There are plenty of reasons you might want to delete a message, or even an entire conversation, from your chat history. It’s not always obvious exactly how to do it, though, and each of the major chat platforms handles deletion a little differently.

Remember, though, that deleting chat messages is not a two-way system. In all of these apps, following these instructions will simply delete the messages from your own device. Once a message has been sent, there’s no way to un-send it.

As the recipient will still be able to read the message, this a useful tool for clearing out your own message threads but not a way to avoid “sender’s remorse.”

That said, let’s take a look at how to remove messages on your end, in each of the three most popular chat apps.

Messages

To delete a single message: open a conversation, and press and hold the message you wish to remove. From the pop-up menu, tap more. This will put a checkbox next to each message, with your chosen one automatically checked. Tap any additional messages you wish to delete and then press the trash icon in the bottom left corner. Press Delete Message.

To delete an entire conversation: follow the above steps, but press Delete All in the top left when you get to the selection screen. Or, from the main list view, swipe to the left on any contact’s message thread and tap Delete.

Messenger

To delete a single message: open a conversation, and press and hold the message you wish to remove. Press Delete from the menu at the bottom of the screen. When prompted, press Delete again to confirm the action.

To delete an entire conversation: from the main Home view, tap and hold on any conversation for a few moments and then tap Delete Conversation. If you have a device with 3D Touch, make sure not to press too hard when you tap and hold or the app will “pop” into the conversation instead of bringing up a sub-menu.

WhatsApp

To delete a single message: open a conversation, and press and hold the message you wish to remove. A small menu will appear in a black bubble. Press the right arrow to see more options, and then tap Delete. This will put a checkbox next to each message, with your chosen one automatically checked. Tap any additional messages you wish to delete and then press the trash icon in the bottom left corner. Press Delete for Me.

To delete an entire conversation: from the main list view, swipe to the left on any contact’s message thread and tap More. Then, press Delete Chat and confirm your action.