If you’ve made a typo in an iMessage message, accidentally sent the wrong person a message or just want to take back your thoughts on a conversation, you can do so with iOS 16’s new iMessage editing feature.
You can edit messages up to five times within 15 minutes after they’ve been sent, and the recipient will receive an alert that you’ve unsent a message. Whether you’re sending to a friend or business colleague, this new feature could be a lifesaver.
Unsend a Message
The ability to edit and unsend iMessages was first announced at WWDC 2022, but now it’s available to all iPhone owners running iOS 16. If you’ve ever had a typo in your text message or sent the wrong message to someone, iOS 16 can help.
To edit a message, simply long-press on the text bubble (iPhone or iPad) or right-click (Mac) until you see a menu appear. From here, you can make changes and resend the message with your edits.
Note that if you change your mind and want to return to the original message, tap the X button in the top-right corner of the message window. You can edit messages up to five times within 15 minutes after sending them, and both you and the recipient will receive a blue “Edited” note in their conversation transcripts.
To unsend a message, gently hold down on the iMessage that you sent up to 2 minutes after you sent it. A pop-up menu will appear from which you can select Undo Send.
Edit a Message
If you’ve ever sent a message that’s been laden with typos or mistakes, Apple’s new iMessage editing feature is a godsend. It lets you fix embarrassing misspellings, wrong or missing information, and more in a matter of minutes after sending.
To use it, long-press on the message you want to edit and tap Edit from the pop-up menu. Make your changes, then tap the checkmark to resend or X to revert it.
The new iMessage editing feature stays active for 15 minutes after sending, giving you time to correct an embarrassing mistake or misspelling. When your recipient views the message, it will have the word “Edited to” attached and a note saying that the text has been edited.
iMessage editing and unsending only work on iMessages, and require iOS 16 or later and devices running iPadOS 16 or Mac Ventura (or later operating systems). Older devices will still receive the original message, though it’ll have the updated text in quotation marks.
Hide a Message
If you’re concerned about someone reading your text messages, there are a few ways to hide them on your iPhone. These options range from disabling notifications to hiding the actual message chain in a folder where no one would expect to find it.
To hide message notifications, open your iPhone’s settings and tap the Messages option. You’ll then need to scroll down until you can select Show Previews and change it to Never.
For more privacy, you can also disable Text Message Forwarding on your phone. This prevents people from viewing your messages on other Apple devices.
If you’re jailbroken, there’s a Cydia tweak called HiddenConvos that lets you hide any conversation in the Messages app by simply swiping left on it. The only downside to this method is that it’s a bit time-consuming to remove all of your conversations from the app.
Change the Recipient
If you want to change the recipient of an iMessage, the good news is that you can do it quickly and easily. You can even do it while the message is in the process of being sent.
This is handy if you have a friend that you regularly text with and they always send you an iMessage instead of an SMS message. You can also use this feature if you’re in an awkward situation and want to send a message to someone but don’t have their phone number.
You should select one of your email addresses or phone numbers as the default for your iMessages, so that you don’t accidentally give out personal contact details to strangers.
In Messages, open the Settings app and tap Send & Receive. Then go to the section titled Start New Conversations From and tap your phone number or email address.