Edit or delete a message

Note: Editing message topic is discussed in a separate guide.

By default, Zulip allows you to edit the content of your messages within 10 minutes of when you send them. Organization administrators can change the time limit, remove the time limit, or remove the ability to edit messages entirely.

Administrators can delete other users' messages, but can never edit the content.

Edit a message

  1. Hover over a message to reveal three icons on the right.

  2. Click the pencil () icon.

  3. Edit the message, and click Save.

Note: After you have edited a message, the message is publicly marked as EDITED. You can view a message's edit history, assuming that feature has not been disabled by an organization administrator.

If you don't see the pencil () icon, the message content can no longer be edited. You should see a file () icon instead. Clicking the file icon will allow you to view the Markdown source of the message, or edit the topic.

Delete a message

Editing a message to delete its content will cause the message to be displayed as (deleted). The original sender and timestamp of the message will still be displayed, and the original content of the message is still accessible via Zulip's edit history feature. This can be the least confusing option for other users.

Delete a message completely

For cases where someone accidentally shared secret information publicly (e.g. you posted an employee's salary), it can make sense to delete a message completely.

By default, only administrators can delete messages, though this can be configured by an organization administrator.

  1. Hover over a message to reveal three icons on the right.

  2. Click the ellipsis ().

  3. Select Delete message.

  4. Approve by clicking Confirm.

If you don't see the Delete message option, it means you don't have permissions to delete that message.

How deletion works

  • Deleted messages will immediately disappear from the UI in all official Zulip clients.
  • Any uploaded files referenced only by deleted messages will also be immediately inaccessible (An uploaded file shared in multiple messages will not be deleted until all of those messages are deleted).
  • It's important to understand that anyone who received the message before you deleted it could have made a copy of its content. Even if no one is online when you send the message, users may have received the message via email or mobile notifications. So if you accidentally shared secret information that you can change, like a password, you may want to change that password regardless of whether you also delete the message.
  • For protection against accidental or immediately regretted deletions, messages deleted directly or via a message retention policy are archived for 30 days in a format that can be restored by a server administrator. After that time, they are permanently and irrecoverably deleted from the Zulip server. Server administrators can adjust the archival time using the ARCHIVED_DATA_VACUUMING_DELAY_DAYS setting.