How to Check Messages on Instagram

Check messages from your phone, tablet or possibly your computer

The Ultimate Guide to Instagram
The Ultimate Guide to Instagram

You can send private messages to individuals or groups on Instagram. If somebody sends you a direct message, here's how to get to your inbox to read and reply to DMs.

How to Check Messages on the Instagram App

You access the direct-message inbox through the main screen of Instagram. The main screen is the one with the feed of posts from people you follow. Here's what to do.

  1. Open the Instagram app on your iOS or Android device and sign in to your account or switch to the appropriate account, if necessary.

  2. Tap the mail icon in the top right corner of the screen to go to your Instagram Direct inbox.

    A number count will appear on the mail icon in the top right corner whenever you open the app. The number represents how many unread messages you have.

  3. Take a look at the list of messages in your inbox, which are listed from most recent to least recent. Messages that you haven't checked yet will display a blue dot beside it.

    Use the Search field at the top to search for a message for a specific user or that contains a specific keyword or phrase.

  4. Tap any message to open the conversation thread and use the text field and media buttons at the bottom to send a reply.

    Send a quick photo or video reply without even opening the conversation by tapping the camera to the right of every message listed in your inbox.

  5. Tap the arrow icon in the top left corner to exit the inbox and return to your feed.

    Checking messages on Instagram

You might receive Instagram messages from people you don't follow. If you do, it will appear as a request in your inbox rather than a regular conversation. If you accept it, you can reply even without following the other user. If you decline the request, the other user won't be able to contact you again unless you follow them.

How to Check Instagram Messages on the Web

Instagram didn't use to allow instant-messaging on its website, but it has since added the feature. Here's how to use it.

  1. Go to the official Instagram website and log in.

    The Instagram home page
  2. Click the messages icon, which looks like a paper airplane.

    The Messages icon on Instagram for web
  3. Your current conversations appear in the left pane. Click one to open it.

    The conversations pane
  4. The message will open in the right pane. Use the text box to reply.

Along with text, you can include emojis by clicking the smiley-face icon. Include photos from your computer with the photo icon on the right side of the text box. Click the heart icon to send a heart emoji instantly..

The text box and other icons

Instagram App on Windows

If you have a Windows PC, you can download the official Instagram app for Windows and send and receive direct messages through it, including photos, videos, and posts directly from your feed.