At Apple’s recent WWDC 2022 event, one of the most eye-catching features announced for iOS 16 was the ability to edit or recall messages that have already been sent. Not only can it save you the embarrassment of accidentally calling a co-worker a catchy name, but it can also give you a way out if you send the wrong message to the wrong person. Here’s a quick guide on how to edit or return sent messages on iPhone.
Upgrade to iOS 16.
Since these features are only for iOS 16, you will need to run it on your iPhone before you can recover deleted memories. With iOS 16 releasing in the fall (probably September), you’ll have to wait a while before you’ll be able to save your embarrassment.
Assuming you’re happy to play with software that isn’t completely out of date, however, then there’s always the option to sign up to the Apple Beta Software Program, which gives you the iOS 16 beta. Will allow the version to run well before it is run. Available to general public.
There are alternative email services that claim to offer the ability to edit and unsend email messages, such as Polymail ($10/about £8p/m) and Mailspring ($8/£6p/m). Check out the software roundup.
How to unsend a message on iPhone
To recall a message, tap and hold the text bubble until you see a menu of options. Select Send back and the message will be deleted from the recipient as well as your feed.
However, one thing to note is that you can use this feature only for 2 minutes after sending a message. Apple says that if you want to retrieve a message deleted this way, you can do so for up to 30 days from the time it was sent.
How to edit a sent message on iPhone
If you find that you’ve sent a message that contains an embarrassingly misspelled word or that has automatically changed to something inappropriate, all is not lost. The new editing feature in iOS 16 could be a lifesaver.
Simply long-press on the sent message and wait for the options menu to appear, just like with the Undo Send feature above. The one you’re after this time is Edit. Tap this and you’ll be able to interact with the text in the message.
Highlight the unwanted word or words, replace them with what you meant, and the text will be corrected. For full disclosure there will be a notification below the bubble that says Delivered – Edited. Both you and the recipient can tap on it to see previous edits.
One thing to note: you can only edit a message within 15 minutes of sending it, and you can only make five edits to a message before the option disappears. After that and you just have to prepare your apologies or excuses.