What Happens When You Edit a Message on iPhone? [Explained]

The Messages app on the iPhone now offers a bunch of new features on iOS 16 one of which is an Edit option. As the name implies, the Edit option lets you modify any message that you’ve sent to someone with something else within 15 minutes after the original message was sent. The feature comes as a blessing for those of you who type fast and end up making typos and grammatical errors.

In this post, we’ll explain how to edit a text on the iOS Messages app, what kind of messages you can edit and what happens when you edit them. 

Related: iOS 16 Unsend Button: Where Is It on your iPhone and How to Use It

What messages can you edit?

You can edit iMessage texts on the Messages app on iOS 16 for up to 15 minutes after you sent the original text to someone. Any message you sent over 15 minutes ago won’t be eligible for editing. If you long-press a message bubble sent more than 15 minutes ago, you won’t see the Edit option. In those 15 minutes, you will only be able to edit a message up to 5 times and not more than that. 

The Edit option inside the Messages app can be used on any type of message including texts, emojis, images, videos, links, and Memojis as long as the concerned message is sent via iMessage. iMessage messages sent from your iPhone appear as blue bubbles, so any message that shows up inside the conversation as a blue bubble can be modified using the Edit feature. 

Messages that appear inside a green bubble on the Messages app won’t be eligible for editing since they aren’t sent via iMessage. Green bubbles appear for the following scenarios, thus you won’t be able to edit messages under these conditions:

  • The message is sent as SMS/MMS
  • The recipient doesn’t own an iPhone or any Apple device
  • iMessage is disabled on the sender’s or recipient’s iPhone
  • iMessage isn’t available on the sender’s or recipient’s iPhone

In all of the above scenarios, messages are sent as SMS/MMS which are delivered to the recipient instantly and cannot be recalled for deleting or editing. Since it’s your cellular network (not Apple) that has control over SMS/MMS getting delivered, you won’t see the Edit option for green bubble messages inside a chat. 

Related: How to Unsend a Message on iPhone on iOS 16

What happens when you edit an iMessage? Everything you need to know

When you edit a message inside the Messages app, the concerned conversation will now feature the modified text that you sent instead of the original message. A blue-colored “Edited” label will show underneath the message bubble you modified to help you distinguish which message was edited among other messages in the conversation. 

This Edited label will appear on both ends of a conversation, meaning both the sender and recipient will know which message was edited in the chat. When you or the recipient taps on the Edited label, both of you will be able to see the edit history or the message. 

The edit history will show all versions of the edited message including the original message and the subsequent editions. The history will appear in such a way that the original message appears at the top followed by modified messages sorted in chronological order. 

Once the edit history is opened, you can close it by tapping on Hide Edits under the last edited message.

The edit history will now disappear with just the most-recent edit appearing inside the selected conversation. 

How to edit messages on iMessage

To be able to edit an iMessage text inside the Messages app, you need to install the iOS 16 update on your iPhone. iOS 16 is available on iPhone 8 and all subsequent models after that. Once the update has been installed, you will have to send a message that you want to edit and perform the following actions within 15 minutes of sending the original message. 

To edit a recently sent message, launch the Messages app on your iPhone. 

Inside Messages, select a conversation from which you want to edit a message. 

When the conversation loads up, locate the message you want to edit and tap and hold on it.

When you do that, an overflow menu will appear on the screen. On this menu, select Edit

The selected message will now be visible in a text box with the keyboard appearing at the bottom.

From here, you can make necessary corrections to the text and then tap on the tick mark on the right to save changes. 

When you save the edited text, the new text will appear inside the conversation with an “Edited” label under it. 

You can repeat this to edit the same message if you want to make corrections to an edited message. You can edit a message for up to 5 times within 15 minutes of sending the original message. 

That’s all you need to know about what happens when you edit a message on your iPhone. 


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1 Comment

  1. If I edit my message I clearly do not want the recipient to read it so why are they able to click the edit and see the original message?

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