How to Unsend a Snap on Snapchat – The Ultimate Guide

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Hey there! Have you ever sent a Snapchat only to instantly regret it? Maybe you sent an embarrassing selfie to your crush instead of your best friend, shared something too personal or sensitive, or simply sent a snap to the wrong person entirely.

We‘ve all been there, my friend. That feeling in the pit of your stomach when you realize your snap is already out there in the world and can never be taken back.

But here’s the thing – that‘s not entirely true! Believe it or not, you actually can "unsend" snaps on Snapchat by deleting them before the recipient views them. Pretty cool trick, right?

In this comprehensive guide, I‘ll walk you through everything you need to know about unsending snaps like a pro. You’ll learn:

  • How to delete sent snaps in a flash
  • What happens when you delete sent snaps
  • Clever tricks to salvage snap regret
  • Limitations to look out for
  • Pro tips to avoid getting into this situation again

Let‘s do this! I’m going to unlock all the secrets of unsending Snapchats for you.

Can You Really Unsend Snaps on Snapchat?

Now you might be wondering – is it even possible to unsend a snap once you hit send? I mean, it’s already out there floating around in digital space, right?

Here’s the deal…

Snapchat doesn’t actually have a native “unsend” feature built into the app. So technically, no – you cannot retract a sent snap back to your phone as if you never sent it.

However, you can delete sent snaps before the recipient opens them. When you delete an unopened snap, it’s permanently removed from their inbox and it’s like it never existed.

So while not a true unsend, deleting snaps you regret sending accomplishes the same outcome. As long as your friend hasn’t viewed it yet, crisis averted!

According to Snapchat’s 2021 transparency report, over 5 billion snaps are sent per day. And you can bet some of those are snap regrets. Luckily, you have a short window to preview snaps you send and delete any mishaps.

But you need to act fast because that window slams shut once it‘s opened.

Step-by-Step: How To Delete Sent Snaps

Wondering how to actually delete a sent snap before the damage is done? I‘ll walk you through it:

Open the Snapchat Chat

First, launch the Snapchat app and tap on the chat icon in the bottom left corner:

This will open your message inbox.

Locate the Embarrassing Snap

Now scroll through your messages and locate the chat with the person you mistakenly sent the snap to.

Tap it open to access your conversation history.

Long Press the Snap

In the chat window, you‘ll see the snap you want to delete. Simply long press your finger on the snap thumbnail.

After about 2 seconds, an options menu will pop up.

Select Delete

In the options menu, tap the trash icon to delete the snap.

Confirm Deletion

A confirmation screen will appear to make sure you really want to delete this snap.

Tap “Delete” one more time to confirm and permanently erase the snap before it’s opened.

And voila! As long as your recipient hadn‘t already viewed that snap, it will vanish from their inbox like magic. Crisis averted!

What Happens When You Delete a Sent Snap?

Wondering what exactly happens when you delete a sent snap? Here’s the rundown:

  • Snap deleted from recipient‘s inbox – Most importantly, deleting the snap before it‘s opened prevents the recipient from ever seeing the snap‘s content. Phew!

  • Notification saying "Snap deleted" – Even though they can‘t view the snap, the recipient will be notified that you deleted a snap from their inbox.

  • Snapchat score decreases – Your overall Snapchat score goes down by one point for each deleted sent snap. No big deal though.

  • Snapstreak broken – If you sent the snap to maintain a Snapstreak, deleting it will sadly break your streak. You‘ll have to start over building it by sending a new snap.

So in summary – deleting an unopened snap makes it disappear forever, but the recipient will know something was retracted even if they don‘t know what.

There are also a few circumstances where deleting won‘t work:

  • Recipient has already opened the snap – Once opened, a snap can‘t be remotely deleted and will remain visible in your chat history.

  • Recipient device is offline – If your friend‘s phone is powered off or lacks internet, the snap will be stuck in pending delivery status and can‘t be deleted yet.

  • Recipient has saved the snap – If a recipient saves your snap to memories or takes a screenshot, it‘s permanently saved on their phone and can‘t be remotely deleted.

The bottom line is you need to act fast! But used correctly in the short window before a snap is viewed, deleting can get you out of an embarrassing snap situation.

Pro Tips to Avoid Snap Regret

I hope now you feel empowered knowing how to delete any rogue snaps. But ideally, you won’t send anything you regret in the first place.

Here are my top pro tips to avoid most cases of snap regret:

Always Double Check the Recipient

Before hitting send, take two seconds to double check that you’ve selected the intended recipient – especially for snaps containing sensitive info. It takes just a moment to verify you’re messaging the right friend or group.

Review Snaps Before Sending

For very personal snaps like cute selfies, consider sending them from your camera roll rather than Snapchat‘s live camera. This allows you to review the snap before it goes out into the world.

Use Screenshot Prevention

Turn on Snapchat’s new screenshot prevention feature when sending risque or very private snaps to trusted friends. This ensures they can‘t take sneaky screenshots without you knowing.

Have Sensitive Conversations In Person

If you need to have an intimate or nuanced conversation, Snapchat may not be the right place. Some conversations are best had in person, on the phone, or using a more secure platform.

Apologize For Any Mishaps

If you do mistakenly send a snap to the wrong person, immediately apologize and explain yourself. Don‘t just delete and pretend it never happened. Taking ownership helps smooth things over.

Exercising caution when sending snaps in the first place prevents most cases of regret. But you’re human and mistakes happen! Now you can relax knowing how to painlessly delete any slip-ups.

FAQs About Unsending Snapchat Snaps

Let’s wrap up with answers to some frequently asked questions about deleting snaps:

Does deleting a chat also delete sent snaps?

Nope! Clearing your conversation history with a friend does not also delete any pending snaps you‘ve sent them. You need to manually delete unopened snaps one by one.

What if you block someone after sending a snap?

Snapchat used to immediately delete any pending snaps when you blocked someone. However, they removed this capability in mid-2022. Now blocking a friend will not automatically delete sent snaps.

Can you delete saved snaps?

Unfortunately no. Once a recipient opens and saves one of your snaps to memories, there is no way to remotely delete it from their phone. Saved snaps remain accessible until manually deleted.

Does Snapchat know when you delete a snap?

Nope, Snapchat does not monitor or record your specific snap deletion activity. The action solely transpires between you and the recipient. Their servers facilitate the deletion, but don‘t analyze that data.

How long do you have to delete a sent snap?

It varies, but aim to delete regretful snaps within 1-2 minutes max in order to prevent the recipient from opening it first. However, the sooner you can delete a rogue snap, the better!

Let‘s Recap

Phew, we covered a lot of ground! Here are the key takeaways about unsending snaps on Snapchat:

  • There‘s no true "unsend" feature, but you can delete sent snaps
  • Act quickly to delete snaps before recipients open them
  • Deleted snaps vanish from the recipient‘s inbox
  • Notification says "Snap deleted" but they don‘t see snap content
  • You can‘t delete opened or saved snaps
  • Exercise caution when sending snaps to start with

I hope this guide gave you confidence in your ability to manage any accidental snaps without losing face. We all make mistakes – now you have the tools to swiftly delete any evidence!

Snap safely, my friend. And may your snap regrets be rare and fleeting.


Written by Alexis Kestler

A female web designer and programmer - Now is a 36-year IT professional with over 15 years of experience living in NorCal. I enjoy keeping my feet wet in the world of technology through reading, working, and researching topics that pique my interest.