How to Unsend a Text Message on iPhone or iPad


With updates to the iPhone and iPad operating systems, Apple is finally letting users unsend text messages. However, there are some things to keep in mind. First, you only have two minutes from when you send a message when you can choose to unsend it. Second, if the recipient of the message you’re trying to remove isn’t updated to at least iOS 16 or iPadOS 16, then the message won’t be removed from their device.

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Steps to Unsend a Text Message on iPhone or iPad

  1. Launch the Messages app, open the conversation with the text message you sent that you want to delete on your Apple iPhone or iPad, and then navigate to the specific text message you want to delete. Again, you have up to two minutes from the time you sent a message to unsend it.
  2. Hold your finger against the text message you want to delete until a menu pops up.
  3. Tap “Undo Send.” If the recipient of the message is using either iOS 16 or iPadOS 16 then the message will be removed automatically, and if they haven’t seen it they will never know it was there. Alternatively, if the user either isn’t using an Apple device, or is using an iPhone or iPad that isn’t updated to either iOS 16 or iPadOS 16, then the message won’t be removed from their device.
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Reasons Someone Would Want to Unsend a Text Message

There are a lot of good reasons someone may find themselves in a situation where they would want to unsend a text message on their iPhone or iPad:

1. To Avoid Sending Embarrassing Typos or Mistakes

Texting using your Apple iPhone or iPad is a quick way to communicate, but typos and mistakes can happen. Unsending a message gives you a second chance to fix these mistakes before they’re seen by others. This is especially important if the message is going to someone you’re trying to impress, like a potential employer or a crush.

2. To Change Your Mind After a Second Thought

Sometimes we send messages in the heat of the moment, only to regret it later. Whether it’s an argument with a friend or an impulsive text, unsending a message can give you the chance to cool off and reconsider what you’ve written. It’s a helpful tool for avoiding potential conflict and making amends.

3. To Recall a Message Containing Sensitive Information

Whether it’s a personal secret or confidential information, unsending a message can prevent sensitive information from falling into the wrong hands. Whether it’s a slip of the finger or simply a moment of forgetfulness, unsending a message can protect your privacy and security.

4. To Avoid Sending a Message to the Wrong Person

Sending a message to the wrong person can be embarrassing and potentially damaging. Whether it’s a joke meant for a friend or a sensitive message meant for your significant other, unsending a message sent from your Apple iPhone or iPad can give you the chance to recall it before it reaches the wrong person.

5. To Prevent a Message from Potentially Harming a Relationship

Words can be powerful, and sometimes we say things in the heat of the moment that we later regret. Unsending a message can give you the chance to recall a message before it causes harm to a relationship. This is especially important for messages sent during arguments or emotional moments.

6. To Maintain Professionalism by Recalling a Message that Could Affect it Negatively

Texting can blur the line between personal and professional life, and unsending a message can help maintain professionalism. Whether it’s an inappropriate joke or a message sent in anger, unsending a message can give you the chance to recall it and avoid damaging your reputation at work.

7. To Unsend an Unwanted or Spam Message

Texting can also lead to the accidental sending of unwanted messages, like spam. Unsending a message on your iPhone or iPad gives you the chance to recall these messages before they reach their intended recipient. This helps protect your privacy and prevent unwanted clutter in your message inbox.

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About Max

Max has nearly 20 years of experience working in IT across three different industries in project management and management capacities: publishing, telecommunications and healthcare. He holds the following degrees and certifications: BS Communications, MA Communications, MBA and Project Management Professional (PMP). His tutorial-focused YouTube channel earned more than 100,000 subscribers in its first four years, and currently has more than 160,000 subscribers, 110,000,000 video views and an insane 2.4 million hours of watch time. Max enjoys learning new technology, reading and collecting comic books, listening to audiobooks and playing video games.

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