How To Turn off Vanish Mode on Instagram: An Easy Tutorial

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Karen Lin

Instagram 101 | Jun 10, 2024

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Direct messages—better known as DMs—are one of the most useful features on Instagram. When you’re not scrolling through aesthetic visual content on the feed, you can message friends and share posts with them. But do you ever wish that some DMs were a little more private, like when you’re talking about something confidential? Thankfully, you can do that in vanishing mode. Afterwards, you just have to know how to turn off vanish mode on Instagram to switch back to regular messages.

It’s much more comfortable having candid, private conversations in the safety of Instagram’s cool vanishing mode. But how exactly do you exit after spilling the tea or sharing private photos? Keep reading to learn how to do it step by step.

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What Is Vanish Mode on Instagram DM?

Before learning how to turn vanish mode off on Instagram, it’s important to know what vanish mode even is.

Vanish mode is a feature on Instagram DMs that lets you send disappearing messages to whoever you’re messaging. That means whatever you say or send in chats in vanishing mode won’t leave a permanent record in the chat. All vanishing mode messages and chat histories will automatically delete after you leave the secret chat.

Vanish—or “disappearing”—mode on Instagram is amazing for adding an extra layer of privacy to your messages. Think of it as the equivalent of incognito mode, except on Instagram direct messages. It’s for any situation where you can’t risk having the things you say or the photos you send get leaked. This includes spilling secrets, sharing financial information, or maybe sending flirty photos to a crush.

While the vanishing mode is awesome for keeping all your secret conversations private, it’s not without its limitations. Anyone you talk to in disappearing mode can still take screenshots of your private conversations and photos you send. So, remember only to use vanishing mode and share confidential information with people you trust.

A woman whispering in a man’s ear to talk with him in private.

How To Turn On Vanishing Mode, Step by Step

What’s the use of learning how to turn off vanishing mode on Instagram if you don’t turn it on first? Before we get into the nitty-gritty of exiting vanishing mode, let’s learn how to enter it. Here’s how to activate this feature on chat, step by step:

1. Open the Instagram app.

2. Click the inbox icon on the upper-right corner of the screen to see your direct messages.

3. Scroll through your messages until you find the DM you want to switch to vanishing mode. Then, click on it.

4. Slowly swipe up in the middle of the chat screen. You should see a message that says, “Swipe up to turn on vanish mode.”

5. Continue swiping upward until the message changes to “Release to turn on vanish mode.” Then, let go.

Path Social’s screenshots of the process of swiping up on an Instagram direct message to activate the vanishing mode.

From there, the screen of your chat should turn black. At the very top, you should see a label that confirms you’ve entered vanishing mode with this person. Now, every message or photo you send will leave no permanent record in your direct message.

Note that you can only turn on disappearing mode on Instagram for chats that aren’t by invite. That means you typically can’t activate vanishing mode on brands and influencers you message for the first time. You can only do it when they accept your chat into their inbox.

How To Turn Off Vanish Mode on Instagram When You’re Done

Are you done with your private talk and want to go back to having casual conversations? Turning off vanishing mode is just as easy as activating it. Here’s how to turn off vanish mode on Instagram messages, step by step:

1. Open the Instagram app and head to your inbox.

2. Select the chat you had previously switched to disappearing mode.

3. Swipe up again on the chat interface, the same way you did when you activated vanishing mode. Only release the swipe when you see the prompt to do so to leave vanishing mode.

Path Social’s screenshots of the process of swiping up on a DM currently in vanishing mode to go back to regular chat.

From there, the screen should go from black to white. That means you’ve successfully opted out of disappearing mode, and now, you’re back to regular chat. Everything you say or send moving forward will stay in your direct messages with this person. And all of the chat histories from when you were in disappearing mode will be gone forever.

4 Other Best Practices for Protecting Yourself on IG Direct Messages

Keeping private conversations within Instagram’s vanishing mode is a great way to ensure your privacy and prevent convo leaks. But it’s not the only way to protect yourself when you use DMs to liaise with friends, fans, and strangers. Here are some other best practices to remember when messaging others on Instagram.

1. Enable Message Requests To Filter Out Unwanted DMs

In your message settings, enable the feature that allows you to receive message requests from people you don’t know. That way, DMs from strangers don’t go straight to your inbox. Instead, they go to the message request folder, where you can choose to approve or delete the message.

Having an active message request folder allows you to keep your inbox more organized. You’ll only see DMs that are relevant to you. This can help filter out spam messages, fake DMs from sketchy accounts, and inappropriate advances on the platform.

2. Refrain From Sharing Your Personal Info With Strangers

As much as possible, don’t give out your personal information to strangers over DM. Keep sensitive info such as your government name and home address for safety reasons. You don’t want to give a creepy stranger an opportunity to be a stalker, right? Refraining from giving out your info helps keep you safe in real life and gives you a positive online experience on Instagram.

A woman in a green shirt holding her finger to her lips, making a “shh” gesture.

3. Report Any Offensive, Inappropriate Messages You Receive

Bullying and harassment are harsh realities you must face when you’re active on social media. According to the Pew Research Center, 41% of Americans have been harassed online through inappropriate messages, name-calling, threats, and more. No matter how much you try to avoid it, there’s always a chance you’ll experience it firsthand.

The good news is that if you do receive threatening or offensive DMs, you can always report them to Instagram. Harassment, hate speech, bullying, and physical threats very clearly go against Instagram’s community guidelines.

If you receive messages that contain any of those, report the sender immediately. Hitting that report button is an easy way to protect yourself from bullies. You can even block them afterward.

A young woman hiding behind a wall to avoid two male bullies.

4. Secure Your Account With Two-Factor Authentication

Lastly, enable two-factor authentication to safeguard your account and protect its privacy, as well as that of your DMs. That way, no one can hack into your account and read your private conversations, even if they have your password. You can enable authentication by linking it with an authentication app, your mobile number, or WhatsApp.

Vanish Mode Is Great, but It’s Important To Be Seen on IG, Too

With a single swipe, you can switch over to vanishing mode and keep your chats with friends private. And now that you know how to turn off vanish mode on Instagram, switching to regular chat will be a breeze.

Disappearing mode is great for your most private moments and photo-sharing over DM. But on the Instagram feed, hiding is the last thing you want to do. It’s important to be very easily discoverable to grow your page.

Path Social can help with that. We use AI to push out your content to your target audience with tried-and-tested promotional strategies. This boosts not just engagement on your page but your follower count, too. Grow your community with new, 100% authentic followers with us today!