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Whether you’re dealing with direct messages from someone too inquisitive or just having an untimely conversation on Instagram, the ability to read Instagram DM without being seen is a great way to avoid awkwardness and annoyance.

While the Instagram app itself doesn’t have a full message preview like some other social media, there are numerous ways to imitate the feature by manipulating your connection settings, tweaking the sender’s account status, and resorting to third-party apps.

How to Read Direct Messages on Instagram Without Being Seen by Restricting Your Phone’s Data Exchange

One way to prevent the sender from seeing the ‘read’ status on their Instagram message is by cutting off the Internet on your mobile phone. This is made possible by the fact that Instagram messages are pre-loaded into the device’s cache memory before you actually open them. Follow the steps below to pull it off:

  1. Open Instagram and proceed to the DM tab. This will cache the latest text data from the chats;
  2. Close the app and swipe down your device’s ‘quick settings’ bar. Turn on the airplane mode or manually switch off your Wi-Fi and mobile data transfer;
  3. Relaunch the app and read Instagram DMs without the possibility of being discovered.

Note: As soon as you restore the Internet connection, the sender will receive any and all Instagram read receipts. If that’s not what you want, see the 3rd method on our list.

How to Read Instagram Messages Without Being Seen by Applying Account Restrictions

Reading Instagram messages while remaining unseen can also be pulled off with the stock Instagram account control means. By adding someone to the restricted list, you deny them the ability to get the read receipts. That’s how it works:

  1. On the Instagram app,  go to the sender’s profile page;
  2. Press the three-dot icon on the top right and tap the ‘Restrict’ option in the pop-up list;
  3. Doing so will move your Instagram direct messages with the sender to the message requests section. You will still be able to open and read these DMs, but there’s no way for the account owner to establish the fact.

Note: If you don’t want to provoke more unwanted questions that the sender will surely ask after you restrict them, you may want to try the 3rd method, coming up next.

How to Read Messages on Instagram Without ‘Seen’ Receipts by Limiting Internet Access and Logging Out

The third method on our list circumvents the limitations present in the previous two. In essence, it allows you to read Instagram messages and trick the app into believing that your profile is dormant at the time. This is how you do it properly:

  1. Go to the Instagram direct message tab and let the app do all the caching;
  2. Close IG and disable any services on your device that allow it to go online;
  3. Relaunch IG and read Instagram message you’re interested in;
  4. Go to IG settings and scroll down to the Log Out option.

Following these steps prevents IG from registering the instance of reading messages, and the sender won’t get the notification the next time you log in.

How to Read Instagram DM Without ‘Seen’ Receipt with Additional Software

Going for one of the ways we described above every time you need to check on your social media is fine if the need arises every so often. However, if you happen to have a significant online following with dozens of daily requests lingering in your Instagram DMs, all these tricks become too cumbersome.

Opting for a third-party viewer app from the parental control segment will not only allow you to hide Instagram activity but also view what’s going on in the private chats without letting anyone abuse that. A good example of such a third-party app is uMobix – by linking your phone with its web dashboard, you get the privilege of reading Instagram messages as they come without any extra steps. Let’s take a closer look at how uMobix and similar apps work.

Read Instagram DMs Anonymously with uMobix

Third-party services like uMobix synchronize with the surveyed device via a small applet that can be authorized to view anything from the data stored in the phone’s memory to direct message chats on almost any social app. The best part is that you can get started with uMobix within minutes and never again rack your brain about how to read Instagram messages without ‘seen’ receipts. Here’s a quick start guide:

  1. Go to the app’s website and scroll down to find the Compatibility tab – uMobix runs on almost everything, but a double-check won’t hurt;
  2. Create an account with an email and pick a reasonable subscription plan;
  3. Wait until uMobix launches the installation wizard that will take you through the rest of the setup;
  4. Allow some time for the app to sync Instagram direct messages with your phone;
  5. On the side notification bar of your dashboard, scroll down to find the third-party social apps tab – this is where Instagram data is stored;
  6. The list of chats will appear upon clicking on the Instagram sub-tab. You can now read Instagram direct messages almost in real time.

Read Instagram Direct Chats by Checking Your Email

If you want to read messages even faster with uMobix, you can skip the part where it syncs with the phone. Just set the app to send direct reports of Instagram DM activity to your email – you can thus check Instagram chats in literally two clicks.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is there a way to sneak a peek at Instagram messages incognito?

Yes. The most common method to block read receipts is to use Instagram’s restriction feature. By doing so, you can limit the sender’s activities on your profile and read direct messages on Instagram without marking them as seen. Switching to the plane mode or using a viewer app can also trick the app and give you a secret glance at private chats; regarding the plane mode – when it is turned off, the read receipt will be sent.

How can people see you’ve read their Instagram messages?

When you receive a direct message on the platform and enter the related chat, Instagram shows a “seen” sign next to the sender’s message. It indicates that you read the text or viewed the content by clicking on it.

If you read Instagram messages from notifications, do they still get marked as “seen”?

No. The social media app does not mark the messages as “seen” unless you enter the platform and read Instagram DM by clicking on the chat. Thus, it is possible to use the notification bar as many times as possible and read Instagram DM without opening it.


Can you read Instagram messages without being seen? Definitely, and the number of ways to do that allows for flexibility and comfort. The free and toilsome method is to hide your presence and read Instagram messages by caching the chat contents and logging out. However, if you’re ready to invest in convenience and peace of mind, using apps like uMobix to view Instagram confidentially is an option too.

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