Facebook Messenger 101: How to Unsend Messages in Chats So Your Recipients Can't View Them

How to Unsend Messages in Chats So Your Recipients Can't View Them

How many times have you sent a message on Facebook Messenger that you immediately wanted to take back? Most email services have an unsend option, and Instagram Direct even has an unsend feature, but on Messenger, the only way you could do such a thing was inside Secret Conversations. However, as of Feb. 5, 2019, there's an unsend button for any chat you're in.

The new unsend feature is available on iPhone and Android phones in the latest Messenger version, so make sure to update if you haven't already. However, it's on a slow rollout, so you may not see it right away even after updating — be patient and try again until you see Messenger's backpedal feature live.

How Messenger's Unsend Feature Works

The important thing to know about this feature is that your messages won't be sent on a timed delay, similar to how email services work, which would give you the opportunity to stop the message from being sent in the first place.

Instead, Messages still fire off as soon as your press send, and users will receive them just as they always have. What Facebook has done is given you the opportunity to remove messages from Messenger chats after they've been sent. When you do remove the accidental or embarrassing message, it will be pulled from the recipient's inbox, so they may never get to see it. This works in group chats as well, with the message being yanked from everyone's accounts.

How to Unsend Your Messenger Messages

To do this, long-press on your message you want to delete in the chat, which will bring up two options: "Remove for You" and "Remove for Everyone." The former will simply delete the message locally, but the users on the other end will still see it.

Images via Facebook

To get rid of the message for good, tap "Remove for Everyone." Facebook will then warn you that what you're doing is permanent for everybody. Tap "Remove," and poof, your message is gone, replaced with an annoying "You removed a message" watermark.

On the other end of the message, recipients will also see an alert saying that you removed the message, but they won't know what exactly you removed unless they happened to see it before you took it back.

Images via Facebook

It's important to note that Facebook only allows you to undo messages 10 minutes after sending. If you try to undo a message after that time, you'll only have the option to remove it from your own account. So make sure to keep that in mind from now on before sending messages.

Cover image by Jake Peterson/Gadget Hacks

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