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How to Check Messages on Instagram

Published April 3, 2024

Instagram is one of the most popular social media platforms for sharing photos and videos. However, another key feature is Direct Messaging. Also known as DMs, Direct Messages further increase user engagement on the platform between friends, followers, and others.

DMs allow for quick, easy, and dynamic messaging with other Instagram users. In this article, we will go over how to check messages on Instagram quickly and easily.

How to Check Messages on Instagram

Checking your DM inbox is very easy. Simply follow these steps:

  1. Open the Instagram app
  2. Tap on the Mail icon (lightning bolt inside a talk bubble)
  3. Find and tap on the DM conversation you would like to check for new messages

You will notice that the messages that are the newest will be visible at the top of the DMs you have in your inbox.

Note: If you have new DMs, you will see a red number superimposed over the Mail icon from your homepage.

How to Check Messages on Instagram Using a Browser

You don’t just need to use your phone or the Instagram app to check your messages. You can also use a web browser.

Follow these steps:

  1. Go to the Instagram website
  2. Enter your login credentials to sign into your IG account
  3. Click on Messages in the left-hand side menu
  4. Go through the DM conversations until you find the one you would like to check
  5. Click on the conversation to open and view all of its messages

Frequently Asked Questions

Now that you know how to find and view messages on Instagram, it will be helpful to understand a few of the most frequently asked questions on this topic.

Would I Know if Someone Read a Message I Sent Them?

Yes, you will be able to know if someone you sent a message to has seen it by the Seen message under the message you sent. However, there is a way for someone to have seen your message without you knowing they did.

The way to do this is to place their phone on Airplane Mode and view the message while offline. If they read it and exit the DM conversation prior to turning off Airplane Mode, you will not get a Seen receipt under the message you sent them.

Why Don’t I See the Messages I Saw Previously in My Inbox?

You may occasionally encounter technical glitches within the Instagram app or on the official website. The issue may also be with your device or an outdated version of your Instagram app.

To troubleshoot, log into your IG account on another device and try to view your messages that way. If successful, you may need to update or reinstall your Instagram app.

Could I View Messages From Someone if They Blocked Me?

Yes, you can still see DMs from a person if they blocked you. The only way messages disappear is if you personally delete them.

To test this out, simply input the username or display name of the account that blocked you within the DM search field. You should be able to view all of the messages that were not deleted.

Could the “seen” Message Be Disabled?

No, it is not possible to disable the read receipts within your IG account settings. This is due to Instagram’s policy on transparency.

However, there is a workaround via using Airplane Mode as we mentioned earlier.

How Can I View Message Requests From People I Am Not Following?

If you are not following someone who sends you a DM, you will not see it in your default inbox. Instead, it gets placed into a more hidden message Requests section of your inbox. Additionally, you will not be getting any notifications or be able to view the message contents at first.

Here is how to check your message requests from accounts you don’t follow:

  • Tap on the Mail icon to go to your message inbox
  • Tap on the Requests tab on the right-hand side of the screen

That’s all there is to it. From here, you will see all of the messages from people you are not following.

Note: You may get messages from scammers, so be careful with these messages. Do not send any personal information, and especially if the messages appear suspicious.


Instagram has evolved its messaging system greatly over the years. It now has become a feature-rich way of communicating and interacting with friends, followers, and others. Checking messages is also simple and quick now that you know how to find messages through the app and website.

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Written By:
Jessica is a writer who specializes in social media, marketing, and digital strategy. She is a graduate of Antioch College and earned her MBA at Boston College’s Carroll Graduate School of Management, specializing in STEM Management. Her work has been published in numerous academic journals and mainstream publications. She lives in New England with her husband, two children, and three dogs.
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