one can read deleted WhatsApp messages, according to the blog:

  1. Users can access deleted WhatsApp messages by downloading a new app named Notification History via Google Play Store.
  2. Once the Notification History app is downloaded, users need to search the Android notification log along with the message’s timestamp and date for reading it.
  3. Alternatively, if the users want to read the deleted message without downloading any third party app, then they just need to tap on Widgets > Activities > Settings > Notification log.

However, there are a few caveats to this method, as per the blog. Firstly, a message would actually have to generate a notification on your smartphone for it to be read. Further, the notification log keeps communications for a few hours at the most and clears out all of them in case of a restart. Also, only the first 100 characters of the deleted message can be read in case the text is retrieved. In addition, media such as photos and videos cannot be viewed, as it saved only text messages.

Please note that the process of reading deleted WhatsApp message is applicable only on Android devices and not iOS devices. You can download Notification History via the Google Play Store.