How to delete a WhatsApp account on Android & iOS

Rosalie Newcombe
'Close-Up Photo of Smartphone' by Torsten Dettlaff on

Taking a leap and deciding on your next messaging app of choice isn’t easy, but at least deleting your WhatsApp account is: Here’s how to do it.

WhatsApp may be one of the most popular free messaging apps around. Yet there comes a time for us all when you want to move on to the next best thing.

This could be because you have privacy concerns, or you just simply want to give a different messenger app a try.

Luckily, deleting your WhatsApp account is as easy as setting it up in the first place, whether you use the app on your iPhone or Android-based smartphone.

How to delete WhatsApp account on Android

  1. Locate and open the WhatsApp app on your Android-based smartphone.
  2. Select the three dots in the top right corner.
  3. Select Settings.
  4. Select Account.
  5. Scroll down and select Delete Account found at the bottom of the list.
  6. Enter country & phone number details.
  7. Select the red ‘Delete account’ button on the next two following pages.
Three screenshots of the WhatsApp account settings on an Android phone on a blurred blue background.

You’ll be prompted with a warning once you select Delete Account from the WhatsApp account settings. Here, WhatsApp will inform you that deleting your account will also delete your entire message history, and you’ll be removed from any active WhatsApp groups.

Any backup of your messaging history on Google and any WhatsApp channel you’ve created will also be erased.

If the scary red warning from WhatsApp doesn’t deter you, you need to confirm your country code and your phone number before deleting your account.

Confirm your country of origin by selecting it from the drop-down menu provided by WhatsApp, and enter your smartphone’s mobile number. Before continuing, double check the country code is correct. (For US residents it’s +1, for UK residents it’s +44, etc.)

To finish deleting your WhatsApp account, select the red Delete account button, and select it again on the following page.

How to delete WhatsApp account on iPhone

  1. Locate and open the WhatsApp app on your iPhone
  2. Select the settings icon in the bottom right corner
  3. Select Account.
  4. Select Delete Account found at the bottom of the list
  5. Select country & enter phone number details in the boxes provided
  6. Select the red Delete account button
  7. Select Next on the following page
  8. Select the red Delete My Account text at the bottom of the page
Three screenshots of the WhatsApp account settings on an iPhone on a blurred blue background.

Deleting your WhatsApp account on an iPhone is just as straightforward as on Android-based phones. Similarly to an Android phone, selecting Delete account from the in-app settings will bring up a warning.

After inputting your country code and phone number attached to the account, WhatsApp will prompt you for a reason why you want to delete your account.

To bypass this, select Next from the upper-right corner of the screen and your account will be deleted.

What happens if I delete WhatsApp?

Deleting your WhatsApp will not only erase your entire chat history, and any Google backups of it you have on your phone, but it it will automatically remove you from any group and channel.

Once deleted, you will not be able to regain control of your account, friends will not be able to message you, and will have to start a new account if you want to return to using WhatsApp.

It can take up to 90 days for the deleting process to take full effect. If you’re deactivating your account due to privacy concerns, it’s worth noting that there’s a chance some copies of your data may be backed up by WhatsApp after those 90 days.

According to WhatsApp, your information may remain so that it can be recovered later in the “event of a disaster”, software error, or data loss event. However, this data won’t be available to you at that time.

After you’ve deleted your account, WhatsApp may also log certain data in their databases, but all your identifying information won’t be linked to your past account.

This is done in case in case of any possible term violations, or legal issues, or under WhatsApp’s harm prevention efforts.

How does your profile look when you delete a WhatsApp account?

Your WhatsApp account may still appear on friends’ versions of the messenger app. However, once they update their account, you will no longer be part of their contacts list.

Once you have officially deleted your account, your profile picture will no longer be visible to your WhatsApp contacts.

Additionally, if any friend tries to message you, they will receive a single tick to let them know you aren’t receiving their messages.

How to keep WhatsApp Channel active

To keep your WhatsApp channel active, make sure to add extra admins to your channel before you delete your account.

Deleting your WhatsApp account will also delete any active WhatsApp channel you’ve created. This will be permanent, and you will no longer be able to access or update your channel after deletion.

However, if you have additional admins, the ownership of the channel will automatically transfer to the admin who’s been part of the channel the longest.

For more WhatsApp guides, feel free to check our comprehensive guide on how to use WhatsApp.