How to Delete Text Messages from Both Sides on Android

Sending that awkward text to the wrong person. Realizing too late a message could be taken the wrong way.

We’ve all been there.

Wouldn’t it be great if you could delete a text not only from your phone but from the recipient’s phone as well?

As an Android expert, I’m here to explain how you can delete text messages from both sides on Android phones.

With the right apps and techniques, you can save yourself from embarrassing texts and free up space on your message logs.

By the end of this guide, you’ll have the knowledge to delete text messages from both the sender’s and receiver’s phones – no more regrettable texts haunting your message history.

Let’s get started!

The Benefits of Deleting Texts from Both Sides

Normally when you delete a text on your Android phone, it only removes it from your end – the recipient still has a record of the message you sent.

Being able to delete texts from both sides brings some major benefits:

  • Avoid embarrassment if you send an unintended text containing private, offensive, or controversial content. Deleting from both sides helps save face.
  • Free up storage space by removing unnecessary texts from your and your recipient’s phones.
  • Keep your message logs tidy and on topic by pruning irrelevant or obsolete texts.
  • Maintain your privacy by eliminating texts you don’t want stored on another person’s phone.
  • Remove incriminating or inappropriate texts in case someone else accesses your message history or the recipient’s phone.

The peace of mind of knowing a text is gone and can’t come back to haunt you makes deleting from both sides worthwhile.

Next, let’s look at why this isn’t the default behavior on Android.

Why You Can’t Delete Texts from Both Sides by Default on Android

Unlike Apple’s iMessage, Android’s default messaging apps don’t allow deleting texts from the recipient’s phone as well as your own.

There are a couple of reasons behind this:

  • Decentralized SMS/MMS systemAndroid text messaging relies on Short Message Service (SMS) and Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS), decentralized systems that don’t give centralized control over messages once sent.
  • Privacy concerns – Allowing deletion from the recipient’s phone could enable abuse and harassment if someone deletes messages without consent.
  • Delivery acknowledgment – Unlike iMessage, Android’s SMS/MMS protocols don’t notify when a text is delivered and read. So there’s no guarantee the other phone even received the text before deletion.
  • Development resources – Building a system for bilateral text deletion requires significant investment to overcome the technical challenges.

Unfortunately, without modifications, Android’s default messaging options don’t support this capability.

However third-party apps are filling the gap and making bilateral text deletion possible.

The Best Apps to Delete Texts from Both Sides on Android

While Android doesn’t offer built-in support for deleting texts from both sides, third-party apps provide ways to accomplish this.

Here are the top apps I recommend based on over 20 years of Android experience:

1. Delete Message

Delete Message is one of the most popular apps for deleting texts bilaterally on Android with over 5 million downloads.

Key features:

  • Delete single or multiple SMS/MMS from your and the recipient’s phone.
  • Free basic version with pro upgrades available as in-app purchases.
  • Confirmation when a text is deleted from the other device.
  • Password protection and stealth mode to hide the app.
  • Ability to prevent the app from deleting messages.

How it works:

Delete Message uses SMS and internet data to coordinate bilateral text deletion.

When you delete a message, it sends a request to the recipient’s phone prompting deletion as long as they also have Delete Message installed.

Downsides:

  • Only works if the recipient has the app too.
  • Some users report bugs and inconsistent bilateral deletion.
  • The app hasn’t been updated since 2019, so may have compatibility issues.

Cost: Free with in-app purchases

Overall, Delete Message makes deleting texts from both sides possible without much hassle, as long as the other person has the app too.

But reliability issues and lack of recent updates make other choices a bit more appealing.

2. iMess Cleaner

Don’t let the name fool you – iMess Cleaner works great for Android and focuses specifically on making bilateral deletion easy.

Key features:

  • Removes texts from the sender’s and receiver’s phones.
  • Straightforward interface for deleting individual or multiple texts.
  • Option to delete all texts from a contact.
  • passcode and fingerprint locking for security.

How it works:

Like Delete Message, iMess Cleaner coordinates with a paired app on the recipient’s phone to delete texts from both devices using a combination of SMS prompts and internet data.

Downsides:

  • Can only delete texts from another iMess Cleaner user, limiting compatibility.
  • Contains ads unless you upgrade to the paid pro version.
  • Available on iPhone as well, but the Android version has a lower user rating.

Cost: Free with in-app purchases

iMess Cleaner is simple and effective, albeit a bit barebones.

While it gets the job done, the need for both parties to use the app remains a hurdle.

3. twin me

For a full-featured bilateral text deletion option, Twin Me is my top recommendation.

Key features:

  • Delete individual SMS/MMS or entire conversations from your and the recipient’s phone.
  • Scheduled deletion option to remove texts automatically after a set time period.
  • The message retraction feature recalls texts before the recipient reads them.
  • Passcode and fingerprint locking for security.
  • Permanently delete texts to prevent recovery.
  • A free 7-day trial of advanced features.

How it works:

Twin Me goes beyond basic bilateral text deletion with options like scheduled deletions and retractions.

It uses encrypted notifications to coordinate deletions between paired users while providing confirmation receipts.

Downsides:

  • Still requires the recipient to have twin me installed for bilateral deletion.
  • Must pay a subscription for access to all features.
  • Contains occasional bugs.

Cost: Free trial, then $4.99 monthly subscription

For the extra capabilities like scheduled deletion and message retraction, Twin Me is worth the paid subscription in my opinion.

The reliability and smooth user experience make Twin Me the top bilateral text deletion app.

Step-by-Step Instructions for Using Text Deletion Apps

Once you’ve chosen the right bilateral text deletion app, using it is simple.

Here I’ll provide step-by-step instructions using Twin Me as an example:

1. Download and install the app

  • On your Android device, open the Play Store app.
  • Search for “twin me” and tap Install.
  • Accept any requested permissions.
  • Open Twin Me once installed.

2. Create an account

  • When opening Twin Me the first time, tap Sign Up.
  • Enter your phone number or email and create a password.
  • twin me will send a verification code – enter it and you’re signed up.

3. Set up recipient pairing

  • From your Contacts list, select the person you want to pair with.
  • Tap Send Invitation and select SMS or email.
  • Twin Me will send them an invite to connect.
  • Once they accept, bilateral deletion with them will be active.

4. Delete a text from both phones

  • Open your messaging app and locate the text you want to delete.
  • Back in Twin Me, tap the See Deletable SMS option.
  • Find the text and tap the delete icon next to it.
  • Confirm deletion – it will now be erased from both devices!

And that’s it! Following these steps allows you to easily take back embarrassing texts and free up space.

Make sure to explore all the additional features your chosen app offers for even more control over your texting history.

How to Delete Texts from Both Sides Manually by Exploiting Notifications

If you don’t want to use a third-party app, there’s a manual workaround to delete texts from both sides on Android by exploiting the notifications system.

Here’s how it works:

1. Ensure the recipient has notifications enabled

This technique relies on your text triggering a notification on their phone, so confirm they have notifications enabled for your conversation.

2. Send deletion instruction text

Craft a text with clear instructions for the recipient to delete the previous message – for example, “Delete my last text now”.

3. Immediately delete the text from your phone

As soon as you hit send on the instruction text, delete it from your messaging app.

4. Wait for the recipient to act on the notification

If done quickly enough, your instruction text will trigger a notification on their phone before deletion.

When they see and act on this notification by deleting the previous text, it disappears from both devices.

5. Request confirmation of deletion

For assurance it worked, send a follow-up text asking them to confirm they deleted the message as instructed.

The exact timing to send, delete, and notification takes some precision.

With practice though, this exploit can successfully cause bilateral deletion.

Compared to apps, however, it’s less reliable and can’t delete entire conversations efficiently.

Troubleshooting Tips When Deleting Texts from Both Sides Doesn’t Work

Despite best efforts, sometimes deleting texts from both devices goes awry.

Here are some troubleshooting tips:

  • Ensure the recipient has the deletion app installed – For third-party apps to work, both parties must have the same app. Check they’ve downloaded and set it up.
  • Ask the recipient to manually delete – As a fallback, send a text politely asking them to remove a certain message from their phone and confirm when done.
  • Enable notifications access on the app – Full notification access allows apps to properly coordinate deletions. Check settings to enable notifications.
  • Update the app and phone software – An outdated OS or app version can cause deletion failures. Updating may resolve glitches.
  • Toggle Airplane mode off/on – Weird connectivity issues can prevent deletion coordination between phones. Toggle Airplane mode to reset connections.
  • Restart both phones – As a last resort, a full restart can clear up temporary glitches preventing bilateral deletion.

With a bit of trial and error, you should be able to overcome any issues that arise with deleting texts from both devices.

Wrap Up

As you can see, with the right tools and techniques, Android users can enjoy the same text deletion superpowers iPhone owners have.

Hopefully, this guide has equipped you to:

  • Choose a text deletion app that suits your needs and preferences
  • Install and set up the app to connect with recipients
  • Easily delete embarrassing, inappropriate, or unwanted texts from both sides
  • Employ manual notification exploitation for app-free bilateral deletion
  • Troubleshoot any issues that arise in the deletion process

Just be wise in how you use these powers – consent, and transparency should guide any decision to delete messages from someone else’s device.

But when used properly, bilaterally wiping texts can give you greater privacy, security, and peace of mind.

Thanks for reading – with years of Android expertise, I’m glad I could impart the knowledge needed to master cross-device text deletion.

Don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any other questions!

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