Aside from many cosmetic and under-the-hood changes, the most notable addition on iOS 16 concerns Messages. On iOS 16, you can edit or undo messages in a short 2-minutes window. But, can you unsend SMS on iOS 16? We made sure to answer below.
Can you unsend text messages on your iPhone?
You can unsend (undo) only iMessages (blue bubbles), not green bubble messages that are SMS usually sent to Android users. The Unsend feature works only in conversations with other iOS, macOS, or iPadOS users. Also, those recipients need to have iOS 16 (or macOS Ventura/iPad OS 16), as the ability to edit or unsend messages doesn’t work on iOS 15 and older iOS versions.
If you sent a message to an Android user (green bubble), you wouldn’t find Undo Send or Edit in the contextual menu. It shouldn’t be a surprise, considering that SMS is an outdated communication service. Services like SMS and MMS are, although still valuable, just remnants of a bygone era.
We hope that Apple will introduce RCS messaging that should replace SMS/MMS in the future. That’s still highly doubted, but it would improve the cross-platform messaging that’s been appalling for years. And we can look at it as something beneficial for both Apple and Android users.
Of course, with blue bubbles (iMessages), you have an option to undo or edit messages (including text messages and multimedia files). But there’s a time limit. You have a 2-minutes-window to edit messages (up to 5 times). After 2 minutes or 5 edits, you won’t be able to make changes to messages or unsend them.
With that in mind, here’s how to undo messages on your iPhone:
- In Messages, select the conversation.
- Tap and hold on to the message to bring up the pop-up menu (contextual menu).
- Select Edit to edit the message. Confirm changes on the blue checkmark.
- Or tap Undo Send to unsend the message.
If you unsend a message, your recipient will still be notified. Also, each edit is logged so the recipient can see your changes. And, as we said, you can only edit a single message five times.
The option to edit or unsend messages is a significant addition to iMessages, and we’re sure that Apple will improve on it in future updates. Still, it’s already helpful, and we’re certain most users welcome it. Sadly, you can’t unsend SMS on iOS 16, and don’t expect this unless RCS replaces SMS.
With that said, we can conclude this article, and thank you for your time. Also, feel free to share your thoughts, questions, or suggestions in the comments below. We look forward to hearing from you.
Can you unsend messages on iOS 15 and older versions?
You can't. The capability to edit or unsend messages is only available on iOS 16. And both senders and recipients need to run iOS 16 for edit/unsend to work.
Why are Edit and Undo Send missing from the menu in Messages?
There are two reasons why you can't see Edit and Undo Send in Messages. The first one is that 2 minutes have passed since you sent the message. The second is that you sent the message as an SMS, and, as such, you can't edit it or unsend it.