Instagram started out as a social platform for sharing photos and videos. After a while, it introduced comments and direct messaging to encourage more interaction between users. Today, 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 a private message or send notifications in bulk. Check out some of the platform’s ways to check your messages on any device and some tricks and solutions to annoying privacy issues.
How to Check Your Instagram Direct Messages (DMs) in iPhone App
- Launch the Instagram app and log in with your credentials.
- From the home screen, tap the email icon.
- Tap a message to open the entire conversation.
When you log in to the app, you will see the number of unread messages. It’s highlighted in red above the Mail icon. As you scroll through your unread DMs, you’ll notice that the app lists them from most recent to oldest.
How to Check Your Instagram Direct Messages in Android App
If you are using an Android device, the process is the same. Unlike other apps, Instagram for iPhone and iOS is basically the same. That includes wording about various settings and functions.
- Launch the Instagram app and log in.
- Select your account, if you have more than one.
- Tap the email icon in the top right corner
- Read the latest posts.
- Tap a message to open the entire conversation and reply window.
How to check your Instagram direct messages on a Windows, Mac or Chromebook browser
If you don’t have your phone with you, you can always use the browser to check your DMs. Instagram’s official website interface does a great job of providing you with a smooth user experience.
- Visit the official Instagram website.
- Log in to your account.
- Click the Messages icon (paper airplane icon in the top right corner).
- Scroll through the conversations in the left pane.
- Click on a message to open it in the right pane.
When you reply from the desktop browser version of Instagram, you can add emojis and photos from your drive.
Instagram also offers a Windows 10 desktop version of the app. You can use it instead of a browser to manage your profile and read or exchange messages.
- Sign in to the Microsoft App Store.
- Type Instagram and search for the app.
- Select the app and click Install.
- Start the app and log in with your credentials.
- Click on the paper airplane in the top right corner of the home screen.
- Click on unread messages to expand and read the box.
Note that you can enable camera and microphone access for PCs and laptops. However, on Windows 10, microphone access is disabled by default for the Instagram app. You can often press the activation button without success.
Enter your Windows privacy settings instead (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 through an Android emulator, such as BlueStacks or Nox. Install either emulator on your operating system. Go to the app store and search for Instagram. Once you find the app, install it.
Launch the app and you can enter your account information and login. When you use an emulator for Instagram, it’s like using it on an Android phone; save for the touchscreen if your screen doesn’t support it.
Keep in mind that it’s an emulator, so it’s not perfect. Certain updates or failure to update can cause serious bugs and instability. Your app may refuse to open or it may not work accordingly.
How to Check Instagram Posts on Android or iPhone Without the App
While most users use the mobile app version of Instagram, the social platform also has a browser alternative. In many ways it resembles the Lite version of Facebook Messenger. It doesn’t have all the features, but you can check things with it.
- Launch your favorite mobile browser.
- Go to the official Instagram website.
- Log in with your login details.
- Tap the email icon to access your DM inbox.
While you can read and send messages, comment, and like images, 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
In case you are new to the platform, let’s also discuss the process of sending a DM to someone. To start a message thread on Instagram:
- Launch the app on your device.
- Tap the message icon to open your DMs.
- Tap the search bar and type in a username.
- In the list of results, tap the user account you want to message.
- Scroll down to go to the message box and type your message.
- Add gifs, photos, or emojis and tap Send.
You can also start a group chat using Instagram’s messaging feature.
- Go to your DMs.
- Type a name in the search bar.
- Tap the name you want to message.
- Type a new name in the search bar.
- Select a new name.
- Repeat the process as many times as you want.
- Type your message in the message box.
- Tap Send.
Keep in mind that you can only send a group message to people you follow. You can DM anyone, but you can’t include random users in your group chat.
Find more answers to your frequently asked questions here.
Can I see when someone has read the message I sent via Instagram with a read receipt?
Yes and no. Instagram enables read receipts by default. This means that all messages you send on the platform will be displayed with a Seen icon as soon as the recipient reads them. However, people can use a workaround if they want to read messages without the sender’s knowledge.
It is possible to do this if you don’t open a DM right away. While signed in to your Instagram account, put your device on airplane mode. Reading the message in offline mode will not trigger a read receipt. But as soon as you restart the app, the read receipt will be activated.
Why can’t I see my DMs on Instagram?
There can be many causes for missing DMs. The most common problem is lag but it could also be a software related issue. Try checking your DMs on another device or the browser version of the app. If you can view your DMs from the browser, try reinstalling the app on your phone.
Can I see DMs from someone who has blocked me?
Just because someone blocks your account on Instagram doesn’t mean the posts will disappear. All previously sent messages will remain in your inbox unless you manually delete the conversations.
Open the DM inbox and type the username of the person who blocked you in the search box. All undeleted messages should appear.
Can I turn off read receipts on Instagram?
Ever since Facebook took over Instagram, the social media sharing platform has embraced the same philosophy. Facebook has never allowed its users to disable read receipts, which now appear as profile icons to indicate a read message.
So it is also impossible to disable read receipts for your Instagram account. There is no privacy setting or notification setting that touches the subject. However, you can read messages without directly notifying the sender. While signed 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 can 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 the DM icon in the top right corner.
2. Tap Requests right below the search bar.
3. Here you will see all messages that did not go to your DM folder.
Please note that some messages in the Requests folder may be scams. Unless the text is from someone you know, don’t interact with it.
Instagram’s messaging feature has been implemented without any problems. The system works smoothly and has a very simple and intuitive user interface. The only problem, as far as most users go, is the read receipt feature.
It can create awkward social situations if you see that someone has read your message, but you don’t get a reply. It also goes the other way around; when you send a message but never get a read receipt.
Unfortunately, there is no privacy setting that you can configure to get around this. And even the airplane mode trick doesn’t always work well. Plus, you can’t do this if you’re using Instagram in your browser and not the app itself.
As for the read receipts feature, how do you want it handled in the future? Would you rather have an option to turn it off 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?