How to Permanently Delete Your WhatsApp Account

Need a break from messaging? Here’s what to do about it!

If you have become disenchanted by messaging apps and have wondered, how do I get rid of WhatsApp? Here is how to permanently delete your WhatsApp account forever. Keep in mind, simply deleting the app from your device does not delete the account on the WhatsApp service. This article shows you how to backup and then delete your account.

Tested on Android 10,9 and iOS versions 13 and 12 with WhatsApp versions 2.19.360 /2.20.10 respectively.

What Is WhatsApp?

WhatsApp is a messaging app that uses secure encryption to keep your chats and phone calls private. WhatsApp works on AndroidiOS, and you can even use WhatsApp on your computer

What Happens When You Delete WhatsApp?

Before you delete your WhatsApp account, please note that deleting your WhatsApp account will do the following:

  • Delete your account from WhatsApp.
  • Erase your message history.
  • Delete you from all of your WhatsApp groups.
  • Delete your Google Drive backup.
  • Detach your phone number from your account.
  • Delete your phone number from your friends’ WhatsApp contact lists.

According to WhatsApp’s FAQ page, you cannot restore a deleted account, and it may take 90 days to delete fully, during which time you cannot access your data. They also state that any personal information shared with other Facebook Companies will also be deleted.

If that sounds too scary, you might want to temporarily deactivate your account instead. Either way, making a backup first is a good idea. 

How to Back Up Your WhatsApp Data

Before deleting your account, you will want to back up your data first. Follow the steps below for Android and iOS to back up your WhatsApp account. 

iOS/iPhone Backup

You can backup WhatsApp automatically using iCloud by doing the following: 

  1. Go to Settings and tap on your name/profile picture.

  2. Tap iCloud

  3. Scroll down to WhatsApp and make sure the toggle switch is set to on (green).

    Screenshots showing how to backup WhatsApp to iCloud.

To back up from inside WhatsApp:

  1. Open WhatsApp.

  2. Tap Chats.

  3. Tap Chat Backup.

  4. You can instantly back up using the Back Up Now button.

  5. Turn on Auto Backup using the toggle switch.

  6. You can also choose to save videos with the Include Videos toggle.

    Screenshots showing how to backup WhatsApp from within the app.

Android Backup

You can back up WhatsApp on an Android device using Google Drive by following these steps:

  1. Open WhatsApp.

  2. Tap the vertical three-dot menu (at top right).

  3. Go to Settings > Chats > Chat Backup.

    Screenshots showing where to find Chat backup in WhatsApp on Android.
  4. Tap Backup to Google Drive.

  5. Select a backup frequency.

  6. Select your Google account or create a new one. You may have to log in first.

  7. Tap Back up over to choose the network you want to use. 

  8. You can also tap the BACK UP button to back up on the fly. 

    Screenshots showing the backup option of WhatsApp on Android.

How to Deactivate WhatsApp Instead of Deleting Your Account

If you lose your cell phone or it is stolen, you have the option of deactivating your account until you set it up on a new phone. To deactivate your account, email WhatsApp and use the phrase “Lost/Stolen: Please deactivate my account” in the body of the email. Include your phone number in full international format, which is described here.

How to Delete WhatsApp

Okay, so you have declared 'I want to delete my WhatsApp account!' Let’s get started. Follow the steps below to completely remove your WhatsApp account from the servers and all related data. 

iOS/iPhone

To permanently delete your WhatsApp account on iOS, follow these steps:

  1. Open WhatsApp.

  2. Tap Account.

  3. Tap Delete My Account.

  4. Review the warning, enter your full phone number and tap Delete My Account.

  5. Your account is now gone.

    Screenshots of Deleting WhatsApp account on iPhone.

Android Phone

On an Android phone, the process is the same, although the screens may look different. Follow the steps below:

  1. Open WhatsApp.

  2. Tap the vertical three-dot menu (at top right).

  3. Tap Account.

  4. Tap Delete My Account.

  5. Enter your full phone number and tap the red Delete My Account button. 

  6. Your account will be completely deleted.

    Screenshots showing how to delete a WhatsApp account on Android.

Instead of deleting your WhatsApp account, you also have the option of changing your WhatsApp phone number and deactivation, but it’s entirely your call.

You can now delete the WhatsApp app from your device.