How To Unsend Messages On iPhone With iOS 16

Apple now allows iPhone Messages users to unsend sent messages. Here’s how!

Wondering how to unsend messages on iPhone? Read on!

Apple has now previewed iOS 16 and it’s bringing a ton of cool features to the iPhone. Some of the best features are two improvements to the Messages app. In iOS 16, Apple will allow users to edit and unsend previously sent messages.

These features are long-requested by Apple Messages users (also sometimes called iMessages). And these are just two of the features coming to iOS 16. Apple is adding a lot more: including features like Continuity Camera, an all-new lock screen customization interface, Live Text improvements, and much much more.

We’ve already detailed how to edit a sent message on an iPhone running iOS 16. Now let’s look at how to unsend a previously sent message on an iPhone running iOS 16.

How To Unsend Messages On iPhone With iOS 16Pin
Credit: screenshot by Apple.

Why Would You Want To Unsend A Sent Message?

The ability to unsend a message in the Messages app is a long-requested feature by many iPhone users. But why might you want to unsend a message after you’ve sent it?

One of the most common reasons is because you are embarrassed by the message. Maybe you sent a drunk message to your ex and wish you didn’t. Now you can unsend it (within lime limit restrictions).

Or perhaps the message you sent has the incorrect information. Now you can unsend it and resend a message with the right info (of course, iOS 16 now allows you to edit a sent message, so this reason is kind of moot now…).

Requirements For Unsending A Sent Message On iPhone 

If you want to unsend a message sent with the Messages app on iPhone, you’ll need to make sure you meet the following requirements:

  • Your iPhone must be running iOS 16 or later. Yes, the beta of iOS 16 counts.
  • You must unsend the message within 15 minutes of it being originally sent. If 15 minutes has elapsed, you will not be able to unsend the message.
  • Only iMessages can be unsent (the blue chat bubbles). You cannot unsend regular text messages (the green chat bubbles).
  • While unsending messages will work on your iPhone running iOS 16 or later, in order for your recipient to lose access to the unsent message, they’ll need to be running iOS 16 or later on their iPhone, too.

Keep that last point in mind…

Unsending Messages on iPhone: WARNING About Users Not On iOS 16

While unsending messages is a long-request feature of iPhone users everywhere, there’s one big caveat: both the person who wants to unsend their message and the recipient of their message must be running iOS 16 or later on their iPhones.

If only the person who sent the message is running iOS 16 and the recipient is running iOS 15 or earlier, the recipient will not see the message disappear from their iPhone (while the sender who is running iOS 16 will see it disappear from theirs).

If this is the case, the Messages app will show you a warning that while your message was unsent, the recipient may still have a copy of the message if they use Messages on an Apple device running an older version of iOS.

Also, keep in mind that while you have 15 minutes to unsend a message, the recipient could theoretically keep a copy of the message forever by screenshotting it before you unsend it.

How To Unsend Messages On iPhone With iOS 16

  1. In the Messages app, find the message you want to unsend and then press and hold on it (long press).
  2. In the popup menu that appears by the message, tap Undo Send.

The message will now be unsent. You’ll see an animation for this: the message bubble will appear to explode or burst and thus disappear completely. In replace of the unsent message you’ll now see a line of grey text that reads “You unsent a message.”

And check out:

Michael Grothaus

Michael Grothaus is an American author and journalist with a flair for exploring the intersection of technology, creativity, and digital culture. With a background in film, journalism, and creative writing, he brings a unique perspective to the world of mobile technology. His work has been featured in renowned publications like Fast Company, The Guardian, and Engadget. At KnowYourMobile, Michael leverages his extensive knowledge to guide readers through the complexities of mobile devices, helping them make informed choices in the fast-paced tech landscape.

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