/>
X
Innovation
Why you can trust ZDNET : ZDNET independently tests and researches products to bring you our best recommendations and advice. When you buy through our links, we may earn a commission. Our process

'ZDNET Recommends': What exactly does it mean?

ZDNET's recommendations are based on many hours of testing, research, and comparison shopping. We gather data from the best available sources, including vendor and retailer listings as well as other relevant and independent reviews sites. And we pore over customer reviews to find out what matters to real people who already own and use the products and services we’re assessing.

When you click through from our site to a retailer and buy a product or service, we may earn affiliate commissions. This helps support our work, but does not affect what we cover or how, and it does not affect the price you pay. Neither ZDNET nor the author are compensated for these independent reviews. Indeed, we follow strict guidelines that ensure our editorial content is never influenced by advertisers.

ZDNET's editorial team writes on behalf of you, our reader. Our goal is to deliver the most accurate information and the most knowledgeable advice possible in order to help you make smarter buying decisions on tech gear and a wide array of products and services. Our editors thoroughly review and fact-check every article to ensure that our content meets the highest standards. If we have made an error or published misleading information, we will correct or clarify the article. If you see inaccuracies in our content, please report the mistake via this form.

Close

iOS 16: Here's how easy it is to edit or delete messages in the Messages app

This is low-key going to be one of the most popular iPhone features released in a long time.
jason-cipriani
Written by Jason Cipriani, Contributing Writer on
iOS 16 widgets on lock screen of standing iPhone
Jason Cipriani/ZDNET

Apple just released iOS 16 for the iPhone Monday, and the software update brings plenty of new iOS features. 

There's a new lock screen that you can completely customize, and the Mail app has a handful of new features that make it more Gmail-like. 

But one of the biggest updates is found in the Messages app. Apple has added the ability to edit sent messages, or even delete a message you may have accidentally sent to the wrong person. 

Also: How to get your iPhone ready for iOS 16

Once you've installed iOS 16, here's how you can edit and delete sent iMessages. To be clear -- you can use the edit and delete features only on iMessages, not regular text messages.

How to edit a message

I think it's safe to say that everyone has relied too much on autocorrect when sending an iMessage, leading to potentially embarrassing typos. Prior to iOS 16, you had to own the mistake and accept that it would exist on the recipient's phone, forever. However, once you update to iOS 16, you'll have the ability to edit a message within 15 minutes after it was sent. 

You'll need to act fast after you realize your mistake. But once you do and you're still within the 15-minute window, all you need to do is long-press on the message, then select Edit from the list of options. The text field will show back up, letting you fix your error and then save it. 

Also: The worst thing about eSIM-only iPhones

On the recipient's end, if they're using iOS 16 as well, a small "Edited" label will appear below the new version of the message that no longer contains your fumble. If they tap on the Edited label they'll see a log of the changes you made to the message. If you made multiple changes, each one of them will show up in the history. 

Those on older versions of iOS will receive a second message with the corrected text. 

Edit message in iOS
Screenshots by Jason Cipriani/ZDNET

How to delete a sent message

The process for completely deleting a message you've sent within the last 2 minutes -- helpful if you send it to the wrong contact or thread -- is nearly identical to editing a message. Originally, deleting an errant message had the same 15-minute window that editing messages did, but Apple eventually changed the limit to 2 minutes to prevent any abuse of the feature. 

Also: How the major carriers are handling the iPhone 14's eSIM

Once you realize the error of your ways, long-press on the message until you see a menu pop up. From that menu, tap Undo Send. There's a small animation that shows the message disappearing, followed by a line of text in the thread letting everyone know a message was removed. 

Easy-peasy, right?

The best part is that this feature also works on your iPad and Mac once they're running iPadOS 16 and MacOS Ventura. So feel free to make mistakes on whatever device you're chatting on -- because now you can fix it.

Editorial standards

Related

iOS 16 has a hidden Photoshop-like feature. Where to find it and how to use it (and why you're going to love it)
ios-16-photoshop-feature-1

iOS 16 has a hidden Photoshop-like feature. Where to find it and how to use it (and why you're going to love it)

iOS 16: How to get the most out of your iPhone's new lock screen
astronomy-examples-ios-16-wallpaper

iOS 16: How to get the most out of your iPhone's new lock screen

Apple: iOS 16's Stage Manager is coming to older iPad Pros
using-ipad

Apple: iOS 16's Stage Manager is coming to older iPad Pros