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How to Direct Message (DM) on Instagram

Do you want to send a direct message on Instagram and don’t know how to do it? You have come to the right place. In this guide, I will go through the steps of sending someone a message on this platform. Keep reading to learn how to DM on Instagram.

How to Direct Message on Instagram

Maybe you have seen a cool photo or video, or you find someone attractive and want to start a conversation with them, or you just want to talk to your friend, colleague, or business on Instagram. Regardless of the reason, not knowing how to send someone a private message on this platform can be frustrating.

Where do you start? What do you do? Will they receive the message? These are some of the questions you must be asking yourself.

Luckily, starting a conversation with someone on Instagram isn’t hard. You can enjoy the platform’s private message feature without worrying about a third party seeing or reading the messages. And the best thing about it is that you don’t have to follow or be followed to DM someone.

I will share with you the steps to follow to talk to someone via this platform. All you need to do is log in to the app and follow the step-by-step process I have created. And within minutes, you will be engaging with anyone you like on the platform.

But before we jump into the steps, it’s important that I tell you who I am. I am Frankie Caruso, an instant messaging app expert. Please subscribe to my weekly newsletter if you want to know tips about using, growing, or interacting with others on any social media platform.

Now, I have divided the article into four parts:

  1. How to DM on Instagram using the mobile app?
  2. How to DM Instagram using a computer?
  3. How to send disappearing messages using mobile?
  4. Frequently asked questions

Without wasting time, let’s get into it.

Please note: the steps provided here are only for informational purposes to help converse with someone privately on Instagram. I take no accountability for the content readers decide to share with other users.

How to Direct Message Someone on Instagram and Chat with Users Privately

Ready to start sending DMs to Instagram users? The following paragraphs will go through the steps to send someone a direct message on this platform using your phone or computer.

I should mention that there are several ways to DM on Instagram. But there are certainly two methods you will use more than others. That is: sending a picture, video, or chart in the DM or sending a post from your Instagram feed.

Let’s get started with the steps.

DM on Instagram Using the Mobile App

An easy way to send someone a private Instagram message is by using your mobile phone. It is a simple skill that doesn’t require any experience. You will only need to log in to your Instagram account using your mobile phone.

Here is what you need to do:

Step 1: Open Instagram on your phone. If you have Instagram installed on your phone, find the app and open it. Thankfully, it opens to the Home tab, so this process should be easy.

Step 2: Tap the chat button or paper plane icon. Once you open the app, you should see these two icons on the top right area of your phone’s home tab. Clicking them takes you to your inbox. However, you will need to be on the Homepage to spot these icons. If you aren’t, tap on the icon shaped like a house in the bottom left corner of your screen.

Step 3: Tap the paper and pencil icon. It is located in the top right corner and prompts you to start a new conversation. But, if you’ve already started a conversation with a user, you only need to tap their name on your inbox to open the conversation.

Alternatively, if you follow a person, go to their profile and tap the message. If you want to look for a user’s profile, click the search icon on the screen’s bottom and type their username or name, choose from the given results the right profile and click it. Once you are on their profile, click on ‘message’ to start a conversation.

Step 4: Tap chat and type your message. Click the icon ‘Chat’ on your screen’s top right corner to open a DM window. Then, type the message you want. If you are sending a photo, click on the photo icon next to the text field to choose one.

Did you know you can also record a voice note? Simply tap and hold the microphone icon. Say what you want to say, and once you let your finger off, your message will be sent.

Step 5: Click on send. Right next to the message field is a send button that sends your DM to your recipient. For photos, tap the arrow at the bottom.

How to DM on Instagram Using the Mobile App


Frankie’s Take:

I love using the mobile app to send messages. I find it pretty straightforward, even for someone who’s not done it before. However, the steps can be quite tedious, especially when starting a new conversation.

DM Someone on Your Computer

From your Computer

On your computer, follow the steps outlined below:

Step 1: Open Instagram.com your web browser. It can be any browser on your computer. Log in to Instagram if you are not logged in automatically. That means typing your username/email/phone number and password, then clicking ‘Log in.’ Instagram also allows users to log in using their Facebook accounts.

Step 2: Click the chat bubble icon. You should find it on the right area of the page. Tapping the icon takes you to the Messages list.

Step 3: Click send message. It’s the blue button at the panel’s center on the right. If there is no such icon, click the button that looks like a paper and pencil above the message list. Or, if you already started the conversation, click an ongoing chat on the panel to the left.

Also, note that you can send someone a message by visiting their profile. Simply follow the same steps I discussed when using the mobile app to find the person.

Step 4: Type your message in the message field provided, usually at the chat’s bottom. You can also send photos by clicking the photo icon on the right of the message field. Find the photo you want, select it, and click open.

Step 5: Click the send button to the right of where you’re typing. This will send your message. Please remember that if you are messaging someone that doesn’t follow you, your message will appear as a request. So, they will need to approve it first. But once they’ve done so, they can see what you wrote.

DM Someone on Your Computer


Frankie’s Take:

If you prefer using Instagram on your computer compared to your phone, I’d recommend this method. I find that Instagram on a desktop is easier with everything spaced. So typing a message or finding your recipient won’t be hard.

How to Send Disappearing Messages?

Follow these simple steps to send someone a disappearing message on Instagram.
  1. Open the Instagram app on your phone to send a DM that disappears once the recipient views it.
  2. Click the paper and pencil icon or chat bubble icon. You should see these icons on the top right area of the page. Tapping them opens your inbox. Alternatively, you can simply tap the ‘Message’ icon on a user’s profile.
  3. Tap on ‘New Message.’ It is a paper and pencil icon found in the upper corner on the right. Or, if there is an already ongoing conversation, find the recipient’s name in your inbox and open it to start a different conversation.
  4. Choose your recipient. Clicking the ‘new message’ feature opens a list of suggested users you should pick from. If the recipient you want is unavailable on the suggestions, you’ll have to search for them using the Search Bar. Follow the same steps I explained when DM-ing someone using the mobile app.
  5. Click on Chat in the top right corner of the screen to open the direct message window. Then tap the blue and white icon, which looks like a camera, on the bottom left corner of the page to open the camera screen.
  6. Create your disappearing message. There are many options to choose from. You can send a photo or video. If you don’t have one, pick from the carousel filters on the screen’s bottom. Then when ready, tap the big circle on the bottom of the screen to take a photo or hold it to record a video.
    Alternatively, you can record using Boomerang or Superzoom. These options are on the menu on the upper left. Remember to hold if you are recording a video and release it once you are done.
    If you aren’t sending a photo or video, simply tap the ‘Aa’ button on the top left corner of your screen, which takes you to the ‘Create Mode.’ Then, you can create a message using the available text, images, music, and drawings. Once you are done, tap the big circle on the screen’s bottom to take you to the next screen.
  7. Choose the viewing option on the carousel on the carousel. Usually, the default option is to ‘Allow replay,’ meaning a user can see the content you send one more time before it disappears.
    But if you want the message to disappear immediately after the recipient sees it, choose ‘View Once.’ There is also an option to ‘Keep in Chat’ that shows the message’s preview in the chat after the photo/ video disappears.
  8. Send your message by tapping ‘Send’ located bottom center to send the disappearing message.

Frankie’s Take:

I should mention that disappearing messages are only available on the mobile app. That means you can’t send them via the computer. But this is still a great feature for photos or videos you don’t want to remain in the chat thread.


Even after learning about the different ways you can DM someone on Instagram, you may still have some questions. I have listed and answered some of the most common questions I see below.

Can I send a DM to someone who doesn’t follow me?

Yes. Once you type and share your message, it will appear as a message request to the user. They can still see the message even before they accept your request.

Can I delete photos I send via direct messages?

Yes. Instagram has the ‘Unsend’ option that allows users to delete the content they don’t want the recipient to receive. That means you can unsend messages, pictures, and even videos.

How do I delete a conversation from Instagram?

If you want to delete the entire chat thread, begin by opening the Instagram app. Then, tap on the message icon, which looks like a paper and pencil on the top right of your screen.

Scroll to find the conversation that you want to delete. Then, drag it to the left side or long-press it to bring out several options. Then, choose delete.

After completing the above steps, the conversation will not appear in your inbox. But remember that the recipient can still access the conversation. Here is a complete and esaustive guide.

Can I recover deleted messages?

There’s no direct way to recover your messages as Instagram does not allow this.

One way that might work is to request here are data directly from the source at Instagram.

But you can recover deleted posts and reels on the platform. Go to your profile picture, choose menu, settings, account, manage recently deleted, and choose what you want to recover.

How do I react to a message on Instagram?

Tap and hold the message. Several reactions will pop up, like the heart, sad face, angry face, etc. Choose one, and that’s it.


I have finally reached the end of my lengthy guide on how to DM on Instagram. Although I have shared a lot of information, I hope you didn’t get bored reading.

Before I let you try the steps, let us remind ourselves quickly what I have been explaining in this entire article. The crucial thing to remember is that Instagram allows you to DM anyone, whether they are following you or not.

What you need to do is to locate the message icon located in the top right corner of the screen. Once you can access that, you can start new conversations or continue with the chat threads with people you’ve been talking to.

Now, you can send photos or videos to your friends or shoot your shot and talk to your crush. If you have any doubts or questions, please leave a comment on this post, and I will get back to you as soon as possible.

Best of luck,

Frankie Caruso

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About Frankie Caruso

I'm Frankie Caruso. I'm a professional amateur in that ugly business of social media, instant messaging apps and computer security. I help all those frustrated people who call themselves digital illiterates to understand something about this confusing digital world.

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