How to Unsend Messages on iPhone

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Just last year, there was a rumor circulating just before WWDC about the launch of iOS 14 and the features it will bring to the table, particularly being able to unsend messages. Unfortunately, it went ahead without this feature, leaving fans disappointed and still unable to unsend messages.

There are still rumors going around that Apple might be working on this feature as we speak. The expectation would be similar to other third-party messaging apps, with both the sender and the receiver seeing the messages being unsent. Apple fans are still hoping that this feature would come to life sooner than later.

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However, there are others who believe that it might not come true at all. After all, Apple is famous for its privacy – one of the main reasons why some people opt for Apple products in the first place. So while you can delete a sent message on your device, this action won’t reflect on the recipient’s end.

Hence, right now, there is simply no possible way to unsend a message that’s already been delivered. Nonetheless, you might still be able to find a way around it just before the message actually gets delivered to the recipient. As long as the message doesn’t state that it’s already been delivered, you might still be able to stop it from sending.

You see, it usually takes a few seconds for your iMessage to be delivered depending on the speed of your mobile data or Wi-Fi connection. If you’re sending a photo or a video, it might even take longer. While it’s still sending, you can take advantage of this short period of time and stop it from being delivered in the first place. The same may also apply to text messages. That is if you’re fast enough.

So the key to preventing your message to be fully delivered depends on how quick your fingers are. After all, it may only take a few seconds to deliver your message if your Wi-Fi connection or mobile data is great. Once you’ve already sent your message and suddenly realized that it’s a mistake to send it, you must be quick on your feet and immediately set your iPhone on Airplane Mode.

How to Unsend Messages on iPhone airplane mode

How do you do this? You open your Control Center, where you’ll find Airplane Mode. How to get to the Control Center depends on what iPhone model you’re using. If you have an iPhone X or later model, simply swipe down from the top-right corner of your screen. On the other hand, if you’re using an iPhone 8 or older, just swipe up from the bottom of your screen.

Airplane Mode is represented by an airplane icon at the top left corner in the Control Center. Tap this icon and your iPhone will immediately go into Airplane Mode. This feature will cut off all connections to and from your iPhone. Due to the lack of signal, it will consequently be impossible to send and receive messages.

Do note that you will only get a few seconds to enable Airplane Mode once you press the Send button. So there’s really not much time to think or hesitate. Being slow is out of the question. Of course, you may get a few more seconds if you’re sending a photo or a video.

Once the connection has been cut off, just wait for the notification stating your message was not delivered. Open the conversation and you should see a red exclamation mark on the right side of your message. Below it should read “Not Delivered.”

How to Unsend Messages on iPhone

Tap and hold the message and choose the More option. Tap on the Trash icon to delete the message for good. This is to ensure that it won’t resend when you get off the Airplane Mode.

However, if the message has already been delivered, there’s really no more going around this. Deleting this on your iPhone won’t have any effect on theirs. Even if you do manage to delete it on their iPhone, there is a high probability that their other synced Apple devices also received this (depending on their settings).

If you constantly find the need to unsend messages because you get confused with your contacts, here’s a tip: put photos in your important contacts. That way, you will be able to tell which conversations are which and you won’t get confused again next time.

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Kokou Adzo

Kokou Adzo is a stalwart in the tech journalism community, has been chronicling the ever-evolving world of Apple products and innovations for over a decade. As a Senior Author at Apple Gazette, Kokou combines a deep passion for technology with an innate ability to translate complex tech jargon into relatable insights for everyday users.

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