How to Unread Messages on Instagram: The Social Media Guru‘s Guide

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Hey there! Have you ever accidentally opened an Instagram DM that you didn‘t mean to read? I‘ve been there too. ๐Ÿ˜…

The bad news is there‘s no "unread" button on Instagram for regular accounts. But the good news is – with a few clever workarounds, you can essentially "unread" messages or prevent read receipts from being sent in the first place.

As a social media guru and tech nerd, I‘ve experimented with all the sneaky little tricks for unreading DMs. And in this guide, I‘m going to share everything I‘ve learned to help you out.

Here‘s what we‘ll cover:

  • The Real Scoop on Unreading Instagram Messages
  • 5 Hacks to Unread or Stop Read Receipts
  • Do Third-Party Unread Apps Really Work?
  • FAQs – Your Biggest Unread Questions, Answered

Let‘s tackle this step-by-step so you can master the art of unreading!

The Real Scoop: Can You Actually Unread on Instagram?

Let‘s start with the key facts on Instagram‘s read receipts and whether you can unread messages:

  • Blue Checks = Read Receipts. When you open a DM, the sender sees a blue checkmark. This means your read receipt was delivered.

  • Business Profiles Can Unread. Instagram business and creator accounts have an official unread button. It‘s the only way to truly unread.

  • Regular Accounts Can‘t Unread. Personal profiles don‘t have the unread option. But you can use workarounds to prevent read receipts.

So in summary – you can‘t actually "unread" messages as a regular user. But you can stop the blue check from being sent in the first place.

According to Instagram engineers, here‘s why they don‘t offer an unread feature:

"We want to keep Instagram feel intimate, like you‘re having a one-on-one conversation. Adding an unread button would take away from that intimacy and make IG feel more like a broadcast platform."

Personally, I wish they‘d give us the option! The workarounds require a lot of effort. But I get where they‘re coming from.

Now let‘s dive into the different ways to unread (or prevent reading) messages on Instagram.

5 Hacks to Unread or Stop Read Receipts on Instagram

While you can‘t literally "unread" DMs on a personal profile, there are some clever loopholes to make messages look unread.

I‘ve ranked my top 5 methods from easiest to most complex:

1. Switch to a Business Profile

This is the only legit way to unread DMs on Instagram.

Business and creator accounts have access to the unread button. So if you convert your personal profile, you can mark messages unread anytime.

Here‘s how to switch your profile type on Instagram:

  1. Tap your profile pic
  2. Tap the 3 lines in the top right corner
  3. Go to Settings > Account > Switch to Professional Account

It only takes a second to switch accounts. But note this change is permanent, so only do it if you‘re sure.

Once you convert to a business profile, you‘ll see the unread option after long pressing a message:

Unread menu on Instagram

And voila! The message will be marked unread, and the blue check will disappear on the sender‘s end.

2. Use Airplane Mode

Reading DMs in Airplane Mode is a classic trick to prevent sending read receipts.

When your phone is in Airplane Mode, it can‘t send or receive data. That means Instagram can‘t deliver read receipts to your DM partners.

Here‘s how to use Airplane to unread:

  1. Turn on Airplane Mode on your phone
  2. Open and read the DM you want to unread
  3. Close Instagram and turn Airplane Mode off

As long as you only read messages without internet, no receipt will be sent.

Pro Tip: To be extra safe, you can restart your phone after reading the DM but before disabling Airplane Mode. This ensures the read receipt doesn‘t sneak through.

3. Restrict Their Account

If you restrict someone, you can read their DMs without triggering read receipts.

But this also means completely muting them from your main feed. Use this method sparingly for people you never want to hear from again.

Here‘s how to restrict an account on Instagram:

  1. Go to their profile
  2. Tap the 3 dots in the top right
  3. Select Restrict > Restrict Account

Poof, you‘ve restricted them! ๐Ÿšซ Now you can read their DMs, but:

  • They won‘t see your read receipt
  • You won‘t see any of their posts
  • You can undo the restriction any time

It‘s kind of like a one-sided block – you block them but they don‘t know it. Again, use this method carefully and ethically!

4. Open Messages from the Notification Screen

If you have push notifications on, you can view a DM without triggering the read receipt by:

  1. Waiting for the push notification
  2. Viewing and replying directly from the notification

As long as you don‘t open Instagram, the message stays unread on their end.

I don‘t love this method because you have to wait for the right notification to come through. But it can be useful in certain situations.

There are a handful of third-party Instagram apps that claim to allow unreading DMs. But I don‘t recommend them.

These apps almost always break Instagram‘s Terms of Service and come with huge risks, like:

  • Possible account bans
  • Security and privacy vulnerabilities
  • Sharing your login credentials

A few of the major unread DM apps include FlyRep, WooGram, and Unread. But honestly, it‘s not worth the risk just to unread messages!

Stick with the legitimate workarounds instead of trusting sketchy third-party apps. Your account will thank you.

Do Third-Party Unread Apps Actually Work?

I get asked about those third-party unread apps a lot. Do any of them reliably work without getting you banned?

Based on my testing, here‘s the deal:

  • ๐Ÿšจ Most third-party apps get blocked by Instagram within days or weeks. Their features stop working over time.

  • ๐Ÿคฅ Very few deliver on their promises. Some claim to unread but don‘t actually prevent read receipts.

  • ๐Ÿ“ต The apps that do initially work often stop working after Instagram updates its API.

  • ๐Ÿšซ It‘s nearly impossible to find an unread app that consistently works and won‘t get you banned. Most vanish quickly.

My professional advice? Don‘t risk it. Stick to the safe, officially approved workarounds instead.

It‘s just not worth jeopardizing your account when Instagram frowns upon these apps and can detect them. You‘re better off using Airplane Mode or switching to a business profile.

But if you reaaally want to try an unread app, do tons of research first. And never give out your login credentials!

FAQs: Your Top Questions About Unreading DMs, Answered

Let‘s wrap up this guide by reviewing some of the most common questions around unreading Instagram messages:

Can I unread an Instagram message after the fact?

If you already opened a DM on a personal profile, there is no way to retroactively unread it after sending the read receipt.

Your only option is to unread before opening future messages using the workarounds.

Do Instagram messages show as read automatically?

Nope! DMs won‘t show as read until you physically open the message. The read receipt only sends at the moment you view the DM.

So if you want to avoid it, simply don‘t open the message.

Does the unread trick work on Instagram stories?

Unfortunately, no. There‘s no way to unview an Instagram story after opening it. The only option is to not view certain stories if you want to avoid detection.

Can someone tell if you screenshot their Instagram story?

The good news is Instagram does not send any type of notification when you screenshot a story. You can screenshot as much as you want anonymously!

Will Instagram ever add an unread button?

Based on statements from Instagram‘s engineers, it seems unlikely they‘ll add an official unread option anytime soon. They want DMs to feel more intimate and don‘t plan to implement a broadcast-like unread feature.

But never say never! If enough users request the feature, Instagram could change their minds down the line.

Let‘s Recap: Mastering the Art of Unreading

Phew, we covered a lot of ground! Here are the key takeaways:

  • You can‘t directly unread DMs on a personal Instagram account. But you can prevent read receipts from sending using workarounds.

  • The only true unread feature is available on Instagram business profiles. Convert yours if you want access!

  • Be wary of third-party unread apps – most don‘t work consistently and put your account at risk.

  • Clever workarounds like Airplane Mode or restricting accounts are your safest option to make messages "unread."

Wondering which method you should use? Here are my recommendations:

  • If you routinely want to unread messages, switch to a business profile. It‘s the only reliable method.

  • To occasionally prevent read receipts, try the Airplane Mode or notification screen tricks. They work great in a pinch!

  • Only restrict accounts you never want to hear from again, as you‘ll completely mute them.

Well, that wraps up this guide on outsmarting Instagram DMs! I hope these tips help you avoid unwanted read receipts in the future. Let me know if you have any other questions.

Talk soon,

[Your Name]

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.