WhatsApp will soon allow users to block screenshots of their “view once” media files

Meta-owned WhatsApp is gearing up to roll out a new security feature that allows users to block screenshots of ‘view once’ media files.

The “ view once” feature was released last year, but the first version was not without flaws. With the latest release, Meta is closing security gaps in WhatsApp beta.

A new update, 2.22.22.3 for Android, will soon be available to beta users, and it prevents people from taking screenshots or screen recording media that expire after viewing once.

The view once media files expires once the recipients view the file, but they can still screenshot or make screen recordings of the “view once” media files they receive.

Meta is now working to prevent users from saving records of these media files, which should expire and completely disappear after a single viewing. The most recent WhatsApp beta version, 2.22.22.3, appears to provide the required security solution. For starters, it prevents users from taking screenshots or recording screen recordings while viewing these files. More importantly, if a user attempts to take a screenshot a message saying “Can’t take screenshot due to security policy” appears on a black screen.

According to WABInfo, this should apply to any third-party applications that attempt to circumvent security.

The New Feature Includes:

If you have the feature enabled on your WhatsApp account, you should be aware of the following:

  • When someone takes a screenshot, the recipient is never notified, but the attempt to take a screenshot is immediately blocked for additional privacy.
  • Moreover, the attempt to record the screen when opening a view once image or video is also blocked by default.
  • Since the new feature is only limited to view once images and videos, you can still take screenshots of conversations even if they include some disappearing messages.
  • Images and videos cannot be forwarded, exported, or saved, and can only be viewed once.
  • Recipients may still take a photo using a secondary mobile device.

“WhatsApp continues to work on improving detection of those attempting to silently take screenshots, and more improvements may be available in the future,” WABInfo stated. More users will be able to access the feature in the coming weeks.