How to Cancel or Edit an iMessage on iPhone, iPad, and Mac
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How to Cancel or Edit an iMessage on iPhone, iPad, and Mac

Did you make an iMessage blunder? In a short time, you can undo or edit messages sent to other Apple users from your iPhone, iPad or Mac. It's practically the same process on all platforms, which we will explain to you.

Notes: To use this feature on iPad, you need iPadOS 16, which at the time of writing is delayed until later in 2022. Once the update arrives and installs on your iPad, you'll be ready to start. unsend and edit iMessages.

How to unsend a message

You can unsend or edit iMessages you've sent using any device, even if it's not the device you used to send it (for example, unsend a message using your Mac that was originally sent from your iPhone). These must be messages sent between Apple users, using the iMessage service.

You can tell you're using iMessage if sent messages appear with a blue bubble. You cannot edit green bubbles (or gray bubbles, which are incoming messages from other people).

Cancel sending or edit a message

To unsend a message, press and hold the message (or click and hold on a Mac), then choose the “Unsend” option that appears. When you unsend a message, the recipient receives a small notification at the bottom of the screen indicating that a message was not sent. Keep in mind, though, that if the recipient is using older software earlier than iOS 16, iPadOS 16, or macOS 13 Ventura, Apple says that person can still receive the message.

Message not sent disclaimer

How to edit a message

To edit a message, press and hold (or click and hold) a message, then choose "Edit" to edit the content of the message.

Once the message has been edited, the recipient will see an "Edited" link next to your message. Tap this link to view previous versions of the message. This works best for correcting typos, rather than altering the intent of a message – unsending is better for this.

Post edited disclaimer

Also note that if the recipient has not upgraded to iOS 16, iPadOS 16, or macOS 13 or newer, they will simply receive a new message with the revised text.

Restrictions on Canceling and Editing Messages

You have two minutes to unsend a message after sending it. This helps prevent abuse of the system by limiting its use to genuine errors, rather than giving users the ability to change the context of conversations.

The edit window for a post is slightly longer at 15 minutes. You can edit a post a total of five times, so make your edits count. As stated, all change history is saved with the message to prevent system abuse.

Doesn't work for SMS

You can only cancel or edit messages sent to other Apple users, but it won't work for messages sent to Android users that appear as green bubbles. This is because SMS messages rely on older protocols.

There are ways to access iMessage on Windows and Android, but they are not very convenient. Apple has been dragging its heels on the issue of fixing iMessage reactions on Android, so we wouldn't recommend holding your breath for native iMessage support anytime soon.

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