How to Check Your Instagram Messages

Instagram started as a photo and video-sharing social platform. After a while, it introduced comments and direct messaging to encourage more interaction between users. These days, Instagram has all the features of a modern messaging app.

You can send text messages, upload photos in your DMs, and even make video calls. You can do it all, whether you want to send out a private message or send notifications in bulk. Check out a few ways the platform allows you to check your messages on any device and a few tricks and workarounds for some pesky privacy issues.

How to Check Your Instagram Direct Messages (DMs) on the iPhone App

  1. Launch the Instagram app and log in with your credentials.
  2. From the home screen, tap the mail icon.
  3. Tap on any message to bring up the entire conversation.

When you log into the app, you’ll notice the number of unread messages. It’s marked in red over the Mail icon. As you browse your unread DMs, you’ll notice that the app lists them from most recent to oldest.

How to Check Your Instagram Direct Messages on the Android App

If you’re using an Android device, the process is the same. Unlike other apps, Instagram for iPhone and iOS is basically the same. That includes the wording on various settings and features.

  1. Launch the Instagram app and log in.
  2. Select your account, if you have multiple.
  3. Tap the mail icon in the upper right corner
  4. Read the newest messages.
  5. Tap on any message to bring up the entire conversation and the reply box.

How to Check Your Instagram Direct Messages on a Windows, Mac, or Chromebook Browser

If you don’t have your phone on you, you can always use the browser to check your DMs. Instagram’s official website interface does an excellent job of providing you with a smooth user experience.

  1. Visit Instagram’s official website.
  2. Log into your account.
  3. Click on the Messages icon (paper airplane icon in the upper-right corner).
  4. Scroll through the conversations featured in the left pane.
  5. Click on a message to open it in the right pane.

When you reply from the desktop browser version of Instagram, you can include emojis and photos from your drive.

Instagram also offers a Windows 10 desktop version of the app. You can use this instead of a browser to manage your profile and read or exchange messages.

  1. Log into the Microsoft App Store.
  2. Type in Instagram and search for the app.
  3. Select the app and click Install.
  4. Launch the app and sign in using your credentials.
  5. Click on the paper airplane icon in the upper right corner of the home screen.
  6. Click on unread messages to expand the box and read them.

Note that you can enable camera and microphone access for PCs and laptops. However, on Windows 10, microphone access is off by default for the Instagram app. You may press the enable button many times without success.

Instead, enter your Windows privacy settings (Win key + I). Select Privacy. Click on the Microphone tab and scroll down until you find the Instagram app. Change the settings to enable the microphone.

Another way to check Instagram on a computer is via an Android emulator, like BlueStacks or Nox. Install either emulator on your OS. Go to the app store and search for Instagram. Once you find the app, install it.

Launch the app, and you can input your account credentials and sign in. When using an emulator for Instagram, it’ll be like you’re using it on an Android phone; save for the touchscreen if your screen doesn’t support that.

Just keep in mind that it’s an emulator, so it’s not perfect. Certain updates or neglecting to update can cause serious bugs and instabilities. Your app may refuse to open, or it may not work accordingly.

How to Check Instagram Messages on an Android or iPhone Without the App

Although most users use the mobile app version of Instagram, the social platform also has a browser alternative. In many ways, it’s similar to the Lite version of Facebook Messenger. It doesn’t have a full range of features, yet it lets you check up on things.

  1. Launch your preferred mobile browser.
  2. Go to the official Instagram website.
  3. Log in using your credentials.
  4. Tap on the mail icon to access your DM inbox.

While you can read and send messages, comment, and like pictures, you can’t upload anything from the browser interface. For that, you need to use the Instagram app.

How to Send a DM on Instagram

Just in case you’re new to the platform, let’s also cover the process of sending a DM to someone. Here’s how to start a message thread on Instagram:

  1. Launch the app on your device.
  2. Tap the message icon to bring up your DMs.
  3. Tap on the Search bar and type in a username.
  4. From the list of results, tap on the user account you want to message.
  5. Scroll down to get to the message box and type your message.
  6. Add any gifs, photos, or emojis and tap Send.

You can also start a group chat using Instagram’s messaging feature.

  1. Go to your DMs.
  2. Type a name in the Search bar.
  3. Tap the name you want to message.
  4. Type a new name in the Search bar.
  5. Select a new name.
  6. Repeat the process as many times as you want.
  7. Type your message in the message box.
  8. Tap Send.

Note that you can only send a group message to people that you follow. You can send a DM to anyone, but you can’t include random users in your group chat.

Additional FAQ

Here are more answers to your frequently asked questions.

Can I tell when someone has read the message I sent through Instagram with a read receipt?

Yes and no. By default, Instagram enables read receipts. This means that any messages you send on the platform appear with a Seen icon once the recipient reads it. However, people can use a workaround if they want to read messages without the sender knowing it.

It’s possible to do this when you don’t open a DM immediately. While logged into your Instagram account, put your device on Airplane Mode. Reading the message in offline mode doesn’t trigger a read receipt. But, once you relaunch the app, it triggers the read receipt.

Why can’t I see my DMs on Instagram?

There can be many causes for missing DMs. The most common issue is lag, but it can also be a software-related problem. Try to check your DMs on a different device or the browser version of the app. If you can check your DMs from the browser, then try reinstalling the app on your phone.

Can I see DMs from someone who blocked me?

Just because someone blocks your account on Instagram doesn’t mean that the messages also disappear. All previously sent messages remain in your inbox unless you manually delete the conversations.

Bring up the DM inbox and type the username of the person who blocked you in the search box. All non-deleted messages should appear.

Can I turn off read receipts on Instagram?

Since Facebook acquired Instagram, the social media file-sharing platform has embraced the same philosophy. Facebook never allowed its users to turn off read receipts, which now show as profile icons to indicate a read message.

Thus, turning off read receipts for your Instagram account is also impossible. There’s no privacy setting or notification setting that touches on the subject. However, you can read messages without immediately sending a notification to the sender. While logged in, switch your device to Airplane mode and read the message. Then close the app when you’re done.

How do I check Message Requests?

When someone you don’t follow sends you a message, it may go to your Message Request folder. This means you won’t get a notification or see the text in your DMs. But you can find it by following these steps:

1. Open Instagram and tap on the DM icon in the upper right corner.

2. Tap Requests under the search bar to the right.

3. Here, you will see any messages that didn’t go to your DM folder.

Do be mindful that some messages in the Requests folder may be scams. Unless the text comes from someone you know, it’s best not to interact with it.

Final Thoughts

Instagram’s messaging feature has been implemented without a hitch. The system works smoothly and has a very simple and intuitive user interface. The only issue, as far as most users go, is the read-receipt feature.

It can create awkward social situations when you see that someone has read your message, but you don’t get a reply. It goes the other way around too; if you send a message, but never get a read receipt.

Unfortunately, there’s no privacy setting you can configure to get around this. And even the Airplane Mode trick doesn’t always work right. Besides, this is something you can’t do if you’re using Instagram in your browser and not the app itself.

As far as the read-receipts feature goes, how do you want to see it handled in the future? Would you prefer to have an option to disable it like you can on Twitter? Do you find it useful? Or do you think that no matter what happens, Instagram will always follow Facebook despite what users want?

Let us know your thoughts on the DM system and privacy policies in the comments section below. Tell us if you like having a DM system for Instagram or if you miss the first version of the app that only focused on media sharing, likes, and comments.

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