WhatsApp, a few days ago, rolled out one of the most highly awaited and talked about features to its messaging apps — the ability to retract sent messages. The update adds an additional option called “Delete for Everyone” in the delete menu which withdraws the data from both the phones or multiple of them if it’s a group chat. However, as it turns out, WhatsApp has left a little backdoor in the process, at least on Android which allows anyone to view these messages even after they’ve been deleted from the company’s servers.
Why It’s Possible to Read Deleted WhatsApp Messages on Android
The issue concerns Android’s notification system which logs every incoming alert on the device. Hence, despite WhatsApp replacing the notification message with a placeholder like ‘the message has been deleted‘, there’s still a straightforward way to access it. The notification log isn’t restricted to root users either.
It’s, however, not possible to directly read this log through any native methods. Even if you do, the entry won’t display the content of a message. But it can be easily done by installing a simple third-party app. With this trick, although, you can’t read the messages you received before installing the app. In addition to that, you also won’t be able to retrieve the ones which you’ve seen already.
How to Read Deleted WhatsApp Messages on Android
- To get started, head over to the Play Store and download a free app called “Notification History Log“.
- Once done, fire up the application and grant the necessary permissions for storing your incoming notifications. Don’t worry, this is done locally.
- Now, whenever a new notification from any app arrives, “Notification History Log” will parse it and display in the “Advanced History” option in a readable form. Hence, even if WhatsApp updates a deleted message’s notification, it will still stay in the app. The app, in fact, shows both the original message and ‘message has been deleted’ notifications.
- You can also access the native notification log of Android by tapping the “Notifications History”.
- There are a few other features of this little app you should know about. One of which is blacklisting apps. Hence, if you want the app to show only WhatsApp messages, you can do so by disabling all the other apps. Although this is a paid feature for which you will have to shed an extra 100 bucks (INR).
- You can also manage the size of the notification log from the settings and enable notification history to open by default whenever you launch the app.
Unfortunately, a similar workaround for iOS is not yet available and it probably won’t be in the future. This is because WhatsApp deletes the entire notification from iOS and on Android, it merely changes the alert’s content. That being said, it’s possible WhatsApp will soon acknowledge this bug and fix it in the forthcoming releases.