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How to mark Instagram messages as unread

Wish you could unread a message on Instagram? Undo a read message on Instagram with our simple guide.

Published onDecember 15, 2023

Ever thought about marking your Instagram messages as unread? It’s a common thing when you want to read a message but aren’t ready to reply or accidentally click on it while scrolling but don’t feel like starting a conversation. Unlike Facebook Messenger, the feature to mark messages as unread isn’t as obvious on Instagram. In this guide, we’ll go through easy ways to mark Instagram messages as unread. It works for both professional and personal account users.


Marking messages as unread is a feature exclusive to professional Instagram accounts. All you have to do is tap and hold a conversation if you’re using Android or swipe left on the chat if you’re using an iPhone, and tap Mark as Unread or Unread. Remember, this only changes the status on your end, but the sender will still see that you’ve read their message.


Can you mark Instagram messages as unread?

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

As of 2023, the ability to mark Instagram messages as unread is limited to business and creator accounts. Unfortunately, private accounts and desktop users do not have direct access to this feature. It’s important to note that marking a message as unread only affects the receiver’s end; the sender will still see “Seen” under the message they sent, even if you mark it as unread.

The Unread function allows individuals to indicate that they haven’t reviewed a specific message despite having seen it, serving as a reminder for themselves to respond later. This is one reason why the functionality is only available to professional accounts, as it provides a convenient way to manage their message flow, allowing them to prioritize responses or revisit specific conversations without losing track of unread messages.

How to unread messages on Instagram

The following is the simplest method to mark Instagram messages as unread on a professional account on an Android device:

  1. Open your inbox by tapping on the message icon in the top right corner of the screen and find the chat you want to mark as unread.
  2. Tap and hold it and select Mark as Unread.
  3. After doing this, a blue dot will appear next to the chat to show it’s unread.

If you’re using an iOS device, the steps are slightly different. Find the chat you want to mark as unread, and instead of holding it down, swipe left. Then, tap Unread to mark the message as unread.

This method works for individual chats; however, if you wish to mark several conversations as unread all at once, follow the steps below:

  1. Open your Instagram app.
  2. Go to the inbox.
  3. In the upper right corner of your screen, tap the three dots.
  4. Select the conversation(s) you wish to mark as unread.
  5. Tap More at the bottom.
  6. Choose Mark as Unread.

How to unread messages on Instagram on a private account?

If you’re using a personal Instagram account, there’s currently no direct option to mark messages as unread. However, if the functionality is really important to you, consider switching to a professional account since the option is available to professional accounts. Just keep in mind that this change may impact your privacy settings and make your profile public. Here’s how you can switch to a professional account on Instagram:

  1. Tap your profile picture.
  2. Tap the hamburger icon (three horizontal lines) in the top right corner of the screen.
  3. Go to Settings and Privacy.
  4. Tap the Account type and Tools option.
  5. Select Switch to Professional Account.
  6. Follow the prompts to complete the setup.

Once you’ve made the switch, you can follow the steps outlined for professional accounts to mark messages as unread.

Keep in mind that once a message has been read, you cannot revert the “Seen” status back to unseen, and there’s no going back. However, there are a few workarounds that you can try to read messages without letting the sender know that you’ve read them. Follow the methods below:

Use the Restrict Option

If you want to keep your account personal but read messages without letting the sender know, you can use the ‘Restrict’ option. This tool lets you stop someone from interacting with your profile without actually blocking them. The option is particularly handy in situations where you’re forced to unblock someone on Instagram but still do not want their comments and messages to reach you and also don’t want them to know that their interaction with you on Instagram has been limited. The feature works best for this case as well where you want to see someone’s messages without letting them know.

Here’s how to use Restrict Mode:

  1. Find the user you want to restrict and tap on their profile.
  2. In the top right corner of the screen, tap the three dots.
  3. Tap Restrict and confirm your choice by tapping Restrict Account.

By adding this user to your restricted list, you will now have the ability to review their messages before choosing whether or not to accept them. This feature ensures that the sender remains unaware of whether or not you have read their message. All messages from restricted users will be in the message requests section, and you won’t get notifications for their messages.

Using Airplane Mode

A safe method to read Instagram messages without notifying the sender is using Airplane Mode. This practical solution disconnects your phone from the internet and cellular network, enabling you to read messages without getting a read receipt.

Just remember, this trick only works when you’re in Airplane Mode. Once you reconnect to the internet, read receipts are sent automatically. To prevent this from happening, after reading messages offline in airplane mode, log out of your Instagram account and log back in after reconnecting to the internet. This will ensure that the message you read is still unread and the read receipts are not sent automatically.

Third-Party apps

Consider using a third-party tool to keep your Instagram messages unread. Many online options let you check messages without alerting the other person. They also have the bonus of letting you get messages through email instead of just the Instagram app.

Take DMpro, for example – it’s got some cool features, like letting you keep messages unread without tipping off the sender. Just check your inbox within your account DMpro account, and you’re good to go!

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