Instagram DM Glitches: How to Fix the Most Common IG Issues

Profile photo of Karen Lin, author

Karen Lin

Instagram 101 | Aug 18, 2023

Want More Real Instagram Followers?

Let’s set the scene of your Instagram DM glitch. You’ve opened up IG for the day and you see a DM notification from a friend. You click on the notice, excited to see what’s new with your pal. Next thing you know, you’re hit with a malfunction. Maybe the message disappears or you can’t find your thread, or you can’t send a message back.

Whatever the issue, the facts are simple. You’ve come across an Instagram DM glitch. These occurrences are undoubtedly frustrating, but they don’t have to sour your social media spree. We’ve collected a list of some of the most common DM glitches along with a few easy troubleshooting ideas. With these tips, you should be back to sending and receiving messages with your contacts in no time.

Close up of damaged smartphone with "Error 404" on screen.

2 Most Common Instagram DM Glitches

Any aspiring content creator or lover of social media knows that no app is perfect. Try as app developers might, there’s no way to avoid the occasional glitch or bug. To make an app, these company’s go through beta versions before releasing an official app version for the public. In that beta phase, developers try to get as many kinks out as possible. However, the more widely-used over an extended time period that an app is, the more refreshing and fine-tuning it needs.

Instagram and other similar apps change everyday to keep up with new trends from users, global issues, and innovating technology. Anyone of these factors can help or hinder the functionality of IG on any given day. Sometimes, apps go through widespread growing pains that affect millions of users. IG’s DM function is no exception to this.

While this situation is more than annoying, there’s a plus side. You’re not suffering alone. The more people experiencing the issue, the harder the Instagram team works to quickly fix it. Plus, being part of a well-known problem also makes it an easier issue to resolve.

Here, we’ve collected common Instagram DM glitches. From photo issues, to keyboard difficulties, this is where to look. Keep reading to learn about these glitches and how to troubleshoot any problem sliding into your DMs.

 Smartphone screen displaying white Instagram DM message logo on black background.
franck 6aIPkbZ7zrU unsplash

Instagram DM Photo Deleting Glitch

The first Instagram DM glitch we’re going to cover is the Instagram DM photo deleting glitch. This particular glitch was one in which users thought they were deleting old message threads and images by pressing delete. However, Instagram was secretly keeping all of this information, even after telling users that the data was scrubbed. This is actually a solved issue, according to Instagram. How was it discovered? Well, Instagram has a unique program called a “bug bounty” initiative. Basically, the company offers a reward to anyone who finds a bug within the app and reports it to Instagram.

In 2020, a researcher found that Instagram was storing old pictures and messages that he’d deleted in the app. Instead, Instagram had kept all this data stored for over a year. He was able to access it all via a feature on the app that allows accounts to download their data. However, once the researcher reported these findings to Instagram, the company fixed the bug. As of 2022, there is no unresolved or known issue with Instagram deleting DMs.

Still having an Instagram DM glitch with photos? If photos you receive or send on Instagram DM are seemingly deleting out of nowhere, you or the person you’re messaging with may be using “Vanish Mode”. This is a setting where you can send DMs that expire, or disappear after being viewed.

If someone has this set on their messages, they will disappear from your message thread and you cannot retrieve them. You also can’t stop this from happening to their messages. However if you have your messages set to vanish mode, simply turn off vanish mode to keep them from disappearing.

Instagram DM screen with keyboard.

How to Fix Instagram DM Keyboard Glitch

In 2018, many Android device users were wondering how to fix the Instagram DM keyboard glitch. Here’s what would happen. Users would open up Instagram, go to their Direct Messages, and attempt to type a message. However, when their keyboard would pop up, it would block the text field of what they were writing.

At the time, there were two possible fixes. One was to exit out of all background apps and try again. The other method was to have the bottom bar of home buttons/navigation buttons always visible instead of hidden within Instagram.

As you can probably tell from these methods, there is not a clear reason why this problem was cropping up. Clearly, this issue was due to a bigger bug within the app. But, in the years since, the app has gone through several updates. From our research, we don’t see that there is still a major glitch or flaw with Instagram DM keyboards.

If you still have problems with your keyboard today, it is likely due to another issue. So if this is your Instagram DM glitch, keep scrolling. We’ll get into general troubleshooting in the second half of this post. However, if none of those help solve your crises, try contacting Instagram directly for support.

What if this issue with your keyboard is happening outside of Instagram? Then that’s a good indication that it has nothing to do with the app. Instead, it’s much more likely that there’s a problem with your phone itself. Take your device to an authorized repair center or the retailer who sold it to you.

3-D Instagram App logo.

Instagram DM Glitches in 2022

Though we’ve been looking at direct message bugs of the past, it’s finally time to talk about the present day. It’s hard to pin-point just one problem that’s arisen in 2022. But, it’s safe to say that Instagram DM glitches in 2022 have hit a variety of users. In July, many people reported problems with direct messages. This included:

  • DMs were unavailable altogether
  • DM notifications were malfunctioning, including unread notifications for opened messages
  • Messages disappearing without reaching the end-user

These bugs are part of a greater outage that came along with other issues with the app. Simultaneously, Instagram stories weren’t loading, the explore page was down, and IG switched to dark mode by itself. Other users couldn’t access their Instagram bio link or add links to their stories. It appears that those problems resolved later that same month.

Yet, Instagram experienced another mass outage of service in October as well. This time, it wasn’t just an Instagram DM Glitch. Followers/following counts and entire accounts were under fire as well. Some users were temporarily banned without breaking community guidelines. Others saw their follower counts plummet for no reason. Eventually, that problem was also fixed and addressed by Instagram.

But, there’s still time for another glitch to pop up before the end of the year. If it does, don’t lose hope. Keep in mind that the more people that experience an issue, the faster IG typically works to solve it. Simply report the issue if you can. Then, log out until Instagram says that it’s back to running smoothly or that they’ve released an update to download. In the meantime, why not brush up on other organic growth strategies? That way you can hit the ground running when the app returns.

Phone displaying Instagram log-in screen.

How to Fix Instagram DM Glitches: Common Troubleshooting Methods

We’ve gone through a few stand-out Instagram DM glitches. But we know what you’re really here for. All those problems were in the past. You have a current issue that needs amending. If you’ve made it this far, your phone is experiencing a problem outside those scenarios and you need a solution—fast.

When you experience any kind of bug with Instagram, there’s a standard troubleshooting list to run through. These are basic things that help pinpoint where the problem is coming from. Just because you’ve noticed something’s up while you’re DMing, it doesn’t mean that it only has to do with Instagram.

We’ve divided these troubleshooting methods into four different camps. The first bucket is all about classic troubleshooting methods. These are the tricks you should always go through no matter what app is giving you trouble. The second  bucket is for problems with the person you’re attempting to trade DMs with. The third is the tricky world of Instagram limits, and the last is app outages. Grab your phone and let’s get to work on these simple solutions.

Red text reading "No Signal" against black background.

1. Exit the App and Clear Your Cache

Anytime you’re experiencing a problem with an electronic device, always start by checking your internet connection. You want to make sure your internet isn’t going through an unknown network error. If your internet is running and your IP Address is valid, then try turning your phone off and on again. Think of it as giving your phone a light reset.

On a micro level, exiting an app works the same. If you ever have an Instagram DM glitch try closing out of the app completely first. That means not having it still running in the background either. Then, after a minute, reopen the app again. If the IG chat glitch persists, it’s time to move on to clearing your cache.

In internet speak, a cache is a storage spot for all your data. It holds cookies, browsing history, and information you’ve entered. It also stores data you don’t know you’ve entered, like your use habits and location. Having a full cache can slow down your app. It’s taking more energy for the app to continue to store and keep up with all that extra data. If you delete that info you can free up functionality.

Here’s how to clear your Instagram cache on a phone:

  1. Open your IG profile and go to “Settings”
  2. From the menu select the “Security” option
  3. On an Apple device tap “Clear Search History”. For android tap “Search History” and then “Clear All”

To delete Instagram data from a computer browser:

  1. Log in to
  2. Click on “Privacy and Security”
  3. From that page select “View Account Data”
  4. Select “View All” under the “Search History” menu
  5. Click “Clear Search History” and confirm

If you’re still having the same issues with direct messages after this, move on to our next troubleshooting technique.

Phone on table with text on screen reading "ERROR".

2. Check With the DM Receiver

We’re quick to assume that if there’s a glitch, it must be something on our end causing the problem. But sometimes, it has more to do with the person on the other side of the DM. The person you’re trying to message may have a malfunctioning phone or internet, for one thing.

If you can’t send messages to one account or you’re not hearing back, that user could have blocked you. Blocking refers to when a user prevents you from seeing their profile or anything they post. You can no longer follow or interact with them at all.

In this circumstance, the user has cut off all communications coming from you via the app. You will not be able to message them unless they unblock or unrestrict you on their profile. To test to see if this is the case for your Instagram DM glitches, try messaging other friends via the app. If those messages work, you can safely assume your issue rests with a specific user. From there, you can try to search their name in the Instagram search bar. If you can’t find their handle and you know they definitely still have an account, you’re likely blocked.

In that situation, it’s best to stop sending them any DMs. This person has made it clear that they don’t wish to hear from you and it’s important to respect that. Trying to go around this and find another way to reach them on the app will only hurt you in the long run. If the person who blocked you feels harassed or bullied, they can report your actions as such. Plus, wouldn’t you rather want to talk to you to someone who wants to talk to you back?

Black phone chained to large white book and laptop.

3. Keep Track of Instagram Daily DM Limits

So what if it isn’t your internet, it’s not your cache, and it’s not your friends? That may be a prime example of a “it’s not you, it’s me” situation. Sometimes, it is on your end and if you’ve exceeded Instagram’s daily DM limits, that’s likely what you’re dealing with. Instagram has daily limits on certain actions and activities. These include comments, following/unfollowing accounts, likes, stories and DMs. 

Why do these limits exist? To keep IG safe and authentic instead of overrun by bots and other bad actors trying to manipulate the algorithm. Loads of fake accounts try to join Instagram to scam other users. People also use bots to buy followers in order to boost their own popularity. 

These accounts or bots overdo actions like following and unfollowing accounts, or spamming the comment section of random people’s pages. They also send scam DMs to masses of other users. Because of this, Instagram labels going over a certain number of actions in a time frame as a suspicious activity. If it catches you exceeding these limits, it will either stop the action, suspend your account, or ban your account.
If you can’t send DMs or you get a pop-up reading, “Try again later”, it’s not an Instagram DM glitch. It’s happening on purpose. You’ve sent too many DMs for one day and need to wait until tomorrow to send more. The DM daily limit is around 50-70 messages per day, so try to stay under that in the future.

Phone displaying app store screen with Instagram app.

4. Investigate the News for Instagram DM Glitch Open Issues

Have you run through all the possibilities and still haven’t found a solution? There’s a strong possibility that it’s not just an Instagram DM glitch. Open issues are probably causing problems for other users as well. We mentioned in the first half of this article that IG goes through outage periods and other mass malfunctions.

It’s possible that what you thought was just a problem on your phone is actually holding back thousands. To find out if this is the case, it’s a good idea to check out the internet. Go to another social media site or Google if there’s any mention of Instagram glitches.

On the one hand, it’s great to find out if this is a widespread issue. Why? Because then you know you’re not alone, and you know IG is working on the issue. On the other hand, if it’s a greater app glitch, it may take a while to get it fixed. Additionally, the only people who can solve an outage are Instagram’s team. There’s unfortunately nothing you can do but close out of the app until you get the all-clear from IG. Once things are back up and running, head to the App Store or Google Play Store for an update.
Instagram DM glitches are a headache, but there’s usually a quick solution to get you back on track. If you’ve got bigger Instagram problems, consider using Path Social to solve them. At Path Social, we’ve built an in-house platform of influencers and a proprietary AI targeting algorithm over the past decade. That’s how we can reach targeted, engaged, and organic users to boost your following. Start growing and gaining Instagram followers today.