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WhatsApp will soon let users choose when group chats expire

This is for everyone who's watched a dormant group linger for years.

BRAZIL - 2020/08/28: In this photo illustration an icon of WhatsApp app displayed on a smartphone. (Photo Illustration by Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
SOPA Images via Getty Images
Steve Dent
Steve Dent|@stevetdent|March 8, 2023 3:55 AM

If you've ever created or joined a WhatsApp group chat for a single event, then kept forgetting to delete it for years afterwards, there's an upcoming feature you may appreciate. WhatsApp is testing something called "Expiring Groups" that will let you set an expiration date for group chats, according to a new iOS beta spotted by WaBetaInfo

According to a screenshot, the Expiring Groups option will appear within a group's settings, letting you choose options like a day, week, or custom date. You'll also have the ability to cancel an expiration if you need to keep the chat intact. Any expiration dates set will only apply to yourself and not other participants, apparently — so the group might continue to exist, just not with you in it. 

It appears that WhatsApp won't just delete a group without telling you, as the description states that "you will be prompted to clean up groups on the expiration date." Still, much like disappearing messages, it should help reduce clutter in your account and save some device storage space

WhatsApp will soon let users choose when group chats expire