Dear Future 1AM Drunk Self: This is How to Unsend iMessages

Dear Future 1AM Drunk Self: This is How to Unsend iMessages
Image: FOX/Gizmodo Australia

Apple yesterday announced a bucketload of cool new features coming to iOS 16, including the ability to edit or unsend texts sent via iMessage.

It’s been a while since iMessage got a decent new feature. With iOS 16 you can (yes, I know the heading gave it away), edit and unsend messages. With this new software update, you will also be able to recover recently deleted messages and mark conversations as unread.

Unsending an iMessage

While your future 1 am tipsy self might be praising the fact you can now unsend something potentially embarrassing, there’s a few things worth knowing before you go ahead and rely on your phone to police your bad behaviour.

First, the timeframe in which you can unsend messages. You have 15 minutes before this feature is no longer available.

To do this, you’ll just tap and hold the message, select ‘undo send’ and it just goes away.

If you have sent a message to someone, regardless of if it’s been delivered, read or even replied to, you can unsend it, providing it’s within 15 minutes of you sending it. The other person will receive a notification that you’ve deleted a message. Of course, if the message has been ‘read’ (who has read receipts on anyway?), they’ll have already seen it before you unsend.

unsend imessage unsending
Image: Apple/Gizmodo Australia

Editing an iMessage

To do this, you can just tap and hold the message, hit ‘edit’, then type something more appropriate. Saving that will update your text. As is the case with unsending a text, the recipient will see a notice that tells them the message has been edited.

Again, the 15 minute window applies with editing a message as it does unsending one.

Marking messages as unread

We’re all that person, the one that reads a message but doesn’t have the time to reply. Well, with iOS 16, you’ll be able to mark an iMessage as unread. To do this, you can simply swipe the conversation to the right (from within the app, not within the conversation) and it will bounce back at you with an ‘unread’ icon.

This will also sync across your devices (iPad, Mac).

Obviously, this is only for iMessage, with Apple giving us yet another reason to keep with its walled garden.

Check out everything else you can expect from iOS 16 over here.