How to edit and unsend a message in Messages on iPhone and iPad

Source: Christine Romero-Chan / ComoHow

The Messages app on your current iPhone is probably one of your most used apps. After all, it’s pretty much the hub of communication between you and all of your family and friends, whether they have an iPhone or use an Android. But have you ever wished you could edit a message you sent that’s full of typos? Or how about just canceling a message entirely?

Apple announced important new features in the iOS 16 Messages app at WWDC22. With iOS 16, users will finally be able to edit messages, as well as delete messages entirely. These features will only work with other Apple users, so you’re out of luck if you’re hoping to edit or unsend an SMS to an Android user.

Here’s how to edit and unsend messages in the Messages app on your current iPhone and iPad running iOS 16.

Apple occasionally releases updates to iOS, iPadOS, watchOS, tvOS, and macOS as closed developer previews or public betas. Although beta versions contain new features, they also contain pre-release bugs that may prevent normal use of your iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, Apple TV, or Mac, and are not designed for everyday use on a mainstream device. This is why we strongly advise you to stay away from developer previews unless you need them for software development, and use public betas with caution. If you depend on your devices, wait for the final version.

Table of Contents:

  • How to edit a message in the Messages app
  • How to unsend a message in the Messages app
  • How to mark a conversation as unread in Messages
  • Big changes have come to your Messages

How to edit a message in the Messages app

Sometimes you may have sent a message full of typos and you want to correct them before the other person notices. Or maybe autocorrect has taken over and drastically changed what you originally meant: it happens! Here’s how to edit a message in iOS 16.

  • Launch the Messages app on your iPhone or iPad.
  • Start a new conversation or select an existing thread.
  • Write your message.
  • Press the Submit button.
  • Long press on the message you just sent to bring up a pop-up menu. You only have 15 minutes to make changes.
  • Tap Edit.
  • Make any changes you want to your original post.
  • Tap the blue tick to save your changes.
  • A modified message will display Modified below the message (just like Delivered or Read status messages) to indicate that changes have been made. If you edit a message but the recipient is using an older version of iOS, you won’t see your changes.

    How to unsend a message in the Messages app

    Have you ever sent such a silly message that you wish you could delete it? Or maybe you just changed your mind and want to undo the text you just sent. iOS 16 not only allows you to edit messages, but you can also completely undo them if needed. Here’s how to unsend a message.

  • Launch the Messages app on your iPhone or iPad.
  • Start a new conversation or select an existing thread.
  • Write your message.
  • Press the Submit button.
  • Long press on the message you just sent to bring up a pop-up menu. You only have 15 minutes to make changes.
  • Tap Cancel Submit.
  • Messages that haven’t been sent “poof” and will disappear. A status message will appear in the chat transcript letting everyone know that the original sender did not send a message. Again, if the recipient is using an older version of iOS, they will still see the message.

    How to mark a conversation as unread in Messages

    Another new feature in iOS 16 is the ability to (finally!) mark a conversation as unread. This is useful if you read a message and want to reply to it, but can’t do so right away. Marking it as unread will remind you to access it later.

  • Launch the Messages app on your iPhone or iPad.
  • Find a conversation thread that you want to mark as unread.
  • Swipe right on the thread to reveal the Mark Unread button, then tap it.
    • You can also swipe right on an unread conversation to reveal the Mark Read button.
  • Big changes have come to your Messages

    As you can see, iOS 16 brings some very important but welcome changes to the Messages app. Finally, the days of unwanted automatic typos and silly drunken texts will be a thing of the past! And you can remember to reply to a message later, because let’s face it, this has happened to all of us.

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