How to Turn Off Read Receipts on Instagram

Instagram’s read receipts allow users to see when others have read their Instagram direct messages, keeping track of who has seen and responded to your message and who hasn’t.
This function can cause problems if you are trying to communicate in private with someone who isn’t sure how they feel about your message or if they aren’t yet sure they want to talk to you at all.
Luckily, it is simple to turn off the read receipts on Instagram so that the person you are communicating with won’t be able to see when you open their message or read it.

Why it’s important

If you’re like most people, you don’t like getting read receipts in WhatsApp, but you still use them for a few key contacts.
However, if you use Instagram, read receipts are turned on by default and there is no way to turn them off.
Instagram does not allow you to decide who sees your seen at…
posts or even specify how long someone will be notified that you saw their post (although they do set an internal timer).
This can create major problems when it comes to stalking exes or friends with benefits, as well as being able to creep out others.
Since many users have many followers it can become even more of an issue as once your picture gets seen it could appear on other user’s feeds who may then see it as well.

What you can do

You can turn off read receipts for any single conversation by tapping Details in a message thread and then enabling Do Not Disturb.
Just know that once you’ve done so, your friends will no longer be able to tell whether you’ve seen their messages or not.
If you want to see everything someone sends but still don’t want them knowing when you do, try switching to airplane mode (but remember there are some times when an internet connection is necessary—for example, if someone mentions something online that you want to see).
Another tactic is temporarily turning off notifications for Instagram entirely—something we recommend doing only when it comes time for bedtime.
In iOS, go to Settings > General > Profile, choose Push Notifications and disable Alerts; if you’re using Android tap My Account > App Settings and then Notification Settings.
On both operating systems, tap Sounds & Haptics > Default Sound > None.
When you turn push notifications back on, simply select the level of alert that works best for you.
For more tips and tricks, check out our complete guide to managing Instagram notifications .

Why turn them off?

The read receipts feature sends a notification to both users when one has opened or read a message.
This feature can be used positively by letting your contacts know you’ve seen their message and will respond soon.
However, most of us are probably familiar with unwanted notifications coming from friends and family members who have noticed we read their messages but haven’t responded yet.
It can sometimes feel like a barrage of pressure; it may not be intentional, but it might not feel that way to some people.
To prevent this kind of back-and-forth stress, consider turning off your read receipts for individual conversations when you don’t want anyone to know whether or not you’ve seen what they sent you.
You could also go a step further and turn off all read receipts for each contact if you want more privacy control overall.

Best practice tips

If you don’t want your followers to know when you read their comments, there are a few ways to turn off read receipts.
Check out these best practices for turning off seen notifications in your account settings.
For example, you can choose whether or not your friends can see when you read their comments.
And if you decide that you do want to use read receipts but prefer that only some of your followers can see them, learn how to customize who receives delivery and receipt statuses with these simple steps.
Best of all? No third-party apps required!

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