The Ultimate Guide to Deleting WhatsApp

“Delete WhatsApp” is a trending topic right now, especially with the recent news that WhatsApp user data is now going to be leveraged by Facebook. With over 2 billion WhatsApp users around the world now subject to a controversial update to their Privacy Policy, it has openly revealed what we knew all along: WhatsApp is a poor choice for secure messaging.

However, deleting WhatsApp isn’t as easy as deleting the icon off of your phone. Because contrary to appearances, deleting the app from your phone doesn’t delete your account or data stored in WhatsApp entirely. 

In this article, we’ll outline how to delete WhatsApp and actually remove your account and data. We’ll also take a look at a more secure option for truly private communications.

Preparing to delete WhatsApp

Before you delete WhatsApp on your phone, you should know that:

  • Following the steps outlined below will mean your WhatsApp account will be gone forever.
  • WhatsApp keeps no backups of deleted accounts.
  • You should back up anything important—such as documents and photos—yourself.

How to delete WhatsApp on iOS

The steps to delete WhatsApp on iOS are relatively simple. Start off by opening WhatsApp. 

1: Click on Settings in the lower right-hand corner:

2: Click on Delete My Account at the bottom of the options:

ios how to delete whatsapp step-2

3: Enter your full phone number to confirm the account you want to delete.

This will be the same phone number that you used to create the account. Once you’ve entered the number, click Delete My Account.

ios uninstall whatsapp step-3

This will:

  • Delete your profile photo
  • Delete all of your account information
  • Remove you from all WhatsApp Group chats
  • Delete all data from your WhatsApp message history on your phone
  • Delete everything you have on the iCloud backup server (if backed up WhatsApp to iCloud)
  • Delete your information that’s been shared with other Facebook companies

It could take 90 days for all of your stored backups to be deleted. But your information will not be accessible to you at this time. It will also not delete your data off other people’s phones, leaving that information there.

How to delete WhatsApp on Android

The steps for uninstalling WhatsApp on Android are similar to that of iPhones with a few minor changes due to how the operating systems label their buttons differently.

1: Click on the More Options button

Typically this is in the drop down menu from three stacked dots in the upper right-hand corner. Click on the Account tab next to the key at the top of the page.

android-delete-whatsapp

2: Click on Delete my account located at the bottom of the page.

Android deleting whatsapp

3: Enter your phone number using the full international format

Then click the red DELETE MY ACCOUNT button.

Android uninstall whatsapp

This will delete the same data off of your phone as it does with iPhone: profile photos, account information about your phone, and Google Drive integration. It will also delete you from any Group Chats you were involved in.

If you’re not sure you want to delete WhatsApp

WhatsApp is so popular. So, whether it’s where all your friends or colleagues might be, you might have reservations about deleting the app right now.

If you use WhatsApp a lot, you might be a little concerned about the impact deleting WhatsApp might have on you. So if you want to try out life without WhatsApp, try this approach:

  1. Run the backup process to the cloud of your OS to keep everything you have now.
  2. Delete the app by holding down on the app icon until the “X” appears in the upper right-hand corner of each app.
  3. Click the X on WhatsApp.
  4. When you want your data back you can restore it and get everything that was backed up.

The problem with this, of course, is your data is still on WhatsApp’s servers. This is a huge risk, especially since they store this data in plain text. It’s much better to back things up yourself, put them where you know they’re secure (such as an air-gapped storage device).

Use a more secure messaging app

If you can overlook how they’ll potentially use your data for Facebook’s exploitation, WhatsApp is a reasonable messaging platform for basic chit-chat. But it falls far short of being a secure messaging platform.

If you are considering keeping WhatsApp, you should know where its security falls short. Some major vulnerabilities that cause people to uninstall WhatsApp include:

  • Lack of security for files, attachments, and photos
  • Lower encryption protocol
  • Messages stored in plain text on their servers
  • Owned by the data-gathering Facebook
  • Lack of metadata encryption
  • Routinely logging IP addresses

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