How to permanently delete your WhatsApp account

WhatsApp read receipts

Are you suffering from information overload? Is using multiple chat services to stay in touch with friends and family starting to feel like a burden?

People who rarely use Facebook-owned WhatsApp and don’t envision using the service much going forward might be wondering whether they can nuke their account and all of the underlying data out of orbit. The answer to that question is a resounding ‘yes’.

In this tutorial, we’ll guide you step-by-step through WhatsApp’s account deletion process, inform you what happens to your data after the fact and teach you how to reactivate your account and restore your chats and media.

Before we proceed with the tutorial, it’s important to remember that you must delete your account from within WhatsApp because the company’s support team cannot delete it for you at this time.

Oh, and ensure that you have the latest version of WhatsApp for iPhone.

What does deleting my WhatsApp account do?

When you delete your WhatsApp account, the following things happen:

  • Your phone number is no longer associated with WhatsApp
  • Your account is removed from your friends’ WhatsApp Favorites lists
  • Your account is deleted from all WhatsApp groups
  • You WhatsApp chats and media are erased in the app
  • Your service payment information is removed from WhatsApp servers

Keep in mind that you can always reactivate your account by re-registering your mobile phone number, or some other, with the service but you should consider creating a backup of you chats and media first.

How to back up WhatsApp chats and media

If you think you might be coming back to WhatsApp at some point in the future, don’t forget to create a full backup of your chat history and media (WhatsApp Settings → Chats and Calls → Chat Backup → Back Up Now) prior to deleting your account.

You can enable automatic, scheduled backups by tapping Auto Backup and then choosing your backup frequency. For your information, WhatsApp backups are saved to iCloud or iTunes, as part of your full device backup.

You’ll be able to restore from a saved WhatsApp backup after reactivating the service on the same phone number. You won’t be able to restore your chat history from a WhatsApp account registered with a different phone number.

The backup feature requires iOS 5.1 or later and enough free space on your iCloud and iPhone. iOS 7 users must be signed into iCloud (Settings → iCloud). On iOS 8 and later, Settings → iCloud → iCloud Drive must be set to ON.

How to permanently delete your WhatsApp account

Step 1: Launch WhatsApp on your iPhone.

Step 2: Tap on Settings and head into the Account section.

Step 3: Choose Delete My Account.

WhatsApp delete account iPhone screenshot 001

Step 4: Enter your phone number in the full international format to proceed.

Step 5: Finish the process by tapping Delete My Account at the bottom.

Step 6: You can now delete WhatsApp from your iPhone.

How to reactive deleted WhatsApp account

Step 1: Launch WhatsApp for iPhone.

Step 2: Follow the on-screen instructions to register your mobile phone number with the service. You will receive a six-digit verification code via SMS to activate your account.

Delete WhatsApp account iPhone screenshot 003

Tip: WhatsApp is not supported on the iPad, iPod touch and jailbroken iPhones.

How to restore my chats and media from WhatsApp backup

Step 1: Download WhatsApp in the App Store and launch the app on your iPhone.

Step 2: After verifying your phone number, follow the on-screen prompts to restore your chat history. The phone number used for backing up and restoring must be the same. In other words, you cannot restore the chat history from another WhatsApp account.

Needles to say, if you’ve previously backed up your iPhone through iTunes or iCloud, restoring the device from a backup will also retrieve your WhatsApp chats and media.

Recommended tutorials

You might appreciate the following related tutorials and resources:

  • How to delete your Facebook account
  • How to delete your Instagram account
  • How to delete your Snapchat account or change your username
  • How to deactivate your Apple ID account
  • How to remove a child account from iCloud Family Sharing
  • How to remove a phone number from iMessage

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