Chances are we’ve all been there. Just as you touch “Send” on some hasty message from your iPhone or iPad, you suddenly realize, usually in absolute horror, that it is either sending to the wrong person, or that auto-correct has twisted the meaning into something totally unintended.
The internet is packed with examples of messages accidentally sent to the wrong person.
Teens have been grounded, jobs have been lost and relationships ended when a racy message lands with the wrong recipient. Less critical but sometimes even more embarrassing is when auto-correct drastically changes random words to create entirely different meanings.
For instance, texting a co-worker to “please be on time” is completely different than the auto-corrected version, “please be intimate!”
Now there's a secret way that can help curb some of these most cringe-worthy moments. It can’t go back in time and undo a message that’s already sent, but if you catch the outgoing message in time, it can save some major embarrassment. Sometimes that second chance is all you need to prevent some pretty humiliating consequences.
Plus, there's another great use for this trick as well.
Occasionally when sending a file, say a photo, song or video, via iMessage, the outgoing message gets stuck. Not only is this a failure of your message, it also prevents you from sending any more messages to that recipient because the new messages get stacked up behind the waiting stuck message.
While a message is sending, as indicated by the word "Sending" at the top of your iMessage screen, you still have a precious moment to change your mind before it is gone forever.
But don't even think about trying to turn your phone off to stop the message. To reach the "Power Off" screen, you must hold the button for at least three seconds. In those three seconds, most texts and iMessages will be long gone and probably already landing on the recipient's phone.
Instead, while the message is still sending, quickly swipe up from the bottom of the screen to open Control Center over your message like this. (Note: If you have the iPhone X, you swipe down from the top to open Control Center.) For your Control Center to display, your iMessage keyboard needs to be hidden by flicking it down.
Then turn on Airplane Mode as indicated in the red circle above. Airplane Mode instantly shuts down your iPhone's radio transmitters that are essential to sending the message. With no radio transmission, the message send fails.
You can confirm that the message did not send when you see the red circled exclamation point next to the message and the note "Not Delivered."
Congratulations! By using this handy Airplane Mode trick, you just saved yourself untold embarrassment - or perhaps you just wanted to send the sunset photo that did not feature a prominent traffic sign as in the photo above.
Whatever your reason for stopping the message, you now have two options. Touch the circled exclamation point icon to trigger the menu below.
To permanently trash your message, simply touch Cancel. If you stopped the message because it got stuck and you'd like to try sending it again, just touch Try Again.
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