How to Permanently Delete a WhatsApp Account: Step-By-Step

Updated

WhatsApp’s convenience and ease-of-use have made it one of the most popular messaging and social media apps in the world. However, for various reasons, you may one day choose to delete your WhatsApp account. Or, perhaps a loved one has recently passed away, and managing their digital afterlife is among your responsibilities. This might involve deleting their account.

Jump ahead to these sections:

Regardless, if you’re not sure how to delete a WhatsApp account, whether for yourself or your deceased loved one, keep reading. This guide will answer your questions.

How to Delete Your Whatsapp Account

Deleting your WhatsApp account is very easy. Just follow these steps:

Open the app

Open WhatsApp through any device. Make sure you’re signed in to your account.

Tap the ‘More options’ icon (on Android)

The “more options” icon is usually three vertical dots in the top right corner of your screen. However, this isn’t always the case. Refer to WhatsApp’s guide if you’re not sure where to find the icon on your device.

That said, if you’re accessing WhatsApp through an iPhone or other Apple device, you typically don’t need to tap the “More options” icon. Instead, you can skip directly to the next step by choosing Settings. If you’re using a KaiOS device, you would first choose Options, then Settings. From this point, the process of deleting your WhatsApp account is generally the same across all devices.

Choose ‘Delete my account’

After tapping the “More options” icon, choose Settings, then Account, then Delete my account.

Enter your phone number

WhatsApp will now prompt you to enter your phone number. Make sure you do so in full international format. Then tap “DELETE MY ACCOUNT.”

WhatsApp will give you a list of reasons for choosing to delete your account. Choose the applicable reason, tap “DELETE MY ACCOUNT” one more time, and you’re all set!

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How to Delete a Deceased Loved One’s WhatsApp Account

The process of deleting a WhatsApp account for someone who has passed away varies depending on the circumstances. You essentially have three options:

Option 1: Follow the steps above

You may already have access to a deceased loved one’s WhatsApp account. If so, the process of deleting it simply involves following the same steps you would follow when deleting your own account.

(Tip: If you and a loved one share access to various accounts, consider using a password manager tool to keep track of your various login details.)

Option 2: Contact WhatsApp

WhatsApp’s customer service department recommends contacting them directly if you’re trying to delete someone’s account after they’ve died but you don’t have direct access to it.

They’ll naturally want you to provide proof that the deceased is truly dead, as well as documentation showing that deleting their account is among your executor duties. Prepare accordingly by gathering your loved one’s will and death certificate or obituary. Refer to our guide on how to get a death certificate if you’re not sure how to do so.

Keep in mind that WhatsApp’s team will usually have to review the circumstances to determine if they should grant you access to a deceased person’s account. This is to ensure user privacy. However, even if they do decide not to grant access, you have one more very simple option for deleting someone’s account after their death.

Option 3: Wait 120 days

Be aware, WhatsApp will typically automatically delete an account if it’s remained inactive for more than 120 days. Thus, if you’re not in any particular hurry to delete a deceased loved one’s account, you can simply wait until WhatsApp deletes their account automatically.

Frequently Asked Questions: Deleting a WhatsApp Account

If you still have questions about deleting a WhatsApp account, the following info may address them:

What happens when you delete a WhatsApp account?

When you delete your WhatsApp account, along with removing the account itself, you’ll delete all your message history. WhatsApp will also remove you from any groups you participated in, and delete your Google Drive backup.

However, information or content that you shared with others won’t go away. For example, deleting your WhatsApp account doesn’t remove any copies of messages you’ve sent to other people from their accounts or devices. For various technical and legal reasons, WhatsApp may also keep some of your data, but they’ll no longer directly associate that data with your identity.

Additionally, after you delete your account, it may take up to 90 days to fully delete all your information and data. You won’t have access to it during this time, but “behind-the-scenes,” it will still exist.

Can you reactivate your WhatsApp account after you delete it?

No. WhatsApp cautions users that deleting an account is a permanent action. Even if a user accidentally deletes their account, WhatsApp can’t recover it for them. 

Keep that in mind if there’s any content (such as old messages) you want to be able to access after deleting your account. Depending on the type of content, you may be able to make some type of copy of it before deleting your account permanently. For instance, if you'd like to be able to refer back to certain old messages in the future, you could take screenshots of them first. 

What if I just delete the app itself?

Deleting WhatsApp from your devices won’t actually delete your account. If you want to delete your account permanently, you have to follow the steps this blog describes.

On the other hand, this may be good news if you’ve accidentally removed the app from your device. All you have to do is reinstall it and you should have no problem reaccessing your account.

Deleting a WhatsApp Account: A Simple Process

While the process of deleting a WhatsApp account for a deceased loved one may be more complicated than the process of deleting your own account, in general, neither is very difficult. That said, if you have any remaining questions on this topic, reach out to the company directly to learn more.


Sources

  1. “About inactive account deletion.” WhatsApp, faq.whatsapp.com/general/account-and-profile/about-inactive-account-deletion/?lang=fb
  2. “How to delete your account (Android).” WhatsApp, faq.whatsapp.com/android/account-and-profile/how-to-delete-your-account/?lang=en
  3. “How to delete your account (iPhone).” WhatsApp, faq.whatsapp.com/iphone/account-and-profile/how-to-delete-your-account
  4. “How to delete your account (KaiOS).” WhatsApp, faq.whatsapp.com/kaios/account-and-profile/how-to-delete-your-account

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