iOS 16/17 Unsend Messages: Hands-on with the brand-new feature

This passage will show you the iOS 16/107 Unsend Messages feature on iPhone. Follow along for a hands-on look at how the feature works.


By Dylan / Updated on December 20, 2023

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Why unsend messages on iPhone?

Have you ever been in a situation where you accidentally sent information to the wrong person? Or sometimes, you sent a message and immediately regretted doing it? Then you have to reply to it with some embarrassing messages like “sorry”. In this case, you must want to have an Instagram-like feature that allows messages to be retracted.

Last year's iOS 16 brought some valuable updates to the Messages app. Will iOS 17/16 let you unsend messages? Of course, one of the interesting features is the ability to unsend iMessages on the iPhone. With iOS 16 Unsend Messages feature, you'll never have to worry about those awkward situations.

unsend messages ios 16

iOS 17/16 undo send messages iPhone: Things you should know

There are a few things you might be wondering about the Unsent Messages feature in iOS 16, like how long it takes to undo a message. In fact, you can unsend an iMessage within 15 minutes. When you cancel sending a message, your contacts will see a notification in the message box. This only works with iMessage, so it won't work with "green bubble" text messages.

Besides, everyone you want to send iMessages to will need to have iOS 17 installed to see your edits. Anyone receiving messages on iOS 15 or earlier will not be notified of edited or unsent messages, and they will still be able to see any messages you try to unsend, like “You unsent a message. XXX (your contact) may still be able to see your message on devices running older versions of iOS.”

how to unsend an imessage


And If the person receiving the original message is on iOS 16/17, they will get an alert in the thread that the message was unsent. When you cancel the sent, the iMessage notification is deleted along with the message on their device. In other words, as long as they don't see a preview of the text when they send the original message, they don't know what it is.

unsent massage

In addition, you might also be wondering what happens when you want to cancel a message sent to an Android user in iOS 16. At least for now, if you send a message to an Android user, you won't be able to unsend the message.

iOS 16/17 unsend messages: How it works?

Now that you know everything about iOS 16 unsend messages, so how to unsend messages in iOS 16/17? To recall a message, follow the steps below:

1. Running iOS 16 or iOS 17 on iPhone, open the Messages app.

2. Find the conversation and specific message you want to unsend.

3. Long-press on the message, tap Undo Send.

click undo send

✍ Note
● You can only use this feature for a maximum of 15 minutes after the message is sent.
● Apple says that if you want to recover a message deleted in this way, you can do so up to 30 days from the time when it was unsent.

Other iOS 17/16 messages features

Apple's Messages app is getting some new features in iOS 17. The three main features are the option to unsend iMessages entirely, edit iMessages, and mark text messages as unread. So the other great feature of iOS 17 is the ability to edit and unread messages in addition to being able to unsend messages in iOS 16/17.

iOS 16/17 edit messages

If you notice an embarrassingly misspelled word in a message you sent, or autocorrect has changed to something inappropriate, all is not lost. The new editing features in iOS 16 can be a lifesaver. How to edit messages in iOS 16?

All you need to do is follow the same steps listed above, but click Edit from the drop-down menu instead of Unsend. You also have 15 minutes to edit the message, and the contact you are messaging will see that the message has been edited.

iOS 16/17 unread messages

Have you ever opened a message, found that you currently don't have time to reply, and then completely forgot? With the iOS 16 Unread Messages feature, you can mark messages as unread and return to them later.

Step 1. Open Messages and swipe-right on the conversation thread.

Step 2. Long press on the message thread and tap Mark as Unread in the quick actions popup.

how to mark as unread

When text becomes unread, a blue dot appears next to the corresponding conversation. In addition, a red message badge is displayed on the home screen, showing the number of unread texts.

Bonus tip: Backup iPhone messages/iMessages with FoneTool

You may use iMessage/message with your friends frequently, and you don't want to lose the chat history. Then we suggest you backup your iPhone messages to your computer. You can do it with a professional iPhone backup software named FoneTool. It gained its reputation with its great backup features. 

It offers you two different backup ways to meet different demands.

Full Backup: Backup all iPhone local data to computer.

Selective & Incremental Backup: Selectively backup iPhone data to Windows 11/10/8/7 computer. And it supports incremental backup to only backup changed or newly added data.

And it is easy-to-use software. You can backup your data with a few clicks. Just hit the button below to install this software, we will show you how it works.

Download FreewareWin 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

How to backup iPhone messages to computer. 

Step 1. Run FoneTool. Click "Phone Backup" > "Selective Backup".

selective backup

Step 2. Make sure the messages option is checked. And you can click the message icon to choose the specific chats.

select files

Step 3. Click the "Backup Storage Path" to choose a location to save selected messages. Click "Start Backup".

click on backup


That's all there is to iOS 17/16 unsend messages. Apart from unsend messages, the Messages app in iOS 17 has other features such as editing messages, unread messages. Because these are new features, and in the early stages of iOS 16, they may break down from time to time. If you encounter iOS 16 messages not working, you can fix it by restarting the Messages app and the device.

What's more, the all-new iOS 16 has plenty of other attractive features like the popular new lock screen, focus filters, family sharing, safety checks, and more. Get hands-on with the new iPhone features in iOS 16!