Whether an accidental text to your boss or an iMessage sent to the wrong person, we’ve all been there: you send a message and want to die. But with the new iOS 16 update, you can now unsend an iMessage even if it has already been delivered to and read by the recipient.
That’s right; there is now hope for those of us who drunkenly texted our exes at 2 am while this feature isn’t perfect, it does provide some peace of mind in case you’ve accidentally sent something you shouldn’t have. Here’s how to unsend messages on Apple iPhone devices and what you can expect from this new feature.
Don’t Panic if You’ve Sent the Wrong iMessage
If you’ve sent a message to the wrong person or sent something you would instead not have sent at all, don’t panic. Apple has introduced new features that allow users of its devices to unsend iMessages. This means that if your message accidentally gets sent to someone when it was supposed to go to someone else, they won’t see it in their inboxes.
The Unsend Feature Doesn’t Work on Macs or PCs.
Older messages may take longer than newer ones for the system to process them as unsent. If this happens and your message still appears in your recipient’s inbox after 24 hours or so, then stop worrying about it because even though it won’t disappear from his/her phone until he/she deletes it manually or until Apple’s servers process the message first thing the next day’s morning; the chances are good that he/she will never notice anything fishy about any given one of these messages ever again.
Use the New Unsend Feature in iOS 16
To unsend a message in your iMessage, follow these steps:
- Open the conversation in which you want to unsend a message
- Tap and hold on the text you’d like to edit, then tap Edit
- Tap the “i” icon next to your message, then choose “Delete” from the pop-up menu that appears at the bottom of your screen (or just swipe left on the message and tap Delete)
- If you have multiple drafts saved, tap Cancel if you don’t want them saved as drafts; otherwise, go back up one step in this process by tapping Done when prompted for confirmation before deleting draft messages one by one until only one remains in your inbox.
- Confirm by tapping Delete again when prompted for confirmation
Unsend iMessages from an Apple Device
Open the Messages app on your Apple device. You can do this by swiping right on your home screen to open up the apps and then going into Messages. Once in the app, go to a conversation you want to unsend or delete a message from. If it’s an iMessage, tap on the conversation and then tap on Edit at the top of your screen. If it is not an iMessage, tap on Details next to each message listed under Sent Items so that each one has a blue circle with an x inside of it (this will show up if you have more than one item selected).
Select all the messages that need deleting by tapping each individually until they’re all highlighted with blue circles around them (if none are selected already). Tap Delete; this will prevent any highlighted messages from being seen and allow for more time before they’re permanently deleted from iCloud backups.
The Unsend Feature is not Perfect.
While the new unsend function is a welcome and long-awaited addition to iOS, it isn’t perfect. You can’t use this feature to unsend messages from a Mac, and you won’t be able to use it if you’re an Android user. However, if you’re using iMessage on both an iPhone and iPad, you’ll want to ensure they are both running iOS 16 for this feature to work correctly on both devices.
With iOS 16, Apple iPhone and iPad users can delete, and Unsend already delivered messages sent using Apple devices using the iOS 16 software to individuals and groups chats. Note that the unsend feature is not yet available on the Apple Mac devices.
This new unsend feature is excellent news for iMessage users, as it lets you correct a mistake before it’s too late. The feature is still in beta, so if you don’t see it yet (or have been invited to the beta), update your device in settings. It’s essential to keep in mind that the unsend feature only works for messages sent from an Apple device, not for messages sent from third-party apps like Gmail or WhatsApp. This means that if you accidentally send the wrong message from one of those third-party apps, there’s nothing you can do about it.
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