Cheaters and errant teenagers beware: The latest iPhone update gives owners — along with whoever else can gain access to their phones — the ability to find and recover recently deleted text messages.
The newest version of iMessage, which now gives users the ability to edit and “un-send” texts, stores the deleted texts for 30 days, similarly to the “recently deleted” folder in the iPhone’s camera roll.
The new features are being rolled out as part of iOS 16, which was made available for download on Monday.
To recover recently deleted messages, iPhone users with iOS 16 can tap the “edit” button in upper left hand corner of the iMessage app. They can then tap a “show recently deleted” button to see all messages that were deleted within the last 30 days.
From there, users can choose to recover messages back to the main screen of the messaging app, leave them in the recently deleted folder or immediately delete them forever.
Messages in the recently deleted folder will be automatically deleted for good after 30 days.
“Conversations show the days remaining before deletion,” Apple says. “After that time, messages will be permanently deleted.”
The iOS 16 update was released alongside Apple’s iPhone 14 lineup but is also available on many older devices.
The new operating system comes with a variety of other features, including the ability to “edit” and “un-send” iMessages, create deeply customized lock screens and more precisely manage notifications.
The software update also introduces stronger security features.