Why Can't I Unsend a Message on iMessage?

February 1, 2024
David Sunnyside

iMessage's latest update brings the ability to edit and unsend messages. It stays active for up to 15 minutes after sending a message, giving you a chance to fix that embarrassing typo or pull back something you may have said in anger. But that's not all — it also keeps a record of your edits and unsent messages, so you can see what was changed and when.

To use the feature, open a conversation and long press on a sent message. A popover will appear, allowing you to Undo Send or Recall. When you unsend a message, it disappears with a neat animation and leaves behind a note to the recipient that you recalled it. But it's important to keep in mind that this only works for iMessages, not SMS or iCloud Voicemail. And your recipient must have iOS 16 or higher to see this option.

In addition to editing and unsending, you can also edit a message up to five times after it's been sent. It will stay edited for 15 minutes, and you'll be able to see a record of any changes you make. If you edit a message that was sent to someone else, they'll receive a new version of the text with "Edited to" in quotation marks, but they can view previous versions by tapping on it.

Unfortunately, the unsend and edit features only work for iMessages (blue bubble friends) on devices running iOS 16 or higher (or iPadOS 16, macOS Ventura, when it comes out in 2022). If you recall a message and don't have a compatible device, your friend will see the original version of the message that wasn't recalled.

David Sunnyside
Co-founder of Urban Splatter • Digital Marketer • Engineer • Meditator
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