Messaging is wildly popular among young adults. Did you know that over 90% of adults use messaging apps to stay connected. Of these apps, iMessage remains a favorite for iPhone users with over 1 billion messages sent per day. However, sometimes it’s necessary to delete a message after sending it. So does deleting an iMessage notify the recipient? Let’s find out.
No, it does not. If you delete one of your messages or one received from someone else, the app stays silent. The recipient is not made aware at all that a message has been erased on the other end.
How To Delete An iMessage
Deleting an iMessage you’ve sent is simple:
- Open the iMessage conversation
- Tap and hold the message you want to delete
- Tap “more”
- Choose “delete message”
This will instantly remove the message from your device and iCloud.
Does Deleting A Text Also Delete It For The Other Person?
No, when you delete an iMessage, the message is only removed from your device and iCloud storage. The recipient will still have the original message in their conversation. Deleting does not remove it from their iMessage app. With that said, let’s pop some common myths:
Myth #1: When you unsend a text, the recipient will never know
False. If you use iMessage’s “unsend” feature within a few minutes of sending a text, it will notify the recipient that a message was “unsent”. So they do find out a text was retracted. The text, however, is removed for both parties.
Myth #2: When you edit a text, the recipient will never know
Also false. iMessage clearly notifies the recipient when a text has been edited with a prominent “Edited” label. So if you make changes to fix a typo, for example, the other person will see that the original text was altered after it was sent.
Myth #3: When you delete a text, it’s gone
Not exactly. As mentioned earlier, deleting an iMessage only removes it from your end. On the recipient’s phone, the text will still exist in the conversation without any indication it was deleted on your end. So the message does live on once it’s been sent initially.
Does iMessage Notify You When You Delete A Message?
No, iMessage does not send any kind of alert when a message is deleted from a conversation. If you delete one of your messages or one received from someone else, the app stays silent. The recipient is not made aware at all that a message has been erased on either end.
On A Single Chat
The behavior remains the same in a one-on-one iMessage chat – deleting messages does not trigger notifications for the other person informing them that the text has been removed. The conversation simply proceeds as normal.
On A Group Chat
Similarly, deleting messages in a group iMessage thread will not send alerts out to the other participants. Only the person erasing messages has confirmation that deletions occurred. The chat continues flowing regularly for everyone else.
How To Tell If Someone Deleted an iMessage?
If you are wondering how to delete a message on your iPhone so the other person can’t see it – then you would be happy to know that there is no definitive way to confirm if another person in an iMessage conversation has erased messages. Because no notifications get pushed when deletions happen, you’d have to rely on recalling previous messages that are now deleted.
Can You Retrieve The Messages You Deleted And How?
If you accidentally deleted important messages and need to retrieve them, then there is a way through which you can do it – the iMessage app. But here’s the catch, recovery is only possible for up to 30 days:
Through iMessage App
- Open up the Messages app on your iPhone and tap “Edit” in the top left corner
- Choose the “Show Recently Deleted” option
- This will display your recently erased messages
- To permanently remove a deleted message, tap on it and select “Delete” followed by “Delete Message”
- If you change your mind, tap the message and choose “Recover” then “Recover Message”
- You also have the options to “Delete All” or “Recover All” messages displayed at the bottom
So in summary, iMessage gives you access to recently deleted texts in case you want to permanently remove them or undo the deletion. Also, iMessage does not notify you when you recover messages.
How is deleting a message different from unsending?
Deleting and unsending iMessages work differently:
- Deleting removes the message from your device and iCloud storage, but the recipient still has the original message in their chat history.
- Unsending utilizes iMessage’s retraction feature which withdraws the message completely from both the sender and recipient’s histories. An “unsent message” alert is displayed instead.
Both deleting and unsending are only possible for iMessages – regular SMS texts can be deleted but not unsent. And deletion only applies to your side of the conversation.
How To Delete An iMessage Without Opening It
Unfortunately, there is no way to selectively delete an iMessage without first opening the conversation. To remove a specific message, you have to tap into the chat thread and long-press the text to delete it.
However, you can delete entire conversations without looking at them by swiping left across the whole thread and tapping “Delete” at the bottom. But this erases all messages inside.
Mac tip: You can also delete iMessage and media using the Messages app on a Mac. Just right-click a message and choose “Delete” to remove it.
In summary, iMessage does not alert users when a message is deleted from either end of the conversation. The act of deleting a message only removes it from your devices and iCloud storage, while the recipient’s copy remains accessible in their message history. There is no notification sent to inform the recipient of the deletion. Long story short, iMessage totally has your back.
James Wilson is a seasoned tech enthusiast with a passion for all things Apple. With years of experience troubleshooting and fixing iPhone issues, he brings a wealth of knowledge to “My Tech Simply.” James’s dedication to helping iPhone users find simple and effective solutions shines through in his articles.