How to turn off Direct Messages (DMs) in Instagram on iPhone

Written By Ankur Reviewed By How-to iPhone 7 Min Read

When a person who is not on your contact list or whom you do not follow sends you an Instagram message, it goes to the Requests section by default. The latest Facebook Messenger and Instagram integration released many features, one of which is the ability to turn off message requests on Instagram.

This allows you to block message requests from strangers and spam bots. Let’s get straight into it and learn how to turn off Direct Messages in Instagram on iPhone.

1. Turn off DMs from certain Instagram followers or unknown users

By default, any new message from a stranger arrives in the Instagram Message requests tab. Luckily, you can disable message requests and control who can send you messages.   

  1. Launch Instagram → Tap the profile icon → Select the hamburger menu.
  2. Tap Messages and story replies → Select Message controls.

    tap messages and story replies, message controls in instagram
  3. Tap Your followers on Instagram → Select Don’t receive requests.

    tap your followers on instagram, select don't receive message request in instagram
  4. Now, to turn off messaging from other people, go back to the previous menu.
  5. Tap Others on Instagram → Select Don’t receive requests.
  6. Similarly, tap People on Facebook → then Do not receive requests to limit messages from Facebook users.

    tap others on instagram, select don't receive message request in instagram

2. Disable Instagram Story DMs

When someone comments on your story, the responses go to your Instagram DM. You can turn off those Direct Message replies on Instagram Stories on your iPhone with these simple steps: 

  1. Go to the profile icon → Tap the hamburger menu
  2. Go to Messages and story repliesStory replies
  3. Choose Don’t allow story replies.

    tap messages and story replies, message controls, select don't allow story replies in instagram

3. Turn off Instagram DM notifications on iPhone

If it’s the notification and not the actual messages that are irking you, you can simply turn off request notifications. This ensures that you don’t get disturbed by constant pings.

  1. Launch Instagram → Select the profile icon → Tap the hamburger menu.
  2. Tap Notifications → Pick Messages.
  3. Choose Off for all the features listed.

    tap messages, select off for all options in instagram

Optionally, you can toggle on Pause All → Choose the temporary time slot of your choice to stop all sorts of notifications from Instagram.

4. Turn off IG DMs by muting chat on iPhone

This is another workaround to mute Instagram DMs. If you don’t like constant pings from a particular user, you can mute the entire chat to avoid receiving DM notifications.

  1. Launch Instagram on your iPhone → Tap the Messenger icon at the top right.
    You can also just swipe left from the home screen.
  2. Swipe right on the contact you want to mute → Select More.
  3. Pick Mute → Choose Mute messages.

    Mute DM in Instagram on iPhone
  4. Select your desired time frame.
    You can choose from 1 hour, 8 hours, 24 hours, and Until I change it.

    Select Time Frame to mute DM

That’s it! It doesn’t get simpler than that. However, there are many other locations on the app from where you can perform the same action. To learn about them, keep reading.

5. Restrict Instagram account to turn off DMs

When you restrict an Instagram account, any new message from the account goes to the message requests folder instead of the regular chat thread. So you will not get any notifications from them.   

  1. Go to the Instagram messaging section.   
  2. Tap the chat thread of the person you want to restrict.   
  3. Select their name.   

    Restrict user on Instagram 1
  4. Tap OptionsRestrict.
  5. Lastly, tap Restrict Account in the popup.

    Restict user on Instagram 2

6. Block users on Instagram

Blocking is your final resort to stop getting messages from someone. To block an Instagram user, you must follow the given below steps: 

  1. Go to the Instagram chat section.
  2. Tap the name of the person you want to block.
  3. Next, select their name.

    Block Instagram user 1
  4. Tap OptionsBlock.
  5. Pick either of the options appearing on the popup.
  6. Tap Block.

    Block Instagram user 2

Read our guide on how to block someone in Instagram on iPhone to learn about more ways to block a user on Instagram.   

7. Turn off Instagram notifications from iPhone Settings to mute DMs

You can easily disable Instagram notifications from iPhone Settings as well.

While this method doesn’t explicitly turn off Instagram DMs, it definitely can mute the notifications for all the DMs you receive.

However, taking this action also means that you won’t receive notifications for any Instagram activity. So, give it a good thought before proceeding.

  1. Go to SettingsNotifications.
  2. Pick Instagram → Toggle off Allow Notifications.
Is there an option to turn off read receipts on Instagram? 

No, there is no option to turn off read receipts on Instagram. But you can go offline and switch on airplane mode to read the messages without sending read receipts. 

Does blocking a person on Instagram delete DMs? 

No, blocking a person on Instagram will not delete DMs.  

Wrapping up 

This is how you can turn off Direct Messages in Instagram on your iPhone. As mentioned earlier, once you turn off message requests on Instagram, people you do not follow won’t be able to send you a message.

They will still see a Message button if they visit your profile (maybe Instagram will gray it out in the future). But when they try to send you a message, it will show ‘[username] can’t receive your message. They don’t allow new message requests from everyone.’

If you need any other help related to this, please reach me via the comments section below.

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By Ankur Staff Writer
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I have been an Apple user for over seven years now. At iGeeksBlog, I love creating how-tos and troubleshooting guides that help people do more with their iPhone, iPad, Mac, AirPods, and Apple Watch. In my free time, I like to watch stand up comedy videos, tech documentaries, news debates, and political speeches.
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