How to unsend or edit an iMessage on iOS, iPadOS, or macOS

How to unsend or edit an iMessage on iOS, iPadOS, or macOS

At Apple’s WWDC 2022 event, it followed its usual tradition of announcing its next major software updates, including iOS 16, iPadOS 16, macOS Ventura, and watchOS 9. Among new features in Messages is the ability to unsend and edit iMessages, specifically on iOS, iPadOS, and macOS.

Where it won’t work

First of all, there are some limitations. Obviously, you won’t be able to unsend SMS messages, which are the ones that show up in green bubbles. Another key limitation is that as of right now in the initial iOS 16 and macOS Ventura betas, you can unsend or edit an iMessage for a period of time, but if the recipient is running an older version of iOS or macOS, they’ll still see the original message.

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The Messages app is going to warn you of this. It will tell you that the message has been unsent or edited, and that the recipient may still see it because they’re running an older version of iOS (yes, it still calls out iOS specifically even if you’re using macOS). The same goes for group texts, as the app will specifically mention the people in the group that are running the older version.

Text saying XDA iMessage chat and a message saying that another message was unsent

All of this is subject to change, of course, being that this is the first beta.

Finally, to be clear, you cannot unsend or edit an iMessage on watchOS 9. If you send a message from watchOS and you want to change it, you’ll have to take your iPhone out of your pocket like you’re living in 2012 instead of 2022.

How to unsend or edit an iMessage

The method of unsending or editing a message is pretty straightforward.

  1. Long-press on an iMessage you sent, or on macOS, Ctrl + click on the message.
    iMessage showing pop-up to edit or unsend a message
  2. Select ‘Undo Send’ or ‘Edit’.
    Message showing that an iMessage was unsent
  3. If you’re editing, adjust the message as needed and hit the blue checkmark.
    Edited message in iMessage

That’s it. The message will either be unsent or changed based on what you just did, assuming that the recipient is on iOS 16 and/or macOS Ventura.


Please note that this was written based on behavior in the first developer betas for iOS 16, iPadOS 16, macOS Ventura, and watchOS 9. It’s all subject to change, and we will be updating this article accordingly.

About author

Rich Woods
Rich Woods

Managing Editor for XDA Computing. I've been covering tech from smartphones to PCs since 2013. If you see me at a trade show, come say hi and let me ask you weird questions about why you use the tech you use.

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