iMessage made a slip? Within a short period of time, you can cancel sending or editing messages sent to other Apple users from an iPhone, iPad, or Mac. It’s almost the same process on every platform, which we’ll guide you to.
Note: To use this feature on the iPad, you need the iPadOS 16, which is delayed at the time of writing until later in 2022. Once the update arrives and installs on the iPad, you'll be ready to start cancelling and modifying iMessages.
How to unsend a message on iPhone
You can unsend or edit the iMessages you sent using any device, even if it’s not the device you used to send (for example, cancel sending a message using a Mac that was originally sent from your iPhone). They should be messages sent between Apple users, using the iMessage service.
You can tell you are using iMessage if messages sent with a blue bubble appear. You can’t edit green bubbles (or grey bubbles, which are messages from other people).
To cancel sending a message, tap and hold on the message (or tap and hold on a Mac) and then choose the Undo Send option that appears. When you unsend a message, the recipient will receive a small notification at the bottom of the screen that the message was not sent. However, keep in mind that if the recipient is using older software that predates iOS 16, iPadOS 16, or macOS 13 Ventura, Apple says that person may still receive the message.
How to edit a message on iPhone
To edit a message, tap and hold (or tap and hold) on a message and then choose Edit to change the contents of the message.
Once you’ve edited the message, the recipient will see an “Editor” link next to your message. Clicking this link will bring up previous versions of the message. This works better for correcting misspellings, rather than changing the intent of the message – unsend is better for that.
Also note that if the recipient has not upgraded to iOS 16, iPadOS 16, macOS 13, or later, they will simply receive a new message with the revised text.
Restrictions on unsent messages and editing
You have 2 minutes to unsend a message after sending it. This helps prevent abuse of the system by limiting its use to real bugs, rather than giving users the ability to change the context of conversations.
The message editing window is slightly longer at 15 minutes. You can edit a message five times in total, so make your edits count. As noted, all editing history is saved with the message to prevent abuse of the system.
Doesn’t work with SMS
You can only unsend or edit messages sent to other Apple users, but the same will not work for messages sent to Android users which appear as green bubbles. This is because SMS messages are based on older protocols.
There are ways to access iMessage on Windows and Android, but they are not practical. Apple has rolled back an issue with fixing iMessage interactions on Android, so we don’t recommend holding your breath for native iMessage support anytime soon.