How to Unsend and Edit Messages in iOS 16

whether you’ve sent a regrettable message or fallen victim to embarrassing auto-correct fails, texting can be difficult at times. But with iOS 16, you can now unsend and edit your texts within Messages. Of course, there are a few caveats—including time limits—but these are still excellent, long overdue features. Here’s how to use them. 

Video: Apple

For a full list of new major features, including how to download Apple’s latest operating system, check out our iOS 16 roundup.

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How to Unsend Messages

Apple via Brenda Stolyar

If you’re going to unsend a message, it’s very important to remember that you’ll have only a two-minute window to do so. Simply long-press on the message, tap Undo Send, and voilà! You’ll immediately see an animation where your message explodes into little pieces before it’s gone completely. 

While the other person may not see the text, both parties will see a notification that a message has been deleted within the Message window. Those who sent a text will see a line that reads “You unsent a message.” Meanwhile, those who received the text will see an alert that says “[Insert Your Contact Name Here] unsent a message.”

But the feature will only work if both people are running iOS 16 on their iPhones. If you unsend a message while texting someone who is on iOS 15, the text will disappear from your phone but will remain on the other person’s device. You’ll also receive a notification that says “You unsent a message. [Insert contact name here] may still see the message on devices where the software hasn’t been updated.”

How to Edit Messages

Apple via Brenda Stolyar

To edit a message, long-press on the text and tap Edit. From there, a small text box will appear where you can rewrite the entire message or fix a typo. Once you’re done, tap on the blue checkmark on the right, and the edited message will appear. Whenever a text is altered, you’ll see a blue “Edited” label underneath it. When you tap on it, it’ll display the entire history of edits (depending on how many times it was edited) in chronological order. 

As with the Unsend message feature, it will only work if both you and the person you’re texting are on iOS 16. If someone is on iOS 15, they’ll receive a message that says “Edited to [insert the new edited message]” underneath the original message.

It’s worth noting there’s a time limit on editing messages. You’ll have 15 minutes to edit a text, but you can only alter it a total of five times. So choose those edits wisely. 

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