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How to Fix Instagram Direct Messages (DMs) Not Working

Instagram has a direct messaging feature that allows you to chat with your friends.

You can also create a group chat containing multiple people.

You can direct message anyone on Instagram who does not have privacy restrictions.

For a public account, you can send a DM by tapping on the “Message” button.

For private accounts, you need to tap on the three dots on their profile followed by “Send Message”.

In some cases, the DM feature on IG might not be working.

In this guide, you’ll learn how to fix Instagram direct messages (DMs) not working.

Why is Instagram direct messages not working?

Instagram direct messages are not working because Instagram is down.

Otherwise, you’ve sent too many DMs in one go and you’re temporarily blocked from doing so.

Reasons why your Instagram direct messages are not working:

  1. Instagram is down (check the status of Instagram on downdetector.com/status/instagram).
  2. You’ve sent too many DMs in one go (you’ll be temporarily blocked from sending DMs).

Author’s note: I’ve been temporarily blocked from sending DMs multiple times before and the block is usually lifted after 1 to 3 hours.

There are two ways to check if Instagram is down—visit downdetector.com/status/instagram or Twitter.

On Downdetector, a spike in the graph indicates that Instagram is down.

On Twitter, search for the issue that you’re facing (e.g. Instagram DM not working) and check the latest tweets.

If there are a lot of people tweeting about it, it means that Instagram DMs are probably down.

If Instagram DMs are down, you need to wait for 24 hours for the feature to be back up.

How to fix Instagram DMs not working

To fix Instagram DMs (direct messages) not working, you need to wait for 24 hours (if Instagram is down).

If Instagram is not down, you can try using the web version of Instagram (instagram.com).

You can also try switching your network or reporting a problem on the app.

Lastly, you can try updating Instagram or uninstalling and reinstalling it.

Fix 1: Wait for 24 hours

  • Check if Instagram is down on downdetector.com/status/instagram—if it is, you need to wait for 24 hours or more for DMs to work again.
  • If you’ve sent too many direct messages, you’ll be temporarily blocked from doing so and you’ll have to wait for a few hours to use the feature again.

Fix 2: Use Instagram Web

  • If Instagram DM is not working, you can try using the web version of Instagram to view or send messages.
  • Method 1: Go to instagram.com on a PC > Log in > DMs > Send a message.
  • Method 2: Download Instagram from the Microsoft Store > Log in > DMs > Send a message.

Fix 3: Switch your network

  • If you’re connected to a Wi-Fi network, switch to mobile data instead.
  • If you’re connected to mobile data, switch to a Wi-Fi network instead.
  • You can also try connecting to another Wi-Fi network (that’s preferably faster).

Fix 4: Report a problem

  1. Navigate to your Instagram profile and tap on the menu icon.
  2. Settings > Help > Report a Problem.
  3. Report a Problem > Include and Continue.
  4. Describe your problem and send the report.

Note: If you’ve turned on “Shake phone to report a problem”, open your DMs, shake your phone, and report a problem there.

Fix 5: Uninstall and reinstall Instagram

  • Uninstall and reinstall Instagram: Uninstall the Instagram app > open the App Store/Google Play Store > search for “Instagram” > reinstall it.
  • Update Instagram: Open the App Store/Google Play Store > search for “Instagram” > tap on the “Update” button.

Further reading

How to Remove Community Guidelines Strike on Instagram

How to Fix “Video can’t be posted” on Instagram

How to Make a Website Like Instagram


About the author

Lim How Wei

Lim How Wei is the founder of followchain.org, with 8+ years of experience in Social Media Marketing and 4+ years of experience as an active investor in stocks and cryptocurrencies. He has researched, tested, and written thousands of articles ranging from social media platforms to messaging apps.

Lim has been quoted and referenced by major publications and media companies like WikiHow, Fast Company, HuffPost, Vice, New York Post, The Conversation, and many others. One of his articles about the gig economy was quoted by Joe Rogan who hosts The Joe Rogan Experience (arguably the most popular podcast in the world), in the This Past Weekend podcast by Theo Von.

In his free time, Lim plays multiple games like Genshin Impact, League of Legends, Counter-Strike, Hearthstone, RuneScape, and many others. He creates guides, walkthroughs, solutions, and more on games that he plays to help other players with their progression.