What is Vanish Mode on Instagram? How and When to Use It

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Heidi Lang

Instagram Tools | Sep 29, 2022

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In case you’re still not aware of what Vanish Mode on Instagram is, or that it even exists, it’s the platform’s disappearing feature for DMs. All text, photos, videos, and other content sent in Vanish Mode are temporary. They are automatically erased when the chat ends. 
Vanish Mode is similar to Facebook Messenger’s Secret Chat feature and also has to be activated manually. The feature only works for chats with two participants, however; it’s not available for group chats. Currently, the feature may also be unavailable in some countries in Europe. Keep reading to learn more about how this “cloak-and-dagger” feature works!

Woman doing the shushing gesture to represent Vanish Mode on Instagram

How to Use Vanish Mode on Instagram

To use Vanish Mode on Instagram, just follow these steps. 

  1. Open an existing chat or create a new one. 
  2. Swipe up from the bottom of your screen to turn on Vanish Mode. 
  3. Your screen will turn dark and “Shush” emojis will appear. 
  4. To turn off Vanish Mode, just swipe up again or tap “Turn off Vanish Mode” at the top.

Instagram chat in Vanish Mode

Unlike Facebook’s disappearing messages, Instagram’s Vanish Mode does not have a timer option. The chats sent in Vanish Mode (text, photos, videos, emojis, etc.) are erased on both sides when someone leaves the chat or turns Vanish Mode off. If you turn off Vanish Mode before the other user sees the message, the message will still appear in Vanish Mode when the other person finally sees it and will disappear on both sides when the chat is closed. 

The other person will be notified when you send a message in Vanish Mode. A notification is also sent when a message is sent outside of Vanish Mode.

When Should You Use Vanish Mode on Instagram?

You may want to use Vanish Mode on Instagram as an extra layer of security. Vanish Mode is great for planning surprises. If the messages you’ll be sending are sensitive in nature, if you want to make sure that there will be no record of them, or if you’re worried about other people snooping and getting access to your chats, remember to turn on Vanish Mode before sending any message. 

Here are a few other things to keep in mind about Vanish Mode. 

  • Messages sent in Vanish mode can’t be copied, saved, or forwarded. 
  • You can only use Vanish Mode with users you’re already connected with on Instagram. Conversely, a user you’re not connected with won’t be able to send you message requests using Vanish Mode. 
  • You won’t be able to use Vanish Mode in a Facebook Messenger chat.  
  • Use Vanish Mode to chat with people you trust. 
  • Disappearing messages can still be captured via screenshot or screen recording, but a notification will be sent to the other person when this is done.
Yellow shush emoji that appears when Vanish Mode on Instagram is turned on

Final Thoughts: Take All the Precautions You Need

Vanish Mode on Instagram provides users with a safer way to chat. The messages will not be archived and you won’t ever have to worry about them resurfacing online. There’s always the risk that the other person will take a screenshot or screen recording of a message before it disappears. They may also take a photo of the chat using another phone. So it’s important that you only use Vanish Mode with somebody you can trust. 

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If account privacy is your utmost concern, you should also know how to clear your search history on Instagram. And remember to always log out of your account when using shared devices or if you know that you’ll be off Instagram longer than usual. Account security is especially crucial for business accounts. If you own or are managing a business account, familiarize yourself with all the account security options available to you. 


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