Learn how to edit and unsend messages from your iPhone

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At Apple’s recent WWDC 2022 event, one of the most eye-catching features announced for iOS 16 was the ability to edit or recall previously sent messages.

It might not only save you some embarrassment when you send a message that is full of typos, contains wrong information, is incomplete, or sent it to the wrong contact.

Here is a quick guide on how to edit or recall sent messages on iPhone.

Upgrade to iOS 16

As these features are exclusive to iOS 16, you must have iOS 16 installed on your iPhone before you can retrieve stray missives. With iOS 16 slated for release in the fall (likely September), you may have to wait a while before you can edit your messages.

If you are ready to use software that is not quite finished, you can still sign up for Apple’s Beta Software Programwhich will allow you to use the beta version of iOS 16 before it is available to the general public.

What does the recipient need?

Ideally, the recipient should also be using an iPhone running iOS 16.

If so, editing sent messages will work as described below.

However, if you’re trying to edit a message sent to a contact on an older iOS version (or even an Android user), it may cause problems.

If you (the sender) are using the first iOS 16 developer beta, editing messages sent to non-iOS 16 devices will not work at all.

If you’re using the second beta, as 9to5Mac pointed out, a clumsy new workaround means iOS will send the modified version as a brand new message that will say “Modified at.” While leaving the original, potentially embarrassing message.

We hope that future betas, and especially the final public version, will offer better workarounds than this, but this is the only one at this time.

How to undo a message on iPhone

To recall a message, long press on the text bubble until you see the pop-up menu with options.

Select Cancel sendthe message will be removed from the recipient’s feed as well as yours.

Apple picture

Note that canceling the message is only possible within 15 minutes of sending it.

Apple specifies that if you wish to recover a message deleted in this way, you can do so up to 30 days following its cancellation.

How to Edit a Sent Message on iPhone

If you find that you sent a message containing a misspelled word or that AutoCorrect replaced it with an inappropriate term, all is not lost. iOS 16’s new editing feature can save the day.

Apple picture

Just tap on the sent message and wait for the options menu to appear. Press on Edit so that you can make your changes.

Highlight the problematic word(s), replace them, and the text will be corrected.

For complete information, a notification under the bubble says “Sent – Modified”, but the recipient will not know what the initial text contained.

As with unsent messages, you can only edit a message within 15 minutes of sending it. Beyond this period, you will have to prepare your apologies.

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