Have you ever hit the send button on an Instagram direct message, only to be hit with an instant wave of regret? If so, I am here to tell you that you are definitely not alone. Most of us will admit to sending an Instagram message before coming to regret it sooner or later.

Whether you DMed your lover a risque DM or cracked a joke that you realized wouldn’t go down well, there are plenty of reasons why you regret messaging.

But you will be happy to learn that all is not so bad! There is an easy way to delete messages on both sides and potentially save your reputation, which is to say that the messages you sent will not be visible to you or the person you sent them to.

So let’s see how to delete messages from both sides on Instagram.

How to delete messages

Fortunately for us, there is a very simple way to unsend (or delete) the messages we have sent. Just follow these quick steps:

  1. Open the chat with the person (or group) you want to delete the direct messages you sent.
  2. Press and hold the post you want to delete for 3 seconds until a small options box appears. Press and hold the Instagram post for 3 seconds.
  3. Press “Cancel”. This will delete the message so that no one in the chat can read it. Tap “Cancel” to cancel an Instagram message.

Once you cancel a message, any notifications the message recipient may have received will also be deleted. But remember that there is always a chance that he saw the notification before you undid the message. If so, he may be able to figure out that you canceled a message (embarrassing questions in the queue).

Unfortunately, there is not much you can do about this. By canceling a message as soon as possible, you give yourself the best chance that he will not notice the notification and you avoid any unwanted questions. Let’s just hope they weren’t using the app at the time you sent the message, otherwise there’s very little hope!

Is there a way to quickly cancel multiple messages?

I’m afraid I have bad news on this, because there is no quick way to delete multiple messages sent by both people. If you want to delete the multiple messages sent from both sides, you will have to manually follow the process mentioned above for each message.

Can I delete messages that other people have sent?

You can delete messages sent to you, but only on your side. The person who sent you the message will still be able to see the message they sent to you.

To do this, swipe left on the chat in the chat window, then press “delete”.

Will blocking the person delete our chat?

To be frank, no, blocking the person will not delete messages that have been sent previously. Blocking someone just means they won’t be able to find your profile or send you any further messages. This obviously has its uses, but not if you’re looking for a way to delete a chat.

What if I delete Instagram?

As for blocking, this method does not work either. The other person in the chat will still be able to see old messages, even if your profile has been deleted.

What about sending “view-once” images?

If you send photos or videos by direct message, you can set them to be “seen once” or “allowed to be replayed”. This means that instead of sending a photo or video directly in the chat, the person receiving the message will have to press the button to see what you sent.

Once they have looked at the message once (or twice if the “Allow replay” option is activated), the person will only be able to see that a photo or video has been sent. She won’t be able to see the photo or video itself, like snaps on Snapchat.

This is a better option if you want the recipient to see the message only once, but not be able to see it again in the future.

To send “seen once” photos:

  1. Open the chat with the person or group you want to send it to.
  2. Tap the camera icon surrounded by a circle to open the camera. tap the camera icon to open the camera
  3. Tap the circle to take a photo. Touch the circle to take a photo.

You should see one of the following options at the bottom left: “Keep in chat”, “view once”, and “allow replay”. Just touch this option to switch to the “allow once” option.Instagram photo sending options

Watch out for screenshots!

As with all messages sent on a mobile device, nothing prevents someone from taking a screenshot of the messages you send them. While “allow once” photos can reduce this risk, there is still no 100% guarantee.


We’ve looked at the different ways messages can be undone (or deleted), along with other workarounds:

  • Tap “Cancel” on messages you’ve sent to delete the message on both sides.
  • Any notifications that the message recipient may have received when you sent them a message will also be deleted when you cancel a message.
  • Deleting the whole chat will delete the messages for you only (remember that the other person will still be able to see the messages).
  • Blocking a person does not delete any message. She just won’t be able to message you or find your profile.
  • Deleting Instagram does not delete any posts.
  • Sending photos and videos “to see once” or “to replay” means that no message will be left after viewing.

We hope what you’ve read today will help you avoid any potentially awkward encounters!