How to Fix Instagram Direct Messages (DMs) Not Working – A Guide for Gaming Streamers

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As a gaming streamer and influencer, having a solid direct messaging system on Instagram is crucial for engaging with your followers. Nothing kills your ability to connect more than non-working DMs!

But unfortunately, Instagram direct messages are pretty prone to technical issues and bugs. Just when you want to respond to fans or set up collab plans, those pesky message failures can leave you high and dry.

Not to worry though, I‘ve dealt with plenty of DM problems myself over the years streaming. In this comprehensive troubleshooting guide from one gamer to another, I‘ll show you exactly how to get your Instagram direct messaging working again.

Let‘s first look at why Instagram DMs stop functioning in the first place.

Why Your Instagram DMs Suddenly Stop Working

Direct messages failing to send is one of the most annoying problems on Instagram. As a streamer, staying in touch with your community is a big part of success – malfunctioning DMs can totally cut you off.

So what causes DMs to suddenly stop working? Here are the two main offenders:

Instagram Experiencing Technical Difficulties

Instagram‘s servers going down or having issues is probably the most common reason direct messaging goes kaput. Platform bugs and glitches can prevent DMs from sending properly across the board.

With over 2 billion monthly active users, even a short outage causes widescale DM failures. We‘ve all seen those "Instagram is down" trending posts!

Sending Too Many Direct Messages

Here‘s an easy mistake to make as an excited streamer – sending a flood of DMs to fans and contacts in a short span.

Instagram‘s algorithms will interpret this rapid burst of messages as spam behavior. As a result, they temporarily restrict your ability to send more DMs until you cool down.

I‘ve triggered this timeout a couple of times when trying to aggressively schedule collab streams! It‘s frustrating butrecoverable.

How Can I Get My Instagram DMs Working Again?

When your DMs break, it‘s game on to troubleshoot and solve it fast. As a tech-savvy gamer, I‘ve picked up plenty of tips for getting direct messages back on track.

Here are the top ways I use to resurrect unsent DMs and restore my Instagram messaging:

Switch Over to Instagram Web

Table 1: Pros and Cons of Using Instagram Web

Pros Cons
Works if mobile app is glitching No push notifications
Easy desktop access Missing some native app features
Full DM capabilities Can‘t upload photos

If the Instagram app is being buggy, quickly try accessing Instagram through their website at

I often find DMs working fine there even when the mobile client is failing. Simply log in to your account on a desktop browser to message fans and friends.

Sure, the web interface lacks some niceties like push notifications. But in a pinch, it gets the job done for DM‘ing without any download or setup. Consider it a quick patch to keep communications flowing when mobile fails.

Pro tip: You can also download the Instagram Windows app for better chat features than the website.

Toggle Between Cellular Data and WiFi

Flaky internet connectivity is another common culprit behind DM issues. If you‘re on WiFi, switch over to cellular data instead and vice versa.

You can also try connecting to a different WiFi network entirely – perhaps tethering from your phone or moving to a different location in your home.

A fresh internet connection often sorts out any temporary network or ISP-related hiccups that are blocking DMs. Just force closing and reopening Instagram after switching networks can help jolt it back to life.

Update or Reinstall the Instagram App

As a streaming channel owner, make sure you download app updates as soon as they become available in the Play Store or App Store.

Instagram is constantly fixing bugs and optimizing performance in new releases. Updates frequently include fixes for pesky DM issues.

If updating doesn‘t help, uninstall and fully reinstall the app. This essentially forces a "hard reset" – wiping old buggy data and starting fresh. Reinstalling takes just a minute and has resolved many a DM problem for me.

Restart Your Device

Before getting too advanced, try a simple device restart first. A full power down and restart can clear out temporary glitches across all apps, including Instagram.

Plus it only takes 30 seconds! For iPhone users, press and hold the side button and volume down button together until the power off slider appears. Android users can hold the power button and tap Restart.

Clear Cache and App Data

Digging deeper into app management, manually clear out Instagram‘s cached files and data through your device settings. Here‘s how:

  1. Open Settings > Apps > Instagram > Storage
  2. Tap Clear Cache and Clear Data
  3. Open Instagram and re-login

This forces the app to fully reload its data and messages. Clearing the existing cache/data fixes plenty of bugs and inconsistencies that can block DMs.

Report the Issue to Instagram Directly

Table 2: How to Report Instagram DM Issues

Mobile App Instagram Web
Tap profile > Settings > Help > Report a Problem Click profile icon > Settings > Help > Report a Problem

Take a minute to directly report any persistent DM failures or glitches to Instagram‘s developers.

Through in-app reporting, you can submit details which helps Instagram investigate and resolve bugs more quickly.

I wish I could message the devs directly! But formal bug reports are the next best thing to get solid fixes rolled out.

Try Restricting Background App Refresh (iOS Only)

This last one is a cool pro tip just for iOS users. In Settings > General > Background App Refresh, switch Instagram to "Off".

Restricting background data can optimize performance and prevent overhead network usage from cluttering up your DMs. Well worth a shot!

When Will My Instagram DMs Start Working Again?

If wider Instagram issues are going on, direct messaging capabilities typically come back online within 24-48 hours max as problems are patched up.

For app glitches or isolated DM failures, the troubleshooting fixes I outlined usually resurrect messaging within minutes to a few hours in my experience.

But be patient and don‘t spam messages trying to test sends – that can re-trigger temporaryblocks from Instagram‘s spam filters.

Keep an eye on Downdetector or the Instagram status page to see when service disruptions are resolved. With the right troubleshooting approach, you‘ll be back DM‘ing fans in no time!

Hopefully these tips from one gamer to another get your streaming community accessible again. Broken DMs are my #1 nuisance as well, but thankfully they‘re fixable. Let me know if you have any other questions!


Written by Alexis Kestler

A female web designer and programmer - Now is a 36-year IT professional with over 15 years of experience living in NorCal. I enjoy keeping my feet wet in the world of technology through reading, working, and researching topics that pique my interest.