Mastering the Art of Message Retraction: How to Unsend Messages on iPhone and Mac

In the digital age, messaging has become an integral part of our daily communication. Whether it’s a quick text message, an email, or a chat on a social media platform, we often find ourselves in situations where we wish we could retract a message we’ve sent. Fortunately, Apple has recognized this need and has provided options to unsend messages on both iPhone and Mac devices. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the various methods and tools available to help you undo sent messages, ensuring that you maintain control over your digital conversations.

I. Unsending Messages on iPhone:

  1. Apple’s iMessage:
    • If you’ve sent a message via Apple’s iMessage, you can retract it using the “Delete for Everyone” feature. Simply long-press the message bubble and tap “More,” followed by selecting the message(s) you want to delete. Finally, tap the trash bin icon and choose “Delete for Everyone.”
  2. Third-Party Messaging Apps:
    • For popular third-party messaging apps like WhatsApp or Telegram, the process might vary. Typically, these apps provide a limited window for message deletion. Locate the message you want to unsend, long-press it, and look for the delete or unsend option. Keep in mind that the recipients may still see a notification indicating a deleted message.

II. Unsending Messages on Mac:

  1. Apple’s Messages App:
    • To unsend a message on your Mac, open the Messages app and find the conversation containing the message you want to retract. Control-click (or right-click) on the message and select “Remove.” This action will remove the message from both your device and the recipient’s device.
  2. Email Clients:
    • If you use the Mail app on your Mac, you can unsend an email within a certain time frame. Open the “Sent” folder, find the email you want to retract, and go to the “Message” menu. Look for the “Take All Accounts Online” option and click it to put your email accounts in online mode. Once they are online, you can select the email and click the “Delete” button.

III. Additional Considerations:

  1. Time-Sensitive Unsending:
    • It is important to note that unsending a message is time-sensitive. The success of message retraction largely depends on the recipient’s device and whether they have seen or read the message. The sooner you act, the higher the chances of undoing the sent message successfully.
  2. Message Recall Limitations:
    • While unsending messages on Apple devices is possible, it’s essential to understand that it does not guarantee complete removal of the message. Recipients may have already seen the content or received a notification, making it impossible to completely erase the message from their memory.


With the increasing reliance on digital communication, the ability to unsend messages has become a crucial feature. Apple’s iPhone and Mac devices offer practical solutions to retract messages, providing users with a sense of control and privacy. Whether it’s using iMessage, third-party messaging apps, or email clients, you now have the knowledge to navigate through various platforms and take advantage of message retraction features. Remember, however, that timing is crucial, and it’s essential to exercise caution while sending messages, ensuring that your digital conversations remain secure and respectful.