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Can You Unsend An iMessage?

If you are reading this, then the chances are that you have been a victim of accidentally sending an iMessage and hope to protect yourself in the future.

It is possible to undo a sent iMessage before it has been delivered to your recipient. But now the big question is, how can you unsend an iMessage you just sent to the wrong person?

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Image: App Store

Your internet connectivity determines how long an iMessage takes to get delivered. It might take even longer if you are sending photos or videos.

While waiting for the sending to complete, you can undo the message, and you have to do it fast. But before we go into further details of how to undo an iMessage, let us first understand what an iMessage is and what it takes to set it up on your device.

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What is iMessage?

iMessage is an inbuilt texting app that lets you send and receive messages, photos, and videos on your iPhone, iPod touch, iPad, or Mac over a cellular or Wi-Fi connection.

Since it is inbuilt, it might not work as the regular messaging apps; hence it is prone to awkward situations.

Image: App Store

These messages are encrypted and appear in blue text bubbles. Launched in 2011, iMessage allows you to do more than an ordinary text. It will enable you to send a broader range of data, including GIFs, links, documents, recordings, locations, etc.

With iMessage, you can also hold group conversations with multiple people, and it does not limit you to 160 characters. The app lets you tag a particular group of people using the @ symbol, use custom images, and respond to specific messages with inline replies.

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Image: Apple Store

There are several iMessage apps that you can download to enjoy more. Third-party iMessage apps can allow you to share photos and music, play games, book tickets, start a poll, make a dinner reservation, or even sell stuff.

These apps are available on the App Store, and you can get them by downloading them just as you would with any other app.

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Image: Apps Store

How to Set Up and Use iMessage?

You need to set up iMessage before you can start using it. The good news is that it’s easy and straightforward:

  • Go to settings >Click on messages, then turn on iMessage at the top.
  • Tap Send and receive to select or deselect email addresses and phone numbers to receive and send messages.
  • Ensure that you uncheck all phone numbers that do not belong to you to prevent anyone else from receiving messages meant for you.
  • When creating new messages tap photos, images, and Apple Pay to send more than just iMessages.

Start sending messages as you would with any messaging app. Your device switches to iMessage whenever you send a message to an Apple device. If you don’t have an internet connection, the messages automatically change to green text messages.

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Image: App Store

The service works best when linked to Apple ID. The other aspect that sets iMessage apart is that you don’t need an iPhone to use it. You can send an iMessage from your email address from your Mac, iPad, or even iPod touch without linking a phone number.

How to Undo a Sent iMessage?

You can undo a sent iMessage using the following ways:

By Turning On the Flight Mode

Undoing a sent iMessage requires you to be quick on your feet to get it right. Remember, it only takes a few seconds for an iMessage to be delivered.

When sending an iMessage, you have limited time to switch to Airplane mode. If you send a video or an image, you have a few more seconds.

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Image: App Store

To undo a message that you just sent, swipe down from the top right corner of your Apple device screen. This will bring up the Control Center from which you can enable Airplane Mode.

If you are using an iPhone 8 or older model device, you’ll have to swipe up from the bottom of the screen to help cut off all signals to and fro your iPhone.

This process stops the iMessage from being sent, and you’ll receive a “Not Delivered” notification in red.

Once you receive the red “Not Delivered” exclamation mark, tap, and hold down on the message, then select more. Choose the trash icon and delete the message.

Don’t skip this step because your iPhone will still attempt to send the message once you disable the Airplane Mode and get the signal back.

Attempting to delete an iMessage that has already been delivered to your friend’s or family’s iPhone might not succeed.

Once you send an iMessage, it’s shared to all Apple devices immediately. Even if you delete the message from their devices by yourself, the chances are high that they may have already read the message.

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Using Another App

You can also undo an iMessage with the help of an application like TigerText, which is available on the Apps Store. TigerText is a standard iOS app that lets you recall or delete a sent iMessage and provide more privacy and control.

To get started with the App, download it from the App Store and use it to erase an iMessage after it is viewed immediately. However, both the sender and recipient need to have the App so that once you delete the iMessage, it is deleted from the Tiger Text’s servers and be gone for good.

The app allows you to set the time you wish to delete the message. It can be a day or 30 days, and you can also control whether the recipient can forward the message or not.

The app tells you when an iMessage was viewed, whether the recipient’s phone was turned off, or if they tell you they didn’t view the message yet they did.

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Other iMessage Tricks

An iMessage is more than a texting platform. The app allows you to send audio messages or even share locations to suggest where to meet with friends.

To send an audio iMessage, tap and hold on the small microphone icon on the right of the text box and start recording. Once you are done recording, release your finger to enable sending or deleting. The X icon deletes the message while the arrow pointing upwards sends the message.

Image: App Store

If you wish to send your audio message, tap immediately and hold to record, then swipe up to instantly send the message or swipe left to delete the message and start over. If you wish to add location details, tap on details to see two options: share my location and share my current location. 

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Does iOS 13 have an unsend feature?

Apple takes time to add new features to its devices since they have many factors to consider, including old devices and creating a stable environment for users. It is, however, rumored that iOS 14 might have a message reversing feature, just that there is no official announcement about it yet.

Is it possible to unsend an iMessage on my iPhone or iPad after Jailbreaking it?

No, this is not possible. Avoid believing in malicious applications from Cydia that promise to do it.

Can I send the same iMessage to different recipients?

Yes. You can send the same iMessage to other recipients by pressing the “Send As” button. Enter their iMessage ID number, their name, or nickname.

Can I unsend an iMessage delivered to the wrong person?

No. You cannot remove a message once it has been sent. The best thing to do in such a case is to contact the recipient and ask for forgiveness.

Can I retrieve an iMessage that I mistakenly deleted?

It can be daunting to restore iMessages on your phone physically. However, if you have a recent backup on iTunes or iCloud, you can restore from these backups using the following steps.

  1. While on your Apple device, select “Settings” then tap General> scroll down to choose Reset.
  2. Select the “Erase all content and settings” option
  3. Tap on the Apps and Data screen > then go to Restore from iCloud Backup
  4. Sign in to iCloud using your Apple ID> select Backup> then pick on the iCloud Backup with the data you wish to restore to your iPhone.

The good news is that you can also recover your iMessage conversation without a backup. The messages you delete do not go away immediately and are stored somewhere in your device, and you may need some recovery tools to restore them.

Phone Rescue for iOS is a trusted data recovery tool that you can use to recover your deleted iMessage.

Phone Rescue for iOS allows you to search and recover old messages by their date or by the name of the recipients. The App also allows you to restore an iCloud or iTunes backup without losing data and 31 more types of data including photos, deleted contacts, calendars, notes, and more.

Final Thoughts

There are many opportunities to mess up on the web in the fast-paced contemporary world.

Whether firing off emails, sending messages, or posting status updates, we’ve all found ourselves pressing “send” or “delete” sooner than we intended to. You cannot unsend an iMessage once it has been sent.

We can all agree that Apple usually comes with a bunch of exciting features. However, there’s still one thing that Apple has yet to master, and that is the ability to unsend a delivered iMessage.

Undoing a sent iMessage can only be accomplished if time works in your favor.