The edit and unsend features introduced in iOS 16 and later allow users to correct typos and unsend messages if sent to the wrong recipient. This impressive capability from Apple has proven to be immensely convenient, saving users from potential awkward or embarrassing scenarios.
However, there may be occasions when you’re unable to unsend a message for several reasons. In this guide, we’ll explore these reasons in detail and provide various troubleshooting methods to fix the issue when the unsend iMessage feature is not working.
Before we begin, messages can only be unsent within a specific time frame. If you attempt to unsend a message more than 2 minutes after sending it, the action won’t be possible.
Apart from that, below are some common issues that can prevent you from unsending a text on iMessage and solutions to resolve:
- Delivery Issues: The unsend function is inoperable when a message has not been delivered. These delivery failures may be due to app glitches, server issues, or an unstable network.
- Recipient Using Android: The device on the receiving end matters. If the recipient has iMessages turned off or is on an Android device, unsending a message will not work.
- Outdated Operating System: The unsend feature is exclusive to iOS 16 and later. You will not have access to this function if your device is running on an outdated version of iOS.
1. Update Your iOS
To access the unsend feature, you must be running iOS 16 or later. If your device isn’t up-to-date, you’ll need to upgrade to the compatible iOS version.
- Open the Settings app.
- Navigate to the General section.
- Scroll and tap on Software Update.
- If an update is available, select Download and Install.
3. Restart Messages App
If the unsend feature isn’t working, try restarting the Messages app. This can resolve temporary glitches within the app.
- Swipe up from the center of the screen to access the app switcher.
- Locate the Messages app by swiping left or right and then swipe it off the screen to close it.
- Reopen the Messages app from your Home Screen.
4. Ensure Network Connectivity
A stable internet connection is crucial for iMessage to function correctly. If you’re experiencing issues with the unsend option, it might be due to connectivity issues.
- Head to Settings and toggle off Cellular Data.
- Wait a moment and then re-enable Cellular Data.
- Also, in Cellular Data Options, ensure that Low Data Mode is turned off.
- Open Settings and tap on Wi-Fi.
- Press the information icon next to your wireless network and select Forget This Network.
After a short wait, reconnect to your Wi-Fi network by entering the password again.
If a VPN is in use, turn it off either through the Settings app or the VPN app itself.
If none of the above methods work, resetting your network settings might help.
- Go to Settings > General.
- At the bottom, tap on Transfer or Reset iPhone.
- Select Reset and choose Reset Network Settings.
- Confirm your selection by tapping Reset Network Settings again.
This should hopefully resolve the connection issue, allowing the unsend feature to function properly.
5. Restart Your iPhone
If closing the Messages app didn’t resolve the issue, try restarting your iPhone to clear temporary glitches. This can help restore functionality to the Messages app by refreshing system connections and processes.
- Press and hold the Side button until you see the power-off slider on the screen.
- Slide it to the right to turn off your iPhone.
- After a short pause, hold down the Side button again until you see the Apple logo, indicating that your iPhone is restarting.
6. Clear iMessage Application Data
An overload of stored data in the Messages app can lead to performance issues, potentially affecting features such as message unsending. Clearing unneeded data can help alleviate this.
- Access the Settings app and select General.
- Proceed to iPhone Storage.
- Look for and tap on the Messages app in the list.
- Under the Recommendations section, choose Review Large Attachments.
- Delete any data you no longer need by swiping left on a single attachment and tapping Delete, or use the Edit button in the top-right corner to select and delete multiple attachments at once.
- Further data management can be done in other storage categories within the Documents & Data section.