How to Unread Messages on Instagram (With or Without Business Account)

Written by Emilija - Reviewed by Tanja Social Media / Instagram

5 min read

Back in 2020, Instagram announced a new feature - Unread messages.

Unfortunately, the ‘mark message as an unread’ option is limited to business accounts only.

Private accounts, on the other hand, do not have this feature and will need to switch to a business account if they wish to use it.

Keep in mind that the unread messages option doesn’t mean unseen. Users will still be able to see if a business account has opened their message. The unread option works as a reminder, so users can come back to a message and respond to it later.

In addition, private accounts can also use the restrict option, which will enable you to open a message without the other party being aware.

Although the feature is not new, it isn't as popular as Instagram's other options, so many users didn't even know they could 'unread' a message.

So, for all those who are still wondering, ‘can you unread a message on Instagram?’ keep reading to learn more about this hidden Instagram gem.

Can you unread a message on Instagram?

As we mentioned before, users can unread a message on Instagram, but this option is only available for business accounts.

Personal accounts will either need to use the option for restriction or to use third-party apps.

At the end of this article, we have also included a few additional tricks you can use to unseen messages on Instagram.

How to unread Instagram direct messages for business accounts

Users with business accounts have more than one inbox as opposed to users with private accounts.

The 'Primary' inbox is designed for users with business accounts to be able to filter out messages that are most important to them and receive a notification when close friends or family members message them.

The ‘General’ inbox is the place where not-so-important messages arrive.

Either way, the business accounts on Instagram can use the feature to unread messages in any inbox.

Here is how to unread messages for business accounts:

For iOS users:

  1. Open your chat.
  2. Swipe a conversion left and choose ‘Unread’.

Unread instagram messages

  1. The conversation will be marked with bold letters indicating that the message is unread.

For Android users:

  1. Open your chat.
  2. Long press a conversion.
  3. Select mark as unread.

How to unseen a message on Instagram without a business account

For everyone with private accounts wondering ‘how do you unread messages on Instagram’, there is a piece of good news.

Private accounts can use the restrict option to unread Instagram DMs.

When users restrict someone’s messages, they go directly to the ‘Message request’ part.

This way even when they open someone’s messages the other side won’t know that their message was opened.

How to restrict someone on Instagram from a private account

  1. Go to the person's profile that you want to restrict and tap on the three dots in the upper right corner.
  2. Tap ‘Restrict’.

Instagram restrict messages

3 Bonus tips to read Instagram messages ‘without seen’.

  • Third-party apps. Most of the third-party apps are paid apps, but despite the option to unread a message they offer multiple other features such as scheduling your content, and more in-depth analytics compared to the one of Instagram.
  • Turn off your Wi-Fi. When you turn off Wi-Fi, messages won't be marked as read, but they will have the ‘seen’ indicator once you turn on the internet again.
  • Turn off your cellular data and log out. Turn off your cellular data, read the message, and then log out of your Instagram profile. When you come back to the Instagram app the messages won’t be marked as read.

Wrapping Up

‘Unread a message’ is a handy feature within the Instgaram app that allows users to mark messages as unopened and return to them later.

Unfortunately, the company still hasn’t incorporated this feature for private accounts, so users need to either restrict some accounts or switch to a business account.

Nevertheless, we hope to see this feature soon available for private accounts as well.

You might also like: How to Get a Personal Blog on Instagram.