How to Recover Deleted Instagram Messages

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Matthew Wilhelm Kapell
@matthewwilhelmkapell
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Have you ever deleted an Instagram direct message and later wished you hadn't? Well, the good news is that you can recover those messages. But while Instagram doesn't make the steps to do so apparent, the process is relatively simple.

If you are looking for a way to recover your deleted Instagram messages, keep reading. In this article, we cover a few ways to recover your DMs that are quick and easy to follow.



Recover Deleted Instagram Messages

Use Instagram data

Whether you prefer to keep things tidy and clean your Instagram inbox frequently, or you accidentally deleted your DMs, at some point you might want to get them back. There are several ways to do this, the first being to use Instagram data.

When you delete your posts, they disappear from your iOS or Android device but remain on Instagram's servers. By using Instagram data, you can download this stored information which includes videos, photos and messages. From this data, you can then extract your deleted messages.

Before you begin, it's important to note that you'll need to follow these steps on Instagram's webpage, as the app doesn't allow this process. Let's start:

  1. Open your internet browser and go to https://www.instagram.com/ and log into your account.
  2. Click on the “Profile” icon located in the upper right corner of the screen.
  3. From there, click on the “Edit Profile” button.
  4. Choose the “Privacy and Security” option from the pop-up menu on the left side of the screen.
  5. Scroll down the menu and locate "Data Download". Click on the option under this header called "Request Download".
  6. Verify your identity by logging back into your Instagram account and entering your credentials.
  7. Enter your e-mail adress. Instagram will send a link that will take you to the data files you requested.
  8. Click Next. »
  9. Enter your password again before clicking "Request Download". Instagram will now email you the data.
  10. Check your email for Instagram post. It should have the subject “Your Instagram data”. In the message, click on the button labeled "Download data". The information will then be downloaded as a zip file.
  11. Unzip this folder and open it. Locate the file named "messages.json" and open it with a text editor (you can right-click and choose "Open with.")

All the messages you sent on Instagram will be available in the folder.



It is important to note a few things with this method. First, Instagram can take up to 48 hours to send you the email containing your data. If the email doesn't arrive in your inbox right away, don't worry. Also, the link sent to you in the email expires four days after you receive it. If you click on the link four days after receiving the email, it won't work and you'll have to repeat the steps above.

Using Facebook

Another way to retrieve your messages is to use Facebook. Facebook acquired Instagram in 2012, and as a result many apps on the two platforms were linked. This comes in handy when trying to recover deleted Instagram messages.

However, for this method to work, your Instagram account will need to be linked to your Facebook account. You will know if your accounts are linked because every time you post on Instagram, you will be asked if you want to share your post on Facebook.

Also, you will need to use your web browser for this method and not the apps on your iOS or Android device.

To start recovering your messages, here are the steps to follow:

  1. Log in to your Facebook account (this must be the account linked to your Instagram profile.)
  2. Go to your Facebook inbox. This icon looks like a speech bubble with a lightning bolt inside.
  3. In the left pane of the window will be the “Instagram Direct” option. (It can also display as an icon only. This icon looks like a paper airplane.) Click this option.
  4. Sort through these messages to find the DM you are looking for.

This option is great for when you need information urgently and don't have time to wait 48 hours as the above steps require for Instagram data.



Keep in mind that both of your social media accounts need to be linked in advance before trying this option. Otherwise, you won't see the "Instagram Direct" option in step 3, and you won't be able to access your DMs.

Using a third-party application

Finally, you can recover deleted Instagram messages using a third-party application. You can download these apps from the App Store (for iOS users) or the Google Play Store (Android users).


These tools work by accessing cache files on your iOS or Android device to recover deleted data and messages. The software allows you to recover a variety of files, not just texts or DMs. These apps are relatively simple to use and come with easy-to-follow instructions that make recovering your deleted information quick and easy.

If you are using an iPhone, a popular software to use is U.Fone. This program can also be used on your Mac or Windows PC to recover lost data. This tool allows you to recover your lost Instagram DMs and a range of other data including text messages, photos, videos, Whatsapp data, call history, contacts and audio files.

Android users can use FoneLab or similar software. Fonelab makes it easy to recover deleted data such as messages, photos, videos, audios, contacts, and even Whatsapp data. The software is quick and easy to install and walks you through the steps to recover your information. FoneLab also offers iOS recovery software and a host of other options such as data backup and restore.


While using software like this can be helpful, it's always a good idea to check out the programs you'll be using first. Many advertised options are scams. Hackers use them to access your personal information and social media profiles. Online Instagram recovery tools are often one of these scams. Downloading software such as the ones suggested above is a much safer option.

Instagram Messages Recovered

Recovering your deleted Instagram messages is simple once you know how. The steps in this article will help you recover your data quickly and easily. Whether you choose to use Instagram, Facebook data or a third-party app, recovering your deleted DMs won't take any time.

Have you ever recovered your deleted Instagram messages? Did you use a process similar to those presented in this guide? Or did you use another method? Tell us about it in the comments section below.

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