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

Apple released the first public beta of iOS 16 for the iPhone, and with it comes plenty of new 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. 

See: iOS 16 preview hands-on iPadOS 16 has completely changed the way I use my iPad Pro

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. 

If you’ve been brave enough to jump on the iOS 16 public beta for a sneak peek of the new features, then here’s how you can edit and delete sent messages. Keep in mind, however, iOS 16 is still in beta and how features look and work can and often do change. We’ll keep updating this post if that happens. 


Screenshots by Jason Cipriani/ZDNet

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. 

On the recipient’s end, if they’re using iOS 16 as well, a small “Edited” label will appear below the message that no longer shows any signs of wrongdoing. 

For those on older versions of iOS, they’ll receive a second message with the corrected text. 

How to delete a sent message

The process for completely deleting a message you’ve sent within the last 15 minutes — helpful if you send it to the wrong contact or thread — is nearly identical to editing a message. 

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 works on the iPhone, iPad and Mac once they’re all running iOS 16, iPadOS 16 and MacOS Ventura. So feel free to make mistakes on whatever device you’re chatting on because now you can fix it. 

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