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How to Open Instagram Messages Without Being Seen

Published March 29, 2024

Direct Messages, commonly known as DMs are the prime form of communication on Instagram. Users can connect and chat just like they would through text messages. The platform has a read receipts option that also shows users when you’ve read their DM.

The problem, however, is that there may be times when you don’t want to read the message without the sender being immediately notified. Whether it’s to maintain privacy or take your time responding, there are several ways to open Instagram messages without being seen.

The Airplane Mode Trick

One of the most common ways users have figured out how to open Instagram messages without being seen is the “Airplane Mode” trick. If you want to try it out, here’s how:

  • Wait for the DM: Make sure the message is fully loaded on your phone by checking to see the notification.
  • Enable Airplane Mode: Swipe down from the top of your screen to access the Control Center. From there, click the airplane icon to turn on Airplane Mode.
  • Read the DM: Click on Instagram and open your DMs to read the message. Since you’re offline, the “Seen” status won’t be triggered.
  • Close the App: Before you turn Airplane mode off, make sure to fully close the Instagram app. This step is crucial to prevent the app from sending a read receipt once the connection is restored.

This method works if you want a quick look but aren’t planning to open the app again for a while. Keep in mind that once you go back online and open Instagram, the “Seen” message will be there.

The Restrict Feature

Another option to try to read a message without being seen is using the “Restrict” feature. This is another added layer of privacy built into Instagram. When you restrict someone, their messages will be moved to the Message Requests section. They won’t see when you’re online or if you’ve opened the message. Here’s how to restrict a user:

  • Go to their profile page
  • Tap the three dots menu button
  • Select Restrict and confirm your choice

You’ll now be able to read their message without them knowing you’ve opened it.

Read It From the Lock Screen

If you aren’t planning to open Instagram soon, you can simply read the message from the lock screen. You’ll need to have message previews turned on. Then, you can unlock your screen to read the message in the notification. If it’s long, you will only be able to see the first few sentences.

Turn off Read Receipts

Recently, Instagram has added the feature to turn off read receipts entirely. Here’s how:

  • Go to your profile page
  • Select the three dash menu icon
  • Scroll down to Messages and Story Replies
  • Select Show Read Receipts
  • Toggle the switch to off

Now, no users will be able to see if you’ve opened their messages. You can always turn this back on if you change your mind.

Closing Thoughts

The bottom line is that while it’s a useful feature for users to see when you’ve read their DMs, sometimes you may not want them to. Instagram gives you several ways to get around this to make sure they don’t know you’ve seen it.

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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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