Have you ever wondered what will happen to your social networks when you die? In the case of Facebook, for example, your loved ones will be able to set your account as a memorial profile. However, in the case of WhatsApp, the opposite happens: the application tends to delete all kinds of information, including the multimedia content that you have sent.
If you want to know what happens to the conversations, photos, videos, GIFs and memes shared by WhatsApp of a deceased user, you are in the right place. Here we tell you everything you need to know.
What happens to your WhatsApp account if you die?
You probably noticed it when you installed WhatsApp: the application works with a phone number, so the service accounts are closely tied to it. For that reason, it would be technically impossible to keep an account forever if it is not used.
What should happen in the event that someone dies is that their phone number is removed, so that it ends up being recycled and activated by someone else in the future. Thus, when the new user activates the cell phone number in WhatsApp, the old account will disappear.
However, that rarely happens. In fact, unlike operators who wait six months to recycle a number, WhatsApp automatically cleans accounts that have been without activity for more than 120 days (four months). If an account has not been connected to the application during that time, either because the phone has been turned off or has not had an internet connection, it will be considered inactive.
So, after four months without connecting to WhatsApp, the account of a deceased person is automatically deleted. But the elimination will not be as sudden as if manually delete the account from the application settings (something we will explain later).
When you delete the account of a deceased person on WhatsApp, you leave all the groups in which they participated, in addition to making their profile picture and any additional information disappear.
Existing conversations with other people remain there, and others can continue to send messages to the deleted account. However, these will never be delivered, so they will see only a check mark. In addition, whoever tries to open a new chat with the person of the deactivated account will receive the message: “The phone number does not exist in WhatsApp”.
Now, if you prefer to keep the WhatsApp account of a deceased loved one active, the solution is easy. You must log in to the app with that account at least once every four months to avoid automatic deletion.
But that is not enough; you must ensure that the SIM is still active and has not been canceled due to non-payment or inactivity. Although you have the option to use WhatsApp over Wi-Fi after the SIM becomes inactive, there is a chance that the number will be recycled and someone else will register it in the app, thus losing access to the WhatsApp account. deceased person.
It is worth mentioning that the local backup of whoever died will still be there on the cell phone, so you can recover everything, including messages and files, if you re-register the WhatsApp account on that same phone.
In other words, WhatsApp will delete the account after four months of inactivity, but if the SIM card is still active, you will have the option to re-register the same phone number on the same cell phone, and thus you can recover the conversations.
How to delete a WhatsApp account manually
If you want to delete an account of someone who died manually on WhatsApp, you should go to Settings > Bill > Delete my account. Then, you must enter the phone number associated with the profile in full international format and touch the button that says Delete my account.
You must consider that this action is irreversible, so you will not be able to register the same phone number on the same cell phone, nor recover the messages or the account. You will also lose the backup on Google Drive.
If you do not have access to the account, you can contact WhatsApp technical support by sending an email to [email protected] to remove it for you. You may be asked for proof and documents confirming the person’s death and that you are authorized to request early deletion of the account. Finally, WhatsApp will answer you if the account can be deleted and will carry out the corresponding management.