How to disable Instagram read receipts

Apart from using Instagram settings, there are some clever alternative methods to hide the read receipts feature
The image shows the logo of Instagram on a phone screen. — Unsplash
The image shows the logo of Instagram on a phone screen. — Unsplash

Instagram Direct Messages (DMs) have become an integral part of our daily online interactions. They facilitate conversations, photo sharing, and connections with friends and followers. Yet, until recently, Instagram lagged behind in offering important privacy features like end-to-end encryption and read receipts, unlike WhatsApp.

With the recent introduction of end-to-end encryption for DMs, Instagram has now answered users' demands by adding controls for read receipts.

Instagram's read receipts

The Read Receipts feature is a double-edged sword present in many messaging platforms. It informs users whether their sent messages have been seen and whether they've read messages from others. While this feature offers transparency, some individuals prefer to disable read receipts for privacy reasons. Platforms like WhatsApp and iMessage have allowed users to toggle this feature, and now, Instagram joins the league by offering this sought-after control.

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Disabling read receipts on Instagram

At the time of writing, the Read Receipts feature on Instagram remains in the testing phase. Previously, users relied on indirect methods to read messages without alerting the sender, involving workarounds not officially supported by Instagram. These methods included reading messages from the notification bar or toggling airplane mode on and off. However, with the latest update, users can easily disable read receipts directly through the Instagram settings.

Here's the simple step to turn off read receipts on Instagram:

1. Update your Instagram app to the latest version, compatible with both Android and iPhone.

2. Open the Instagram app and tap on your profile picture located in the bottom right corner.

3. Access the Hamburger menu, and navigate to "Settings and Privacy."

4. Tap on "Privacy" and then select "Messages."

5. Scroll down to the "Who can see your activity" section.

6. Turn off the "Read Receipts" feature and restart your Instagram app.


1. Can you permanently turn off read receipts on Instagram?

Yes, you can permanently disable read receipts on Instagram by turning off the Read Receipts feature in the Instagram settings.

2. How often does Instagram update its app?

Instagram frequently updates its app, providing users with new features and bug fixes to enhance the user experience.

3. If I deactivate my Instagram account, will unread messages show as seen?

When deactivating your Instagram account, your name will no longer appear as the sender of unread messages. Instead, the sender will be labelled as an "Instagrammer," and your unread messages will remain as such.

Not working?

Apart from using the Instagram settings, here are some clever alternative methods to hide the read receipts feature:

- Use Airplane Mode: Load messages in Instagram, turn on airplane mode, read messages, and exit the app. Then, disable aiplane mode.

- Hide Activity Status: Disable the activity status within the Instagram app to minimize indications of message readings.

- Manage notifications: Adjust notification settings to avoid triggering read receipts unintentionally.