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Instagram DMs Not Working (10 Ways To Fix It)

Instagram DMs make it easy to communicate with your friends and share posts or reels. They usually work well, and you don’t have to think about them, but that’s not always the case. So, why are my Instagram DMs not working?

Check to make sure you are connected to Wi-Fi or have cellular data if your Instagram DMs are not working. If your DMs are not working, make sure to clear storage space on your phone so you can update the Instagram app. DMs also won’t work if Instagram’s servers are down or if your account has been restricted because you violated the community guidelines.

Delete the app then reinstall it and sign back into your account to see if DMs work. Follow along as we explore why your Instagram DMs are not working and see what you can do to solve the problem.

Why are Instagram DMs Not Working?

The User Blocked You

If your Instagram DMs are not working with only one user, it’s a sign that they may have blocked you. You can tell that is the case if you click on a previous message and their profile appears blank. In most cases, you won’t even be able to open your old chat thread if another user blocks you.

You can make sure you are blocked if you use another Instagram account to search for the user. If the account appears when you search it on another account, that means they blocked you.

The User Deactivated Their Account

You cannot send DMs to someone on Instagram once they’ve deactivated their account. Don’t jump to conclusions and assume that someone blocked you on Instagram just because you can’t find their page from your account. If you cannot find the user’s Instagram page from any account, then that is a sign they deactivated their account.

You Exceeded the Daily Limit

While Instagram encourages users to communicate via the chat feature, they do have a daily limit for DMs. If your DMs are not working, it could be because you got an “action block” from Instagram. Instagram typically only lets you send 50-100 DMs per day for users who are established and have had an account for a while.

However, new users may be restricted to 20-50 DMs per day depending on their activity and how quickly they send DMs. Instagram also only lets you share posts via DMs to 5 users at once.

Restricted Direct Messages

Instagram has a wide range of privacy settings that let users control how easy it is to reach them or find their pages. This includes the ability to restrict direct messages and even disable them altogether. If you cannot send someone DMs on Instagram, it may be because they disabled them.

However, you may have inadvertently disabled DMs if you cannot receive them. You can check to see if this is the case in the settings menu on Instagram. Open Instagram, tap your profile, and select the three horizontal lines to open the settings menu.

Tap “Privacy” and scroll down to “Messages”. Look beside the option that says “Muted” and tap the icon to disable or enable notifications for DMs. You can also restrict DMs if you set your profile to private. Make sure you have a public profile if DMs are not working on Instagram.

No Internet Connection

You cannot send or receive DMs on Instagram if you have no Internet connection. Check to make sure you are connected to Wi-Fi if DMs are not working on Instagram. If you’re not connected to Wi-Fi, you should be able to send and receive DMs if you use cellular data.

The Servers are Down

If Instagram is performing poorly and DMs are not working, it may be because Instagram’s servers are down. Check online to see if Instagram’s servers are down and to find the recent server outage history. Server outages typically only affect a specific region, but they can affect millions of Instagram users at once. You can expect it to take 1-2 days for Instagram to fix a server outage.

You are Out of Storage Space

If you are out of storage space on your phone or computer, apps like Instagram cannot perform well. Excessive data, photos, and apps that take up too much space can slow down the performance of many apps. That includes Instagram, and it can explain why your DMs are not working.

Ideally, you should leave at least 200 MB of free space on your phone if you are an Android user. If you have an iPhone, make sure to leave at least 2 GB of space for the best performance. Try to keep your computer 10%-20% empty so your apps and programs can run optimally.

Instagram is Outdated

Instagram puts out new updates constantly, and they are necessary to optimize the app. Luckily, these updates install automatically if you have enough space on your phone. If the update hasn’t been installed automatically, check to see if you can manually update Instagram through the App Store or simply delete some apps to trigger the installation.

Corrupted Data Cache

Each app you use has a cache of data, and that includes Instagram. Eventually, this cache will become bloated with data, and that data can become corrupted. Corrupted data can cause Instagram to crash or run slowly, and it can explain why DMs are not working.

Luckily, you can quickly clear the corrupted cache if you simply delete the app. Delete the app, reinstall it, and sign back into your account. Try to send some DMs to see if the chat feature is working again.

Problems With Your Device

If Instagram DMs are not working on your phone, it may be time to try another device. Log into Instagram on your PC and check out the chat feature. You can also log into your Instagram account on a friend’s phone to see if you can send and receive DMs.

If DMs work on other devices, then it’s a sign that something is wrong with your phone. Update your phone to see if that fixes the problem. If not, then it may simply be time to upgrade to a new phone if you haven’t replaced it in 4-7 years.

Instagram Glitches

Instagram is prone to glitches that can affect everything from your Explore page to DMs. They typically fix these glitches within a day or two, but they only catch these glitches when users report them. You can report glitches on Instagram if you shake your phone when you have the app open.

On PC, you can report Instagram glitches on this page. Unfortunately, there is nothing you can do to fix the problem if it’s a glitch on Instagram’s end, and you must wait for them to fix it.

Instagram DMs Not Loading? Watch This Video!

How to Fix It

Log Out and Sign Back In

One of the easiest fixes when your DMs are not working is to simply log out of Instagram and sign back in. This can help to reauthenticate your Instagram account. Instagram authenticates your account the first time you sign in on your phone or PC.

Over time, Instagram may need to reauthenticate your account, and you can do this manually when you log out.

Follow the Instagram Community Guidelines

Instagram strictly enforces the community guidelines that users must follow. If you break Instagram’s community guidelines, they will give you a strike that counts towards you eventually getting banned. However, Instagram can also “soft ban” or “shadow-ban” users.

This is different from getting banned traditionally because you may still be able to use the app. However, Instagram may restrict some of the things you can do on the app, and this can explain why your DMs are not working. Simply follow the community guidelines and wait for strikes to expire if your DMs are not working.

Restart Your Phone

If you haven’t restarted your phone in the last 7 days and your DMs are not working, then that may explain why. You are supposed to restart your phone once per week or as needed so it can perform optimally. If your DMs are not working and the app crashes regularly, simply restart your phone and see if the problem is resolved.

Force Stop the App

Android users can use the “force stop” feature to fix many problems with the Instagram app. This feature stops an app from running even in the background. Open the settings menu on your Android and scroll through the list of apps to find Instagram.

Select Instagram, scroll down, and tap “force stop”. Wait a moment and reopen Instagram. Check to see if DMs are working. If they aren’t working, then you may need to restart your phone or reinstall the app.

So, Why Won’t My Instagram DMs Work?

Your Instagram DMs won’t work if the app is outdated or if the user deactivated their account. Blocking a user or getting blocked can also explain why DMs are not working between you and another person. Otherwise, it can be a sign that your data cache is corrupted, you have no Internet connection, or that the Instagram servers are down.