Instagram doesn’t show that the other person has unsent or deleted a direct message in the chat.
There’s no official feature that lets you see unsent messages on Instagram. All of the solutions in this guide are unofficial, either by improvising or using third-party apps.
To see unsent messages on Instagram, you can:
- Take a screenshot of messages you think will be deleted;
- Use AiGrow’s DM to Email feature (30 days free);
- Download Data on Instagram;
- Recover Instagram unsent messages using Facebook (if you’ve connected your Facebook account to Instagram).
Read below to see how you can see unsent messages on Instagram using these solutions!
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Take a Screenshot of the DMs
If you have reasons to believe the other person will unsend their messages, take a screenshot of the DMs before they do that.
This way, you’ll have proof of the messages they sent before they deleted them.
However, you may not have time to take a screenshot before they unsend the message, and that’s a problem.
In this case, I suggest another solution that goes hand in hand with this one – activate Airplane Mode immediately.
When you see the other person send an important message, activate Airplane Mode and take a screenshot.
If you activate Airplane Mode, even if they delete the message, it won’t register on your device yet.
That’s because your device is not connected to the internet. After you disable Airplane Mode, the messages will be deleted.
To activate Airplane Mode, swipe down from the top of the screen until you open the Shortcut menu.
You’ll find the Airplane Mode somewhere there. Tap on it, and your device will be disconnected from the internet.
Then, go to Instagram and take a screenshot of the latest DM sent by the other person. You can disable Airplane Mode after that.
Use AiGrow to Receive Instagram DMs on Email
This next solution uses a third-party platform to receive Instagram DMs on your email address.
The platform is called “AiGrow,” and it’s a service that helps Instagram accounts manage their activity and grow their audience.
Follow the steps below to use AiGrow to see unsent messages on Instagram:
- Search for AiGrow on Google and open it
First, search for AiGrow on Google and open the first link. The description says, “AiGrow is a complete Instagram growth and engagement solution for businesses and influencers…”.
- Select “Start Now”
Once you open AiGrowth, you’ll reach the homepage. Look for the “Start Now” button at the top of the page.
Tap on it, and you’ll be taken to the account creation screen. Enter your email address, name, and phone number, and finish the account creation process.
- Verify your email
After you create an account on AiGrowth, you’ll need to confirm your email address before you continue.
Open your email manager, look for the recent email from AiGrowth, and then tap on “Confirm Email.”
This will open the AiGrowth service on your browser.
- Enter your Instagram username
After you confirm your email address, you’ll be taken to the online AiGrow service. The first step is connecting your Instagram account.
Enter your Instagram username and then tap on “Next” to continue.
- Select your country and then tap on “Confirm Account”
The final step of the account creation is selecting your country and, optionally, your city.
Then, tap on “Confirm Account” to finish setting up your AiGrow-Instagram connection. This is what you’ll use for the next step.
- Select “Manage DMs”
You’ll land on the Dashboard when you get over the tutorial on how to use AiGrow.
Here, you can see your Instagram account, your plan (free), and the Menu icon. It’s in the top-right corner of your dashboard.
Tap on it to open a menu with several options. Look for the “Manage DMs” option and tap on it.
- Select “Email”
In the “DMs” menu, you’ll see several submenus below. These include “DM”, “Reply”, “CRM”, “Email”, and ”Inbox”.
Select “Email” and scroll below to customize your DM email messaging.
- Check your Instagram account and tap on “Save”
At the bottom of the page, you’ll see your Instagram account with a box to the left. Check the little box and then tap on “Save”.
This will send an email notification with every DM you receive on your Instagram account.
You can see unsent messages on your email because it doesn’t update in real-time.
The way it works is simple:
- You receive a notification for every chat update (DMs sent by the other person);
- If the other person deletes a message, you’ll receive a new copy of the chat on your email;
- The older copies of the chat (when the message hadn’t been unsent) will still be available in your email.
It’s like having older records of the conversation before the other person hadn’t deleted their messages. You can consult them at any time you like.
Download Data on Instagram
A good way of seeing unsent messages on Instagram is downloading the data from the Instagram app.
This includes a folder of all your DMs and a history of deleted messages.
To download the Instagram data, follow the steps below:
- Open Instagram on your computer and go to “Settings”
You can’t download the data on your mobile device, so you’ll need to open Instagram on a computer browser.
After you do this, click on your profile picture and select “Settings”. This will open your settings, and that’s where you can download the data from.
- Select “Privacy & Security”
Look for the “Privacy and Security” option in your Instagram settings. Click on it, and the main page will show new options.
- Click on “Request Download” under the “Data Download” menu
Scroll down until you see the “Data Download” menu and click on the “Request Download” button.
This will take you to another page, where you’ll need to complete a verification process.
- Enter your email and click on “Next”
On this next page, Instagram will ask for your email (it should be auto-completed) and an Information Format for the data file.
I recommend choosing “HTML”, as it’s easier to read. Then, click on “Next” to proceed to the next step.
- Enter your password and click on “Download”
You’ll need to verify this data request with your Instagram password. Enter it in the appropriate field and then click on “Request Download”.
This will send a query to the Instagram servers.
- Wait until you receive the data file
You’ll receive a notification that the data file may take up to 48 hours to be sent to your email address.
It doesn’t take that long, though. I received a complete record of my Instagram account within 5 minutes of sending the request.
- Open the Instagram email and click on “Download Information”
Access your email provider and open the email from Instagram. Inside, you’ll find the “Download Information” button.
Click on it to be redirected to the Instagram website. Once you’re there, you can download the data file.
- Click on “Download Information” again
After you get redirected to Instagram, you may need to log back in. Then, you’ll reach the “Your Instagram Information” page.
On that page, look for the “Download Information” button and click on it. This will start the download of the data file.
It’s a ZIP archive format that’ll be saved on your Desktop or the Downloads folder.
- Open the archive and go to “Messages”
Open the data file archive and look for the “messages” folder. It should be toward the bottom of the archive.
Double-click on it to open the folder. Inside, you’ll find several other folders. Look for the “chats” HTML file and double-click on it.
This will open a new internet browser page with your Instagram chats inside. You can even check messages on past groups that you’ve exited in the past.
- Check your messages
This is where you can see all your present, past, and unsent messages on Instagram. Open a chat and look through it!
You’ll see all the messages from start to end, including the deleted ones.
Use Facebook Messenger to See Unsent Instagram Messages
Did you know that you can connect to Instagram and Facebook? They’re owned by the same company, so that you can do that.
A benefit of this is that you can read your Instagram messages from Facebook’s Messenger app.
But this only works if you’ve connected your Instagram and Facebook.
You can do this from Instagram in your Settings.
Go to Settings and scroll until you see the “Accounts Center” option. Tap on that and follow the process outlined on that page.
You’ll sync your posts, stories, and other content from your Instagram to your Facebook account.
This includes direct messages too. To access your unsent direct messages from Instagram, open Facebook Messenger and choose “Instagram Direct.”
You’ll have access to all your Instagram chats there!
It’s not easy to see your unsent messages on Instagram, but you can do it with:
- A well-timed screenshot;
- Downloaded Data from Instagram
- Facebook Messenger
I recommend AiGrow’s email notification system and the downloaded data file from Instagram’s servers.
It’s unlikely that you manage to take a screenshot of a message before the other person gets to delete it.
And Facebook Messenger can be finicky at times. It may not show your unsent Instagram messages.
But AiGrow has worked time and time again on our tests!
Why doesn’t Instagram tell me the other person has deleted a message?
This includes not showing notifications when someone deletes a DM they’ve sent. If you’re not paying attention, you won’t even notice.
Since there’s no feature to see unsent and deleted messages, you can only improvise.
However, this feature applies to you too. The other person won’t know you’ve deleted a direct message if they aren’t watching the chat when you do.
I doubt Instagram will implement a feature that lets you officially see unsent and deleted messages. It would go against their policies.
Does Instagram retain deleted messages on its servers?
Yes, they do. They may say that they don’t, but they do. Almost nothing gets permanently deleted on the internet.
It’s just very well hidden. This is true for Instagram’s unsent direct messages that you or somebody else deletes.
Pictures and videos you delete may not be permanently removed from Instagram’s servers.
But this doesn’t mean they’ll give you access to someone’s deleted messages or photos. They have a reputation to uphold.
Even when you delete your Instagram account, that information isn’t deleted right away.
Sometimes, it stays on the servers for several months or even years in case of the user’s dubious behavior (potentially illegal).
This is so there’s evidence in case of a lawsuit or legal event.