How to Edit or Unsend a Message on iPhone

There's a time limit to recall or edit messages, but with iOS 16 you can do both

What To Know

  • Edit a text: Long-press the message > Edit > make changes > blue checkmark.
  • Unsend a text: Long-press the message > Undo Send.
  • If the recipient's iPhone runs iOS 15 or earlier, they will see messages you unsend and won't see edits.

This article explains how to edit and unsend texts (within 15 minutes of sending them) on an iPhone running iOS 16 or later.

This article refers to a beta version of iOS 16. Here's how to sign up for Apple's beta program.

How to Unsend a Sent Text Message on iPhone

Follow these steps to unsend that extremely cringe text. You'll need to do this within 15 minutes of sending it.

  1. In the Messages app, find the conversation and the text you want to unsend. Long press it.

  2. In the pop-out menu, tap Undo Send.

  3. The text is removed from the conversation and replaced by a message stating that you unsent a message.

    This process also removes any notifications that previewed the unsent text. So, as long as the recipient didn't see the message or its preview, they won't know what you sent.

How to Edit a Text Message That's Already Sent on iPhone 

Don't want to unsend a text but still need to make a change to it? You can edit it within 15 minutes of sending it. Here's what to do:

  1. In the Messages app, find the conversation and the text you want to unsend. Long press it.

  2. In the pop-out menu, tap Edit.

  3. The text appears in the text-entry area. Make the changes you want.

  4. Tap the blue checkmark and the edited text will be sent.

    Edited texts show an "edited" notification just beneath them.

Limits to Unsending and Editing Messages

There are four essential things to know about unsending and editing text messages on an iPhone:

  • Unsending and editing work only if you and the recipient use the Messages app on iOS. These don't work in other texting apps or if the recipient is on Android or another platform (blue bubbles only!).
  • You must be running iOS 16 or higher.
  • Your recipient must also be using iOS 16 or higher. You can edit or unsend the text on your phone if they aren't, but they will still see the original.
  • You can only edit or unsend for the first 15 minutes after you send the text. After 15 minutes, these options are no longer available.
  • Which phones work with iOS 16?

    Only devices with Apple's A11 Bionic Chip or later can run iOS 16. This version of the operating system works with iPhone 8 and newer.

  • Which iPads work with iOS 16?

    The iPad technically has its own operating system, iPadOS, and its new iterations come out the same time as the iPhone's. You can use iPadOS 16 with the third-generation and newer iPad Air, iPad 5 and later, iPad Mini 5 and up, and all iPad Pro models.

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