How to Block Direct Messaging on Instagram

The instant messaging feature for Instagram has been around for quite a few years. People use direct messages or “DMs” to share Instagram content with each other and to chat casually.

Despite the fact that Instagram is a very user-friendly platform, there is no official way to completely turn off the Direct Message feature. However, there are workarounds that will make sure that you can’t be bothered by direct messages.

Multiple Solutions

There are multiple workarounds to not receive Direct Messages ever. Here’s how to approach this on Android, iOS, and desktops.

Restricting an Account

If you are tired of hearing from someone and want to have their messages directed straight to the Message Requests tab, you can always Restrict any account you please. Additionally, you’ll get to control if others can see their comments on your posts. Most importantly, you won’t need to unfollow or block them, so the account will have no way of knowing that you’ve restricted them.

Mobile (Android and iOS)

There are two ways to restrict people on Instagram. Here’s the first method:

  1. Go to your Direct Message conversation with that person.

  2. Tap the “i” icon in the upper-right corner.

  3. Select Restrict

And the second method:

  1. Go to the person’s profile.

  2. Tap ‘Following.’

  3. Tap ‘Restrict.’

  4. Tap ‘Restrict Account.’


  1. Go to the person’s account.

  2. Click the three-dot icon in the upper-right part of their profile.

  3. Select ‘Restrict.’

  4. Click ‘Restrict Account‘ to confirm.

Blocking an Account

Blocking an account will result in that person not being able to find your profile, story, or posts on Instagram. Of course, this automatically goes for Direct Messaging as well. Although Instagram won’t let the account know that you’ve blocked them, they might find out when they can’t find your profile.

Android and iOS

Blocking people on mobile devices works the same way as Restricting them. Simply follow these steps:

  1. Go to the person’s profile and tap the three dots in the top right

  2. Select “Block.”


You can Block an account on a desktop from the menu you’d use for Restricting an account. However, a person can be Blocked from the DMs page, as well.

  1. Go to your Direct Messages.

  2. Select the conversation with the person that you want to block.

  3. Tap the “i” icon in the upper-right corner.

  4. Select ‘Block.’

  5. Confirm by clicking ‘Block.’

Private Profile

As long as your profile is Public, anyone can send you messages. They don’t need your approval to do it. If you find this annoying, there’s an excellent solution. With a Private profile, only your followers can message you directly and you need to approve followers. So, here’s how to make your profile Private. Bear in mind that Creator Accounts cannot be private.

Android and iOS

  1. Open the Instagram app.

  2. Go to your profile by tapping your profile icon.

  3. Tap the hamburger menu (three horizontal lines).

  4. Tap Settings.

  5. Select Privacy.

  6. Flip the switch next to Private Account.


  1. Go to and log in.

  2. Click your profile icon, located in the upper-right corner of the browser.

  3. Select Settings

  4. Navigate to Privacy and Security in the left panel.

  5. Toward the top of the screen, under Account Privacy, check the box next to Private Account.

Turning Off Notifications

Okay, so you can’t turn Direct Message off altogether. But if notifications are what bothers you, you can turn these off very quickly.

Mobile: Android and iOS

  1. Tap your profile icon.

  2. Tap ‘Your Activity.’

  3. Navigate to the ‘Time’ tab.

  4. Select ‘Notification Settings.’

  5. If you want to turn off notifications for Direct Messages only, tap ‘Direct Messages‘ and customize the settings.

  6. Alternatively, if you want all notifications to be turned off, flip the switch on next to ‘Pause All.’

As you can see, you can pause notifications for various Instagram features.

Turning off Notifications on Desktop

  1. Go to your Instagram profile

  2. Go to ‘Settings.’

  3. Select ‘Push Notifications‘ in the panel to the left

  4. Scroll down to ‘Instagram Direct Requests.’

  5. Select Off

Unfortunately, desktop options are limited. If you want better customization, use your mobile/tablet device.

Disabling Story Replies

 One of the easiest ways for people to send you Direct Messages on Instagram is by replying to a story that you posted. They can do so directly by clicking the button on the bottom of the story posted. Thankfully, this feature can be disabled fairly easily.

Android and IOS

  1. Tap your Profile icon.

  2. Go to Settings.

  3. Select “Privacy.”

  4. Tap on “Story”

  5. Press “Off” under the “Allow Replies and Reactions” Section.

Declining Messages

When someone whom you don’t follow sends you a message, the Direct Message won’t land directly in your inbox. You will be notified (unless you’ve turned this option off) but the message will land in the Message Requests tab, so the person won’t see if you’ve read the message. DMs in the Message Requests tab can be accepted or declined. If you accept such a message, it will be transferred to your inbox. If you reject the request, the message will be deleted.

Now, the cool thing with this feature is that you can delete a number of these requests at once. If you get a lot of such requests, simply tap ‘Delete All‘ and all requests are going to be deleted.

  1. Go to your inbox by tapping/clicking the Direct Message arrow icon.

  2. Select the ‘Message Requests‘ tab (if you have no requests at the moment, the tab won’t show).

  3. Tap/Click ‘Delete All.’

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I block only specific accounts from sending a direct message on Instagram?

You can’t block an account from sending you a DM without unfollowing the account and making your profile Private. As mentioned before, Restricting/Blocking an account may prove a good workaround, though.

How long does DM block last on Instagram?

If you block someone, they will remain blocked until you choose to unblock them. To unblock an account, navigate to the desired Instagram profile and you’ll see an Unblock function. Tap and confirm unblocking by tapping Unblock. It works the same way on desktop

Does Instagram DM have a limit?

Officially, there isn’t a limit regarding sending messages on it. However, an account will be blocked from sending more messages for 24 hours after sending 50-100 DMs in a single day. The account doesn’t get blocked, though – it’s just rendered unable to send messages for a day. Instagram has introduced this limit to counter abuse of this feature.

Do Instagram direct messages expire?

When you send a photo on Instagram and don’t select the mode that allows the photo to stay in the chat, the photo will expire and end up deleted after being seen. However, this isn’t the case with Instagram’s direct messages. Unlike Snapchat, Instagram saves your entire chat history. However, if you delete a chat, this history is deleted.

Does blocking someone on Instagram delete DMs?

Although the person that you’ve blocked won’t get any messages that you try sending them and won’t be able to access your profile or DM you, the chat history won’t be deleted. If you ever unblock the person, the chat history will remain intact. Provided that you didn’t delete the chat, of course.

Wrapping Up

Although you can’t really turn Direct Messages off on Instagram altogether, you can take some workaround steps that may work for you. Consider your options and try the methods that we’ve mentioned here.

Hopefully, this guide has been of help to you. Despite the fact that the solution isn’t apparent and direct, we are confident that one of these solutions will work for you. If you have any additional questions or think that we’ve failed to mention something, let us know in the comments section below.

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