How to Unread Messages on Instagram: 3+ Simple Methods

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Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you read messages on Instagram that you didn’t mean to? And if so, have you ever wished to be able to unread them?

The good news for you is that there is a way to do just that. That there is a way to unread messages that were already opened and seen at a touch of a button, and directly from your inbox.

How to unread messages on Instagram on any device

1. Log in to your Instagram business account,
2. Open your DMs and select the message you want to unread,
3. Choose “Mark as unread” in the pop-up menu.

In this article, I will provide you with a detailed explanation of how to unread messages and alternative ways to do this if you don’t have a business account.

How to Unread Messages on Instagram?

If you have a creator or a business account, you will have the access to a feature allowing you to unread messages from a specific conversation at the click of a button.

All you have to do is open a specific conversation and mark it as unread.

Here is a step-by-step guide:

On iOS

  1. Open the Instagram app.

First, navigate to the Instagram app on your iOS device and use your account credentials to log in. Then, tap the messages button to see your DMs.

Instagram starting page on iOS

  1. Select the conversation you want to unread messages in.

Find the conversation in your DMs that you wish to unread and open it. Tap said conversation and keep it tapped until a menu pops up.

List of conversations in Instagram DMs

  1. Select “Mark us unread.”

The menu will contain several options, and the one you need is “Mark as unread”. Selecting this option will make it so the sender becomes unaware you saw their message.

Mark as Unread option on Instagram

On Android

  1. Log in to your IG account.

Find the Instagram app on your device and log in to your account, then click on the Instagram message icon to open your DMs.

Instagram starting page on Android

  1. Find the conversation you want to unread.

Next up, find the conversation you want to unread in your Instagram inbox, and tap it. Keep it tapped until a pop-up menu shows up.

  1. Mark the selected conversation as unread.

The menu will have several options to choose from. One of them is “Mark as unread”. Selecting it will unread messages in that conversation.

Mark as unread option

On desktop

  1. Log into your Instagram account.

Before everything else, you will need to open Instagram in your PC browser or desktop app. Once there, log in to your account and click on your direct message menu.

Instagram website homepage

  1. Choose the direct message to unread.

Next thing, you need to look for and mark Instagram messages that you wish to unread. After that is done, right-click the chat you wish to unread messages in and find the option to unread said messages.

  1. Finish the task.

The menu will contain the option to unread any direct messages in that conversation. Left-clicking on it will unread all the messages in the selected conversation.

Unread message on Instagram desktop

An Alternative Method of Unreading Messages

While these ways to unread messages on Instagram are only available to people with a creator or business account.

That being said, there are alternatives that allow anyone to unread Instagram messages, even if their account is a personal one.

These solutions are available both in the mobile and the desktop version of the app as well.

Don’t accept message requests

The first solution is to simply not accept and reply to message requests, as this will keep the sender ignorant of the fact you have read their Instagram direct messages without you having to unread them. You can do this both to personal accounts and professional ones.

Use Restrict mode

Another thing you can do to stop people from knowing you read their messages without a business, or a creator account is to make use of the restrict mode.

Here is how to do so in just a few steps:

  1. Open the profile of the person you want to restrict.

First, you will need to open the profile of the person whose messages you want to restrict and not receive alerts from. You can do this through the direct messages menu or by using the Instagram search bar and typing their username. Open the profile

  1. Look for the restrict mode option.

Look for the three horizontal lines in the right corner of the page, right under its top. Right-click on them, then select the option “Restrict” from the pop-up menu. This will place the account in restricted mode.

Restrict feature on Instagram

A restricted person’s comments will be invisible to other users, and they won’t receive notifications when you read their messages, bypassing the need for an unread feature.


While the ability to unread messages on Instagram is an exclusive professional account option, there are ways to bypass this requirement by making a private account or restrict mode.

That being said, both of these come with some downsides, making transforming your personal account into a professional one the most convenient choice.


How do you open a DM without them knowing?

If you are using a personal account, your only options are to use restrict mode or avoid accepting the message request. With Instagram business accounts, you can simply unread the message directly from the Instagram DM.

How do you make an unread message on Instagram?

With a professional account, you can unread Instagram messages directly from your inbox, using the prebuilt in-app solution. Personal accounts are limited to using restrict mode and not accepting message requests, though the latter only works for people you haven’t talked to before.

Can you turn off seen on Instagram DM?

Unfortunately, there is no way to turn off seen-on Instagram DMs by default. There is a way to remove this notification though, by making messages unread when using a business account or placing a user in restrict mode on a personal one.

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Mell is one of the Stream Mentor's co-founders and a versatile content writer. She's helping other streamers get their visuals right, set the right panel, use the right lighting, install overlays properly and boost the stream quality to a great extent.

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