Software & Apps

How To Unsend a Text on Android

Send Button On Message

Imagine this: you’re in a hurry; you typed out your whole message and hit send without double-checking the recipient, only to realize that you’ve sent it to the wrong person. Or you made a big, embarrassing typo and sent the message without proofreading. It happens to the best of us, but is there anything you can do to prevent the message from going to its recipient after you have hit send? While there’s no way to “unsend” a message, there are some workarounds.  

Quick Answer

To “unsend” a text on Android, switch off your phone, or take out the battery as soon as possible, preferably within 5 seconds of sending the text. Alternatively, you can use third-party software to “unsend” a text, even if the recipient doesn’t have that app.

This article discusses how you can save yourself from embarrassment and stop the message from reaching the recipient. Have a look! 

Can You “Unsend” Text on Android?

The default SMS app in most Chinese phones supports this feature; however, it’s impossible to “unsend” a text using the messages app on other notable Android devices like OnePlus, Google Pixel, and Samsung phones. While Google has introduced the “unsend” feature for Gmail, text messaging has yet to get this update.

And even if your smartphone’s native SMS app allows you to delete or “unsend” a message, it won’t remove the said message from the recipient’s end. This is because messaging is a two-way technology. Take “WhatsApp” or “Messenger”, for instance. Since messages are exchanged on the same platform, you can easily “unsend” messages on those apps. Texting is a one-way messaging service, and once you send the text, it’ll be delivered for the next person to read.  

But there are some hacks you can try to “unsend” a text on Android.

How to “Unsend” a Text on Android

There are two ways you can “unsend” a text on Android. Let’s take a look at both in detail.

Method #1: Switch Off Your Phone Immediately

This method doesn’t really “unsend” a text; it prevents it from being sent in the first place. You have to quickly switch off the phone by pressing the power button or removing the battery if your phone allows you to do so (most phones today don’t have a removable battery). If you’re very quick, you can stop the message from sending – at most, you’ll just have 5 seconds after hitting the “Send” button; otherwise, you might not be able to stop it.  

You can check if you’re successful by turning on your phone and reviewing your account balance. You can even check your messages; you’ll see an error saying that the message was not delivered if you were successful. This method works for both SMS and MMS.

Method #2: Use a Third-Party Software

Many limited third-party apps on the Play Store can help you “unsend” the message since Android’s built-in features don’t allow you to do so. You can use one of these third-party messengers instead of your Android device’s stock messaging app. The best part is that the recipient doesn’t need to have the same app for you to be able to “unsend” the text.

Summary

We’ve all sent some embarrassing texts to the wrong person at least once in our life. However, unlike with instant messaging apps like WhatsApp or Messenger, it’s impossible to “unsend” a text on Android once you’ve sent it. Hopefully, we’ll get this feature soon in an Android update. 

Till then, there are some workarounds. For instance, you can use a third-party app or simply switch off your phone as soon as you hit send and realize you’ve sent the wrong message.  

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you “unsend” messages in specific apps on Android?

It is possible to “unsend” messages if the apps themselves support the feature. For instance, apps like “Telegram”, “Messenger”, “Instagram”, and “WhatsApp” allow you to “unsend” messages within a certain timeframe. Of course, these aren’t SMS apps, but they let you “unsend” the messages you send using the platform. 

Different apps have different ways to “unsend” a message. For instance, for “Telegram”, you need to hold the message, tap on the trash icon, and then tap on also delete for the recipient. Similarly, for Instagram and “Messenger”, hold the message and tap on “unsend”. For “WhatsApp”, long-press the message, tap on the trash can icon and then tap on delete for everyone. 

Keep in mind that WhatsApp tells the recipient that you unsent a message.

Can you “unsend” a message that has already been sent?

Technically, it’s still not possible to “unsend” a message once you’ve successfully sent it. However, the two methods outlined above can help you with that.

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