What is WhatsApp View Once Feature? All You Need to Know

WhatsApp, one of the most popular messaging platforms, continually introduces new features to improve user experience and privacy. One such feature that has garnered attention recently is the “View Once” mode.

WhatsApp view once feature explained

In this article, we have shared everything you need to know about the view once feature on WhatsApp including how to send photos and videos in view once mode, what are the key characteristics of this feature, workarounds to save view once messages, and other FAQs.

What is view once feature on WhatsApp?

WhatsApp view once feature allows users to send disappearing photos and videos that can be viewed only once by the recipient before they disappear.

Unlike regular media attachments, the view once feature does not store the media files on the recipient’s device. They get deleted automatically after being viewed.

Key characteristics of WhatsApp view once

Here we have listed all the key characteristics of WhatsApp view once feature:

  • The recipient is allowed to open WhatsApp view once messages only one time.
  • You are not allowed to download or save WhatsApp view once media.
  • As a sender, you can’t open your own view once photo or video after it has been sent.
  • Unlike regular messages, view once messages can’t be saved or forwarded on WhatsApp.
  • When you open a view once photo or video, the sender will get to know that you have viewed their media. However, this is only possible if the recipient has “Read receipts” turned on.
  • WhatsApp view once media stays for 14 days in the chat if not opened by the recipient. After that, it gets deleted permanently.
  • WhatsApp does not allow screenshots on view once messages.
  • View once media files are also included in WhatsApp backup if they are not opened by the recipient. It’s also possible to restore them from the backup.
  • If the recipient has opened your view once media, it will not be included in the future backup. In such a case, you can’t restore the media.
  • As soon as you exit the media viewer, the photo or video will disappear permanently. There is no way you can reopen that view once media again.

How to send photos in view once on WhatsApp

You can send view once photos and videos on WhatsApp in exactly the same way you send regular media, except for one additional step that requires you to enable the view once option in the media preview. Here’s a step-by-step guide you need to follow:

Step 1: Launch WhatsApp on your iPhone or Android device.

Step 2: Open the chat where you want to send the view once photo or video.

Open WhatsApp chat where you want to send view once

Step 3: Tap on the camera icon at the bottom-right corner of the chat (right next to the message tying box).

Tap camera icon in WhatsApp chat

Step 4: Select the photo or video from your camera roll that you want to send as view once. You can also take a picture or record a video with the built-in camera on WhatsApp.

Select photo or video from camera roll

Step 5: Tap on the view once icon (“1” with a circle around it). You will see a message on your screen that says “Photo set to view once”. If it’s a video, the message will display “Video set to view once”.

Enable view once mode for a photo or video on WhatsApp

Step 6: Finally, tap the send button (paper airplane icon) at the bottom-right corner. That’s it!

You will see “Photo” or “Video” written in the view once message. Once the recipient has been viewed your media, it will show an “Opened” status in the message.

How secure is the view once feature on WhatsApp?

The security and privacy of WhatsApp view once feature has been a topic of concern for many users. This feature is designed to give more privacy by letting your photos and videos be viewed only once. However, it’s essential to understand the limitations regarding its security.

WhatsApp view once is protected with strong end-to-end encryption, which restricts access to the message to only the sender and recipient. Additionally, WhatsApp has taken security measures to protect view once messages from being captured via screenshots.

However, it is important to note that there are still ways for someone to save your view once photos and videos, such as by using another device to take a picture. For privacy reasons, you should send media to only those you really trust.

How to disable or delete WhatsApp view once?

To disable the view once feature for a photo or video, simply tap the “1” icon again before sending the media. It will turn into an open circle, indicating that the media will not disappear after being viewed.

If you’ve already sent a view once message and want to disable it, unfortunately, you can’t change the view once setting once it’s been sent.

You can, however, send a new copy of the media as a regular attachment by tapping the attachment icon in the chat and selecting the same photo or video from your gallery.

If you want to delete a view once photo or video before it is seen by the recipient, simply long-press on the message, tap the “Delete” option and then choose “Delete for Everyone”.

Delete WhatsApp view once after sending

Does WhatsApp allow screenshots on view once?

No, WhatsApp doesn’t allow screenshots on view once messages. It has implemented measures to prevent users from taking screenshots of view once photos or videos.

If you try to take a screenshot on WhatsApp view once using the regular screenshot method on Android, it will show an error message on your screen saying – “Can’t take screenshots due to security policy”.

If you’re using an iPhone, it will capture the screen but the screenshot will display a message that says “Screenshot blocked. It looks like you tried to take a screenshot. For added privacy, view once messages don’t let you do this.

Screenshot blocked on WhatsApp view once

What are some ways to save WhatsApp view once photos?

While WhatsApp has added multiple layers of privacy to prevent users from taking screenshots or saving view once messages, it’s not entirely foolproof, as various workarounds and methods can still be used to save view once photos and videos. Here are some examples you can try:

  • Use another device to take a picture or record a video of view once media on WhatsApp.
  • Use screen mirroring to share the entire screen of your phone to a PC or laptop and then take a screenshot.
  • Take a screenshot of view once photo from WhatsApp Web.
  • Use an ADB (Android Debug Bridge) to force screenshot on WhatsApp view once from PC.
  • Use the screen sharing feature on Zoom and take a screenshot of WhatsApp view once from another device.
  • Bypass screenshot blockage on rooted Android phone using Magisk, LSposed, and an Xposed module to disable FLAG_SECURE protection for screenshots.

Frequently asked questions

How long does a view once last on WhatsApp?

A view once photo or video will last for 14 days in the chat if the recipient does not open it during that time. After 14 days, it gets deleted permanently.

Where is WhatsApp view once stored on your phone?

WhatsApp view once media is not stored on the recipient’s device. It is designed to disappear automatically after being viewed. However, if you have a rooted Android phone, you can navigate to “data/data/com.whatsapp/files/ViewOnce” directory to see if a temporary copy of the media is available.

Is WhatsApp view once mode available for group chats as well?

Yes, you can use view once mode for photos and videos sent in group chats as well. However, keep in mind that all recipients in the group will be able to view the media once before it disappears.

Can I use view once mode for all types of media, including documents and voice messages?

Currently, view once mode is available only for photos and videos. It does not apply to other types of media such as documents, voice messages, or stickers.

How do I know if someone has viewed my view once message on WhatsApp?

If the recipient has “Read Receipts” turned on, you will also see an “Opened” status on the message, indicating that your view once photo or video has been viewed.

Can I screenshot WhatsApp view once photo?

No, WhatsApp does not allow users to take screenshots of view once photos or videos. If you attempt to take a screenshot, you will receive an error message that screenshots are blocked.

Can I open WhatsApp view once without the sender knowing?

Yes, it is possible to open a WhatsApp view once photo or video without letting the sender know. For this, you can turn off the Read Receipts feature on your WhatsApp. Simply, go to Menu > Settings > Privacy and toggle off the button next to “Read Receipts” option.

Is WhatsApp view once safe for sending private photos?

Yes, it is safe but there are workarounds available that can be used by the recipient to save your photo or video. Therefore, exercise caution and only send view once media to trusted individuals when dealing with sensitive content.

Final thoughts

So that’s pretty much everything you need to know about the WhatsApp view once feature. There are instances when you need to send a photo or video on WhatsApp without it being permanently stored on your or the recipient’s device. This feature proves incredibly useful in such scenarios. We have shared every detail on this topic. If you still have any other questions in your mind, feel free to share them in the comments below.

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About the author

Vivek Chaudhary Author
Tech writer & founder @Geek Instructor • Vivek Chaudhary is an experienced tech blogger who has been writing about technology for more than ten years. He's written over 1500 articles covering various tech topics. Vivek is passionate about sharing his expertise to help others. Beyond the digital realm, he enjoys traveling and creating videos on YouTube.

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