How to Delete Your WhatsApp Account in 2021: Scorched Earth

Deleting WhatsApp from your device may seem like it should be as easy as any other app. However, if you want to stop Facebook from holding onto your data, you’ll need to read on and learn how to delete your WhatsApp account entirely.

Robin Barber
By Robin Barber (Assistant Editor)
— Last Updated: 2021-11-21T21:06:04+00:00

With the recent changes to WhatsApp’s terms of service, many users are leaving WhatsApp for other messaging apps. However, as long as your account exists, Facebook still holds onto your data. In this article, we’ll go through how to delete your WhatsApp account and keep your personal information safe.

Key Takeaways:

  • You’ll need to delete your WhatsApp account to keep your data private.
  • You can delete your account on both iOS and Android.
  • Your messages will only be recoverable with a local backup.
  • You’ll lose your Google Drive or iCloud backup when WhatsApp deletes your account.

If you’re planning on deleting your WhatsApp account, but you still want to message people online, then you should check out our list of the best WhatsApp alternatives. There are plenty of secure options that can keep you in touch with your friends without invading your privacy.

  • To delete someone else’s account, you would need access to their unlocked smartphone, so this isn’t a likely scenario. However, if you could access the device, all you need to delete a WhatsApp account is to be in the app on the connected device and know the associated phone number.

How to Delete Your WhatsApp Account Permanently 

Before you delete your WhatsApp account, you should create a new local backup because WhatsApp will delete your iCloud or Google Drive backup with your account. You can do this by following our guide on how to backup WhatsApp and copying the WhatsApp folder with the msgstore.db.crypt file to a safe place.

Although we used an Android smartphone, you can pretty much follow the same steps on iOS, just skip step one. Go to “settings” and click on “account,” then click on “delete my account” and finally, enter your phone number.

  1. Tap the Three Dots

    Open WhatsApp and tap the three dots in the top-right corner to open the dropdown menu.

    delete your whatsapp three dots
  2. Go Into the “Settings”

    Tap “settings” to access various options within WhatsApp.

    elete your whatsapp settings
  3. Go Into Your Account Settings

    Tap “account” to find privacy and security settings, including the “delete my accountpage.

    delete your whatsapp into account
  4. Select “Delete My Account”

    Tap “delete my account” to open the account deletion page.

    delete your whatsapp delete account
  5. Enter Your Phone Number

    Enter your phone number before you tap “delete my account.”

    delete your whatsapp enter your number
  6. Tap “Delete My Account”

    Tap the “delete my account” button to confirm you want to delete your WhatsApp account.

    delete your whatsapp confirm deletion

After deleting your account, WhatsApp will remove all of your message history, groups, contacts and personal information attached to it. Although anything that is already on your phone will stay there, and Facebook might keep some of the data it already has, WhatsApp can’t collect any new information, as the account no longer exists.

What Happens When You Delete Your WhatsApp Account? 

When you delete your account, a few things will happen. Most of these are permanent, as WhatsApp will remove everything from its servers. However, you can get your messages back if you have a local backup of the data.

  • It will start to remove your account from WhatsApp’s servers.
  • It will erase your message history.
  • It will remove you from any WhatsApp groups.
  • It will delete any backups on Google Drive or iCloud.

Final Thoughts

Deleting your WhatsApp account isn’t difficult, and although it may take Facebook up to 90 days to delete your data, doing so will prevent them from taking any more. It might also encourage your friends and family to move to a more private messaging app, although you should check that they do a chat backup in case they want to access their old messages at a later date.

However, just moving to a new messaging service with a better privacy policy isn’t the only way to stay private online. There are many other privacy tools, like secure VPNs and encrypted cloud storage services, that can help you keep your data out of anyone else’s hands. We also have a guide on how to delete Facebook or you can simply change your Facebook privacy settings instead.

Is WhatsApp your main online messaging service? Are you planning on deleting your account? Have you tried other messaging apps? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below. Thanks for reading.