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

Written by Emilija - Reviewed by Tanja Social Media / Instagram

4 min read

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

The feature gave users more control over their privacy because they could choose whether they wanted to reply to a message or not without the other party being aware.

We also have a video tutorial on this that you can watch.

Unfortunately, the ‘mark message as an unread’ option is limited to business accounts only. Currently, private accounts do not have this feature and will need to switch to a business account if they wish to use it.

However, a workaround can also be used for private accounts in order to enable the unread option.

As we explained earlier the feature is not new, but it’s not as popular as the other Instagram options, so many users were not even aware that they can ‘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 Instagram hidden gem.

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. ​​Turning off Wi-Fi will not ‘tell on you’ that you have read someone's message, but it will be marked as read as soon as 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.