I received a potentially compromising picture in a WhatsApp chat on my iPhone, I want to get rid of it entirely in everything Apple.

I've deleted it from the chat (within minutes), but where else could it end up being stored? Photostream? Camera Roll? Somewhere in my Macbook? Would it be backed up to the iCloud automatically? Please tell me all the places I need to check to be sure. Sorry for the newbie questions.


I received a potentially compromising picture in a WhatsApp chat

So someone else sent it to you.

If you delete the image from within the application, emptied the trash, checked your photo stream / iPhoto folders, deleted the contents of Library/Caches on any computers linked to the same service account, and checked Time Machine in the same locations it is highly unlikely that it still exists on your computer.

But someone else still has the original.

As many public figures have discovered, it's more-or-less impossible to permanently delete an image once someone else has it.

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I don't know whether WhatsApp stores its data in a cloud, but I know that you can have Apple's iCloud backing up your "chat history". Go to WhatsApp Settings > Chat Settings > Chat backup, to turn it off, or configure it for daily/weekly/monthly. If you turn it off, and then clear offending data from the WhatsApp app, then that should remove* it from iCloud. Make sure you do this on all iOS devices that use the same iCloud account.

*well, as nearly as anything is every removed from vendor servers. Apple will have backups, and so we can't tell how long it's actually kept before they delete their own backups.

Similarly, if the image is worth a lot for someone to blackmail you with, then you should probably take further steps to wipe the iOS device(s) that had the picture on it.

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    It might also be worthwhile to check out whether the picture got stored on Photos (and Photostream), depending on your settings in WhatsApp and for photo streaming. – nohillside Aug 1 '14 at 15:12

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