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Why you should be careful about editing and undoing iMessages on iOS 16

iOS 16 finally lets users edit and undo iMessages, but users should be aware that the feature doesn’t always hide their mistakes.


iPhone users can finally undo and edit their iMessages iOS 16, but there are a few things they need to know before they can fix their mistakes with the new feature. It can be disastrous for a user to think that an edit has been made or that a message has been successfully undone when it has not. Just like any editing feature found in messaging apps or social media, restrictions apply when editing iMessages.


The changes to iMessage were first announced at Apple’s WWDC in June 2022. Soon after the event, developer testing periods and public beta software revealed more details about the features. These pre-release software versions helped identify situations where editing or undoing an iMessage would work well and situations where the process might not work as expected. Unsent Messages debuted as part of iOS 16 in September 2022 and appeared in iPadOS 16 and macOS Ventura in October 2022.

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Editing and undoing iMessages on iOS 16, iPadOS 16, and macOS Ventura requires software compatibility specifications that must be met for the feature to work properly. For the changes to take effect as expected, both users must be updated to iOS 16. In addition, every device in the user’s portfolio must be updated to the latest software version: iPadOS 16 for iPads and macOS Ventura for Macs. If one of these devices is not updated, the recipient will be able to see the original message whether it was not sent or edited. While Apple users update their devices more often than others, many users are likely to be running older versions of iOS, iPadOS, or macOS. For that reason, users should be careful when editing or undoing iMessages on iOS 16.


How edit and undo work on iMessage

A demo of the edit button to be added to iMessage.

Most users have probably experienced a situation with iMessage where they sent a message with a typo or sent to the wrong person. These are exactly the situations iOS 16’s iMessage features are designed to solve, but there are some other caveats to consider before editing or undoing messages. For up to two minutes after an iMessage has been sent, users can hold the message bubble and press ‘Undo send‘ to retract the message. Similarly, users can press and hold a message bubble and click the ‘Edit‘ to make the necessary changes to a message. Users can make changes up to 15 minutes after sending the iMessage.

However, it’s not that simple. It’s possible that the recipient will still see the original message, due to how iMessage handles edits and recalls. If users are running iOS 16, iPadOS 16, or macOS Ventura, they can see the full edit history of an edited iMessage, revealing the original version of the message. Each edited post has a ‘Edited‘ tag below it, and both the sender and recipient can tap that tag to see the full edit history. Edit and Undo iMessage on iOS 16 is best used for fixing minor errors like typos or auto-corrected errors. Due to the above factors, post editing is enabled iOS 16 is not a reliable way to remove or correct serious errors.

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Source: Apple

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