How to Turn Off Read Receipts on Instagram: A Quick Guide

Instagram is a popular social media platform, and its messaging feature allows users to stay in touch with friends, family, and followers. 

If you have lots of followers or just want to answer messages on your own time without seeming rude, you may be wondering how to turn off read receipts on Instagram.

Unfortunately, Instagram doesn’t offer a direct method to turn off read receipts, but there are workarounds to achieve the same effect.

What Are Instagram Read Receipts?

Instagram read receipts are a feature that lets users know if their direct messages (DMs) have been read by the recipients. 

When you send a DM on Instagram, the read receipt appears as a small “Seen” notification below the message, indicating that the recipient has opened and read the message.

These read receipts can be both helpful and intrusive, depending on your preferences. 

On one hand, they allow you to know if your message has been acknowledged, providing you with a sense of closure in your communication. 

How to Turn Off Read Receipts on Instagram

On the other hand, read receipts can make you feel pressured to respond quickly or make it awkward when someone has read your message but hasn’t replied.

While there is no direct way to turn off read receipts within the Instagram settings, there are workarounds to read messages without sending a read receipt. 

Note that some methods involve adjusting your phone’s settings, such as using Airplane Mode or the Control Center.

Why Is Instagram Read Receipts Important?

Instagram read receipts play a crucial role in facilitating communication between users on the platform. 

When you send or receive Instagram direct messages (DMs), the read receipts let the sender know if their message has been viewed by the recipient.

Read receipts help maintain transparency and allow the texters to understand when their message has been acknowledged. 

It also encourages timely responses since people can see when the recipient has read the message. 

This feature is commonly found not only in Instagram DMs but also on other platforms like Facebook Messenger and other instant messaging apps.

What are the downsides of read receipts?

Not all users are comfortable with the idea of others knowing when they’ve read their Instagram messages. 

The read receipts might create situations where users feel obligated to respond immediately, even if they might be busy or not interested in engaging at that moment. 

This pressure can lead some users to explore ways to disable read receipts. 

While Instagram read receipts facilitate communication among users, they might also create expectations and pressure for instant replies. 

Knowing the importance of read receipts and finding the balance that suits your communication style is essential for a pleasant experience on social media platforms like Instagram.

How to Turn Off Read Receipts on Instagram

In this section, we’ll explore different ways to disable read receipts on Instagram. 

Though Instagram doesn’t offer a direct option for turning off read receipts, you can use some workarounds to prevent others from knowing when you’ve read their messages.

1. Go Offline

One solution is simply going offline when you want to read messages. If you are not connected to the internet, the read receipt will not be sent to the sender. 

Thus, you can read the messages without letting others know you’ve seen them.

2. Turn On Airplane Mode


Another technique that works similarly to going offline is turning on Airplane Mode on your device. 

To do this:

  1. Open Instagram and allow your messages to load without opening them.
  2. Turn on Airplane Mode and ensure that Wi-Fi is also disabled.
  3. Read the messages you were interested in.
  4. Close Instagram, and then turn off Airplane Mode to reconnect to the internet.

Remember that your read receipts will be sent once you reconnect to the internet and open Instagram again, so be cautious when using this method.

3. Restrict the Instagram User

Image: Reader’s Digest.

Restricting an Instagram user has several effects, including disabling read receipts for messages. 

When you restrict a user, their messages will be hidden, and they won’t be able to see when you’re active or when you’ve read their messages. 

To restrict a user:

  1. Go to the user’s profile.
  2. Tap on the three dots (…) in the top right corner.
  3. Select “Restrict” from the options.

4. Disable Active Status

Image: Turbofuture.

Disabling your active status means that other users won’t be able to see when you’re online. 

Although this method doesn’t completely disable read receipts, it provides some level of privacy by hiding your online presence from others.

  1. Open Instagram and go to your profile.
  2. Tap the three horizontal lines in the upper right corner.
  3. Select “Settings” at the bottom.
  4. Tap “Privacy.”
  5. Choose “Activity Status” and toggle it off.

5. Switch Off the Message Notifications

Image: technipages.

By turning off message notifications, you can somewhat limit your chances of accidentally opening a message, which would trigger a read receipt. 

To disable message notifications:

  1. Open Instagram and go to your profile.
  2. Tap the three horizontal lines in the upper right corner.
  3. Select “Settings” at the bottom.
  4. Tap “Notifications.”
  5. Choose “Direct Messages” and toggle off the relevant options.

In summary, Instagram doesn’t have a built-in feature to disable read receipts, but you can use workarounds like going offline, turning on Airplane Mode, restricting users, disabling your active status, and turning off message notifications to achieve a similar effect.

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Can You Unread Messages on Instagram?

Unfortunately, there is no simple option to “unread” messages on Instagram once you have already opened and seen the messages. 

However, a trick you can use to read messages without triggering the read receipts is to enable Airplane mode before reading your messages. 

Ensure that Wi-Fi and mobile data are disabled as well when Airplane mode is on. 

After reading the messages, you can force-quit the Instagram app, disable Airplane mode, and then continue using Instagram as usual.

Can You Read DMs from Notifications?

Yes, you can read Instagram direct messages (DMs) from your device’s notifications panel without actually opening the app. 

When you receive a message notification, you can usually see a preview of the content. 

Reading the message preview from the notifications will not mark the message as “seen” in the Instagram app, so the sender will not receive a read receipt.

What Are Disappearing Messages on Instagram?

Disappearing messages are a feature on Instagram that allows you to send temporary, self-destructive messages, photos, and videos in a chat. 

Once viewed by the recipient, the content disappears and cannot be seen again. 

To send a disappearing message, you need to swipe right into the camera from your Instagram Inbox, capture the desired photo or video, and then tap the “View Once,” “Allow Replay,” or “Keep in Chat” option before sending it. 

This feature ensures that your pictures, videos, and text messages remain more private and secure.


While it’s not possible to directly turn off read receipts on Instagram, there are workarounds that allow you to maintain your privacy. 

One effective method is utilizing Airplane Mode to read messages without notifying the sender. 

Other alternatives include restricting accounts, previewing messages from the notification panel, and disabling the “Show Activity Status” feature. 

By using these techniques, you can tailor your experience on the platform to suit your communication preferences without sacrificing your privacy.


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