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How to use Facebook Messenger's unsend feature
In case you’re not already aware, Facebook Messenger has an “unsend” feature that allows you to permanently delete messages you’ve sent to others from both your side of the conversation and theirs. It’s a very handy feature for destroying messages you regret sending in the heat of the moment. Interestingly, Apple is rolling out an unsend feature with iOS 16 – clearly, Facebook’s feature is valuable. We will show you how the unsend feature works — as well as its limitations.
Read more: 20 Facebook Messenger tips and tricks you may not know
To unsend a message on the Facebook Messenger app, tap and hold the message until options come up. Select the Unsend feature and choose whether or not it should be deleted only for you or for all message recipients.
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The limitations of Facebook Messenger unsend
The biggest limitation is that you can only delete messages you have sent. This means if you send a message you regret and the person sees and responds to it, you can only delete the original message you sent. In other words, the person’s response — which could make it clear what your original message said — will stick around forever, unless they decide to delete it as well.
Secondly, although you’ve deleted the message, Facebook still holds onto it for an unannounced length of time. This policy is to prevent bullies from sending nasty messages, deleting them, and then there being no proof the message was ever sent. Facebook does not disclose how long messages will be stored on the server.
How to use Facebook Messenger unsend (mobile app)
The process is virtually identical, regardless of whether it’s on Android or iOS.
- First, tap and hold the message you want to delete to bring up the various options you have for that message. On iOS, holding the message brings up a More link at the bottom of the screen. Tap that.
- Tap the Unsend option to bring up the secondary menu of remove features.
- You’re given two options, which are each pretty self-explanatory — Remove for You and Remove for Everyone.
- Tap the one you want, confirm, and the message vanishes from both sides of the conversation.
How to use Facebook Messenger unsend (desktop)
The process is almost the same on the desktop Facebook Messenger app, but there is less clicking involved.
- Right-click on the message you want to delete, and a menu will appear.
- Select either Remove for you or Remove for everyone.
- You’ll be asked to confirm your choice. Click OK and the message will disappear.
Yes, just follow the same procedure, as outlined above. It works for all kinds of messages.
No, the recipient is not notified, but they may see the gap in the conversation where the message used to be.