7 Ways to Fix Instagram Direct Messages not Working

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Initially launched as a photo-sharing app, Instagram has expanded its capabilities over time to include additional features such as Direct Messages, Stories, Reels, and support for videos and gifs. One of the platform’s most popular features is its Direct Messages, or DMs, which allow users to interact with their followers and contacts. Through this functionality, users can chat with friends, family, and followers. However, when the direct messaging feature experiences downtime or other problems, it can be extremely frustrating. Recently, Instagram users have reported difficulties with accessing, sending, and receiving DMs on the platform. If you’re also experiencing issues with your Instagram DMs, you’ve come to the right place.

In this article, we’ll provide you with answers to the question of why your Instagram direct message may not be working and offer solutions to help you resolve the issue.

Why your Instagram DMs are not Working?

There could be several reasons why your Instagram DMs are not working. Some of the common causes include:

  1. Network Issues: Poor network connection or slow internet speed could cause issues with your DMs on Instagram.
  2. App Updates: If your Instagram app is not updated to the latest version, it may experience compatibility issues, which could affect your DMs.
  3. Technical Glitches: Technical glitches on the platform could cause temporary issues with your DMs.
  4. Account Issues: In some cases, account-related issues such as being blocked or reported by another user could affect your ability to send and receive DMs.
  5. Privacy Settings: If your privacy settings are set to limit the people who can send you DMs, it could affect your ability to receive messages from some users.
  6. Device Issues: Device-related issues such as outdated software or insufficient storage space on your device could affect your Instagram DMs.

If you are experiencing issues with your Instagram DMs, you may want to check if any of the above reasons could be the cause and take necessary steps to resolve the issue.

How To Fix Instagram DMs Not Working

We have compiled a list of all the possible solutions to help fix your Instagram DM issue. You may try all of the suggested methods and determine which one works best for you.

1. Verify your internet connection

Before attempting any other troubleshooting steps, it is crucial to check your internet connection as it is the most essential factor. You may test your internet connectivity by using another app that requires internet access or by browsing the web.

If you’re experiencing issues with your internet connection, try toggling on Airplane mode on your device for a few seconds and then disabling it. This simple step can often improve your phone’s internet connectivity. If the problem persists, make sure your Wi-Fi router is functioning correctly.

2. Update Instagram App

If your Instagram DMs are not working, it could be due to an outdated version of the app. To resolve this issue, you can check if there are any available updates for the app. Here are the steps to update the Instagram app:

  • Long press the Instagram app icon and choose App info when the context menu appears.
  • Tao on App details. This will take you to the Google Play Store page of Instagram.
App details
  • If you find the Update option tap on it.

3. Check the Instagram Servers

It’s possible that Instagram’s servers are experiencing issues, which could cause the app or some of its features, such as direct messaging, to stop working. This has happened in the past and is likely to happen again from time to time. To determine if the Instagram servers are available, you can use tools like DownDetector.

  • Type Instagram in the search bar and press the enter key.
search bar

In case there is a widespread outage or server issue with Instagram, there may not be much you can do to fix the problem. In such cases, it is best to wait for Instagram to address and resolve the issue.


4. Clear Storage & Cache data of Instagram

Clearing Instagram’s storage and cache data can help resolve app issues, including problems with direct messages. To do this, you can follow these steps:

  1. Go to your phone’s Settings menu.
  2. Tap on Apps and find Instagram in the list.
  3. Tap on Instagram to access its details menu.
  4. Select the option to clear storage and cache data.
  5. Restart the Instagram app and see if the issue is resolved.

By clearing the app’s storage and cache data, you can remove any unnecessary files and data that may be causing the issue.

  • Long press the Instagram app icon and choose App info when the context menu appears.
Instagram app icon
  • Click on Storage & cache.
Storage & cache
  • Now click on Clear Storage & Clear Cache option and follow the instructions to delete the storage & cache data for Instagram.
Clear Storage & Clear Cache

5. Force Stop Instagram

If there are any issues with the Instagram app chances are that the Instagram DMs not working. You can simply force close it and attempt sending the DMs again. To do so follow the steps below:

  • Long press the Instagram app icon and choose App info when the context menu appears.
Force stop
  • Reopen the Instagram application and attempt to send a direct message again.

6. Reinstall the app

Your DM might not be functioning properly due to an app bug. You can in this case uninstall the application from your smartphone and then reinstall it. To do so follow the steps below:

  • Long press the Instagram app icon and choose Uninstall when the context menu appears.
  • After uninstalling go to the Play Store type Instagram in the search bar and then tap on the install button.
Play Store

7. Use the Web version of Instagram

If you’re still having trouble with the Instagram app, there is an alternative way to access direct messages on a larger screen. Instagram has a web version that allows you to view your feed and send DMs through the website. Here’s how you can access it:

8. Contact Instagram Support

In case none of the solutions mentioned above worked for the issue of Instagram direct messages not working, you can try reaching out to the Instagram support team for further assistance. Here are the steps to follow for contacting Instagram support:

  • Open the Instagram app and tap on your profile icon from the bottom-right corner of the screen.
  • Click on the three horizontal lines from the top right corner of the screen.
  • Now click on Settings.
  • Now choose Report a Problem.
Report a Problem
  • Then click on Report problem without shaking.
Report problem without shaking
  • Finally, begin describing the problem you are having with the DM on your account and tap on Next.
DM on your account
  • On the following page click on Send Report.
Send Report.


In conclusion, Instagram’s direct messaging functionality is one of the app’s best features, allowing users to converse with friends, family, and followers. However, if you experience issues like the direct messaging feature being down, you can try several potential fixes. First, check your internet connection, switch to airplane mode and back, and make sure your Wi-Fi router is functioning properly. Second, update the app to the latest version. Third, check the availability of Instagram servers using tools like DownDetector. Fourth, wait for significant outage surges to subside. Fifth, clear Instagram storage and cache data using the App details menu. Sixth, use the web version of Instagram if the app is still not working. Finally, if none of these fixes work, you can contact Instagram support.

Lisa Giancola

Lisa Giancola is a great technology enthusiast, especially with regard to facebook, reddit, Twitter, Discord and pinterest applications.

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