How To Recover Deleted Instagram Messages in 2022: The Ultimate Guide

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Have you ever accidentally deleted an important Instagram message and wished you could get it back? Or even worse, had your entire message history wiped out due to a hack or glitch? I‘ve been there too and know how frustrating it is.

Recovering deleted Instagram messages may seem impossible, but there are actually a few proven techniques you can try to rescue your lost conversations. As a social media expert and tech geek, I‘ve used these methods both personally and with clients who have desperately needed to retrieve deleted messages.

In this comprehensive guide, I‘ll walk you through everything you need to know to recover deleted direct messages on Instagram, including:

  • Common reasons messages get deleted and how to prevent it
  • Step-by-step instructions for Instagram data downloads
  • How to use connected Facebook accounts to restore messages
  • Third party apps that claim to recover deleted messages
  • Expert tips to safeguard your messages going forward

Trust me, with the right approach you can absolutely get your messages back. Let‘s dig in!

Why Did Your Messages Disappear in the First Place?

Before we look at how to recover deleted Instagram messages, it helps to understand the possible reasons they disappeared. Knowing what happened can prevent it from occurring again in the future. Here are the most common causes of accidentally deleted messages:

App Malfunctions or Phone Issues

Sometimes there are bugs or glitches within the Instagram app itself that can cause messages to be randomly deleted from your account. This typically happens after an app update and usually resolves itself after a short time. However, the messages deleted during the glitch are gone for good unless you can recover them through one of the methods I‘ll explain soon.

Cell phone issues like sudden crashes or resets can also result in message loss if not properly synced or backed up elsewhere. As a techie myself, I recommend routinely restarting your phone and Instagram to clear out any bugs that may be affecting performance. Making sure you have the latest version of the app can also enhance stability.

App or Phone Issues Solutions
Instagram bugs Restart app and update to newest version
Phone crashes Restart device and restore from backup

Accidental Deletions

Let‘s be honest, we‘ve all hastily swiped and deleted a conversation or message that we didn‘t mean to get rid of in the heat of the moment. With Instagram‘s slick user interface, it‘s extremely easy to permanently erase messages without a second thought.

According to Instagram‘s support page, there is no native "undo" function after deleting messages, so accidental removals are very tricky to recover from. Just be more mindful when you‘re quickly scrolling and managing your message inbox. I recommend consciously pausing and double checking before confirming any permanent deletions.

Unauthorized Access or Hacking

This scary scenario is more common than you may think – someone gaines access to your account and deliberately deletes messages and conversations for malicious purposes. I‘ve seen this happen most often with influencer or business accounts that have weaker login protections.

Enabling two-factor authentication and avoiding sketchy third-party apps that request your login info are good ways to prevent unauthorized access. You can also periodically audit your login activity in the Instagram app to detect any suspicious locations. Act quickly if you notice any messages have been deleted without your knowledge to try recovering them.

Reason for Deletion Preventative Tips
Accidental deletions Be extremely selective and double check before deleting anything
Hacking or unauthorized access Use 2-factor authentication and avoid sharing your password

Proven Ways to Recover Deleted Instagram Messages

If your messages have mysteriously disappeared, don‘t panic yet! Here are the top techniques I recommend to clients for getting their deleted DMs back:

Request a Data Download from Instagram

The best place to start is directly within the Instagram app. Most people don‘t realize that even after something is deleted, Instagram actually retains and archives your data for a period of time.

You can request a download of all your personal Instagram data including photos, videos, messages, posts, and more. There‘s a good chance your deleted messages will be tucked away in this download, even if they no longer appear in the app.

Note: Instagram reserves the right to remove data at any time, so your deleted messages may only be available for a limited time after deletion.

Here are step-by-step instructions for requesting your Instagram data download:

  1. Open the Instagram app and go to your profile page.
  2. Tap the menu icon (three horizontal lines) in the top right and go to Settings.
  3. Select Security > Download Data.
  4. Tap "Request Download" and confirm your email address.
  5. Check your email inbox – you‘ll receive download links within 48 hours.
  6. Download the ZIP files from the email and search for any recoverable deleted messages.

I‘d recommend first checking the "messages" folder within the ZIP file as that‘s where your DMs are most likely to be found if still available. The downloads can be a bit tedious to comb through, but this method has helped me and my clients recover deleted messages successfully in the past, so it‘s worth a shot.

Pro Tip
Request your Instagram data download ASAP after noticing deleted messages so you have the highest chance of capturing them before they are permanently removed!

Leverage a Connected Facebook Account

Here‘s an easy Instagram recovery trick many people overlook – check your connected Facebook messenger!

If you have your Instagram account linked to your Facebook profile, your direct messages and conversations are synced across both platforms. So even if something is deleted on Instagram, it may still be retained and accessible within your Facebook messaging.

Simply log into your Facebook account and look for the "Messages" option that will contain all of your Instagram chats. You can scroll through conversations there or use the Facebook search bar to find specific messages.

The major caveat is that this method only works if your accounts were connected before the messages were deleted. Make sure to link your Instagram and Facebook now if you haven‘t already so it can help you recover messages in the future.

Enlist the Help of Recipients

Reach out to any of the other participants in the deleted conversation and ask them if they can screenshot or forward you the missing messages.

Since the messages were deleted on your end, the messages will still be visible in your recipients‘ Instagram inboxes. It takes some coordination but most people are willing to help recover lost data.

You likely won‘t be able to recover entire conversations this way, but reobtaining some of the messages is better than nothing.

Try Third-Party Recovery Apps

When all else fails, you may want to experiment with specialized third-party apps that claim to recover deleted Instagram messages. They use techniques like scanning your device cache and storage to extract any retrievable message data.

A few options to research are:

  • iBeesoft – Recovers lost data from iOS devices by scanning phone storage. Can retrieve deleted Instagram messages, photos, and call history.

  • DMpro – Allows you to automatically backup your Instagram DMs via email. Requires connecting your account which raises some security concerns.

  • Dr.Fone – Full data recovery suite for restoring lost information from phones and computers. Claims to recover deleted Instagram messages.

I advise caution when using any third-party apps connected to your Instagram – make sure to review permissions carefully and revoke access if you have any security concerns. They may be able to recover some messages, but also pose privacy risks in some cases.

Prevent Deleted Messages in the Future

Recovering deleted messages takes effort, so it‘s much easier to be vigilant and prevent deletions in the first place. Here are my top tips for keeping your message history intact:

  • Be extremely selective when deleting messages – Double and triple check before permanently deleting any conversations or messages. Accidental deletions are very hard to undo.

  • Limit account access – Use two-factor authentication and don‘t give your password to third-party apps. This prevents hacking or unauthorized message deletions.

  • Backup your data – Download your data periodically or use a service that creates backups like DMPro. This gives you access to messages if they are ever deleted.

  • Update the app – Make sure to keep the Instagram app up-to-date to avoid glitches that can lead to message loss.

  • Report issues to Instagram – If messages disappear randomly without any deletions by you, report it to Instagram immediately to resolve app bugs.

  • Change your password – Do this periodically in case someone unknown has accessed your account and deleted anything.

  • Review login activity – Check locations of recent logins within settings and watch for suspicious activity indicating hacking.

Can Deleted Instagram Messages Be Recovered?

The short answer is yes – with the right approach, you can often recover deleted Instagram direct messages or conversations. The key is acting quickly and using techniques like requesting your Instagram data download and checking connected accounts.

Be warned that the longer you wait, the lower your chances as Instagram does purge deleted data after a period of time. If the messages contained important information, recovery should be a top priority.

While you can‘t directly "unsend" messages in Instagram after deletion, the methods in this guide offer hope for restoring your lost conversations. Follow these tips to prevent deletions, routinely back up your data, and try Instagram‘s data download if you ever face this unfortunate situation.

Let me know in the comments if you have any other questions about recovering deleted messages! I‘m always happy to help anyone who has accidentally lost data.


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.