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Vanish Mode: What is it and Why You Should Use it

Last updated: March 4, 2024 9 min read
Vanish Mode: What is it and Why You Should Use it

Vanish mode is a privacy measure on many social media apps. It helps you protect your chats and data from potential threats. This article discusses vanish mode, how it works, and how to enable it on different social media applications.

Today, your social media safety is crucial more than ever. Thus, messenger platforms have features like vanish mode to enhance privacy. As the name implies, vanish mode automatically deletes your chats once the recipient views them and leaves Messenger or Instagram so that no record of the text remains in the chat.

In this guide, you will learn how to activate the Vanish mode settings on your social media apps and protect yourself online.

What is Vanish Mode?

What is Vanish Mode

Vanish mode is a feature that clears text, audio, image, video, and other messaging forms once the receiver reads them and leaves the chat. It’s a great way to eliminate unwanted messages and ensure safe chat sessions. Also, it helps you to protect your privacy and permanently hide your chat history.

Vanish mode is an essential social media feature for many users today. Hence, top platforms like Instagram, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Telegram, Signal, and Snapchat have this feature. You can easily activate and deactivate it with the swipe of a finger.

How Does Vanish Mode Work?

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When someone enables the vanish mode feature, the app programs to delete the messages. You can either set a specific time for it, or once the reader views them. The chats can last for days or weeks, depending on the duration of the app you choose. It is important to note that disappearing messages do not affect previous chat history before you activate it.

Another configuration is the “view once” option, which allows you to send pictures you want the recipient to see only once. Additionally, when you send “view once” images, the other party cannot screenshot or save them to their gallery. This particular option is mainly available on WhatsApp.

Why Use Vanish Mode?

Why Use Vanish Mode?

No matter what you do online, you can never be too safe on the Internet. Consequently, you must use enough preventive measures to enhance your digital security. Here are the reasons to use the vanish mode:

  1. Privacy: You can configure your account to auto-delete messages if you suspect someone else is accessing your information. Also, use disappearing messages if you don’t want the receiver to keep your chat history. It also prevents spamming.
  2. Chat hygiene: The feature keeps your chats clean by automatically deleting unwanted messages, so your logs stay clutter-free.
  3. Safety precaution: Many people use social media for bad doings, including getting information for blackmail. Using vanish mode can help you prevent becoming a victim in cases like that. If you must chat with a stranger, consider using vanish mode. Also, you can never tell when a data breach will occur, so it helps to be prepared.
  4. Saving storage: Some messaging apps back up your chats on your phone’s storage. So, the more messages there are, the more space they will take up. Hence, vanish mode helps free up your device’s memory for more important uses.

What is Vanish Mode on Facebook Messenger?


Vanish mode on Messenger erases messages once the receiver sees them and leaves the chat. If you use Messenger, this feature lets you send temporary messages, assuring you of your privacy. However, disappearing Facebook Messenger messages may be unavailable if you live in Japan or Europe.

How to Use Vanish Mode on Messenger

Here is how to enable disappearing messages when using Facebook Messenger:.

  1. Open the Facebook Messenger app.
  2. Select the conversation for which you want to turn on vanish mode.
  3. Swipe up the chat interface to turn on vanish mode.
  4. To turn it off, repeat the process to deactivate it.


  1. After opening the FB Messenger and selecting a conversation, click on the person’s profile at the top left corner of the chat interface.
  2. Scroll to “Privacy and Support” and select “vanish mode.”
  3. Toggle the vanish mode on.
  4. Repeat the process to deactivate it.

Note that the vanish feature does not apply to group chats.

What is Vanish Mode on Instagram?


Instagram vanish mode allows users to chat safely by sending disappearing text, images, or videos. When you leave a conversation, it cleans your chat quickly.

How to Use Vanish Mode on Instagram

Use the steps below to turn on disappearing Instagram vanish mode:

  1. Open the Instagram app.
  2. Click on the messenger icon at the top right side of the screen.
  3. Select the conversation you want to enable disappearing messages.
  4. Swipe up on the screen to activate the vanish mode.
  5. Repeat the process to turn off the vanish mode.

How to Enable Vanish Mode for Other Social Media Apps

How to Enable Vanish Mode for Other Social Media Apps

Follow the steps below to use the disappearing mode on other messaging platforms.


  1. Open WhatsApp.
  2. Click on the chat where you want to turn it on.
  3. Tap the three vertical dots or menu button at the top right corner of the display.
  4. Select “disappearing messages” from the options.
  5. Choose the disappearing message timer between 7 days, 24 days, or 90 days.


  1. After launching WhatsApp and selecting a conversation, tap the contact’s name at the top of the screen.
  2. Scroll down and click on “disappearing messages.”
  3. Select the message duration.
  4. Tap “Off” from the message timer options to turn it off.


  1. Open the Snapchat app and swipe right to go to the chat screen.
  2. Click and hold on to a friend’s name.
  3. Choose “Chat settings” from the menu.
  4. Press “Delete chats.”
  5. Pick “After viewing” or “24 hours after viewing.”


  1. Launch the Telegram app and open the dialogue with the contact you wish to activate vanishing messages.
  2. Tap the contact’s name on the display and go to “More.”
  3. Click “Start secret chat” and tap the “Start” prompt.
  4. Hit the stopwatch button at the bottom of the interface and choose the chat’s expiration period.


  1. When you click “More,” tap “Enable auto-delete” and choose the disappearance time.


  1. Open the Signal app.
  2. Choose the conversation you wish to enable vanish mode.
  3. Tap the contact’s name on the display.
  4. From the options, click on “disappearing messages.”
  5. Select the auto-delete time and return to the chat.

Should You Ever Disable Vanish Mode?

Although the feature aids social media privacy, there are several reasons to turn it off. These include:

  1. To make records: You may need to review your chat history to find information, get details, or highlight something in the discussion. So, turn off the mode if you need to reference the conversation, especially for work or family matters.
  2. To prevent misunderstandings: Vanish mode may cause misunderstanding if the other party needs the chat record. So, consider turning off disappearing messages when texting people you trust.
  3. To prevent misuse: Users may abuse the feature and unknowingly lose essential information. Hence, it is advisable to toggle it off once in a while.
  4. As a general precaution: Accessing your chat logs can assist you in safeguarding your identity online. It can also prevent false accusations and expose blackmailers. Furthermore, it aids in monitoring minors to ensure they engage safely on social media.

Can Someone Screenshot a Chat in Vanish Mode?

Yes, vanish mode does not stop the recipient from taking a screenshot of the messages. However, it notifies you if the person does so. On Instagram, you’ll find the screenshot notification within the chat. Alternatively, it will appear as a small circle beside the disappearing photo or video. That helps you stay aware of any possible risks and respond accordingly.

Other social media applications might adopt WhatsApp’s one-time view feature to prevent taking screenshots in disappearing mode as it improves the app’s privacy.

Can Vanish Mode Messages be Retrieved?

Vanish mode messages delete permanently once you exit a conversation on Instagram. On apps like Messenger and WhatsApp, you can find them until the duration set period. After that, they expire, too. Also, these messages are not stored on your device. Consequently, you cannot recover any messages you sent in disappearing mode once they’re deleted.

Is Vanish Mode Secure?

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Meta, the parent company of Instagram and Facebook, doesn’t have the best reputation due to how it handles customer data and privacy. However, the company uses industry-standard data protection measures, such as end-to-end encryption and disappearing messages.

Although encrypted messages and disappearing mode are suitable cyber-security measures, Meta still uses your data, as it generates most of its revenue from sponsored advertisements. Therefore, you should take its data security with a pinch of salt. As a rule of thumb, never send a sensitive message to anyone you do not trust, even if it will vanish.

What are the Risks of Vanish Mode?

Individuals may use this privacy measure for unethical actions because they feel they can cover their tracks and escape it. One major misuse of disappearing messages is linked to cyberbullying. This can happen when people send graphic images and videos, threats, blackmail messages, and derogatory remarks without fear of repercussions.

In addition, an individual or group of persons can use disappearing messages to commit fraud and hide their trail. In any case, quickly report any account initiating and indulging in cyber crimes. Furthermore, always ensure safe cyber practices.

Improve Your Security with ExtremeVPN


Don’t overlook any security protocols for online protection. Always remain cautious when sending information, especially with strangers or people you don’t trust online. This is important, regardless of the safe track record of any social media app. Be careful with your messages, especially if you do not want them permanently stored on the web and used against you.

Most importantly, ensure your internet connection is secure, as sharing information through unprotected networks is a gateway for data interception. You can hide your digital trail and enhance your privacy using a high-quality VPN like ExtremeVPN. ExtremeVPN protects your identity when chatting online, using apps, or browsing the web.


Is vanish mode genuinely private? Up
Vanish mode is a feature on Facebook and Instagram that auto-deletes text, image, audio, and video messages. However, Facebook and Instagram are not confidently private. They allegedly gather personal details for targeted ads and sell user data to companies.
Why would someone turn on vanish mode on Instagram? Up
Instagram extracts data from your chat activity to generate ads. Hence, you should enable vanish mode if you do not want anyone to access your chat history. Additionally, conversing with strangers or someone you don’t trust is enough to switch on vanishing messages.
How do I know if vanish mode is on? Up
Instagram shows that you are in disappearing mode through several signs. When you activate it on Instagram, the chat background changes from white to black. Also, “shh” emojis rain down when you open a chat where you turn on vanish mode. In addition, you will see a label on the chat interface to indicate that the mode is active.
Does vanish mode delete the messages from both phones? Up
Yes, it automatically clears the messages when enabled on the sender and receiver’s mobile devices.
Does vanish mode affect all messages? Up
No, the feature only deletes messages after you activate it. Disappearing messages do not affect previous dialogues before you switch it on.
Will the receiver know if I turn on dissapearing mode on Facebook Messenger? Up
When you put on disappearing mode on Facebook Messenger, the app sends a notification to you and the other party.
What is the difference between Instagram and Snapchat vanish mode? Up
The primary difference between both is the period before the messages disappear. Snapchat lets you keep the messages for 24 hours or self-erase them after viewing them. On the other hand, Instagram auto-deletes messages once you leave the conversation, and you can’t save the messages within a specific time frame.
How to turn off vanish mode on instagram? Up
To disable the vanish mode, just head to the chat where it is enabled. After that, swipe the chat up from the bottom of screen and it will disable the mode successfully.

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About the Author

Thomas is a talented writer and digital privacy fanatic. He loves exploring the world of cybersecuri...
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