Sometimes, you might quickly check a message while working and think, “I’ll reply in free time” and forget about it for hours. This can lead to misunderstandings with friends who think you’re ignoring them. 

On apps like WhatsApp and Slack, you can mark a message as unread to address this issue. However, Instagram doesn’t offer such an option. It would be helpful if Instagram had a feature to toggle off message receipts. This way, you can glance at messages or take your time to respond without your friends thinking you’ve read them.

In this blog, you’ll discover the different ways you can prevent Instagram from making your messages as ‘seen’.

Can You Turn Off Receipts on Instagram?

Unfortunately, there’s no setting or feature that you can use to turn off read receipts on Instagram. However, according to reports, Instagram is testing a feature that’ll allow you to restrict who can know you’ve read their message. 

At the moment, Instagram plans to have the feature in your settings under the ‘Privacy & Safety’ menu. When you toggle on this feature, no one will know whether you’ve read their message or not. But, there’s no date for when the read receipts switch will appear on all Instagram accounts. 

How to Turn Off Read Receipts on Instagram

Though there is no official way to turn off read receipts for all Instagram accounts, there are workarounds that let you simulate this setting. 

Here’s how you can prevent others from seeing you’ve read their message.

1. Change Active Status

If you stop Instagram from showing you’re available, you can keep others from seeing whether you’ve read a message. However, this also keeps your friends from knowing you’re online. 

Here’s how you can alter your status:

Change Active Status
Source: Screenshot
  1. Go to Your Profile: Open Instagram. At the bottom of your home feed, you’ll see your profile picture. Select it and it’ll lead you to your profile.
  2. Tap the Three Lines: In your account, you’ll find a menu at the top right. It looks like three horizontal lines.
  3. Select Your Settings: After you’ve opened your menu, pick ‘Settings and Privacy’. 
  4. Choose Privacy: Once you’ve tapped on the gear icon, you’ll have the option ‘Privacy’. Alternatively, you should write ‘Account Status’ in the search bar.
  5. Unselect ‘Show Activity Status’: Inside ‘Privacy’ you’ll find this setting. Toggle it off.

2. Enable Airplane Mode

If you read your message while your mobile isn’t connected to the internet and then log out, your phone won’t have the chance to note that you’ve opened the message. And so, you can appear as though you haven’t read the message. Here’s how to turn off seen on ig by disabling your internet access: 

Enable Airplane Mode
Source: Screenshot
  1. Open Messenger: Go to your Instagram feed and look in the upper corners. There should be either a paper plane or a text bubble icon depending on the version of Instagram you have. Tap the icon to open your messenger. Let all your messages load. You can swipe down to trigger all your messages to update.
  2. Turn on Airplane Mode: After you’ve found your messages, drag your finger across your screen to trigger your phone’s drop-down menu. There, you’ll find a plane icon. Tap it to toggle airplane mode.
  3. Turn off Wi-Fi: You’ll need to ensure that you have no internet access at all. And so, after you have turned off airplane mode, you’ll have to do the same to your Wi-Fi.
  4. Return to IG: Once you’re sure that you have no internet access, go back to your messenger. Then, you should read your messages.
  5. Log Out: You’ll have to log out of your account while you’re still disconnected from the internet.

3. Turn Off Instagram Message Notifications

When you tap on an Instagram notification to glance at a new message, it counts that ‘seen’. If you want to avoid this in particular, here’s how to turn off read receipts on Instagram:

Turn Off Instagram Message Notifications
Source: Screenshot
  • Go to Your Profile: To start with, you need to open Instagram. You’ll find your profile at the bottom of your home feed. Tap on your account picture.
  • Select the Menu: Once you’re in your profile, locate three horizontal lines. That’s your menu. Select it.
  • Tap Setting: After the menu has dropped, you need to find it. 
  • Pick Notifications: Inside your settings, you’ll find ‘Notifications’. Tap it.
  • Locate Messages: Once you’ve entered your notifications settings, you need to find ‘Messages’. Toggle off all the message options.

4. Restrict the Sender

Another way to prevent ‘seen’ messages on Instagram is to restrict the person messaging you. When you’ve toggled on this feature, Instagram shows you their message but stops the sender to see whether you’ve seen them. However, the moment you answer them or accept the message, they’ll get the message receipt. 

Here’s how to turn off read receipts on ig by restricting the sender:

Restrict the Sender
  1. Find the Sender: To begin with, you need to enter their profile. You can either search their name/handle. You shouldn’t tap on their picture in your message since it’ll open the message thread (unless they have a story). 
  2. Tap on the Menu: Once you’ve found your sender, you should select the three horizontal lines at the top of the screen. 
  3. Restrict the Sender: After you’ve opened the menu, you’ll see the ‘Restrict’ option. Finally, you can choose to restrict the person which will prevent ‘seen’ messages.

After you’ve read the message, you can take your time to respond. Once you’re ready to respond, you can go back to their account and ‘Unrestrict’ the sender.


To manage read receipts on Instagram, while there’s no official feature available to all users, there are workarounds. You can turn off your activity status, which hides your online presence but also prevents you from seeing others’ status. Alternatively, disconnecting from the internet allows you to read a message without marking it as read. 

You can also disable notification settings for messages to prevent them from being marked as read. Lastly, restricting a sender is an option to prevent them from seeing when you’ve viewed their message. These methods offer some control over how to turn off read receipts on Instagram.

Categorized in:

How To,

Last Update: February 9, 2024