Enable automatic deletion of messages

Olvid has been designed to exchange potentially sensitive data in a secure manner. It is therefore natural, in certain situations, to want to limit the lifetime of this data.

Olvid therefore offers several options for programming the automatic deletion of messages, adapted to different cases of use. The two main concepts implemented in Olvid are ephemeral messages and message retention policies.

Automatically deleted messages will never be recoverable.

Ephemeral messages

An ephemeral message is a message whose visibility or existence lifetime the sender decides to limit at the time of sending.

Olvid allows you to set a default ephemeral message setting for a discussion, which is applied to all messages sent in that discussion. This setting is shared by all the participants in the discussion.

Olvid offers 3 different settings for ephemeral messages, which can be combined:

  • Read once: the message can only be displayed once. It is deleted as soon as you leave the discussion view.
  • Visibility duration: the message can only be displayed for a certain period of time. Once displayed, a countdown timer is started, after which the message is deleted.
  • Existence duration: the message, whether read or not, is deleted a certain time after it is sent.

Read more about ephemeral messages.

Message retention policy

Message retention policies are a way to automatically delete old messages from your device.

These settings are specific to your device and do not affect the existence of messages on your contacts’ devices. The aim is therefore not to limit the overall lifetime of a message, but only to regularly “clean” the contents of your device.

Olvid offers 2 settings for message retention:

  • # Count based. You set the maximum number of messages to be kept in each discussion on your device. A setting of 100 ensures that as soon as a discussion contains more than 100 messages, the oldest messages are automatically deleted.
  • Time based. You set the lifetime of the messages to be kept on your device. A setting of 15 days automatically deletes all messages as soon as they are more than 15 days old.

Read more about message retention.