WhatsApp now lets you set disappearing messages duration: 24 hours, 7 days or 90 days

You can now choose between a trio of different duration presets for WhatsApp’s disappearing messages, such as 24 hours and 90 days, instead of the default 7-day timer.


  • WhatsApp is testing different durations for disappearing messages
  • Choose between 24 hours, 7 days and 90 days
  • Disappearing messages increase privacy and free up storage

WhatsApp’s disappearing messages, now with different durations

An illustration with a WhatsApp logo in white set against a green background

For more privacy and storage, WhatsApp has supported the Disappearing Messages feature as of November 2020. Be careful not to confuse disappearing messages with view-once messages on WhatsApp that get automatically deleted after being viewed just once.

You can turn on auto-vanishing messages via the chat info screen, by choosing Disappearing Messages from the list to turn on the option. Turning this toggle on for a specific chat will make new messages sent into the chat automatically disappear for everyone after seven days.

But now, you can choose between three different durations as discovered by WABetaInfo.

  • 24 Hours
  • 7 Days
  • 90 Days

Now all new messages will disappear from this particular chat for everyone after the selected duration. Just like before, anyone in the chat can change this auto-vanishing setting.

To be clear, this feature is currently available in the WhatsApp Beta for iOS. The general public will be able to use the new timer settings for disappearing messages when WhatsApp rolls out the feature to everyone. Read: How to send view-once media on WhatsApp

How to set default timer for WhatsApp’s disappearing messages

Instead of having to choose the duration for disappearing messages for each chat where you turn on this feature, WhatsApp lets you set the global message timer in the privacy settings.

  1. Open WhatsApp for iPhone
  2. Touch the Settings tab at the bottom
  3. Choose Account → Privacy from the lists
  4. Touch Default Message Timer, then choose one of the following:
  • 24 Hours: Disappearing messages in new chats will last 24 hours
  • 7 Days: Disappearing messages in new chats will last seven days
  • 90 Days: Disappearing messages in new chats will last 90 days
  • Off: New chats won’t start with disappearing messages

The default message timer you set here applies to all new chats started on WhatsApp. Turning the global timer off will prevent new chats to start with disappearing messages, but you can still turn on the feature for a specific chat via the chat info screen.

Other WhatsApp features being tested right now

WhatsApp is also testing other work-in-progress features that may or may not see the light of day, including colorful chats bubbles. On top of that, WhatsApp for iOS is working on a dedicated audio player that will let you listen to voice messages while doing something else in the app, like chatting with someone.

As WABetaInfo reports, the voice message player is pinned to the top of the interface for quick access. “It’s always visible when you open any section of the app and it’s possible to pause and dismiss the voice message at any time,” reports the publication.

Anyone who joins the WhatsApp Beta program (via Apple’s TestFlight system) will be able to test-drive those and other upcoming features. WhatsApp might nix some of the features being tested should it receive enough negative feedback.