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How to edit and unsend messages on your iPhone with iOS 16

Amid all the green bubble, blue bubble controversy, Apple is focused on improving iMessage with each iOS update. With iOS 16, the company is adding a bunch of new features to its messaging service. Two of the most significant additions coming to iMessage are the ability to edit and unsend messages. The former is very useful for people like me who can’t type two consecutive sentences without a typo.




5 minutes

What You Need

  • An iPhone with iOS 16

  • iMessage app

  • A contact who also has iOS 16

Notably, Apple limits the ability to edit and unsend messages to 15 minutes, which is ample time to make use of the two features. However, if you have a friend with an Android phone, you’ll be out of luck as these features are limited to Apple users at the other end.

With that out of the way, here’s how you can edit and unsend messages with iMessage in iOS 16.

Apple Messages opened on iPhone 13 Pro Max.
Digital Trends / Digital Trends

How to edit a message in iOS 16

You've probably had instances where you sent a message with a typo and had to send another message to correct that typo. That might be a two-step process for you, but if you're anything like me, you’ll probably have to send a third message to correct typos in the first two messages (I blame my fat thumbs).

Thanks to iOS 16, you can now edit that typo within the message itself. Here’s how.

Step 1: Open the Messages app.

Step 2: Select an existing conversation or begin a new one.

Step 3: Type your message and send it.

Step 4: Select and hold the message to reveal a pop-up menu.

Step 5: Select Edit.

Step 6: You’ll get the option to type out the message again. Make any necessary edits.

Step 7: Select the blue checkmark.

Like Telegram, iMessage will notify you by showing an "Edited" mark underneath the message you just edited. However, it must be noted that — for the changes to show up — the recipient needs to also be on iOS 16. If you edit a message sent to someone using iOS 15 or older, they'll see the edited message as a separate message.

How to unsend a message in iOS 16

There are also times when you might send a message in the wrong group chat. For situations like these, iOS 16 lets you unsend such messages within 15 minutes of sending.

Step 1: Open the Messages app.

Step 2: Select an existing conversation or begin a new one.

Step 3: Type your message and send.

Step 4: Select and hold the message to reveal a pop-up menu.

Step 5: Select Undo Send.

Upon doing this, the message will disappear. The recipient will see a status message to show that a message was unsent by the sender. Again, this only happens if the person you're talking to also has iOS 16. If the user on the other end isn’t running iOS 16, the message won’t be unsent for them.

Apart from these two things, iMessage is getting many more features. iOS 16 will now allow SharePlay via Messages, which means you’ll be able to share synchronized activities like music, movies, and more with friends. But editing and unsending messages take the spotlight for obvious reasons. Additionally, you will be allowed to recover recently deleted messages for up to 30 days after deleting them.

iOS 16 is currently only available as a developer beta. The full, public release should be released later this fall.

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Prakhar Khanna
Prakhar writes news, reviews and features for Digital Trends. He is an independent tech journalist who has been a part of the…
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