Messaging apps like Telegram and WhatsApp are regularly updated with new features, but Apple’s Messages app gets major updates only once a year, when the new version of iOS comes out. Luckily, this year’s update is a big one: With the launch of iOS 16, we can finally undo and edit sent messages, a feature that’s been available on other platforms for some time now.
There is one caveat: These features apply to iMessages only: SMS (green bubble) texts can’t be edited or unsent. Maybe one day Apple will adopt RCS, which could allow messages to be unsent and edited across both iOS and Android. For now, these iMessage features are exclusive to iOS 16, which is currently available as a public beta. While these betas are available for anyone to install, they are still not completely finished, and software might suffer from bugs.
How to delete sent iMessages using Undo Send
Undo Send lets you quickly recall a poorly thought out message. It also comes with a nice animation, as the message bubble bursts in front of you (it’s very Apple).
Tap and hold a message that you want to delete, then tap the “Undo Send” button. The message will be deleted from both devices. However, you can’t use Undo Send with every message: You can only delete a message within a 15-minute window, and deleted messages can be recovered within 30 days.
How to edit sent iMessages
If you only want to fix a typo, it’s much better to edit the message instead. Tap and hold a message from the conversation, then choose the “Edit” option. You’ll see the familiar text compose box: You can now edit, add, or delete any part of the message. Once you’re done, tap the blue Send button.
When you send the edited message, it will be tagged as “Edited.” But the recipient won’t be able to see the original message, or the exact edits that you made. Just like deleting a message, you can’t edit a message after the 15 minutes are up.