How to Delete Instagram Messages: Read This Before Tapping the Delete Button

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Karen Lin

Instagram Tips | May 24, 2024

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You may be wondering how to delete Instagram messages because you want to remove spam messages from your inbox. Or perhaps your inclination to delete messages is a knee-jerk reaction to an emotionally-triggering situation. There are both good and bad reasons to erase your chats, and keep in mind that this decision is final so make sure that it’s a well-informed one. Here’s everything you need to know about deleting your DMs on Instagram.  

A black phone displaying two, overlapping Instagram message chat icons on the screen.

When Should You Delete Your Messages?

Are you obsessive-compulsive when it comes to managing, sorting, and decluttering your online correspondence? Do you get a lot of spam messages or other unwanted chats? Here are the most common reasons for deleting messages on Instagram.  

  • You value your privacy and want to make sure there are no copies of your sent messages. 
  • You want to get rid of unwanted messages, such as those from an abusive person, somebody you’re not on good terms with, or from people you don’t know. 
  • You’re trying to move on from a painful chapter and want to get rid of everything associated with it. 
  • You receive a lot of spam messages on your business account. 
  • You simply want to do a regular inbox clean-up. 
  • You want to deactivate or delete your Instagram account and want to make sure that your chats — at least from your side — are erased for good.

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How to Permanently Delete Instagram Messages

If you want to delete your DMs, remember that this means permanently deleting your Instagram messages. Here are your options.

How to Delete Select Instagram Messages on an iPhone and Android

If you’re absolutely certain that you won’t regret your decision, here’s how to delete Instagram messages on an iPhone and Android. 

  1. Tap the paper airplane icon or message icon on the top right of your Feed.
  2. On an iPhone, swipe left on the conversation you want to delete; on an Android, tap and hold the conversation you want to delete. 
  3. Tap “Delete,” then tap “Delete” one more time to confirm.

Keep in mind that you can only delete the message thread on your side. The other person/people in the conversation will still have a copy of it.

How to Delete Messages on Instagram From Both Sides

The only way to delete messages on Instagram from both sides is to unsend them one by one. You can unsend a message before or after the other person/people in the chat sees it on Instagram Direct. 

  1. Tap the paper airplane icon or messenger icon on the top right of your Feed.
  2. Select the conversation and find the message you want to unsend.
  3. Tap and hold the message.
  4. Tap “Unsend,” then tap “Unsend” again to confirm.

How to Delete All Messages on Instagram

You may want to know how to delete all messages on Instagram if you’re managing a business account and you want to tidy up your inbox, especially if you receive tons of spam messages. Business accounts have the option to mass delete Instagram messages. Here’s how:

  1. Open Instagram Direct. 
  2. Tap the select icon on the top right corner. 
  3. Select all the messages in your inbox. (Or select certain messages you want to delete simultaneously.)
  4. Tap “Delete” on the bottom right corner. 

If you have a personal account, you may also want to delete all messages on Instagram if you’re planning to go offline for a while and you’ll be deactivating your account, or if you were sending messages on a shared device. However, there’s no mass delete option for non-business IG accounts; you’ll have to delete your conversations one by one.

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How to Check Deleted Messages on Instagram: Is It Possible?

There’s only one safe way to check deleted messages on Instagram, and it’s by checking them from the account of the other person in the conversation. If you have close ties with the person, accessing their Instagram Direct inbox may not be a problem. Otherwise, there’s no way to view any of your deleted messages.
There are third-party apps that claim to help recover deleted Instagram messages. But these apps are not safe; most of them will require both your Instagram username and password, which will put your account security at risk. Any third-party app that asks for your account password cannot be trusted.

Person checking and deleting Instagram messages on their phone.

How to Delete Instagram Messages Fast

We’ve given you all the options to delete Instagram messages, but there’s one option that allows automatic and quick deletion of sent messages: Instagram Direct’s vanish mode. 
When you enable vanish mode on a chat, every sent message automatically vanishes as soon as it’s seen by the other person and the chat is closed. However, vanish mode is only available for chats with 2 participants. This new feature for Instagram’s direct messages is a great option for people who highly value discretion and privacy. But take note that the other person in the chat can still take a screenshot of your message; you’ll be notified when this action is taken.

Final Thoughts: You Can’t Undo Delete

There are a number of valid reasons to delete Instagram messages. But there are also a few alternatives to deleting chats if you don’t want to receive messages from a certain person or don’t want to be bothered by too many message notifications. You can block an account if you don’t want them to have the ability to reach out to you in any way. You can also mute an Instagram chat if you just want to ignore messages from a certain individual or a group. If you want to be completely unreachable via IG chats, you may also want to consider logging out.

For business accounts, however, keeping track of all your messages is important if you don’t want to miss out on converting a potential customer or follower. Efficient management of your Instagram Direct is crucial to your brand’s Instagram growth journey. If you need help growing your account organically and reaching the right audience, you should explore the benefits of teaming up with a reliable growth service, like Path Social. Take advantage of Path Social’s proprietary AI targeting technology and in-house team of experts and start growing and gaining Instagram followers today!