How to recover deleted messages from Instagram

If you’ve ever accidentally deleted a message on Instagram, you might be wondering if there’s a way to recover that message. 

Instagram’s DM feature is a fun way to keep up with the people you know, whether that’s by responding to your best friend’s stories, catching up with a colleague or saying hi to a stranger who shares similar interests to you. 

However, it’s possible to delete messages and entire chats with the slip of a finger. While this might clear up some storage on your smartphone, it can become inconvenient if you’ve made plans in that chat or are trying to dig up receipts on something you’ve spoken about. 

Whatever the reason, it is possible to recover deleted messages from Instagram – sometimes. 

We wouldn’t advise you to get your hopes too high as the method we’re going to share doesn’t have a 100% success rate in recovering deleted messages. For example, it didn’t work for us when we tested it. However, some users have reportedly managed to recover deleted messages this way and we have yet to find another method despite thoroughly searching the web for one. 

The method in question involves requesting an archive of your Instagram data through Instagram’s website and trawling through the files on your desktop to find the deleted message. 

If you’re lucky enough to be reading this guide as a precaution, we recommend following the below steps regularly to back up your data and ensure you have a record of any messages before they are deleted. 

However, if you’ve just arrived at this guide, you likely have a specific deleted message in mind. Keep reading to learn how you might still be able to recover it.

What you’ll need: 

  • An Instagram account 
  • Up to 48 hours for your request to process 

The Short Version 

  1. Log in to Instagram in your browser
  2. Go to your Privacy and Security settings 
  3. Scroll down to Data Download and hit Request Download 
  4. Confirm your details and wait for an email 
  5. Click the download link to download your data 
  6. Open the file and check the Messages folder 

How to recover deleted messages from Instagram

  1. This isn’t something that can be done in the Instagram app. Open Instagram in your browser

  2. Step

    Sign in to your account

    You may already find yourself signed in if you’ve logged into Instagram recently. Sign in to Instagram

  3. Step

    Go to your profile

    You can do this by clicking the profile icon in the top-right corner and selecting Profile. Click on your profile

  4. Step

    Click Edit Profile

    This option should be right next to your username. Click Edit Profile

  5. Step

    Click Privacy and Security

    This will be on the left side of the screen. Click Privacy and Security

  6. Step

    You can find the link directly under the Data Download heading. Click Request Download

  7. Step

    Click Next to confirm your email address and chosen information format

    Stick with HTML if you just want to view your data and not import it into other services. Click Next

  8. Step

    Enter your password and click Request Download

    Instagram warns it could take up to 48 hours for you to receive a link in your email inbox, though ours took an hour and a half. Click Request Download

  9. Step

    Once you receive the email, click Download Information

    This will send you back to Instagram. You may need to log in again to verify it’s you. Click Download Information in the email

  10. Step

    Click Download Information

    The link will be available for up to two weeks, so be sure to download it before that time period is up or you’ll need to request a new link. Click Download information on Instagram

  11. Step

    Head to the Messages folder to see an archive of your chats!

    It’s important to note that this folder will only contain the information that is stored on Instagram’s servers, so you might not find everything you’re looking for.


What if this doesn’t work?

If Instagram can’t retrieve your deleted messages from its servers, you can try using a third party app to find them for you. Just make sure you use an app that you trust and bear in mind that this may not work either.

The best way to recover deleted Instagram messages is to keep a regular back up of all your data using the method above.

How to recover deleted messages from a friend

If you’re chatting with a friend, you can always just ask them to forward the message to you as it should still be viewable on their end. This works well if you’ve made plans and have deleted the message stating when or where you’re meeting.

Can I recover deleted comments on Instagram? 

You can recover comments immediately after you post delete them by tapping on the red banner that appears when you hit delete.