How to Edit and Unsend Messages on iOS 17

Messaging apps have greatly revolutionized the way we interact with people on the web. Rather than sending emails, they’ve made the process of talking with other individuals much faster. If in the past we used to talk on PC, with the rise of smartphones, we saw a set of popular messengers appearing for mobile devices. When it comes to iOS, the company’s in-house iMessage was always one of the biggest preferences for users of this ecosystem.

The chat apps are constantly evolving with new features to improve the experience. However, despite a set of interesting features, it was not possible to edit sent messages on apps like WhatsApp and iMessage until recently. Apple took to iOS 16 and macOS Ventura to finally debut this feature. With the latest updates, iMessage users can edit or unsend iMessage. If you want to dive into these abilities and learn how to do this, follow the steps below. (Via)

How to Edit and Unsend Messages on iOS 17 / iPadOS 17 / MacOS Sonoma – Prerequisites

There are some limitations to this process. Users won’t be able to edit or unsend SMS messages, which are the ones that appear in green bubbles. Another key limitation is that you can unsend or edit an iMessage for a brief period. However, if the recipient is running an older version of iOS, iPadOS, or macOS, they will be able to see the original message.

The Messages app will warn you of this limitation. 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. The same goes for group texts. The app will mention the people in the group who are running the older version.

iOS 17 iMessage
Image Source: MacWorld

There is also a time limit for these features. You have no more than 2 minutes to unsend and 15 minutes to edit a message. Note that the recipient will still be able to see your edit history anyway. Finally, early builds of watchOS 9 didn’t support editing and unending iMessage. It’s unclear when exactly this feature was implemented. However, watchOS 10 and later versions will offer support for it. If you keep your device up to date, you will still be able to “interact” with this feature. Once you’re aware of the limitations and prerequisites, refer to the below steps and learn how to proceed.

How to Unsend and Edit an iMessage

To unsend or edit a message the process is simple across new iPhones, iPads, Apple Watches, and Macs.

1 – Long-press on an iMessage you sent on iOS, iPadOS, or watchOS, or Control + Left-click on the message if you’re using macOS.

2 – Select Undo Send or Edit. A message will pop up with information. It will tell that some recipients might still be able to see the unsent messages.

3 – If you’re editing, adjust the message as needed and hit the blue checkmark. Note that your message will then have an Edited label under it, and recipients will be able to view the edit history.

The process is as simple as it looks. The message will either be unsent or changed based on what you just did. Assuming that the recipient is on iOS 16, iPadOS 16, macOS Venture, and/or newer OS version. This makes iMessage a more practical and versatile messaging application. This is a versatile and useful feature when you don’t have the habit of proofreading or double-checking their messages when texting. Accidents can happen, so it’s good to know to edit messages when needed. This feature encourages people to keep using iMessage rather than moving to alternative solutions like WhatsApp which also offer similar features.

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The limitations will slowly disappear

Note that the feature will be only available for users who are running newer than the iOS 16 version. If the person is running older than iSO 16, the message won’t be unsent. The recipient will see a gray text status message that says, “[Name] sent a message”. If they’ve already viewed the text. This is similar to the Delete Message feature that apps like WhatsApp and Signal already have. it also shows a similar message after a text is recalled. If you edit a text message that’s been sent to someone running iOS 15 or earlier, they will receive a text message for every edit you make.

It’s worth noting that these limitations will gradually fade with time. As we keep going forward, the number of devices running older iOS versions will gradually be reduced. So these version-based limitations will slowly fade away.

Conclusion – Editing and Unsending Messages on iMessage

The ability to edit and unsend messages has been quite beneficial for Apple users. After all, users who tend to make mistakes when typing on smartphones will now have the possibility to edit and fix the messages. The feature has small limitations of being able to edit messages for just 15 minutes. However, this is something common between apps that give you the same option. Unfortunately, if you have a friend with an Android phone, you will be out of luck as these features are limited to iMessage and cover only people using Apple’s ecosystem of products.

Interestingly, the ability to edit messages was something not available on WhatsApp. However, Meta recently added this feature. Perhaps as a way to compete with iMessage, which still stands as one of the biggest competitors for WhatsApp in the US. Despite the limited availability (the user needs to have Apple products) iMessage stands as one of the most popular messaging apps in the market. So it’s not a surprise to see it dictating new trends. Thankfully, this is a quite useful feature.



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