Does Instagram Keep Deleted Messages?
In addition to being a great app for sharing photos and videos with friends, family members, and followers, Instagram offers several additional features to encourage communication and enhance the platform’s functionality.
Among these features is the ability to send Direct Messages (DMs) to other users on the app. DMs are a great way to communicate privately with friends, but what happens when you send a message that you regret?
Deleting the DM might seem like the obvious solution, but what happens to the message once you delete it?
Let’s take a look at whether or not Instagram keeps deleted messages.
Does Instagram Keep Deleted Messages?
Any messages you send and receive are relayed by the network and are not stored on their servers. Whether that’s comments or DMs, they are stored on your device and nowhere else.
Photos are stored and may be used for other things by Instagram. They are treated differently because Instagram can make money from them. That’s why you sign away copyright when you join the network and why they are treated differently than messages.
Recovering Deleted Instagram Messages
As Instagram messages are not stored by the network themselves, any recovery operation has to happen on your phone. If you regularly backup your phone, you may be able to recover messages. If you don’t back up your phone, you will not. Not all backups will save messages though.
There are articles online telling you to visit a website that will recover your Instagram messages. As far as I can tell, these are fake. As Instagram doesn’t keep the messages, there is nothing to recover. I believe these are just for harvesting your account details and nothing more. If you know differently, let us know.
How to Unsend Instagram Messages
You can unsend an Instagram message if the other person has yet to read it. If they have read it, then it’s game over and you will not be able to remotely delete it or unsend it.
Open the message and long press on it. You should see a popup that offers to unsend the message. Select Unsend to stop the person from ever seeing the message.
Can You See Deleted Instagram Photos?
Deleting images from Instagram is a bit different. Photos are treated differently both by Instagram and by your phone. If you took the picture on your phone, it should still be in your camera or gallery. You should also check your Instagram Album on your phone as the image may be there.
You may be able to retrieve an image from Instagram Archive. From another Instagram image post, select the three-dot menu icon, and select Archive. Browse the contents to see if your photo is there.
Finally, if you use Android, you may want to check your Google Drive or Google Photos. If you have your phone set to sync to the cloud, your photos may have been backed up already. This setting is enabled by default so it’s worth checking unless you know you have already turned it off.
How to Find & Download Your Instagram Data
You can be sure that as part of Facebook, Instagram collects lots of data about you. Facebook is under global scrutiny right now for privacy and data collection, and Instagram is caught up in that to a lesser degree.
To find and download your Instagram data, follow these steps:
- Log into Instagram from a browser.
- Select the person icon and the cog next to your username.
- Select Privacy and Security.
- Select Request Download under Data Download.
- Confirm your email on the next page and select Next.
- Enter your Instagram password again.
- Select Request Download.
The file can take up to 48 hours to be generated and will be emailed to the address you just entered.
Got any questions about Instagram or other social networks? Comment down below or email us!