Does Snapchat Delete Unread Snaps?

Snapchat is among the most popular and most widely used messaging and chat platforms. The network boasts in excess of 150 million daily users from all over the world. The app is most popular in English-speaking countries, Scandinavia, India, and Japan. It is also popular in France, Portugal, and several other EU countries.

The automatic deletion of messages after they are read or seen is Snapchat’s main feature and it’s been so since the platform’s launch back in 2011. It is well known that Snapchat deletes messages, videos, and stories, but does Snapchat also delete unread snaps?

How Snapchat Works

Snapchat’s main feature and the main marketing point is that all texts, photos, and videos get deleted when certain conditions are met. Usually, opening the content (be it a text, photo, or video) will get it deleted within seconds. Once it is deleted, it’s gone for good. The video/photo stories, however, get deleted after 24 hours, much like Instagram stories.

Snapchat also deletes all unopened content, with different criteria in place for specific situations and different types of content. Some will be deleted sooner (unread chat messages will be deleted after 30 days), while others will be sent down the drain in as little as 24 hours since sending (text messages in group chats).

What About Unread Snaps?

Unread snaps, like all other unread content, are deleted after they expire. Depending on the context, unread snaps may be deleted after 24 hours or 30 days. Here’s how Snapchat will handle your unread snaps:

  1. If you have sent a snap in a one-on-one chat, Snapchat’s servers are set to delete the unopened snap after 30 days. If the recipient opens the snap within 30 days, it will be deleted as soon as it’s seen.
  2. If you have sent a snap to a group chat, Snapchat’s servers will wait for 24 hours before they delete it. If, however, all participants see the snap within the designated timeframe, the snap will be deleted before the time expires.

Snaps You Can’t Delete

If you were wondering whether you can delete the snaps you send to your friends before they are set to expire, get ready for some bad news. There is little, if anything, users can do to delete the snaps they send. Officially, there is no “Delete” option for the snaps like there is for messages.

Some of the methods users have tried include:

Deleting the Account

Some users have tried this method, hoping that all their communication would be deleted along with the account. However, Snapchat waits for 30 days before deleting the account for good and, with it, keeps all the messages and snaps sent to and by the deleted account. If you take this route, your snap will remain visible to the recipient and Snapchat will delete it once they open it.

Blocking the Recipient

Have in mind that by blocking the recipient, you are also removing them from your friends list (you also get removed from theirs). If you block them before they open the snap you don’t want them to see, your conversation will disappear from their profile, along with the problematic snap. However, the snap and the conversation will still appear on your account.

Snaps You Can Delete

Snapchat will not allow you to delete a snap you sent to a friend. However, you are able to delete snaps you submitted to Our Story. The snaps you contributed to Our Story can be viewable around the platform for various amounts of time. Some will be available for 24 hours, while others might be available for much longer. Here’s how to remove them:

  1. If it is a snap you posted less than 24 hours ago, go to the Stories screen and tap the button next to “Our Story”. Next, find the snap you want to remove, open it, and tap the trash bin icon at the bottom of the screen. This will remove it from Search, Context Cards, and the Map.
  2. If it’s been more than 24 hours, in Settings, go to “Our Story Snaps” to see the ones that are still active. Find the one you want removed and tap the trash bin icon to remove it.

Snapchat also allows you to delete snaps from a Custom Story at any time. If you do not delete them, Snapchat servers will do so 24 hours after posting.


Snapchat deletes all snaps posted on the platform. It makes no difference if you sent them to a friend or posted to a chat or Story. Some, like the snaps sent to friends, get deleted after 30 days, while the ones posted in chats and Stories go after 24 hours.

6 thoughts on “Does Snapchat Delete Unread Snaps?”

Avatar Liz says:
I would like to know the answers to the questions above too. Does a deleted snap say opened after 30 days?
Avatar Cali says:
I hope so bc it happened to me this morning. A snap I sent my bf a month ago came up as opened and since he hasn’t had snapchat in a year I got upset thinking he was lying and it caused a fight. He swears he had nothing to do w it and by seeing everyone else’s comments I think that does happen after 30 days .
Avatar Chloe Fisher says:
I sent a message to my deceased Fiancé and it is showing up as he read them. No one else has his account info. I’m just a little confused about what’s going on and why it’s showing it as read.
Avatar ameena asif says:
I sent snaps and they were pending but after days( probaby after 30 ) it’d say ‘ open’
for example i sent a snap on Aug 13th and on Sep 13th it read ‘ opened’ . I mean, i know snaps get deleted like they disappear but this one kept saying ‘ opened’
I have send pending snaps to someone else that would just disappear and not say ‘ opened’ ( thats when snapchat deletes them right ? ) why is it that it says ‘ opened’ now ?
Avatar Agatha R. says:
I sent a snap message to my bf, right before he deleted his account and created a new account. It remained in my recent conversations (unopened) for almost 2 weeks, and then suddenly disappeared. Souldn’t it have stayed in recents for the 30 day window, until the account was completely deleted? (Barring the possibility of him reactivating his deleted account and blocking me so I wouldn’t find out)
Avatar Kristina H. says:
This is happening to me as well. My husband claims he doesn’t have Snapchat anymore and I’ve even checked his download history and everything. But, twice I’ve accidentally checked his name when sending to more than one person and it says opened after 30 days. So of course this has caused fights. We need answers!
Avatar Cali says:
Happened to me this morning . My bf stopped using snapchat about a year ago and I accidentally sent him a snap a while back and everything I’d go on snap I’d see that it stayed on delivered BUT this morning I randomly go on and seen it said “opened” then it said 4 weeks ago I’m assuming it’s when I sent the snap. A few days ago it was still as delivered. Also it caused a fight and he swore he hasn’t been on snap then I seen this page and I’ve noticed after 30 days it has happened to other ppl . Also it helps to check their score my bfs snap score stayed the same (it goes up every time u receive or send a PIC snap) it goes up by 1 for each pic doesn’t matter if it’s sent or received but it won’t go up w messages . Anyway so I was confused why a number didn’t go up if he “opened” my message. But I’m guessing it’s bc it has been 30 days and it shows up like that..

Also keep in mind that for the snap score to go up a point they have to open the pic snap and vise versa. So just keep ur eye on that snap score 😉

Avatar Cami says:
An ex of mine passed away almost a year ago. Sometimes I send a chat when I’m sad. His account should be inactive. However, every time I have sent a chat message, it will appear as “opened”. Sometimes it’s after a month, sometimes 2 months. What is happening here? If Snapchat automatically deletes snaps/chats after 30 days, would it say “opened” on my end as a technicality? Just wondering. It freaks me out every time
Avatar Laura says:
Did anyone ever respond to your question? I have recently had this happen to me and was curious. I can’t find any info related to it.
Avatar Jane says:
I would like to know as well. Any answers?

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