Have you ever pressed “Send” on a text message, only to discover a horrible typo, or worse, that you sent the message to the wrong person? The team at Apple has finally found a workaround for these errors, and it’s available to all iPhone users who have upgraded to iOS 16. One iOS 16 benefit is the ability to unsend and edit sent messages. Yet, like with all other iOS updates, learning how to use these new features may not be obvious. With a little help, though, you can quickly master these new messaging features.
How to Unsend Messages on iPhone
If you accidentally send a message from your iPhone or need to remove it quickly, you can now unsend messages by following these steps:
- Make sure the correct conversation is open.
- Long-press on the message you wish to unsend.
- Tap “Undo Send.”
- The exploding animation will let you know that the message was deleted.
Once you delete the message, neither you nor the intended recipient will see the text. However, each party will see an alert that reads, “[Name] unsent a message.” This is fairly standard across other messaging platforms that let you recall messages, such as Facebook Messenger.
Issues With Unsending Messages
Unfortunately, this new feature isn’t without its drawbacks. Most importantly, you can only unsend a message within two minutes of pressing “Send.” So you better catch that typo quickly, as the clock is ticking!
Also, this feature is exclusive to iOS 16. If your intended recipient hasn’t upgraded, they will likely still see the message you tried to unsend. The feature also doesn’t work if you are text messaging an Android user. Messages cannot be unsent.
How to Edit Sent Messages on iPhone
In addition to unsending messages altogether, you can edit messages that just have minor typos by following these steps.
- Open the conversation with the message you’d like to edit.
- Long-press on the message.
- Tap “Edit.”
- Rewrite the entire message with the correction in the small text box that appears.
- Tap the blue checkmark to save the edited version of your message.
- The message will appear but will include a blue label that reads “Edited.”
Issues With Editing Sent Messages
Unfortunately, editing messages on iOS 16 isn’t a flawless concept either. You have just 15 minutes to edit a message you previously sent. Even then, you can only edit the same message up to five times before it cuts you off.
Also, the feature only works with iOS 16, which means those using iOS 15 and lower and Android users will still see each variation of the message when they open the conversation.
How to Recover Deleted Messages on iPhone
Sometimes buttons get pressed and messages get deleted by mistake, but you can now recover deleted messages if you have upgraded to iOS 16.
- Go to Messages and tap “Edit” in the upper-left corner.
- Tap on “Show Recently Deleted.”
- Select the conversation(s) with the messages you want to restore.
- Tap “Recover.”
- Choose “Recover Message” when the prompt appears on the screen.
You can only recover messages you’ve deleted within the past 30 days.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I see a text message after I unsend it?
No. Unlike the Delete Message feature that has been available on iOS for quite some time, unsending a message won’t archive it in your deleted items. Instead, the message will simply disappear.
Why can't Android users see when I edit or unsend messages?
Unfortunately, the Messages app on iOS uses a different technology than Android’s Message app, so messages sent between the two operating systems rely on SMS messaging. This type of text messaging is severely outdated and doesn’t support many features of iMessage, such as unsending or editing messages.
How do I download iOS 16 to my iPhone?
Installing a new version of iOS is simple. Go to “Settings -> General -> Software Update,” then tap “Install Now” to begin the upgrade.
Image credit: picjumbo.com via Pexels. All screenshots by Megan Glosson.
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