How to Delete Snapchat Conversations, Messages and Stories

Snapchat
Photo © Carl Court / Getty Images
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Deleting Snapchat Conversations in Your Chat Feed

Snapchat
Screenshots of Snapchat for iOS

On Snapchat, conversations happen fast. Whether you're chatting with a friend by text in the chat tab or snapping photos back and forth with a group of friends, more frequent interactions of bite-sized messages that expire almost instantly can leave you with lots of conversation history taking up space in your feed.

To clean up your chat feed, simply navigate to your profile tab by tapping the ghost icon in the top left corner, tapping the gear icon in the top right corner to access your settings and scrolling down to tap Clear Conversations under Account Actions. On the next tab, you'll see a list of your friends you've had conversations with that have Xs beside them, which you can tap to clear them from your chat feed. 

Clearing conversations does not delete anything you saved or sent already.

The only thing clearing a conversation does is remove the username from your main chat feed. If you sent something to a friend and want to unsend it, clearing the conversation will not unsend it.

You'll have to take a look at what your options are in the next slide if you want to unsend something!

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Deleting Snap Messages That Were Already Sent

Snapchat
Screenshot of Snapchat for iOS

Snapchat currently does not have an official feature that lets you unsend a snap that was sent too quickly or to the wrong friend. In previous versions of the app, users figured out that they could prevent a snap from being received if they were able to delete their accounts before the recipient opened their snap.

Deleting your account to stop a recipient from opening a snap that was sent by mistake no longer works in the most recent version of the Snapchat app.

If you try to delete your account before the recipient opens your snap, you'll have to wait 30 days until your account is officially deleted forever. Snapchat puts all accounts on a 30-day deactivation status before official deletion just in case account owners change their minds and wish to reactivate their accounts again, which can be done by simply signing in to the app within that 30-day deactivation period.

Unfortunately, a deactivated account won't save you from snaps you regret sending. Even though friends won't be able to send you anything while your account remains inactive, any snaps you sent before you deactivated your account will still appear in your recipients' chat feeds for them to view.

Blocking The Recipient: It Just Might Work

It turns out you don't have to go to such extreme lengths to delete your account in order to unsend a snap. Simply blocking them might do the trick.

Immediately blocking the recipient fast enough might just prevent them from seeing your snap.

To block a user, tap their username that appears in your chat tab or use the search field at the top to find them. In the text tab that opens, tap the menu icon that appears in the top left corner and then tap Block in the mini profile tab that slides out from the left side of the screen. You'll be asked if you're sure you want to block that user and to provide a reason why.

I tested this to see if it would actually unsend a snap. First, I created a test account to send snaps back and forth with my main account. When I sent a snap from my test account to my main account, I signed back into my main account and confirmed that the snap was received, but I left it unopened.

When I went back to my test account to block my main account, I signed back into my main account and saw that the snap that I clearly received (but left unopened) was gone with no evidence of receiving anything from my test account at all. Back on my test account, however, the sent conversation still appeared in the chat feed and even said that the message had been opened, but I definitely hadn't opened it in my main account.

Bear in mind that when you block a friend on Snapchat, they are removed from your friend list and you are removed from theirs. You will both have to re-add each other to continue snapping the way you used to.

There is no guarantee that blocking a user will effectively "unsend" your snap.

If the recipient is faster than you are at blocking them, they may still see your snap. Likewise, Snapchat continually rolls out updated versions of its app, and this blocking method to prevent snaps from being seen may not work in future versions. It appears to work in version 10.0.2.0.

It's not known if Snapchat might introduce a new feature to allow users to unsend snaps. If you felt the pain of sending something you regretted after it was sent, consider contacting Snapchat through its Help page to provide the company with feedback about the snaps feature.

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Deleting Snapchat Stories

Snapchat
Screenshots of Snapchat for iOS

Thankfully, Snapchat does have an official delete feature for stories. Stories are the photo and video snaps you post to your My Story section, which can be publicly viewed for 24 hours by your friends or by everyone (depending on your privacy settings) when they visit their stories tab within the app.

To delete a Snapchat story that you posted, navigate to your stories tab by swiping left. Tap on the story you posted to view it and look for the little downward arrow icon at the bottom of your snap.

Tap it to bring up a menu of options and look for the trash can icon. Tap it, confirm you want to delete it and you're done.

Keep in mind that posting a story and then deleting it immediately doesn't guarantee that it won't be viewed by anyone. As you can see from the screenshots above, I only left a story up for about 12 minutes and six people viewed it in that time.

If you have multiple stories to delete, you'll have to delete them one by one. Snapchat doesn't currently have a a feature that allows you to delete stories in bulk.