We all know by now what makes Snapchat Snapchat, and no, it’s not that goofy not-quite-ready-for Pacman ghost on its icon. It’s the self-deleting messages. You send out a message (or “snap,” which is the catch-all term which covers text, video, and images), and within a set amount of time, it is gone. Your recipients can view it once, and after that view, it self-deletes. It makes way for a lot of piece of mind about our more sensitive communication with our most intimate acquaintances getting out into the world at large.
But maybe you sent out something to the wrong person. Maybe you just have second thoughts. It doesn’t matter. We have all of those thoughts with the messages we send out over any app, including the native messaging protocols that come bundled in our phones. But when we have those thoughts in concert with the sensitive conversations we’re having on Snapchat, it’s never just “oh,” it’s always “OH, $@#!”
Unfortunately, there’s still not a protocol for “unsending,” or deleting a snap that has already been delivered to (but not read by) a friend. However, in the wake of Gmail releasing an “undo send” button, perhaps we’ll see similar implementations showing up in other sites and apps. And if any app should adopt it, it’s Snapchat, because we’ve all had moments of panic followed by the question of how to delete your Snapchat messages and conversations to erase the memory of a bad snap.
This tip will be particularly handy for anybody on a family plan, whose parents (or other authority type figures) can easily get into their phones. Because even if you can’t delete the conversation from the other person’s phone, you can keep your own phone free and clear.
I’ll walk you through all of your options to delete the messages, including the nuclear option that hopefully, you won’t need to use any time soon.
Keep in mind Snapchat is constantly changing their rules and features and therefore we will continue to update this post with information that keeps you up to speed on the latest tips and tricks.
“I am thankful the most important key in history was invented. It’s not the key to your house, your car, your boat, your safety deposit box, your bike lock or your private community. It’s the key to order, sanity, and peace of mind. The key is ‘Delete.'” – Elayne Boosler, Comedian
What Are Snapchat Messages?
There are two types of Snapchat messages that we are concerned with and may in due time want to delete permanently. The first one is the snap that you send to friends with a photo or video. This is the basis of Snapchat’s communication and I’ll chat a bit about your options to delete these.
The second message is the text messages that you can send and receive from friends anytime but most likely right after sending or receiving a snap from someone. You simply swipe right and from there you can start sending them messages directly.
This type of message is meant to be a follow up to a snap that you receive from a friend and from there you can ask someone where they are or what they’re up to. It’s a good way to comment on a snap and start a conversation. However, you may be concerned that the messages will be saved and want to make sure you can delete them without a trace of your conversation.
How To Delete Snapchat Messages (Text)
If you’re interested in deleting the Snapchat messages you either sent or received while using the app all you need to do is a few steps and you’ll be saved from a potentially embarrassing moment that no one wants to be stuck in.
Follow these steps to delete the messages permanently on your phone. Keep in mind that this won’t delete the messages on someone else’s phone it will only be on yours. This is because Snapchat downloads all messages on people’s phone and not on the Snapchat server. This is still a lifesaver, though for when you are suddenly aware of people looking over your shoulder (yes, I do frequently take public transit, why do you ask?) or else you are nervous about somebody getting their physical hands onto your physical phone.
- Open the Snapchat app and you’ll see a little Snapchat ghost at the top center.
- Tap on the ghost and you’ll see your Snapchat icon with your name and score. Tap on the gear icon at the top left to get into the settings.
- From there, scroll down to Account Actions and tap on “Clear Conversations” in that menu.
- You will see a list of all of your messages with an x right next to it. You will get a message that says “Are you sure you want to clear this conversation?” and you can get the option to clear and clear and don’t ask again.
- You could alternatively choose to clear all of your messages at once if you don’t want to have anyone see your messages at all.
NOTE: When you clear the conversation on your feed, it won’t delete any saved or sent messages in your conversation. You can delete your saved messages as well, however, you can’t delete messages that have been sent to someone else.
How To Delete Saved Snapchat Message
You likely know that there is a way to save messages on Snapchat so that you can go back and read them at any time later. This is very different from everything else on Snapchat that remains highly temporary.
To save part of your snap text message all you have to do is tap on the part of the message that you want to keep. This works for both text and photos, which is a nice touch to be able to save the photos. After you tap it, the message that is saved will turn grey and turn into a different font and that’s how you know it’s saved. From there on, you can exit the app and go back and the message will stay.
Now, when you close out of the app you will notice that the rest of the messages will be deleted but only the message you saved will still remain.
If you now decide you no longer want to save the message all you have to do is go to the conversation that the message is saved under and tap the greyed out text again to turn it back to the normal text and white background. This will now tell Snapchat to delete the text when you get out of the conversation or close the app.
Delete Snapchat Account & Messages
If you sent a snap to someone that you immediately regret, there is only one way to potentially keep the other person from seeing it. That is, to delete your Snapchat account before the other person sees the snap. Yes, this is the nuclear option. It’s like in old-school video games when the boss’s fireball would disappear when you killed him, once your account is gone, it takes every trace of it with it. So, if you have done something career ending on Snapchat, there is a course of action you can take. But it’s not for the faint of heart. If you’re quick enough then the snap will never be seen and you can sign up again for an account.
Follow these steps to delete your Snapchat account and remember to do this as quick as possible so that hopefully you do it before the other person sees the snap.
- Head over to the Snapchat Support Delete Page.
- You will now need to enter in your username and password and click that you’re not a robot and enter in the text displayed in an image.
- From there, you will be asked again to enter in your password again.
- At that point, you will have deleted your Snapchat account.
Now, your account is completely deleted and hopefully you got this done before the recipient saw the snap. If the recipient did see the snap, it will automatically be deleted unless they choose to replay the snap or took a screenshot of it. You should get a notification if they did take a screenshot of the image or video. If they didn’t take a screenshot, then maybe, without proof of the snap, you can gaslight them into thinking they imagined it. (Be warned, this officially puts you into horrible friend / horrible human being territory.) However, there’s not much you can do at that point if they did take a screenshot. Make sure you think twice before sending any snap!
Delete Snapchat Messages Stored On Your Phone
The last bit of advice I have is that you can delete your cache that may have messages and photos stored within it. Snapchat is supposed to fully delete your photos and messages but there are some instances where it’s held within your app’s cache that never gets deleted. This means your snaps can potentially be recovered and found on the phone if someone got a hold of it.
App Cache Cleaner for iPhone
To delete all of your app cache on an iPhone you will first obviously want to delete the Snapchat app by holding your finger on the app until it starts to bounce around and has an X at the top left corner. Tap the X and agree to delete the app fully.
Next up you will want to download an app cache cleaner on your iPhone or iPad. Dr. Storage Pro a good option but it costs $2.99. This will delete all of your app’s cache so you don’t have to worry about any snaps returning. It will find all of your unwanted and unused junk files on your phone and delete them permanently. This is also a good option if you are low on space.
Another good option and one that I personally use is the Memory & Disk Scanner Pro. This app will scan your iPhone for junk files and automatically delete them. In addition, it will free up your RAM on your iPhone to make it run a bit faster. It’s pretty easy, just tap the scan button and it does the rest without having to mess with a bunch of settings. It will also give you a bunch of background information about your phone including IP address, CPU processes, free memory, etc.
App Cache Cleaner for Android
If you’re on an Android device then you definitely have to download the super popular Clean Master (Speed Booster), which gets 4.7 stars and 24.5 million reviews! This app just does it all and is a staple for anyone who runs Android on their phone or tablet.
This app speeds up your phone, is an anti-virus scanner, helps free up space and more. You can delete duplicate photos with this app so that you’re not wasting extra space. Also, clean up junk files that apps create when running but never clean up afterward. This includes app cache and residual files that are left over and not necessary for your phone to operate.
You’ll also use the RAM tool to free up extra memory so your phone runs faster and saves more battery life. This app allows you to manage various different apps, their permissions, and privacy so you’re not leaking more information than you’d like to an app’s developer.
That wraps up this guide and hopefully gave you a good sense of how to delete your Snapchat messages and make sure every conversation you’ve ever had on the app is properly cleaned up and there is no record of it. Is it too much to ask for that your privacy is actually private and you can be assured something is deleted when it says it is? Unfortunately not, and in this day of commonplace hacking, it’s important to protect ourselves and make sure our privacy is equally protected.
If you enjoyed this post please share it on Facebook and Twitter so everyone can learn to delete Snapchat messages. Also, feel free to comment below with your experiences and what tips and tricks have worked the best for you. That way, the whole community can learn and be better protected.