Direct Messages have been an integral part of Instagram since 2013. The feature made it possible to privately comment on your friends’ cute cat pictures after coming out as a dog person.
Sometimes, we delete some Instagram messages, either deliberately or by mistake and we end up needing them in the future. Since it’s technically impossible to back up WhatsApp messages, recovering Instagram messages may seem impossible.
However, is Instagram message recovery even possible?
In this article, you’ll learn how to recover deleted Instagram messages, and the necessary steps required to pull off the feat.
Can you recover deleted Instagram messages?
Yes, you can recover deleted Instagram messages. However, you can only do so if you have access to the device from which you sent the message.
For example, if you DM’ed someone on a desktop, you can’t recover the message on your smartphone for some reason.
But who uses Instagram on their PCs anyways. Here is how to recover all those messages you deleted from your Instagram account easily.
Note that there is no failsafe method. The hacks listed below work as at the time of writing this post, but there we’re not sure if they’ll work when you try them.
If one of the solutions doesn’t work, you can always try another. One of the hacks listed below will definitely work for you.
How to recover deleted Instagram messages
To recover lost or deleted messages on Instagram, you need some external apps or software. There are hundreds of apps out there with this same promise, but we’ve tried most of them, so you don’t have to.
Here are some of the Instagram message recovery tricks and hacks that still work up to this date, and how to use them to recover your deleted messages on Instagram.
Recovering from the recipient
If you only deleted a message from your end, you may be able to recover it from the recipient. Fortunately, Instagram doesn’t remove the message from both ends when you delete a message.
In short, you can still recover the information in deleted Instagram messages by asking the recipient to send the message back to you.
This is the easiest Instagram message recovery method, as it doesn’t require any external software. In fact, you don’t even need to close Instagram.
If the recipient won’t get mad if you ask, this is always the best way to recover your lost Instagram messages. Otherwise, you may want to check out the other alternatives below.
Recovering from your Instagram data
This is another slow but sure way to recover Instagram messages, although it requires patience and a PC.
When you delete your Instagram messages, there is always an unencrypted copy on Instagram’s servers as part of your data on Instagram.
When you request to download all of your Instagram data, Instagram bundles your message with the data. Since your deleted messages remain on their servers, you’ll get all of them as part of your data.
To recover your deleted messages through your Instagram data, follow the steps below.
- Open Instagram on your computer or smartphone. I recommend using a computer, as there isn’t an intuitive way to open the data files on a smartphone.
- Open your Account Settings. You must first tap on your profile button, and then on the three horizontal lines at the top right and you’ll see the settings icon and label at the bottom of the interface.
- On the settings page, select Privacy and Security. On the resulting page, find and select Download Data.
- You’ll receive an input field to enter the email for Instagram to mail the data. Afterward, you will be required to enter your password to confirm the action.
It may take a while for Instagram to mail the messages to you. Typically, it shouldn’t take longer than 48 hours.
- When the mail arrives, download all of the data to your computer and extract the compressed ZIP archive using software like WinRAR.
- From the resulting files, find the ‘messages.json’ file. This file contains a record of all your Instagram messages with the send dates and other relevant data.
Scour through the file to find the message you wish to recover.
While this method may be tasking, it has higher success rates than most message recovery software, and you don’t even have to risk letting some random developers access your messages.
If it doesn’t work for you for some reason, there are still more tricks to try.
Recovering using external apps and software
If scouring through JSON files isn’t your thing, you may want to consider recovering your Instagram data using external apps or software.
While I don’t recommend going this path, it may be the best option if you hate reading JSON files, and asking the recipient to resend the message isn’t an option.
Several apps offer free Instagram message recovery, but only a few works perfectly. I’ve tried some of these apps and iStaunch and Fucosoft seem to work well, for now.
Note that this isn’t proof that either of these apps will work for you specifically. Sometimes, Instagram may issue fixes to patch the holes that these apps use to access your messages.
Also, some of these apps use a glorified form of the previous method to assemble all the Instagram message files on your phone and display them in an intuitive interface.
Before using any Instagram message recovery software, checking its online reviews is crucial. These will help you decide if the app doesn’t compromise your account security, and if it even works in the first place.
There is always a rewind button for most things on the internet. Even if you delete your Instagram messages, there should be a way to recover them if you so wish.
Fortunately, there is, and it isn’t even one way. While you can simply ask the recipient to send the message back, but you can also do it without external help.
The best Instagram message recovery method is by downloading your Instagram data. While you can use external apps or software, using that is generally not recommended.