What Is Vanish Mode on Instagram? How and When To Use It

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Karen Lin

Instagram Tools | May 24, 2024

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So many Instagram users ask themselves, “What is Vanish mode on Instagram?” It seems like this new message feature showed up overnight with little explanation.

Does it mean that all direct messages on your Instagram app disappear? Do you no longer worry about sending a regrettable chat to someone? We have the answer to those questions and more in today’s article. Keep reading to learn more about how this “cloak-and-dagger” feature works!

Woman doing the shushing gesture to represent Vanish Mode on Instagram

What Is Vanish Mode on IG?

Vanish Mode on Instagram is a disappearing feature for Instagram Direct Messages. All text, photos, videos, and other content sent in Vanish Mode are temporary. When a chat window closes out or ends, the messages automatically disappear. In a way, using Vanish Mode is a way to send self-destructing messages.

What is Vanish Mode on IG? Vanish Mode is similar to Facebook Messenger’s Secret Chat feature. You must activate it manually. In other words, you have to turn vanish mode on. The feature only works for chats with two participants. While this disappearing message feature is available in the US, it’s still unavailable in Japan and certain European countries.

What Is Vanish Mode on Instagram Messages

Some of you may be thinking, “Wait, what is Vanish Mode on Instagram messages and the Messanger app? Is it the same as what’s available in the non-messenger app? Yes. Vanish Mode on Instagram messages is the same as vanish mode on IG.

 It’s a way to send one on one chats with another Instagram user without leaving a trace. The Instagram Vanish Mode feature first became available in 2020. You must enable Instagram Messenger for it to function.

Many users find the feature similar to Snapchat messages or Facebook’s secret chat option. Vanish mode only appears in the chat thread section of the app. It isn’t a feature for comments, likes, or story replies.

What Is Vanish Mode on Instagram and Why You Should Use Vanish Mode

The primary reason why you should use Instagram Vanish Mode is to protect your privacy. It’s no secret that every social media platform (including the Instagram app) isn’t completely secure.

Even if you only message friends about harmless, fun information, you don’t want someone to hack into your Instagram account. They could either find sensitive information you’ve forgotten about or pull that information out of other people. However, if you’ve enabled vanish mode, you’ve put up one extra roadblock for bad actors.

White keyboard buttons spelling out DELETE on a red background.

Does Vanish Mode Delete Messages on Both Sides?

Yes, Instagram’s vanish mode deletes messages from both sides of a regular chat thread. You can use it on a mobile device or a computer. If you activate vanish mode and the other user accepts it, you can scrub your conversation.

Likewise, even if you don’t activate vanish mode, but the other user does, and you accept it, your conversation disappears.

How Does Vanish Mode Work

Now that we’ve answered your “What is Vanish Mode on Instagram” questions let’s get into how it works. Instagram Vanish Mode works by creating a session between two users. It starts from when one user turns this new feature on to the time they either turn it off/leave. During that time, those messages are temporary.

To be clear, this messaging feature only deletes one-on-one messages in that activation period. It doesn’t affect the rest of your chat history. Your entire conversation outside of that window will be intact.

Furthermore, it doesn’t transfer over to all your chats. Turning vanish mode on in one chat doesn’t mean you’ll lose messages in another.

How To Use Vanish Mode on Instagram

Are you ready to enable Instagram Vanish Mode? Here are easy-to-follow steps to help you send disappearing messages:

  1. Make sure you’ve updated your Instagram app to the latest messenger version. Then, open your app.
  2. Open an existing chat or create a new one. 
  3. Swipe up from the bottom of your screen to turn on Vanish Mode. Or, if you see “enable vanish mode” in blue text at the bottom of that chat, click on it.
  4. Your screen will turn dark, and “Shush” emojis will appear. 
  5. To turn off Vanish Mode, 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 has no timer option. Anything sent in Vanish Mode erases on both sides when one user leaves the chat or turns Vanish Mode off.

If you turn off Vanish Mode before the other user sees the message, they’ll still receive it. Once the other person finally sees it, it will disappear on both sides upon closing the chat. 

Instagram notifies the other person when you send a message in Vanish Mode. A notification is also sent when a message is sent outside of Vanish Mode.

When To Use Vanish Mode on Instagram

What is Vanish Mode on Instagram? Check. How does it work? Check. Now, let’s talk about when you should use it.

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. 
  • If you’re worried about other people snooping and getting access to your chats, 

If any of these are try, use Vanish Mode. Here are a few other things to keep in mind about Vanish Mode. 

  • You cannot copy, save, or forward Messages sent in Vanish mode. 
  • You can only use Vanish Mode with users you’re already connected with on Instagram. Conversely, a user you’re not connected with cannot 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. 
  • You can still capture disappearing messages via screenshots or screen recordings. However, Instagram will notify the other person when this happens.

What Is Vanish Mode on Instagram: Does Vanish Mode Work in Group Chats?

You cannot use the Instagram Vanish Mode feature in group chats. This feature only works for Instagram activity between two users. Therefore, if you’re sending messages in a group chat, we recommend exercising caution with any information you share. The last thing you want is to find out one of your chat list buddies is a fraud.

Two hands holding a white android smartphone sending messages in Vanish Mode on Instagram.

What Is Vanish Mode on Instagram: Can I Recover a Message Sent or Received in Vanish Mode?

No, any messages sent or received in Vanish Mode disappear when you end the chat or disable the feature. Although that may sound scary, that’ll likely work to your advantage. In fact, if we had to say what is Vanish Mode on Instagram’s biggest selling point, it’s that. Once the messages disappear, they’re gone for good.  

If you can’t recover Instagram Direct Messages sent in Vanish Mode, you don’t have to worry about anyone else accessing them.

That also means that you cannot forward disappearing messages. In short, other users or you cannot save anything that happens during a Vanish mode session on Instagram chat.

However, there’s one loophole to this. Users can take screenshots of messages in Vanish mode before they disappear. You’ll receive a notification that they’ve done so, but if you send them sensitive information, the damage is already done.

What Is Vanish Mode on Instagram: Does Vanish Mode Work for Audio and Video Calls Too?

No, Vanish Mode on Instagram only works for Direct Messages. You cannot use it to exsponge audio or video call records on the app. Additionally, if you’re worried about calls made via IG, be aware that other users may be recording you. Instagram does not notify you if another user takes screen recordings of your calls.

Can Someone See If You Turn On Vanish Mode?

Yes, Instagram will notify both parties involved when vanish mode turns on. You will also receive a notification if you turn off vanish mode on Instagram.

What Is Vanish Mode on Instagram: Is Instagram Vanish Mode Encrypted?

No, Instagram Vanish Mode messages are not necessarily encrypted. Some people believe that because the messages disappear, they’re secure. If you need to send secure messages on the app, use their new end-to-end encrypted chat option. 

You can only open these messages with the correct pin or code. Additionally, they’re unreadable by third parties during sending.

Yellow shush emoji that appears when Vanish Mode on Instagram is turned on

What Is Vanish Mode on Instagram: Take All the Precautions You Need

Vanish Mode on Instagram provides users with a safer way to chat. The messages aren’t archived, and you won’t have to worry about them resurfacing online.

There’s always the risk of someone taking 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. 

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. Account security is especially crucial for business accounts. If you own or manage a business account, familiarize yourself with all the account security options available. 

Don’t just stop at researching questions like, “What is Vanish Mode on Instagram?” Dig into encrypted options, password protection, and safe, secure ways to boost your Instagram numbers. Like choosing a trustworthy growth service such as Path Social.

They use a proprietary AI targeting algorithm to find real users interested in what you offer. Plus, they have an in-house team of experts to promote your content organically. That means no bots or like farms ever. Start growing and gaining Instagram followers today!