Turn existing WhatsApp conversations into disappearing messages by applying the self-vanishing message timer to any current chats you select.
- What’s happening? WhatsApp is testing a new setting that will permit you to easily convert one or more existing conversations into disappearing chats.
- Why care? You’ll be able to make new messages sent in existing chats vanish instead of having to start a whole new chat with disappearing messages.
- What to do? If you have this feature, go to WhatsApp Settings → Privacy, and you’ll see a new section titled Disappearing messages.
What is “Apply Timer to Chats” on WhatsApp?
The Meta-owned messaging service is currently testing the new feature on the WhatsApp Beta for iOS (version 220.127.116.11) and Android (version 18.104.22.168).
There’s now a whole section in the WhatsApp settings dedicated to disappearing messages and a brand-new splash screen explaining what this feature is and how it works. In addition to setting a disappearing message timer for new chats, you can now easily convert existing chat threads into disappearing ones.
WhatsApp currently allows you to turn disappearing messages on or off individually for any chat by hitting the contact’s name at the top and choosing the Disappearing Messages option. With the new interface in testing, however, Meta will make it much easier to convert multiple existing chats into disappearing messages.
When will WhatsApp release this feature?
If you’re not currently using the WhatsApp Beta on your iPhone through Apple’s TestFlight platform, you’ll need to be patient until the feature rolls out to all users in a future update to WhatsApp. Those who already have it should spot a new Disappearing messages section in WhatsApp Settings → Privacy.
In there, you’ll find the existing Default Message Timer option to automatically turn any new conversations you create into disappearing threads.
You will also see a new Apply Timer to Chats toggle for applying the expiration timer to your ongoing conversations. The feature should start rolling out more widely to even more people in the coming days, according to WABetaInfo.
Turning existing chats into WhatsApp disappearing messages
Start by venturing into WhatsApp Settings → Privacy → Disappearing messages → Apply Timer to Chats, then cherry-pick chats on the device to convert into disappearing ones. Read: How to know if a phone number is on WhatsApp
With that done, any new messages sent in those chats will auto-dissapear based on the timer (24 Hours, 8 Days or 90 Days). Significantly, this won’t affect the existing messages in chats, which will be retained. Read: How to message someone on WhatsApp without having to first save their phone number as a contact
Further information on the disappearing messages feature, how it works and the privacy implications of turning it on is available on the WhatsApp Help Center.