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 user interaction. 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, whether you want to send 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 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 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 “Messenger” icon in the upper right corner
  4. View the newest messages from top to bottom.
  5. Tap 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, 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 “Messages” in the left navigational menu.
  4. Scroll through the conversations list 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.

How to Check Your Instagram Direct Messages on the Windows App

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. Open the “Microsoft App Store.”
  2. Type in “Instagram” and search for the app.
  3. Select the app in the search list and click “Get” or “Install,” depending on what’s displayed.
  4. Select “Launch” or “Open,” depending on what’s displayed to open the app.
  5. Sign in to Instagram using your credentials.
  6. Click “Messenger” in the left navigational menu on the home screen.
  7. Select any new/unread messages in the left pane to expand them in the right one and view them.

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

Enable The Microphone for Messages on the Windows Instagram App

Since you cannot turn on the microphone in the Windows Instagram app, you must either use a browser or change the app’s settings.

To change the Instagram app settings in Windows to allow microphone use, do the following:

  1. Access your Windows privacy settings by pressing “Win key + I.”
  2. Choose “Privacy.”
  3. Click on the “Microphone” tab
  4. Scroll down and select the “Instagram” app.
  5. Change the settings to enable the microphone.

Check Instagram DMs using an Android Emulator in Windows/macOS

Another way to check Instagram on a computer is via an “Android” emulator, like BlueStacks or NoxPlayer for Windows and Mac. Install either emulator on your Windows or Mac OS. Go to the Android 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. Using an emulator for Instagram is like using it on an Android phone, except for the touchscreen if your screen doesn’t support that.

Just remember that it’s an emulator, so it’s not perfect. Some updates or having it refuse to update can cause serious bugs and instabilities. Your app may not open, or it may not work accordingly. However, these two Android emulators are highly functional.

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, but 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 the “Messenger” 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

If you’re new to the platform, here’s the process of sending a DM to someone. This process shows you how to start a message thread on Instagram.

  1. Launch the “Instagram” app on your device.
  2. Tap the “Messenger” icon to bring up your Instagram DMs.
  3. Tap on the “Search bar” and type in a username.
  4. From the results list, tap on the user account you want to message.
  5. Scroll down and tap the “message box” to 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 you follow. You can DM anyone except 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 messages you send on the platform appear with a “Seen” icon once the recipient reads it. However, people can use a workaround 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, which 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, 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. Unless you manually delete the conversations, all previously sent messages remain in your inbox.

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. No privacy or notification setting exists 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. 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 the DM icon in the upper right corner.

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

3. You will now see any messages that didn’t go to your DM folder.

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. As far as most users go, the only issue is the read-receipt feature.

It can create awkward social situations when you see that someone has read your message and you don’t get a reply. It also goes the other way around; 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, you can’t do this when using Instagram in your browser and not using the app.

How do you want to see the read-receipts feature handled in the future? Would you prefer to have an option to disable it like you can on Twitter? Do you find it practical, or do you think that no matter what happens, Instagram will always follow Facebook despite what users want? In the comments section below, let us know your thoughts on IG’s DM system and privacy policies.

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