WhatsApp is arguably the most popular encrypted messaging service in the world as of today, but the Facebook-owned company courted controversy and considerable criticism earlier this year when it announced that it was revising its terms of service. After several users downloaded alternatives like the open-source Signal Private Messenger service, WhatsApp delayed the final date to accept the revised terms to May 15 – which is just around the corner.
If you are one of those users that is tired of yet another social platform that is collecting data about you and sharing it with Facebook, here is what you need to do to delete your WhatsApp account permanently:
Step 1: Make sure you take a backup of all the important chats and information you need to access from your WhatsApp app, You can start by going to the WhatsApp chat you want to save and selecting Export chat (from the chat info on iOS and from the three-dot menu on the top right on Android) and saving the messages and media.
Step 2: Once you have your backup ready, you can manually notify your friends that you are leaving the platform. You can use a Broadcast List for this purpose, instead of copy and pasting your message to multiple chats. You are now ready to begin deleting your WhatsApp account.
Step 3: On iOS, open the app and choose the Settings tab at the bottom right section. Then tap on Account, then choose the Delete Account button. On Android, go to the three-dot menu at the top right and go to Settings > Account > Delete my Account. On both iOS and Android devices, the app will ask you to input and verify your number. Tap on the red Delete My Account to complete the process, following which your data will be erased.
Once you tap the Delete My Account button, your WhatsApp account will be permanently deleted, along with your WhatsApp groups. You will also lose any message history on the app, along with any chats backed up to Google Drive or iCloud, depending on which messaging service you use. Once deleted, you can only make a new account again, and all your old chats will be lost forever, which is worth keeping in mind.