12 Expert Fixes for “Why Can’t I Unsend a Message on iMessage” in iOS 17

Why can't I unsend a message on iMessage

Last year, Apple rolled out the “Undo Send” option in iOS 16, allowing you to edit or delete sent messages within a 15/2 minute time frame (15 minutes for editing & 2 minutes for deleting). If you’ve tried this feature on your iPhone, iPad, or Mac, you might have noticed occasional alerts after sending a message. Concerned about “Why Can’t I Unsend a Message on iMessage in my iOS 16 or iOS 17?” In this post, we’ve got you covered with 12 expert solutions to fix this unsend message error. Let’s dive right in and explore the best fixes.

Why can’t I unsend a message on iPhone?

Before we jump into solutions, let’s pinpoint the root of this problem. The most common culprit I’ve found among iPhone users is neglecting to update to the latest iOS on both ends. Sometimes, Apple’s servers get bogged down, or iMessage outages throw a wrench in the works. We’ll share pro tips to fix unsend messages on your iPhone running either older iOS 16 or the latest iOS 17 updates.

Undo Send iMessage

1. Make Sure You’re Using iMessage

First things first, “this”Undo Send” feature only works on iMessage, not your run-of-the-mill SMS. Spotting the difference is a piece of cake – if your chat color is blue, it’s a regular iMessage, and if it’s green, it’s SMS. The trick works only if both users are sporting iPhones.

iMessage vs SMS Color Differences

2. Ensure Both iPhones are Running iOS 16

Edit or unsend messages will only work if both you and the recipient are rockin’ the latest iOS 16 updates. Head on over to your device settings > General > Software Update & download the iOS 16 updates.

unsent a message on iPhone due to running older version of iOS

3. Remember the 15/2 Minute iMessage Rule

Apple has already set a limit for this unsend message in iOS 16. You have two minutes to retrieve that message after sending it, and you can only hit the undo button five times within 15 minutes of sending it. So If you’ve crossed this mark, the “Undo Send” option is gone with the wind. We think Apple will increase this limit with the upcoming iOS 17 update.

Undo Send option vanished in iMessage

4. Check iMessage Downtime

Even big giants like Apple face technical hiccups. If the iMessage server’s down, you’re out of luck to unsend that message. Check out the Apple System Status page to check the current outage on iMessage. A tiny green dot means all systems go.

Check Apple System Status for error

5. Re-Enable iMessage on Your Device

If you’ve struck out with the above options, give your iMessage a reset. Head to your device’s settings app > Messages > Turn off iMessage and switch it back on. That ought to do the trick.

Activate iMessage on iPhone

6. Check Your Internet Connection

iMessage hogs the internet, so double-check your network’s up and running for the last 15 minutes. If it’s not, you’ll message will not be sent. Make sure that your internet connection is stable and strong during use.

Open Cellular Network Selection on iPhone

7. Use Airplane Mode

Flip your Airplane Mode on and off, and you might just fix carrier issues in a snap. Toggle that switch next to Airplane Mode for at least 10 seconds, and you’re back in business.

Turn on Airplane mode on iPhone

8. Force Close your iMessage App

When all else fails, force closing the app can get it back on track. Remove it from the app card and relaunch. This will fix the misbehavior of the app and remove bugs. This simple trick can work wonders.

Force Close iPhone Apps

9. Upgrade your iOS Version

Sometimes, sticking with the latest and greatest is the way to go. If you’re running a buggy iOS version, get with the times and update to iOS 17. Apple is always on the ball with updates.

Download the latest iOS 17 Updates

10. Sign Out and Sign In with Your Apple ID

You can also try to Sign Out and Sign In Again with your Apple ID to fix the “Undo Send” button. By doing this, your data will remain safe and without losing your media and data you can quickly log in with your Apple ID. To do that, go to Settings > Profile > scroll down and tap on Sign Out. Once you’ve done this, try again using your Apple ID and confirm your credentials to use your iPhone.

Sign Out Apple ID

11. Hard Reset Your iPhone

Most of my problems were fixed by Hard Reset. Any miscellaneous issues will be fixed after doing a Hard Reset. Hard reset often clears up any pesky issues. And don’t worry – your files and media will remain intact.

  • First, press and quickly release the volume up button.
  • Then, press and release the volume down button.
  • Finally, press and hold the side button until the Apple logo shows up.

12. Reset All iPhone Settings

If you’re in a real pickle with apps or networks, it’s time to hit the big red reset button on your iPhone settings. This will clear out saved networks and cached data, but your personal stuff stays put. Open your iPhone settings > General > Transfer or Reset iPhone > Reset > Reset All Settings.

Reset All Settings on Your iPhone

Bottom Line

Your question, “Why can’t I unsend a message on iMessage” is fixed in iOS 17 after trying any of the above solutions. If so, leave a comment about which solution worked for you. Use the comments to share your feedback!