Wondering how to delete Instagram messages?
We’ve got you covered.
For years now, Instagram has been the go-to place for sharing videos and images online. However, since Instagram introduced the “Direct” feature for messaging, it’s also become an environment where businesses and individuals alike can interact instantly with their followers.
Through direct messages, you can share information with your consumers, provide excellent customer support, or have private conversations with members of your team. Of course, just as it can be straightforward to accidentally send the wrong message to someone when you’re texting or using WhatsApp, there’s also a chance that you might make a mistake with your Instagram messages too.
The good news?
You don’t have to live with the repercussions of your messaging mistakes for long.
We’re going to show you how to delete Instagram messages, comments, and other conversations that could embarrass you or your brand.
How to Delete Instagram Messages from an Overflowing Inbox
The most obvious reason why you might want to learn how to delete Instagram messages, is that you’ve received dozens of comments from customers and colleagues, and you need to clear your inbox. Similar to an email inbox, your DM folder can quickly become difficult to handle if you’re using Instagram direct as a way to handle customer queries, or deal with common questions from members of your team.
To delete the messages that are clogging up your account, all you need to do is follow a few simple steps. Start by logging into your Instagram account, either on your desktop or your smartphone. Once you’re logged in:
- Tap the “Direct” icon in the right-hand corner of the screen. This looks like a little paper plane if you’re not familiar with it.
- Locate the conversation that you want to get rid of and swipe left to reveal the “Mute” or “Delete” options. On your Android, you’ll need to tap and hold the conversation, instead of swiping.
- Tap “Delete” on the conversation, and Instagram will show a pop-up that asks you to confirm if you want to get rid of the message.
Remember, this method will only remove an Instagram message from your inbox. It’s not going to stop the other person in the conversation from seeing the content that you’ve already shared.
How to “Unsend” an Accidental Message
Maybe you’re wondering how to delete Instagram messages that you sent accidentally and don’t want the other person to see? There’s a way to do that too.
One thing to keep in mind here is that when you choose to delete or “unsend” a message, there’s still a chance that the other person might have already seen it. After all, if you send something to someone who already has your direct messaging tab open, then they’ll still see the content, even if you delete it two seconds later.
You can still “unsend” a message that the other participant has seen – you’ll have to deal with the repercussions of whatever you said.
To unsend a message, tap on the paper airplane in the right-hand corner of the Instagram home field to visit the message screen.
If you’re on an iPhone, you’ll be able to visit the message screen by swiping to the left on your home screen too. From here:
- Tap on the thread that contains the message you want to delete
- Tap and hold the message that you want to get rid of
- Instagram will ask if you want to “Copy” or “Unsend” the message
- Tap on “Unsend”
This should delete the message from the thread so that the recipient can no longer see it.
How to Delete Instagram Messages for You and a Recipient
So, what if you want to get rid of all of the messages that you’ve sent both in your inbox and for the person on the other end of Instagram Direct? Well, there is one way to do this, although it’s something of a drastic step – and it may not be the strategy that’s right for you.
The only way to remove all of the messages from a chat for both people is to block the person that you’ve been chatting with on Instagram. This ensures that neither you nor your conversation partner can see the conversation.
Blocking a user is a very straightforward process. All you need to do is visit the person’s profile, click the three lines at the top right of the screen, and choose the “Block user” option.
Aside from deleting all the messages that you’ve sent to the newly-blocked person on your list, Instagram will also remove all the likes and comments you had from this person. Obviously, this is a pretty significant step to take – so make sure that you want to end all contact with someone before you take the “block” route.
How to Delete a Comment on Instagram
If the message you sent to a user was public, in the form of a comment, then you’ll have a much easier time getting rid of it. After all, we all post comments sometimes just to realise that there’s something wrong with whatever we said. You might have misspelled a word, for instance, tagged the wrong person, or sent the message on the wrong post.
All you need to do is tap on the “Comment” button underneath the image in question to see all the comments for that post. Tap on the comment that you want to delete, and swipe left on your iPhone to reveal the trashcan icon. Then you can click on that icon and select “Delete.”
On an Android phone, press and hold the comment that you want to get rid of to bring up the “Delete” option.
When you post a comment on Instagram, you’ll also have the opportunity to edit that message if you just want to deal with a minor mistake. Just hit the three dots located in the upper right of your post and click on “Edit.” Once you’re finished rectifying your mistake, just click “Done”.
What if I want to Retrieve a Deleted Message?
Learning how to delete Instagram messages is just one side of the coin.
You might think that it’s a good idea to delete a message at first, then change your mind and want to get the message back. If that happens, you’ve got a few options available. The first, slightly exhausting option, is to use the Instagram data download feature.
Go to Instagram.com and log into the web or browser version of your account. You can’t do this from your smartphone. Tap on the profile icon in the right corner of the screen, and go to Privacy & Security.
Here, you’ll see a range of options, including a section called “Data Download.” In this area, you’ll be able to click on a button called “Request Download.” When you tap on that, you’ll need to log into your account for a second time, to make sure that it’s you.
Click on the option to “Download Data” on the new page that appears after you log into your account for a second time. You’ll receive a ZIP file with all the information you’ve shared on Instagram lately, including your messages, photos, and videos.
To find a specific message, you can extract the downloaded file, and open the “messages.json” option. Press “Ctrl+F” on your keyboard to locate the message you want by searching for a person’s name or keyword. Obviously, this is all a bit of a hassle, but it might be worth it if you typed out paragraphs worth of information in an important message.
Is There a Simpler Way to Recover a Deleted Message?
If downloading all of your data seems like too much hard work, then you can always ask the other person in the chat to copy and paste the message to you. This will only work if you’ve deleted the conversation on your end, but you haven’t “unsent” the comment. If you delete the message in your inbox, the other person will still have access to it.
If you’re able to log into Instagram through Facebook, you can also get your Instagram messages back this way. Just log into your Facebook account on a desktop or computer and check your inbox. The message won’t be deleted here.
Other Ways to Hack your Instagram Messages
Now that you know how to delete Instagram messages, unsend content, and edit your comments, you might be wondering if there are any other great things you can do with Instagram Direct. Here are a few quick pointers to help you make the most of Insta’s direct messaging feature:
- Swipe left to check when a message was sent: Figure out correctly when messages are sent or get extra data for your screenshots by swiping left from the right-hand-side of the chat thread.
- Save photos: If you want to save any images shared in a message before you delete the thread entirely, you can press and hold the received photo, and click the “Save” option from the pop-up menu that appears.
- Create a group chat: Turn your one-on-one conversation into a group chat. Tap on the “+” icon in the top right corner of your screen and select two or more people to automatically create a group chat.
- Search for a thread: If you know that there’s a message thread that you need to delete, but you can’t find it, you can use the Direct search function. Search is located at the top of your Direct Messages page. You can tap it to search for a message by username or the name of the person you want to delete a message from.
- Filter and star your Instagram messages: Got messages that you absolutely don’t want to delete? Instagram allows you to filter through your conversations. You can either mark a message as “Unread” if you’re going to come back to it later, or you can “Star” a message.
- Mute a chat: If you don’t necessarily want to delete a message, but you do want to stop getting so many messages from a pesky contact, then mute could be the option. To mute a conversation, hold down the chat thread in the main screen and tap “Mute notifications” on the pop-up that appears. A small icon should appear next to the thread. You can hold the chat thread and click “Unmute” to start receiving notifications again.
- Turn off DM notifications: If you want to stop receiving notifications for all of your messages – perhaps because you’re focusing on something at work and you don’t want to be distracted – you can do that too. Open your profile page and click on the three-dot icon in the top right of the screen. Scroll to the bottom of the page and hit “Push notifications.” In the push notification screen, you’ll see an Instagram Messages option. You can toggle the notifications off here and turn them on the same way again later.
Mastering your Instagram Messages
Instagram Direct is a fantastic feature for today’s Instagram users.
Whether you’re a business owner building a brand on social media, an influencer, or just an individual who loves sharing pictures, DMs give you a chance to connect with people in your Instagram community. However, just like any other tool, it’s essential to learn how to use this feature appropriately if you want to make the most of it.
Now you know how to delete Instagram messages, unsend content, and do a range of other things with Instagram Direct, you’re ready to continue accelerating your growth on Insta! To find out more about mastering Insta, subscribe to our blogs on SocialFollow.co. We always have plenty of useful insights and guides to share!
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