Can you recover deleted Instagram messages? – Answered

One of the most commonly used features on Instagram is the direct messaging section of the platform. This is the part of the app that allows users to directly and privately message one another, sharing text messages, images and video calls in the process.

Sometimes, we may either accidentally or intentionally delete certain messages, then later regret it and want them back. What we’re going to be looking at today is whether you can recover deleted messages on the platform.

Can you recover deleted Instagram messages? The short answer

Unfortunately, it is impossible to recover deleted Instagram messages directly from the app itself. However, all is not lost as there are some options available to you – but we must stress that we can’t guarantee these methods will work.

The first thing that is worth trying is to download a copy of your Instagram data. This will bring up every activity you’ve ever partaken in on the platform, so in theory deleted messages should be part of this.

Some users have reported that this method has produced some or all of their old deleted messages within the Instagram app. However, others have reported that none of their old direct messages have shown up.

However, let’s stay positive and outline the steps you need to take to download your personal Instagram data:

  1. Log on to your Instagram account via a trusted web browser such as Google Chrome.
  2. Select your account icon from the top right hand side of the homepage and select ‘profile’.
  3. On your account profile, select ‘edit profile’.
  4. From the menu on the left hand side, select ‘privacy and security’.
  5. Scroll down until you see ‘data download’ and select ‘request download’.
  6. Select HTML for the format you want the downloaded data to take and confirm the request by entering your password.
can you recover deleted instagram messages

To retrieve deleted messages you now need to go through all of your old download data to find them.

How to access your deleted messages through your Instagram data

Now that you have downloaded your Instagram data you are going to want to figure out where your deleted messages are stored. If there are going to be anywhere then they are going to be in the message section of the downloaded HTML files.

Please note that some users do find that only undeleted messages are stored here, whereas others have had luck in finding deleted ones here.

To test your luck, follow these steps:

  1. Open up the downloaded Instagram data folder from your computer.
  2. Navigate to Messages and then inbox.
  3. All downloaded messages will appear here.

The sooner you request this data after deleting certain messages the greater the chance you have of retrieving it. If you request your downloaded data six months or more after you’ve deleted a set of messages then you are highly unlikely to have much joy using this method.

Using a third party platform to access deleted Instagram messages

If you find that none of your deleted messages have been picked up by your downloaded data then you are going to have to use a third party platform to try and recover them. Again, this method is hit and miss with many third party platforms falling flat on their promises.

One third party platform that we would recommend for recovering deleted Instagram messages is iBeesoft. This is a fantastic tool that iPhone users can use to recover a plethora of deleted files across all applications on their iOS device.

To use iBeesoft, download it from the app store and follow the straightforward instructions on the app itself to get the ball rolling and to potentially recover your deleted messages.

Use vanishing mode on Instagram instead of manually deleting messages

If the reasons for you deleting Instagram messages in the first place is because you are worried about your privacy and security then you should move away from the normal Instagram direct messaging tool and use the brand new vanishing mode instead.

Vanishing mode basically ensures that each message you send to a user disappears after set period of time. In order to use this mode on Instagram, please follow these instructions:

  1. Log in to your Instagram account via the mobile phone app.
  2. Open up the direct messaging section of the app normal.
  3. Select the thread you want to send vanishing messages on.
  4. Scroll up from the bottom of the screen and release to activate vanishing mode.
  5. You will know when vanishing mode has been successfully activated because the screen will turn dark.


To conclude, there are no guarantees when it comes to retrieving deleted Instagram messages, regardless of whether you try and do it directly via Instagram or through a third party platform. This is the same for tracking an Instagram users location, which is difficult to do.

While you can try the methods we’ve suggested, we would also urge you to take more care when it comes to deleting messages so you don’t encounter this issue again in the future.

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Andy is a Professional Content Editor with expertise in a whole host of areas (or so he tells us anyway). His main interests are sports, tv/film and social media. He has reviewed over 100 apps so far for Apps UK.

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