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Why Can’t I Reply To Messages on Instagram? (6 Simple Solutions)

The direct message feature on Instagram makes it easier than ever to connect with countless people online. This feature is a great way to interact with your friends as well as people that you find online in an organic and fun way. However, it doesn’t always work as intended. So, why can’t I reply to messages on Instagram?

You can reply to messages on Instagram if your app is outdated or the app’s cache is corrupted. Delete the app and reinstall it to clear the cache and trigger an update to install so you can reply to messages. Connect to Wi-Fi or make sure you have cellular data if you can’t reply to Instagram messages because connectivity problems limit your abilities on Instagram.

In some cases, you can’t reply to messages on Instagram simply because there is a server outage. Follow along as we explore why you can’t reply to messages on Instagram and see what you can do to fix the problem.

Why Can’t I Reply to a Specific Message on Instagram?

Privacy Settings

Your privacy settings on Instagram dictate who you can engage with. If you have a private account, other users won’t be able to send you direct messages until you let them follow you. You also won’t be able to reply to posts or messages from private accounts until they permit you to.

Check your account permissions and set your profile to public. Otherwise, you will simply need to wait for the other user to accept your follow request so you can communicate through Instagram.

Vanish Mode is Enabled

Vanish mode is a feature on Instagram that lets users send messages that only appear for a limited time. When you get messages through vanish mode, they disappear when you end the conversation. This is a relatively new feature, and it’s quite popular among users who want to protect their private conversations.

However, it can get confusing if you get a message on vanish mode and it disappears before you get the chance to reply. If someone sends you a message on vanish mode and you close the conversation, you won’t be able to pull it back up. Because of that, you won’t be able to reply to the message.

Make sure to reply to any message sent through vanish mode before you close it out or it won’t reappear and you won’t be able to.  

App Needs an Update

Instagram won’t perform as usual when you need an update. Updates appear once a month or more in most cases, but they don’t always install automatically. Check to see if there is an update available and install it if so.

If the app doesn’t automatically install, you must delete the app. Reinstall the app, log back into your account, and see if you can reply to messages on Instagram. If not, this is a sign that something else is wrong with your app or account.

Weak Connection

Instagram cannot perform well without a strong Wi-Fi connection. You will also experience problems if you aren’t connected to Wi-Fi and have a weak cellular data connection. Check your connection right away if you cannot reply to or load messages on Instagram.

You should be able to open and reply to messages if you get a strong Internet connection or cellular service.

Junk Data

Over time, apps accumulate junk data as the cache becomes bloated and corrupted. Once this happens, you will encounter several performance problems. You cannot currently clear your Instagram cache on an iPhone without deleting the app.

Simply uninstall the app to delete the cache. Reinstall the app, sign back in, and see if you can reply to messages. If you still can’t reply to messages on Instagram, then you will need to keep troubleshooting.

Server Outage

If Instagram’s servers go down, you won’t be able to use most of the features on the app. In some cases, you won’t even be able to open the app without it crashing. The good news is that you won’t have to do anything to fix the problem in this case.

However, the bad news is that there is nothing you can do. You must simply wait on Instagram to fix the problem. Sometimes this is regional, and sometimes it is a worldwide problem. Websites like can provide updates about server outages.

Not Available in Your Region

Some Instagram features aren’t available in your region, and that includes everything from notes and stories to messages. If that is the case in your region, you can simply use a VPN to change your location and access features that are otherwise unavailable. VPNS, or virtual private networks, let you pinpoint your location even if it’s inaccurate. You can use a VPN to change your location to access key features on everything from Instagram to Netflix and Hulu.

Your Account is Restricted

Typically, Instagram notifies you when you receive a flag or your account is banned. However, you aren’t guaranteed to get a notification when you get “soft banned” or “shadow banned”. While Instagram doesn’t officially tell you you’ve been shadow-banned, countless users and Redditors have reported being shadow-banned and having their access restricted.

Why Did My Instagram Messages Delete?

If your Instagram messages are deleted, it could be a sign that the user blocked you on the platform. Past conversations will also be deleted if you block the other user. You can also manually delete conversations on Instagram without blocking the user.

This is easy to do on accident. You can tell that you didn’t block them and they didn’t block you if you can still view their profile on Instagram. To delete a conversation, simply pull it up in messages, swipe right, and tap “delete”.

So, Why Can’t I Reply to Instagram Messages?

You can’t reply to Instagram messages if they were sent through vanish mode. Errors will also occur if you aren’t connected to Wi-Fi or have a poor cellular service connection.  Check online for server outages or update your app if you can’t reply to messages on Instagram.