How to Enable, Use, and Unsend iMessage

iMessage lets Apple device users send and receive messages, photos, videos, and more using Wi-Fi or cellular data. iMessage is not the same as SMS and MMS. SMS and MMS are regular text messaging protocols. They use cellular networks and your carrier might charge you for them. iMessage is free, encrypted, and compatible with various features such as stickers, effects, and apps. In this article, we will explain how to enable iMessage on your iPhone, iPad, or Mac, and how to unsend iMessage if you change your mind or make a mistake.

How to Enable iMessage

To use iMessage, you need to have an Apple ID and a device that supports iMessage. You also need to be connected to the internet via Wi-Fi or cellular data. To enable iMessage on your device, follow these steps:

For iOS Devices (iPhone and iPad):

  1. Open the Settings app on your device.
  2. Scroll down and tap on “Messages.”
  3. Toggle the switch next to “iMessage” to the “on” position (it should turn green).

For macOS Devices:

  1. Launch the Messages app on your Mac.
  2. In the menu bar, click on “Messages” and then select “Preferences.”
  3. Click on the “iMessage” tab.
  4. Ensure the “Enable this account” option is selected.
  5. Using iMessage

Once you enable iMessage on your device, you can start sending and receiving messages with other iMessage users. You can tell if a message is an iMessage by the color of the message bubble: blue for iMessage and green for SMS/MMS. To determine if someone is using iMessage, check the text field. It will say “Text Message”. or “iMessage”

Also: iPhone 15 Overheating Issues, Everything You Need To Know

How to Unsend iMessage

Sometimes, you might want to take back an iMessage that you already sent. This could be because of a mistake, sending it to the wrong person, or regretting what you said. Fortunately, iOS 16 and later versions allow you to unsend an iMessage within two minutes of sending it. To unsend an iMessage on your iPhone or iPad, follow these steps:

For iOS Devices:

  1. Open the Messages app.
  2. Locate the message you want to unsend.
  3. Tap and hold the message bubble.
  4. From the pop-up menu, choose “More.”
  5. Select the message by tapping the circle on the left of the message.
  6. At the bottom left, tap the trash can icon.
  7. Confirm the deletion by tapping “Delete Message.”

For macOS Devices:

  1. Open the Messages app.
  2. Find the message you want to unsend.
  3. Right-click on the message.
  4. Choose “Delete” from the context menu.
  5. Confirm the deletion by clicking “Delete.”

Note that unsending an iMessage only works if both you and the recipient are using iOS 16 or later versions with iMessage enabled. If the recipient is using an older version of iOS or a non-Apple device, they may still see the original message in their conversation transcript. Also, unsending an iMessage does not guarantee that the recipient has not seen or read it before you unsent it.

Also: Orange Dot on iPhone: Privacy Indicator For Microphone Access

If unsend imessage not working

how to unsend imessage

If you find that the “Unsend” feature in iMessage is not working as expected, it can be frustrating. There could be a few reasons why this feature may not work, and here are some troubleshooting steps to help you address the issue:

1. Recipient Has Already Read the Message:

The ability to unsend a message in iMessage only works if the recipient hasn’t yet read the message. Once the message has been marked as “Read” with the blue indicators, you won’t be able to unsend it. In such cases, there’s no way to recall the message.

2. Message Not Sent as iMessage:

Ensure that the message you’re trying to unsend was indeed sent as an iMessage. iMessages are typically sent when both you and the recipient are using Apple devices and have iMessage enabled. If the message was sent as a regular SMS, you won’t have the option to unsend it.

3. Check Your Network Connection:

Sometimes, connectivity issues can prevent you from using certain iMessage features. Ensure that your device has a stable internet connection, as iMessage relies on an internet connection to work properly.

4. Update Your Device:

Outdated software can sometimes lead to glitches in iMessage. Make sure that your device is running the updated version of iOS or macOS. You can check for updates in your device’s settings.

5. Restart Your Device:

Sometimes, restarting device can resolve software glitches. Try turning your device off and then back on to see if that resolves the issue.

If you still have problems with the “Unsend” feature in iMessage, contact Apple Support. They can provide guidance and potentially help you troubleshoot the issue further.

In most cases, the “Unsend” feature in iMessage should work as long as the recipient hasn’t read the message. But if the problem continues and you can’t fix it yourself, contact Apple’s support for help.

Tips for Using iMessage Effectively

how to unsend imessage

Once iMessage is enabled, you can start using it to send messages to your contacts. Here are some key features and tips for using iMessage effectively:

1. Send Text Messages: You can send text messages using iMessage, which is like traditional SMS but has extra features. These include read receipts, typing indicators, and high-quality photos and videos.

2. Photos and Videos: You can easily share photos and videos by tapping the camera icon within a conversation. This is a great way to send memories to your friends and family.

3. Group Chats: Create group chats by selecting multiple contacts when composing a new message. This feature is excellent for coordinating plans or keeping in touch with a group of friends.

4. Emojis and Animojis: iMessage has many emojis and animated Animojis to make conversations fun and expressive.

5. Message Effects: You can send messages with various effects. Such as balloons, confetti, and fireworks, to make your messages stand out. Simply type your message, long-press the send button, and choose the effect.

6. Tapbacks: React to messages with tapbacks – a simple way to express your feelings with just a tap and hold on a received message.

Other iMessage features

In addition to sending and receiving messages, iMessage offers a number of other features, such as:

  • Group messaging: Allows you to send messages to multiple people at the same time.
  • Read receipts: Shows you when your messages have been read.
  • Typing indicators: Shows you when someone is typing a message to you.
  • Tapbacks: Allows you to quickly respond to a message with a thumbs up, heart, or other reaction.
  • Digital Touch: Allows you to send sketches, taps, and heartbeats.
  • Apps for iMessage: Allows you to use third-party apps within the Messages app.


iMessage is a convenient and secure way to communicate with other Apple users using text messages and media files. To use iMessage, you need to enable it on your device with your Apple ID and choose which phone numbers and email addresses you want to use with it. If you ever want to unsend an iMessage that you have sent by mistake or regret, you can do so within two minutes of sending it on iOS 16 or later versions. But, keep in mind that unsending an iMessage does not work with non-iMessage users or older versions of iOS. And does not prevent the recipient from seeing or reading it before you unsend it.

Awais Mahmood

Awais is passionate content writer and SEO Expert. He has experience of 3+ years in content writing, digital marketing and web optimization.
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