WhatsApp lets you turn on disappearing messages to auto-delete chats after a specific period. But some pieces of information are better left intact. Using WhatsApp’s Keep in Chat feature, you or your recipient can prevent these messages from auto-deleting.
Here’s how to keep disappearing messages on WhatsApp.
Who Can Keep a WhatsApp Disappearing Message?
Anyone can keep disappearing messages on WhatsApp. However, the following rules apply to this feature:
- The Keep in Chat feature only applies to a chat or group with disappearing messages enabled.
- Kept messages remain in the chat even if they’ve expired.
- Only chats sent after you’ve enabled disappearing messages on WhatsApp are eligible for keeping.
- The sender decides what the recipient can keep.
- Once you unkeep a message as the author, the recipient can’t keep it anymore—unless you keep it again.
- If a recipient unkeeps a message, they can keep it over again—as long as the sender doesn’t un-keep it.
- Un-keeping a message after its duration has expired removes it from the chat.
- Anyone in a group chat can keep and unkeep a message, provided that participants can edit the group info and the message author doesn’t unkeep it.
- Group admins can disable the Keep in Chat feature for participants if they set the group to allow only admins to edit its info.
- If a WhatsApp group you belong to only allows the admin to edit the group’s info, you don’t have permission to keep a message as a participant. Only an admin of this group can keep a message. However, if they’ve kept a message you sent, you can unkeep it, and no one else can keep it again—not even an admin.
How to Keep Disappearing Messages on WhatsApp
To prevent a disappearing message from auto-deleting, follow these steps:
- Open the specific chat or group where you use disappearing messages.
- Long-press the message you want to keep.
- Tap Keep (or the bookmark icon towards the top-right for Android).
If you’re the message author, you’ll get notified when someone has kept your message. Clicking the notification (from the notification center) takes you directly to the kept message.
Whether you’re the sender or recipient, you’ll see a bookmark icon next to all kept messages.
This feature is only available on the mobile app (not on WhatsApp Web). Make sure to update your WhatsApp to the most recent version to keep disappearing messages.
How to Unkeep a Message
As mentioned earlier, either the author or recipient can unkeep a message. However, remember that the recipient can only un-keep a message they’ve kept (not the author’s).
If you’re the message author, you can retain your recipient’s Keep action or decline it—you only need to unkeep the message they’ve kept.
To unkeep a message:
- Long-press any kept message (messages with the bookmark icon) within the chat.
- Tap Unkeep (on iPhone). For Android, tap the crossed bookmark icon towards the top right.
- You’ll get a prompt to confirm un-keep if you’re the message author. Tap OK to proceed.
View All Kept Messages for a Specific Chat
WhatsApp also stores a repository of kept messages. This is handy for referencing and effectively searching for messages in WhatsApp chats. For instance, you can jump directly from here to a specific message within the chat to highlight it in a conversation.
You can also unkeep a message from here if you like.
- Open the chat.
- Tap the person or group’s profile picture at the top left to open the chat settings.
- Go to Kept Messages. You’ll see all kept messages, including the keeper’s identity (Kept by) for each and the date they bookmarked it.
- To jump to a message within the chat, tap the right-facing arrow to the right of the text.
- To undo Keep, long-press directly on the message and tap Unkeep (on Android, tap the crossed bookmark icon).
Stop Relevant Messages From Disappearing
Many people use the disappearing message to manage storage space on their phones—since it auto-deletes chats after a specified period. However, the feature to keep selected texts from disappearing helps you filter your conversations and save relevant information.