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Can't reply to Instagram messages? Here's how you can try to fix it

If you know someone personally, you can always turn to apps like WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger instead.

Published onNovember 17, 2023

Instagram wasn’t originally built around messaging, but it’s certainly a key feature for some modern users. If you’re finding that you can’t reply to someone’s messages, here’s what might be going on, and what you might be able to do to remedy the situation.

How to fix replying to Instagram messages

Instagram stock image 7
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

There’s no surefire answer here, but if you follow the troubleshooting steps below, there’s a decent chance you’ll get around the problem.

  • Make sure that you haven’t been blocked. If recent exchanges with someone have been heated, or they just don’t want to interact with you for some reason, they may have blocked you. An easy way to tell is is if messages aren’t marked as delivered, or you’re unable to tag a person in a post. Don’t try to get around a block by creating a new account — you’ll probably just irritate the person more, and you could risk an outright ban from Meta.
  • Check that you’re logged into the right account. Using the wrong account is more likely to cause confusion than anything, but you could be running afoul of someone’s privacy settings — private profiles automatically exclude people who aren’t approved followers. If someone has only approved your personal account, for instance, you won’t be able to message them with your business profile.
  • Check Instagram’s server status. Sometimes Meta’s servers may be dealing with bugs, overload, connection problems, or scheduled maintenance. You can check outage info at a site like Downdetector.
  • Sign out of Instagram, then back in. This can potentially fix account-related glitches, and if you have multiple Instagram accounts, the process will make sure you’re using the right one.
  • Update the Instagram app. However unlikely it might be, there’s a non-zero chance that an app bug is interfering. Use the Google Play Store or Apple App Store to update to the latest version. You can avoid this hassle in the future by turning on automatic updates.
  • Clear Instagram’s cache and/or restart the app. If you’re on Android, you can manually clear Instagram’s cache, which might solve some related technical problems. There’s no such option on iPhones, but you can accomplish something similar by force-quitting the app and relaunching. It can’t hurt to relaunch the Android app, either.
  • Turn to Instagram support. If nothing else has helped so far, there’s likely something more serious going on. Browse the official Help Center, which has articles not just about messaging but related issues like your account status.  Should that not be enough, you can report technical problems via the web or app interfaces.

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