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There are plenty of reasons you may want to unsend an iPhone text message after you send it. Unfortunately, it is almost impossible to recall most texts once it has left your mobile phone.
Depending on how you send the text message, you may be able to quickly unsend it if it has not been delivered to the recipient yet. Most times, you can only unsent text sent via specific apps. iPhone has two types of text messages by default: SMS text and iMessages.
iMessage text messages
Unlike an SMS message, you can only send an iMessage to someone who is also using an iPhone or iPad. When you send an iMessage, it can take a few seconds before the message gets delivered, depending on your mobile or WiFi connection. With iMessage, it’s easy to know if a text was delivered or not. If the message has been delivered, a double check-mark would appear beside it.
If the message has not yet been delivered, you need to act fast enough before it’s sent to the recipient. The best way to undo a sent iMessage is to enable Airplane Mode.
Switching on your Airplane Mode would automatically stop a message from being delivered. In addition, airplane Mode would disconnect your iPhone from cell towers and cut off all outgoing and incoming signals from your iPhone, disabling anything related to cellular data, including iMessages and SMS messages.
To enable Airplane Mode on iPhone: Swipe down to open “Control Center,” and quickly toggle the Airplane mode on (the aeroplane icon). Another way to enable Airplane Mode is to go to “Settings” and toggle it on.
Note: Switching on the Airplane Mode on your device would disable all incoming calls and messages, so if you’re expecting an important call, you should toggle it off after you’ve finished making use of it, in this case, undoing a sent message.
After you enable the Airplane Mode, go back to the message that could not be sent, you’ll get a “Not Delivered” with a red exclamation mark. The next step is to delete it. You’ll want to make sure that you delete the unsent text message because once you disable Airplane Mode and your iPhone gets its signal back, it will attempt to send the text again.
Note: You can only unsend a text message if it has not yet been delivered. As of today, there’s no way to unsend an iMessage that’s been delivered. Once the text has gone through to the recipient, you would not be able to delete it, even if they haven’t read it.
Delete unsent messages on an iPhone
Any unsent text messages on your iPhone will remain in your SMS queue, making your inbox look disorganized. If you have unsent SMS text messages in your inbox you’ll like to delete, Here’s how:
Launch the text inbox by tapping the “SMS” icon on the main menu.
Tap and hold the unsent message you want to remove from your iPhone.
Select “More” and hit the “Trash Can” icon. The unsent message will be deleted from your iPhone. Tap the “Menu” button to go back to the main menu.
SMS text messages
An SMS text is a text that can be sent to any other type of mobile device. Unlike iMessage, you can only send to an iPhone or iPad user. Once you tap Send on an SMS message, the text is sent and almost impossible to unsend. However, there are instances where you can unsent an SMS text message, such as if you quickly switched on Airplane Mode before the text gets to the recipient or there’s a network issue, and the message has not yet been delivered to the receiver.
Texting via third-party apps on iPhone
There are also third-party alternatives to sending text messages on an iPhone, such as WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and Viber. These apps let you send messages to other users only.
Unsend WhatsApp messages on iPhone
With WhatsApp, you can delete messages within an hour after you send them. To delete a message: Tap and hold the message you wish to delete, tap “Delete,” and then tap “Delete for Everyone.” After you unsent the message, you’ll see a message from WhatApp that says, “This Message Was Deleted for both the sender and the receiver.” The recipient on the other end of the conversation will be able to see that you removed a message if you chose the “Delete for Everyone” option, but the message will no longer be available.
Unsend Viber messages on iPhone
Sent a text to the wrong person by accident? Here’s how to unsend and delete it:
Tap on “Chats” in the bottom corner to open a list of your Viber chats. Select the particular text you want to delete, and tap and hold it. A bar will appear with options; tap “Delete.” Next, you’ll see a prompt with an option to “Delete for myself,” which will delete the message only for you. Select the option to “Delete for everyone” and tap “Cancel” to go back.
Unsend messages on Facebook Messanger on iPhone
Similar to other message apps, you can also delete messages on Facebook Messanger: Tap and hold the message you wish to delete and select “Remove.” Next, tap the “Remove for Everyone” option, which will permanently erase the conversation for both you and the recipient – this option is only available if it’s been less than 10 minutes since you sent the message. If the message is more than 10 minutes, you will see only the “Remove for You” option, which means the recipient’s copy of the message will not be deleted.
Caution on third-party apps
Some third-party apps claim they can recall text messages sent via SMS, some of which require you to confirm every message before you hit send. However, most of these apps are not approved by Apple. Some even require you to jailbreak your phone.
Before making such a drastic decision, consider that the process may go wrong and even cause more problems for your device. Also, consider the security of your data; some of these third-party apps can sell your data to other third-party data farms. Apple may also decide to void your warranty.