While composing a message, you may want to rephrase a sentence, copy a portion, or simply remove a word.
However, this may not be possible if you do not see the “edit” menu when you long-press a word or sentence.
In this guide, I’ll show you what to do if editing messages is not working on your iPhone.
1. Restart Messages App
Before anything, I suggest restarting the Messages app if you can’t access the “edit” menu while composing a message.
This ensures that a temporary bug or error is not causing the problem.
- Swipe upwards from the bottom of your screen or double-press the Home button to access the app switcher.
- Find Messages from the list of apps running on your iPhone/
- Drag or flick the app upwards to close it.
2. Restart Your iPhone
If restarting the Messages app did not work, try restarting your iPhone.
This allows your system to reload its resources, resolving any errors that could be causing the “edit” menu not to show up.
Restarting your iPhone also clears unused and corrupted data from the system memory.
If you’re using an iPhone with Face ID, here’s how you can restart it:
- Hold the Volume Down and Side buttons until the ‘Slide to Power Off’ prompt appears.
- Now, drag the slider to the right and wait for 30 seconds.
- Press the Side button afterward to turn on your device.
For iPhones with Touch ID, you can restart them by doing the following:
- Locate the Power button on your device.
- Hold the button until the ‘Slide to Power Off’ prompt appears.
- Drag the slider to the right and wait 30 seconds before turning on your device.
3. Update Your iPhone
Software-related issues could also be why you can’t edit, copy, or paste while composing a message.
To rule this out, install the latest version of iOS on your iPhone to patch any bugs or errors.
Here’s how you can update your iPhone:
- Open Settings on your iPhone.
- Navigate to General > Software Update.
- If there’s a new iOS version available, tap Download and Install.
- Once the new software is ready, follow the prompts to install the update.
- Your device can restart several times while installing the update.
- Ensure your iPhone has at least 50% battery before installing updates. It’s best to keep your device plugged into the wall charger to avoid interruptions.
- Allow at least 15 minutes for the update to install, especially if it’s a major update (iOS 15 to iOS 16).
To avoid missing future updates, enable automatic updates on your iPhone:
- Open Settings on your iPhone.
- Go to General > Software Update > Automatic Updates.
- Enable Download iOS Updates and Install iOS Updates.
4. Check If You’re Using iMessage
The feature to edit a sent message(s) is only available for iMessage, not regular SMS/MMS.
Check if the message you sent has a blue or green bubble.
Rule of thumb: The blue bubble is iMessage, which means the message is sent to another iPhone, while the green bubble is the regular SMS/MMS.
5. Check iMessage Limits
While iMessage allows users to edit sent messages, this doesn’t mean that you can edit any message at any time.
In addition, each message you send can only be edited a maximum of 5 times.
6. Reset iPhone Settings
If you still can’t edit messages on your iPhone, I recommend resetting your system settings.
Some configurations you’ve set could conflict with one another, and resetting it should get everything sorted.
- Open the Settings app on your iPhone.
- Go to General > Transfer or Reset iPhone.
- Tap on Reset.
- Select Reset All Settings and follow the prompts.
- Your iPhone will immediately restart upon resetting your configurations.
- It may be stuck in the Apple logo. Wait for the process to complete, which usually takes 5 to 10 minutes.
Why can’t I edit my messages on iPhone?
Starting with iOS 16, users can now edit sent messages within 15 minutes of sending. However, this feature is only available with iMessage, not regular SMS/MMS. If you can’t edit a sent message, check if it has a green bubble, which is an SMS.
Why does the Edit option disappear on iMessage?
If you can’t see the edit option for a message, it means that the allowed edit period expired. For every message you’ve sent on iMessage, you can edit it within 15 minutes of sending and edit it up to 5 times.
Can you edit iMessage after it has been read?
Yes. Your recipient can also view the edit history of your messages. If you don’t want a specific message to be seen, unsending it is a better option. However, you can only unsent a message within 2 minutes after sending it.
How do you know if someone has read your iMessage?
If you text someone with “Read Receipts” turned on, you’ll see the word “Read” under your message and the time it was opened.
To turn on your “Read Receipts”, you need to:
- Open the iMessage app.
- Go to Settings and tap on Messages.
- Find Send Read Receipts and enable the feature.