How to See Unsent Messages on iPhone

What to Know

  • You cannot see unsent messages unless you have access to a device running iOS 15, iPadOS 15, or macOS 12 and older.
  • If you don’t want others to be able to unsend texts, you can disable iMessage and use SMS instead.
  • While the recipient can’t see the message, they will see that you unsent a message.

Everyone, at some point in their texting career, sends a message that they quickly regret. Luckily, most messaging clients now have an option to quickly unsend a message within a certain amount of time. Starting with iOS 16, Apple added this convenient option to iMessage, but many are wondering if someone can see an unsent message on iPhone.

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How to See Unsent Messages

iphone imessage conversation with a red box around a message that says, "You unsent a message. Rhett may still see the message on devices where the software hasn't been updated."

Unfortunately, if all of your Apple devices are updated to the newest version of iOS, you won’t be able to see unsent messages. However, if you happen to have an older iPhone, iPad, or Mac on hand that is still running iOS/iPadOS 15 or macOS 12, you can see unsent messages. Since unsending messages is only available on newer software versions, unsent messages are still visible on older devices.

This is the only way to see unsent messages in iMessage. When a message is unsent, it is removed from the Notification Center as well, so even if you have iPhone message previews enabled for Messages, you won’t be able to see the preview once the message is unsent. For more secret iPhone features, be sure to sign up for our free Tip of the Day newsletter.

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If you don’t want anyone to be able to unsend messages, you can always disable iMessage. However, this means missing out on other iMessage features like typing indicators, read receipts, reactions, and high-quality photos and videos.

How to Unsend a Message on iPhone

iphone imessage displaying a menu after long pressing a text, with the undo send option outlined in red

Can I unsend an iMessage? Yes! If you ever send a text you instantly regret, you can easily take it back. Find out how to unsend an iMessage so that you don’t ever have to worry about sending something embarrassing. Keep in mind that when unsending messages on iPhone, the other person will be able to see that you did so. While they can’t see the message itself, they will know you unsent something.


  • Why can’t I undo send iMessage? Unsending messages on iPhone only works within the first two minutes that you send a text. After two minutes, you will be unable to unsend it. Check out our article on reasons why you can't unsend an iMessage for more information.
  • Does deleting a message on iMessage unsend it? No, deleting a message does not unsend it. When you delete messages on your iPhone, it only deletes the local copy of the text on your device. It will still be visible to the other person, and sometimes even on other devices where you use iMessage.
  • Can you search in iMessage? If you need to find a specific text, find out how to search in iMessage. You can use this handy feature to track down any message you’ve ever sent.
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Author Details

Rhett Intriago's picture

Author Details

Rhett Intriago

Rhett Intriago is a Feature Writer at iPhone Life, offering his expertise in all things iPhone, Apple Watch, and AirPods. He enjoys writing on topics related to maintaining privacy in a digital world, as well as iPhone security. He’s been a tech enthusiast all his life, with experiences ranging from jailbreaking his iPhone to building his own gaming PC.

Despite his disdain for the beach, Rhett is based in Florida. In his free time, he enjoys playing the latest games, spoiling his cats, or discovering new places with his wife, Kyla.