How to unsend iMessage

Asya Karapetyan
Content marketer, who specializes in Mac how-to guides
February 23, 2024
7 minutes to read

Have you ever sent an iMessage that you regretted or wished you could take back? Maybe you accidentally texted the wrong person or said something you didn’t mean. Whatever the reason, you might be wondering if there is a way to unsend an iMessage and prevent the recipient from seeing it. This article explains how to unsend a message on iMessage.

Unsending iMessage


  1. How to unsend an iMessage
  2. Can you unsend iMessage after 2 minutes?
  3. Why unsend iMessage is not working?

Before we start

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How to unsend an iMessage

We may sometimes send a message without thinking it through and wish we could take it back. This could be due to a spelling error, an unfortunate autocorrect, or a message sent in anger or frustration. Likely, Apple provides a feature that lets you unsend messages sent via iMessage. However, you need to act quickly, as the window for unsending messages is relatively short.


  • Unsending messages only works with iMessage, not regular SMS texts.
  • Both you and the recipient must be using iMessage for the unsend feature to work.
  • You can unsend a message for up to 2 minutes only.
  • If the recipient has already read the message, you won’t be able to unsend it.

Here’s how to undo a recently sent message on iPhone:

  1. Locate the message you wish to unsend in the iMessage app.
  2. Press and hold the message you want to unsend.
  3. You’ll see a pop-up menu with various options.
  4. Tap Undo Send.
  5. The message will disappear from the conversation thread, leaving no trace of its existence.
  6. You’ll see a notification about the action. It is displayed only on your screen.
iPhone screens showing how to unsend iMessage

If you used your Mac to send a message, follow these steps to unsend it:

  1. Right-click on the message that you want to unsend.
  2. You’ll see a context menu with various options. Select Undo Send.
  3. Your message will disappear.
Unsending iMessage on Mac

Note that you can also edit your message. For this, select Edit in the context menu.

Editing iMessage

Can you unsend iMessage after 2 minutes?

Apple allows you to unsend a message sent via iMessage for a limited time. On iOS 16 and later, you can unsend an iMessage for up to two minutes after you send it. After this time window expires, the message cannot be unsent anymore. Hence, it is important to act promptly if you wish to retract an iMessage.

Why unsend iMessage is not working?

There could be several reasons why the Unsend iMessage feature is not working on your device. Here are some most common of them:

  • Ensure that your iPhone is running iOS 16 or later. If you’re using an older version, you won’t have access to this feature.
  • Make sure that iMessage is enabled on your iPhone. You can check this by going to Settings → Messages and ensuring that the toggle next to iMessage is switched on. Additionally, ensure that your Apple ID is correctly set up for iMessage.
  • If the recipient is using a device or messaging platform that doesn’t support iMessage, you won’t be able to unsend messages sent to them.
  • Ensure your iPhone has a stable internet connection through Wi-Fi or cellular data. Unsending iMessage relies on communication with Apple’s servers, so a poor or unstable connection could prevent the feature from working correctly.
  • Remember that there’s a limited time frame within which you can unsend a message. Once this time window has passed, the option to unsend the message will no longer be available.

If none of the above steps resolve the issue, try restarting your iPhone. This can help refresh system processes and may resolve any underlying issues causing the problem.


The Undo Send option for iMessage is a useful feature that can help you avoid embarrassing or regrettable messages. It allows you to retract a message within a few seconds of sending it, as long as the recipient has not opened it yet. However, this feature is not foolproof, and there are some limitations and risks involved. For example, you cannot undo a message that has been delivered and read, or that has been sent as an SMS. Therefore, you should always think twice before sending any message.

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