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What Is Vanish Mode on Instagram?

Published August 10, 2023

Enabling Instagram’s vanish mode allows you to send disappearing messages, videos, and photos to other users via DM. If you chat with someone in vanish mode, all the media and text will disappear the moment one of you exits the chat. In addition, you can’t save, copy, or forward messages in this mode.

How to Enable and Disable Vanish Mode

To activate vanish mode, open the Instagram app and click on the chat icon in the top right corner to access your chat list. Select the existing chat where you want to activate the vanish mode or start a new message thread by tapping the + icon and choosing a desired contact.

Once you enter the private chat, swipe up from the bottom of the screen to activate vanish mode. Instagram will notify both you and your chatting partner of the change with an in-chat message. Afterward, you can send your DMs as usual.

If you want to deactivate vanish mode, swipe up one more time and hold until the Release to turn off vanish mode message appears. Once you release, your chat will return to normal mode, and all seen messages will disappear.

How Vanish Mode Works

As mentioned earlier, you’ll be able to send disappearing content to your chat partner once you turn on vanish mode. However, before you start using it, you should be aware of some of its limitations and features. For instance:

  • Vanish mode is available only in one-on-one chats; you cannot use it in groups;
  • You can’t receive messages in vanish mode from accounts you have never connected with;
  • Some professional accounts have vanish mode completely disabled;
  • You can take screenshots and screen recordings of messages received in vanish mode. However, your chatting partner will be notified if you do so;
  • To use vanish mode, you need to install the latest version of the Instagram app;
  • Vanish mode may still be unavailable to users located in Japan or certain European countries.

As a rule, you should use vanish mode only with people you trust. Although it significantly increases user privacy, there are still ways to circumvent the protections put in place. For instance, your chat partner could take a photo of your conversation instead of a screenshot. And, naturally, Instagram could in no way notify you if that happened.

Why Should You Use Vanish Mode?

Vanish mode is a perfect feature for users who want to keep the content of their chats hidden from curious eyes. For instance, if you are concerned someone might snoop through your messages, vanish mode is sure to frustrate their efforts. That’s particularly useful when sharing private information or planning a surprise for a loved one.

In addition, vanish mode keeps your chats neat, preventing unnecessary clutter and freeing up your phone’s storage. Instead of periodically performing a chat cleanup, turn on vanish mode, and you won’t have to worry about your space again.

Ultimately, regardless of the reason, you should try out vanish mode when exchanging DMs. The feature will make you feel safer on the platform, improving your overall Instagram experience.

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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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