WhatsApp is the most widely used messaging app in the world, one of the main means of communication for millions (or billions) of people every day. Leaving WhatsApp is not an easy decision, but the process is quite simple, as we show below.
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Before deleting your WhatsApp account
It is important to note that the process of deleting WhatsApp data is irreversible. Not even those responsible for the app can reverse the removal, which deletes not only the account, but also:
- The history of messages on the cell phone.
- Backup to Google Drive or iCloud.
- Remove from the groups in which you participate.
Facebook warns that some log files (usage history) may remain stored, but without the user’s personal identification. Information shared with other company services – Facebook Pay, for example – is also excluded with the procedure.
How to delete a WhatsApp account
After making the necessary observations, to delete the WhatsApp data, open the application and follow the steps below:
- Touch the ‘more options’ button ⋮.
- Choose the Settings option.
- Open the Account menu.
- Select Delete my account.
- Choose the country and confirm the phone number of the account.
- Touch the Delete my account button.
How to disable an account on WhatsApp if your phone is lost or stolen
If your phone has been stolen or lost, perhaps the most viable option to disable WhatsApp is through your carrier, i.e., by blocking the SIM card. If you are unable to do this for whatever reason, you can disable your account directly with WhatsApp. Also, blocking your SIM card does not stop WhatsApp from working over Wi-Fi, so it’s an incomplete solution.
To disable your WhatsApp account, you need to send an email to WhatsApp. Your account will be deactivated soon after you send the email. You can later reactivate your account via SMS or a phone call, as you would normally, once you have a new phone. If you do not reactivate your account within 30 days, it will be permanently deleted.
To deactivate your WhatsApp account, follow these steps:
- Use an email client (Yahoo, Gmail, Outlook or any other) to send a message to the following address: firstname.lastname@example.org;
- The email subject should be: “Lost/Stolen: Please deactivate my account”;
- In the email body, put: “Lost/Stolen: Please deactivate my account (your phone number in full international format).
Once you’ve written the email out correctly, send it off and wait for you account to be deactivated. It is recommended that you don’t send multiple emails with the same request. Where necessary, the app support team will get in touch with you. Remember, you have 30 days to reactivate your account before it is permanently deleted.
Have you ever needed to delete or deactivate your WhatsApp account? Tell us about your experience in the comments section!
Article updated in May 2021 with reviewed instructions and additional information about changing WhatsApp privacy rules. Previous comments have been retained and may refer to changed instructions and rules.