How To Delete All of Your Instagram Direct Messages
Remember when Instagram was a place to share photos? Well, of course, it still is, but in addition to that core functionality, Instagram now does a lot of other tasks as well. Among a myriad of other features, users can now chat on-on-one and create groups in which to send direct messages to one another. It seems strange but there are many people who use Instagram as their main instant messaging service.
Unfortunately, Instagram wasn’t really designed for DMs and it shows in the relative paucity of tools for managing your DM inbox. Once your inbox gets cluttered, whether with old messages from your friends or with spam and sketchy links sent by scammers (never tap or click on a link in an Instagram DM if you don’t know the person who sent it, by the way!), it’s rather a pain to get it uncluttered. Is there a way to delete all your conversations at once and get a fresh start?
Can You Delete All Conversations at Once?
Unfortunately, Instagram does not support deleting all your messages at once. We have reviewed the available Instagram support apps to see if someone has created an app to do this for you, but as of March 2019 this feature just doesn’t exist.
However, you can delete entire conversations at one go. This means you’ll only have to repeat the deletion process once per conversation, not once per message. It’s still a pain, but it’s a lot better than having to do it one message at a time.
To delete a conversation, take the following steps:
- Tap the DM button at the top-right of your home screen.
- Choose the conversation that you want to delete and drag it to the left.
- Tap Delete.
Once you do this, the conversation will no longer be in your inbox. Keep in mind that the other person will still have access to the full conversation; you aren’t deleting their copy.
If you’re trying to just get rid of certain conversations, you can also use the Search function to find those conversations rather than having to scroll through your entire DM inbox. You can type a person’s name in the search bar at the top of your screen to find and delete your conversation with them.
Deleting Individual Messages
What if you only want to delete specific messages and not the whole conversation? Well, there’s a feature that might come in very handy. Instagram quietly introduced the Unsend feature a few years ago. To say that everyone who tends to send messages by accident or text their ex while drunk was grateful for this would be a huge understatement. There’s no doubt that it’s one of the best messaging features out there.
If you’ve never used it before, here’s what you have to do:
- Hold the message you’ve sent to someone.
- Select Unsend Message.
This deletes the message for both you and the recipient, so it’s as if you never sent it at all. If you send a message that you later regret, you can delete it before the person even sees it. Unfortunately, there’s no way to mass delete individual messages either, so you’ll have to do it for every message separately. You can’t erase their memory of having gotten the message, or their screenshots of the message if they’re the paranoid type, but you can at least get rid of some of the evidence.
Getting Rid of All Direct Messages From One Person
There is one way of getting rid of all the direct messages from one person and also delete all their copy of the messages. Unfortunately it’s a bit of a drastic step.
The only way to remove all messages from both peoples’ chats is by blocking the person you’re chatting with. This ensures that neither one of you will be able to see the conversation.
Doing this is very simple. Just go to the person’s profile, tap on the three dots at the top-right of the screen, then tap Block.
Aside from deleting all the messages that you’ve sent to one another, this will also delete all the likes and comments from this person. This way, you won’t have to deal with them anymore. So if you really want to get rid of all messages with someone and don’t want them to contact you again, this is the way to go.
The Wrap Up
These are all the options for deleting messages from your DM inbox. While having a mass select option would be amazing, Instagram hasn’t provided the feature and doesn’t seem likely to at this point. If you’re looking to de-clutter your DM inbox and you have a ton of conversations, arm yourself with patience and take some time to do it. And if you want to make sure that all the messages exchanged between you and certain people are gone for good, blocking them will do the job just fine.
We have a lot of other tutorial articles about the sometimes-confusing world of Instagram. You might want to check out our tutorials on whether Instagram keeps copies of deleted messages, how to see who’s viewed your Instagram profile, or how to access your Instagram metrics.