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Can you turn off read receipts on Instagram?

Instagram lacks a read receipts disable option. Use Airplane Mode or avoid tapping notifications for privacy.
November 27, 2023

Instagram is the go-to social media app for a lot of people. It has a wealth of features and allows you to share snippets of your life with other users and connect with them. One way Instagram helps bring people together is the Direct Messaging feature.

When someone sends you a message on Instagram, they will be able to know when you read their message because of read receipts. But sometimes, you might not want them to find out. This article will tell you whether you can turn off read receipts on Instagram.


The short answer is no, there is currently no option to disable read receipts on Instagram. But there are some workarounds you can use, like reading the messages on Airplane Mode or not tapping on new message notifications.


Can you turn off read receipts on Instagram?

Instagram on Nothing Phone 2 showing Android Authority account
Damien Wilde / Android Authority

Read receipts are a nifty feature, allowing people to know when their messages have been read by the receiver. But some situations demand the opposite. Sometimes you might not want the sender to know you have read their message. That’s where the option to turn off read receipts might come in handy.

Unfortunately, Instagram currently does not have the option to disable read receipts. This is a little odd because WhatsApp, another app by Meta, has this feature. So maybe somewhere down the line, it will come to Instagram too.

How to read Instagram messages without being seen

Instagram Android
AA Update Team / Android Authority

Although you cannot turn off the read receipts on Instagram, there is still a way you can read messages without the sender knowing. The first thing you should do is turn off the Instagram notifications so you don’t accidentally tap on the messages when you are notified. Follow the steps below to do this:

  1. Open the Instagram app on your phone. Go to your profile by tapping the Profile icon on the bottom right.
  2. Tap the Menu icon (it looks like three horizontal bars). Tap Settings and Privacy.
  3. Tap Notifications > Messages, and then turn the Messages from individual and group chats option off.

The next thing you need to do to read the messages without triggering the read receipt is to turn on your device’s Airplane Mode and turn off your Wi-Fi. If you are on Android, swipe down from the top of the screen to access the Quick Settings menu, then turn off Wi-Fi and turn on Airplane Mode. If you are on an iPhone you can do the same from the Control Centre by swiping down from the top right of the screen.

Then simply go to your chats on Instagram by tapping the Direct Messages icon on the top right. Open the chat and read the messages, then go to your profile and log out. Turn Airplane Mode off and Wi-Fi on, log back into your account, and the messages will be shown as unread once again. The sender will also not receive the read receipt.