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Instagram Vanish Mode: What is it, and how to turn it on or off?

Find out how to send self-destructive messages and maintain your digital privacy.

Published onNovember 30, 2023

In an age where digital privacy is more than just a buzzword, Instagram has introduced a feature that lets you have conversations without leaving a trace: Vanish Mode.

Ever wanted to send a message without the worry of it lingering around? Instagram’s Vanish Mode promises just that — a feature where messages disappear as if they were never there.

This article dives deep into the mechanics of Vanish Mode, guiding you through the ins and outs of sending temporary messages. From turning on the feature to understanding the implications of taking screenshots, we’ll cover all the FAQs you’ve been curious about.

What is Vanish Mode on Instagram and how does it work?

Vanish Mode on Instagram is designed for conversations that you prefer to keep private and ephemeral. When you enable Vanish Mode, any texts, photos, videos, or other content you send will automatically be deleted after the recipient has viewed them and closed the chat window.

This means that nothing you send in Vanish Mode will remain on the recipient’s device unless they actively save it (such as taking a screenshot, which Instagram will notify you about). This mode is useful for sharing sensitive information that you don’t want to be stored.

Instagram stock image 9
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

How to turn Vanish Mode on or off on Instagram?

To turn Vanish Mode on or off, do the following.

  • Go to the chat you want to do this with. You can access your messages by clicking on the message icon in the top-left corner. Click on the name of the person you want to send disappearing messages to.
  • Once you’re inside the chat, swipe up. When you do this, you’ll see the text “Swipe up to turn on vanish mode.”
  • Once you’ve swiped up, your existing messages will disappear. You’ll see a blank screen. Any messages you send here will disappear the moment you leave the chat, or turn Vanish Mode off.
  • To turn off Vanish Mode, simply swipe up again. You’ll come back to the chat you were originally in.

If you don’t have dark mode turned on your phone, going into Vanish Mode will initiate dark mode automatically. If you do have dark mode (most of us have it turned on all the time), the color of your screen won’t change. There’ll just be a sentence at the top of your screen saying “You turned on vanish mode.”


Screenshotting in Instagram Vanish Mode will immediately alert the other person. So you can screenshot, but the other chat participant will know, and rightly so, because the point of Vanish Mode is privacy. On the other hand, screenshotting a normal chat window does not send any alerts. Remember that you don’t know what’s happening on the other end. The other person could just use another phone to take pictures of your chat, so be sure of the other person’s intentions before you press send.

Instagram notifies the other chat participant when you screenshot in Vanish Mode.

As soon as you close the chat or turn off Vanish Mode, your chats are deleted by Instagram. Unfortunately, there is no way to recover these messages.

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