Having your read receipts on can either be a blessing or a curse. On the one hand, people know when you’ve read their messages. On the other, well, they KNOW when you’ve read their messages…
On other apps or platforms such as iMessage, you can disable your read receipts in just a few clicks, and keep your privacy in check.
Unfortunately, the process isn’t as straightforward on Instagram, and you may have to use a few other tips and tricks to hide that you’ve read a message.
Let’s find out more below.
Can You Turn Off Read Receipts On Instagram?
Not exactly. Unfortunately, Instagram does this pesky little trick of letting your recipient know that you’ve read their message, and you can test it for yourself right now, on your Instagram chats.
If you’re using the app, tap the message (or paper plane) arrow in the top right corner of your screen. Open up a message conversation with a friend; if they’ve read one of your messages, it’ll show ‘seen’ beneath it.
If you can’t see the ‘seen’ text, they haven’t opened your message. This is exactly what other people will see when you read or don’t read their messages on Instagram.
Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be an official way to turn off these read receipts on Instagram. However, this doesn’t mean we haven’t found a few sneaky ways to remain incognito…
Use Airplane Mode
Using airplane mode is one of the oldest tricks in the book, and fun fact, it works for plenty of other apps, too! Here’s how to do it:
- Enable Airplane Mode on your phone
- Open the Instagram app
- Tap the message symbol in the top right corner, and read your desired message
- Return to the profile page, tap on ‘settings’ and click on log out.
- Turn off airplane mode, and log back into your account
Although this method is a little lengthy, if you follow these steps, you’ll be able to read an Instagram message without alerting someone that you’ve seen it (see also “How To Mute Someone On Instagram“).
You can use this method on both Android and iPhone.
Disable Instagram Message Notifications
Another way to avoid triggering a read receipt is to disable your Instagram message notifications.
Even if you read an Instagram message directly from your notifications, it will still trigger a read receipt. So, here’s how to disable your Instagram message notifications altogether:
- Head into your Instagram Settings section, and click on ‘Notifications’
- Now, click on Direct Messages and Calls
- From here, scroll down to Message Request and Messages and switch the toggle to ‘off’
Other Ways To Maintain Your Privacy On Instagram
Although there’s no direct way to turn off read receipts on Instagram, you can use the methods above to read your messages WITHOUT triggering a notification.
If privacy, in general, is a concern of yours, here are some other ways to protect your privacy while using Instagram:
Turn Off Your Activity Status
If you’re avoiding opening a message, the recipient may be able to tell that you’re still online, which will make it pretty obvious that you’re avoiding opening their message.
If you don’t want other people to see your activity status, you can head into your Instagram settings and turn it off:
- Open your Instagram Settings
- Click on ‘Privacy’
- Press ‘Activity Status’ and toggle off
Once turned off, Instagram will no longer show others when you’re active or were last active on the app. Note: when you turn off your Activity Status, you won’t be able to see the Activity Status of other accounts.
So, if your recipient has Activity Status turned off for themselves, they won’t be able to see when you’re active, either.
First off, restricting is NOT the same as blocking. Just because you don’t want someone to see your read receipts, doesn’t mean you want to block them.
This is where restricting an account can come in handy, and no, the other person WON’T be able to see that you’ve restricted them.
When you restrict someone, they’ll still be able to send you messages, however, there will be a few changes to the ways they can interact with your account, including how their messages are handled.
When you’ve restricted someone, you won’t get notifications when they message you, and their messages will be sent to the “Message Request” section of your account.
Best of all, they WON’T be able to see when you’re online, or when you’ve read their messages. Here’s how to restrict someone on Instagram:
- Log into Instagram and locate the person’s profile by either searching for them on Instagram, or clicking on their profile through messages or likes on your posts.
- Once on their profile, click the menu in the top right corner of the screen.
- Hit the “Restrict” button, and Instagram will confirm that you’ve restricted the account.
Restricting an account is probably the easiest way to hide your read receipts from certain people.
However, if someone is bothering you via Instagram, it’s best to report the account to the platform and block it completely to protect your own privacy and safety.
If this isn’t a safety issue and you simply want some privacy, try any of the methods above.
Unfortunately, Instagram does NOT give us the opportunity to turn our read receipts off for all of our recipients at once.
If you have more than one account you’d like your receipts off for, your best bet is to restrict those accounts, or use the airplane method to open their messages.
Of course, if you want to be more thorough, you may wish to message someone on another platform that hides your read receipts, such as iMessage or Whatsapp – but only if you feel comfortable with the recipient having your number.
Remember: if your safety is at risk or another user is making you feel uncomfortable, report their account and block them immediately.
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