Deleting Instagram Won’t Delete Messages (Do This Instead)

If you’re tired of Instagram, deleting your account is a great way to erase any sort of activity you had on the platform.

There is, however, one small question: what exactly happens to any direct messages you sent on the app? Are they deleted too?

Deleting your Instagram account will not automatically delete your chat history and direct messages with other users. To delete these messages, you will have to unsend them one by one or by using a mass unsending tool that unsends all your messages at once.

What happens when you delete an Instagram account

Deleting or deactivating an Instagram account will remove almost any trace of your Instagram activity, such as comments, your profile, likes, etc. However, it will not remove any messages or conversations you might have had with another person.

This means that even if you delete your Instagram account, the people you chatted with can still see the entire conversation and full message history you had with them. 

The only useful thing about deactivating or deleting your Instagram account is that it transforms your username and profile picture into a generic “Instagram user”.

While not much, deleting your Instagram account does make it a bit harder for other people to prove it was you who really sent those messages.  

Besides this, deleting an Instagram account also completely removes any comments, photos, likes, and followers you may have had. 

In other words, any comments and likes you left on another person’s profile will be deleted. 

However, if the other person has photos of you on their account, those will not be deleted. 

At most, your account will no longer appear as tagged in their photos, but the other person’s photos of you will still remain on their profile unless they manually delete them.

How to unsend Instagram messages (single and in mass)

If you really want to delete your messages and chat history with someone, your best bet is to use Instagram’s Unsend Message feature.

You can activate this feature by simply long pressing a message and selecting “Unsend”.

This feature Unsends a message to both you  and the other person. Also, the person isn’t notified that you unsent the messages!

The problem is that you can only do one at a time. 

This isn’t much of an issue with short conversations that contain just a few messages. However, unsending messages one at a time is almost impossible for a conversation with thousands of messages.

The best solution in this case is to use a program called UnSendAll (available only on Windows and MacOS).

Unfortunately, it costs $40 per month, so it’s quite expensive. However, it’s a premium app that does what it says, and it does it well. Below are just a few of the features it has:

Perhaps the best thing about UnSendAll is that it’s undetectable by Instagram, meaning there is no risk of having your account banned for signing in with third party software.

If you have thousands of Instagram direct messages you want to delete, then UnSendAll is the best possible tool out there. 

Keep in mind, however, that unsending messages only works with your own messages. This means there is no way to unsend the other person’s messages. 

In other words, after unsending your own messages, the conversation will appear as if the other person is talking to themselves in an empty chat with you.

In this situation, the other person will 100% know that you just unsent a bunch of messages to them. It simply looks weird to be talking with yourself in an Instagram conversation with someone else.

If you really want the conversation to disappearcompletely so the other person doesn’t know it was you, you pretty much have just 2 options:

Option 1: Delete your Instagram account.

If you delete your Instagram account, your profile picture and username will also be deleted. 

This means it will be impossible for the other person to connect you to the conversation, since your old account and profile picture are replaced with a generic “Instagram user”.

Option 2: Block the other person and change your profile picture / username

Unsending messages and deleting your account is the only 100% secure way of making it appear you never had a conversation with someone on Instagram.

However, if you don’t want to delete your Instagram account anymore, then your next best choice is to use a combination of blocking and changing your profile picture / username.

This is because the person you block can still see the conversation you had with them, plus your profile picture and username.

The short GIF below shows how a blocked person sees your profile picture and username.

In this case, if you want to make it seem like you never chatted with that person, you’ll have to change your Instagram profile picture and username.

This isn’t a perfect solution, of course. 

The other person will probably know who you are through the context of the conversation, or by making a new account and visiting your new username to see your followers and following.

Still, if you just want to create some distance between you and the conversations you had with the other person, it should work well enough.

Does Instagram notify the other person when unsending a message?

This is a question we get very often, so we just thought it was worth its own small section.

No, the other person is not notified if you unsend messages to them. It also doesn’t matter how many messages you unsend. Even if you unsend all the messages in a conversation with someone, they will never be notified.

As a small exception to this, if the person reported your message(s) to Instagram before you unsent them, Instagram can still punish you if the messages broke the Terms of Service.

For example, if you send someone a rude message, they report you, and you unsend it. In this case, Instagram can still see that message in their database, so they can still take action on your account (suspending, banning, etc.).

Does deleting an Instagram conversation also delete messages?

Finally, deleting an Instagram conversation on your device will only delete messages on your account.

This means the other person still keeps the conversation between you and them, including your messages and their messages.

Paul Bonea
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