Since it was first launched in 2010, Instagram has steadily and surely gained popularity, leaving behind tough competitors like Snapchat, even Twitter, thanks to the app’s ability to constantly innovate and quickly evolve. One of the reasons why Instagram is hugely popular is that it works perfectly well on mobile.
(Some of you may be wondering why the app did not bother having full desktop features. Well, it makes sense in some ways because Instagram was designed to have you share instant photos and video clips of your everyday life be it at work or when you are on a once-in-a-lifetime trip. Instagram was created as a share-the-moment social media network. Its intention was sharing moments as you are experiencing them. This kind of immediacy is intended to be possible only through your smartphones.)
Basically, Instagram makes the sharing of at-the-moment photos convenient, immediate, and immensely fun. It makes communication extremely convenient, too, as we’ll discuss later on.
Things weren’t always this way, though.
The Big Shift
It’s worth remembering that in its infancy, Instagram was primarily a photo-sharing platform. In fact, it has become arguably the most popular photo-sharing app since then.
Over the years, however, it has expanded and included more features that have become popular since they were introduced like IG Stories and Direct Message.
Yes, you can now message and start a conversation on Instagram! The whole Instagram experience is not only limited to posting photos and videos anymore. You can chat on-on-one with friends, even create groups just like on Facebook where you can send direct messages to multiple people at once. It may seem strange to some, but Instagram has actually become the go-to instant messaging service for many users, most especially among the younger crowd and entrepreneurs who use Instagram often for their businesses.
But let us say you want to organize your cluttered Instagram inbox and remove some of the older and less important messages, is that possible?
Of course it is!
So, how do you delete messages and conversations on Instagram? Well, it is actually quite simple! Of course you have to first open Instagram on your phone or tablet. It is the pink, orange, yellow, and purple camera icon found on your home screen. If you are on Android, check your app drawer.
The next steps will depend on what you intend to delete from your Instagram’s direct message inbox, and how much you are trying to get rid of.
Getting Rid Of The Clutter In Your Inbox, One By One
What if you only want to delete specific messages, but not necessarily the whole conversation?
Let us say you sent a message you want to take back- a message sent at the height of your emotions or after getting drunk on a night out with friends or an embarrasing proclamation of undying love accidentally sent to an ex?
Thank heavens for Instagram quietly introducing the Unsend feature a few years ago. Yep, you heard that right! You can “unsend” or delete a message on Instagram! There’s no doubt that it is one of the best messaging features out there, especially if you are type to send messages on a whim or when you get too emotional. However, if the other user has already seen your message before you were able to delete it, then there is nothing more you can do but delete it at your end.
Going back, here is what you should do if you want to delete (or “unsend”) an Instagram direct message:
- Tap the inbox icon. It is at the top-right corner of your screen. It looks like a little paper airplane if you do not have any unread messages. If you have unread messages, the icon is a pink circle with the number of unread messages inside.
- Hold the message you have sent to someone.
- Select Unsend Message.
Now deleting embarrassing messages on Instagram is easy peasy!
How This Works
This deletes the message for both you and the recipient, as if it has never been there in the first place. If you send a message that you might later regret or cringe at, you can delete it before the person even sees it. If by some unfortunate stroke of luck the other user has already read your message, you cannot completely erase their memory of ever having received the message, you cannot obviously delete their screenshots of the message, but you can at least stop feeling cringey every time you look at your conversations.
But there is one rather annoying catch about deleting direct messages on Instagram, unfortunately, there is no way to delete individual messages in one go, so you will have to do it for every message one by painful one.
Deleting All Messages You’ve Received From A Single Person
Now, you can delete all the direct messages from one person and also delete all their copy of the messages. However, the step might be a bit too harsh for some because the only way to do so is to block them.
Yes, the only way to remove all messages from both users’ inbox is by blocking the person you are chatting with. This is the only foolproof way to be certain that neither one of you will be able to see the conversation.
Doing this rather drastic step is ironically quick and easy. Just go to the person’s profile you wish to block, tap on the three dots at the top-right of the screen, then tap Block
Aside from deleting all the messages that you have sent to one another, this will also delete all the likes and comments from this person. Blocking them on Instagram is the same as blocking users on Facebook, in doing so means not having to do anything with them anymore. So if you really want to delete all messages with someone you want to cut ties with and do not want them to contact you again, this is the only surefire way to go.
How To Eradicate Entire Conversations From Your Inbox
You can delete entire conversations in one clean sweep. This means you will only have to repeat the deletion process once per conversation, not once per message. It can be tedious, but it is a bit more convenient than than having to do it one message at a time.
These are the steps to deleting an entire conversation:
- Tap the inbox button at the top-right corner of your home screen.
- Choose the conversation that you want to delete. Drag it to the left.
- Tap Delete.
After you do this, the conversation will be deleted from your inbox. But, do not forget that the other person will still have access to the full conversation. You cannot delete their copy, just yours!
Now, if what you need is to just get rid of certain conversations, you can also use the Search function to find those conversations (again like on Facebook) rather than having to scroll through your entire DM inbox. You can type the person’s name in the search bar at the top of your screen to find and delete your conversation with him or her.
Can You Delete All Of Your Instagram Messages And Conversations At The Same Time?
Despite the fact that you can now already use Instagram for messaging, it really was not designed for direct messages and that explains why the options for managing your DM inbox is not as thorough as it is on Facebook for example.
Once your Inbox gets cluttered (and it can quickly do so) with a hodgepodge of messages from family, friends, colleagues, or with spam and dubious links sent by scammers, it is a bit of a pain in the neck to get it back to your ideal squeaky clean.
Unfortunately, Instagram still does not support deleting all your messages at once, and we can only hope they can add this feature soon!
How To Delete All Messages On Android Using Auto Clicker
As mentioned earlier, Instagram has no official way to make you delete all messages and conversations on Instagram. But, if you are an Android user, there is a way to delete all your messages on Instagram through a tool called Auto Clicker.
Auto Clicker for Android is a tool that allows you to automate repeated taps and swipes in any app or screen on your Android, and it is not just for Instagram. The process may seem a bit tedious and daunting at first, but once you get the hang of it in time, the whole process becomes quite easy as is outlined on various online guides.
- Launch the Instagram app from your device.
- Launch the Auto Clicker app.
- Tap “Enable” under Multi Targets Mode. Doing this allows you to have multiple points of tapping, with a delay between taps.
- Go to your Direct Messages screen on Instagram, then tap and hold the green “+” symbol to create a swipe point, a circle with a 1 inside it.
- Drag the swipe point to the first conversation in your DMs, then move the second circle inside the first circle. In doing so, we are instructing Auto Clicker to tap and hold.
- Tap the circle to bring up the settings dialog for this swipe; set the delay to 1000 milliseconds and the swipe time to 1000 milliseconds.
- On Instagram, press on the first conversation to actually move the process along so that you can see where to do the next taps. You’ll see the context menu appear. Afterwards, tap on the “+” icon to add a tap point, and drag the tap point to the line of the context menu reading “Delete”. This will be tap point 2 and will have a 2 in the circle.
- On Instagram, tap the delete line to move the process along again. The deletion confirmation menu will pop up next. Tap on the “+” icon to create tap point 3 and drag the tap point to the appropriate spot.
- Hit Cancel to not delete this conversation at this point.
- Tap the gear icon and give this tap script (configuration) a name. Save the script and now you can run this command repeatedly for hundreds or thousands of iterations, automatically and without any human error.
- Hit the blue Run arrow to execute your script.
A helpful tip: You can turn off the Auto Click app interface by disabling it in the Auto Click app home screen.
Once you have tried using it, you will realize what an extremely powerful and versatile technology Auto Clicker is and that you can use it in many ways beyond Instagram. Try playing around with it and you will discover its many uses and the many possibilities this powerful free program provides.
Presently, these are all the available options for deleting messages from your Instagram’s direct message inbox. While having a mass select option would surely be convenient, Instagram has not provided the feature yet, and we could only hope that they would in the (near!) future. If you are planning to to declutter your inbox soon and you unfortunately have to root through a long list of conversations, all you can really do at this point is to pack in as much patience because the process is tedious and time consuming.
If you want to make certain that all the messages exchanged between you and certain people are gone for good, the only way to do so is by blocking them. Finally, you can automate the deleting of Instagram direct messages, but for now the app is only available for Android users. This app enhances the speed of manual deletion so you can delete more, if not all, conversations in one go.
And before we go, remember, never ever tap or click on a link in an Instagram direct message (or in any messaging or mailing platform for that matter) if you do not know the person who sent it and if the link sent is sketchy! Thinking before clicking could save you from a lot of trouble in the online universe!