Do Message Requests on Instagram Expire?

Do Message Requests on Instagram Expire?

So, you’re casually using your iPhone and you see a message that says, “So & So wants to send you a message”. You then check Instagram to look for the message. It’s either you see the message request but after a few days it disappears, or you don’t know where to find the message in the first place.

If your Instagram message request has vanished, you may have gotten followed by the person who sent it. People who do not follow you on Instagram send you message requests, and you must respond to them. 

It will be possible for those not following you to send you a direct message. On the other hand, their message will not get delivered to your inbox via direct messaging. Instead, it will be delivered to the address you specify in your requests.

As a result, if you chance to follow someone before accepting their message request, their message will automatically be placed in your direct messages folder. It may be the reason why one or more of your message requests have vanished. 

Do Instagram DM Requests Expire?

Instagram dm requests do not expire because there’s no time limit on how long a DM request stays in the requested section. The message request will be available for you to accept or decline permanently until you make a decision to accept or decline. As long as the user doesn’t do anything to their account, or unsend or block you, their dm request won’t expire.

Instagram direct message requests

If you’ve seen this message request notification pop up on your phone, you won’t be able to access this message like any other message.

Instagram places direct messages in a different area of the DM section because these people don’t follow you. Since your account is private, it means that you have to accept people’s message requests as well as their follow requests.

To view the message requests on Instagram:

1. Click on the Home button in the bottom left

2. Click on Airplane/Messages icon in Upper Right

3. Look just below the search bar on the right

4. You will see Requests with a number to the left.

Accept decline Instagram DM

5. Click on the number of requests, view message and Accept or Decline

If you view the direct message request, the sender won’t see that you viewed it unless you accept their message request.

Once you’ve accepted it, they can see that you’ve seen the message and you can send a message back. If you decline the direct message request, they’ll have to send one again.

Why Do Message Requests Disappear on Instagram?

Instagram message requests disappear all the time and it’s common for it to happen. They usually disappear not because of Instagram having some disappearing feature or a time limit for how long you have to accept or decline but because the user has done something for it to disappear.

The only reason why a message request will disappear because of Instagram is due to a glitch. Apart from that, the message request has gone because of something the person who sent it has done.

Tip: For you to know someones message request deleted, you would’ve have to read your message. If you’re not an avoid user of the app, you may be worried that someone will know you read their message request. Luckily, they’re won’t know. You can read the article to see how this works.

Disappeared Due to Glitch

The first reason why your Instagram message request disappeared is due to a bug. There can be glitches within Instagram that cause your message request to disappear and there’s nothing you can do to get them back. Once a message request has gone, you won’t be able to find the request again until the person decides to message you again.

The User Unsent the Message Request

The second reason why your message requests have disappeared is that the account that sent it has unsent the message. If all the messages sent by the user have been unsent, you’re not going to see the direct message request anymore. That’s why it’s best to accept or decline a message request as soon as possible so that you don’t give them the chance to unsend the message.

You Declined Their Request

The third reason why you won’t be able to see your dm request anymore is that you declined the message request. This means that you rejected that account from sending you messages so you won’t see the request from them again unless you accept their next request.

If you have declined/deleted their request, you can see deleted message requests on Instagram incase you regret your decision.

They Have Temporarily Disabled Their Account

Another reason why your message request has gone is that the owner of the account has temporarily disabled their account.

When an account has been disabled, it’s taken off Instagram’s database temporarily, so others won’t be able to view message requests from this account to be able to accept or decline them.

Since the account is no longer in their database, you won’t be able to find the message request that they sent you when you check the Requests section.

Their Account Has Been Banned/Suspended

If an Instagram message request has gone, there could be a chance that the person’s account has been deleted or suspended by Instagram.  On very rare occasions, Instagram bans people’s accounts when they haven’t been following their guidelines – they’ve been posting content that’s explicit for example.

If someone has sent you a message request and it’s gone, you wouldn’t be able to see their message request anymore since their account no longer exists temporarily. If they do manage to get their account back in a reasonable time frame, then you’ll be able to see the message request.

They Have Deleted Their Account

Similar to them disabling and their account being suspended by Instagram,  they could have also deleted their account. If a message request has gone, the person might have deleted their account meaning that you won’t be able to see the message request again. To check this, you can try to remember their username and search it up to see if you’re able to find it. If you’re no longer able to find the account, then they may have deleted it.

They Have Blocked You

When a message request is not showing, it could mean that the person who sent it has blocked you. If someone blocks you have sent you a message you haven’t accepted, you’ll no longer be able to see it in your message requests. When someone blocks you, you’ll no longer be able to see anything about their account again.

You’ve Followed Them

If you follow an Instagram account that sent you a message request, their request is going to be accepted straight away and go into your normal DMs. For people you follow, they don’t have to send you a message request just for them to message you. As soon as you accept their follow request, their message request gets accepted automatically.

Accepted Message Request on Instagram, But There’s No Message

If you have ever accepted a message request, but there was no message, these are some reasons. When someone deactivates their Instagram account, their profile will get removed from the platform. They will no longer be able to be found on Instagram as a result of this decision. If you search for their username, you will not see their profile in the search results. The person’s direct message request would get erased as well if they had sent you a message directly before deleting their account. It’s comparable to when someone refuses to let you in.

Your message requests have vanished from Instagram because the person who sent them has unsent them. Instagram offers a tool that allows you to cancel the delivery of a message. To cancel an email, tap and hold on to the conversation and select “Unsubscribe.” When you unsubscribe from communication, it will no longer be accessible to the other person or party. If someone does not follow you, their message will get sent to the message requests folder on your computer. If they choose to delete it, their message request will get removed from the system as a result. Furthermore, you will not be alerted if your account is deleted. As a result, if you had a message request, but it suddenly vanished, the individual had unsent their message(s).

How Long Do Message Requests Last on Instagram?

Message requests on Instagram do not expire, unlike other social media platforms. An Instagram message request will only get erased if you have accepted, denied, or deleted the message request in question. If this is the case, the individual must have deleted their message. Messages can be both commonplace and vanishing, like in the following example: Even the most mundane texts are preserved and added together to form a correspondence history. Messages that disappear from the screen can only be viewed once.

Message requests will last forever on Instagram if they are not unsent or the user doesn’t block you. Instagram may have glitches where you can not see the messages, but once you reload your page and have a stable connection to the internet, the messages will appear again. 

How to See Old Message Requests on Instagram

Regardless of how many alerts you have enabled on your phone, there may be even more lurking in Instagram’s private inboxes than you realize. If you’re unfamiliar with Instagram’s Message Request inbox, keep reading. Essentially, it’s comparable to Facebook’s “other” inbox, which is where you’ll find long-lost messages from distant cousins and individuals with whom you have no mutual friends and who you may have met at a bar in Before Times when you first joined the social network.

When someone you don’t follow sends you a message, it will get sent to your All Requests folder, which is the most secure of all the folders. It may be found on the right-hand side of the screen, next to the Primary and General buttons. You have the option to accept or decline these requests, and they will not be recorded as “seen” until you do so. It means that if you see a preview of a message from someone you don’t want to engage with, they will not be aware that you have seen it until you accept it. If you don’t delete message requests and the person doesn’t unsend them regardless of how old they are, you can always find them on the message request folder on the app.

Accidentally Declined Message Request Instagram

If you’ve accidentally declined someone’s message request on Instagram, then there’s no way you’ll be able to see their message request again until they make another one. If you want them to message you, you’ll have to message them first to open a conversation with them. If you’ve declined the request, then their message will disappear and you won’t be able to see it again.

There’s no way to recover the declined message request. Once it’s been declined, it won’t be available for you to view anymore.

Look Through Your Notifications And Check If Their Message is There

Instagram has the option to turn on notifications for your direct messages. You could only determine that you had received a message when you went into the app and saw the small red button on the top right corner, which was not available until late 2017.

Instagram now allows users to switch on alerts when new messages are received. Getting push notifications from Instagram keeps you up to date on what’s going on even when you aren’t actively looking through the application, which is why you need to turn them on.

If your notifications are on, that is where you will find any messages that disappear on the app. Unfortunately, you can not tap on the notification as this will not take you to the message, and you will lose the notice.

Ask Them What They Said

If someone’s DM request disappeared and you remember their username, you can message them and ask them what they said. Because you took so long to accept their request and their message disappeared, it’s best that you message them asking what they said because they’re unlikely to ever message you again since they know you didn’t accept their request in the first place.

How to Delete Message Requests From Instagram

In the case of an Instagram user who does not have their profile set to private, any other Instagram user can send you a direct message. While Instagram does not save messages sent by users you are not following, it does store messages sent by users you are following in a different category called “Message Requests.”

When you receive a message request, you have the option of accepting it or deleting it after reading it thoroughly. Instagram also doesn’t notify the sender that you’ve viewed their message unless you get their invitation to follow them.

Messages from people who are not following you will display in the message request section. You have the option to refuse them all at once if you so want. The Decline All button is at the bottom of your page, in the bottom-most section of your page. Selecting the Edit button when a request comes in from someone you want to accept will do just that. Your cursor will be located in the upper right corner of your screen. To delete the messages individually, you can swipe left on it and delete them.

Final Thoughts

When you get messages from a user who you haven’t accepted the messages of or approved as a follower, the messages get shown in the form of a request, and you must provide your permission before the message can get accepted. Maybe you don’t want to consent for any reason, and you want to get rid of the message without having to think about it any longer.

You must first start the Instagram application and then select either the home screen or the tiny house symbol that appears at the bottom of the screen for this to work. Requests may get found by clicking where it says so. There will be a list of all of the message requests shown. To delete the one you want, slide from right to left on the screen, and you will see the option to delete the picture. If it shows in full-screen mode, you have to click on “delete” in the center of the screen.

David Johnson is a freelance writer with 9 years of experience writing for Techzillo and other established tech outlets like iMore. His focus and key interests are Apple and accessibility as well as consumer technology in general. Read our Editorial Guidlines and Fact Checking process.


  1. Hey I was just wondering where I can see my hidden message Requests and The directions you gave sent accurate I can’t find any of those

  2. The negative point that you cannot see the DM requests unless you visit the messages inbox.
    There’s no option to allow everyone to send a DM without hiding it. There’s no notification option let you know if you have a new DM requests. It’s bad for business use and requires to visit the inbox each time to check if there’s a DM request or not!

  3. hey i was having 15 message request on my instagram account on 2 days before i havent replied to them from so many days then yesterday i saw suddenly it become 8 and then i took a screenshot of those 8 people and then today i saw 5 message request pending i was shocked and i thought my account has bieng hacked so i changed my password suddenly and then i searched those 3 people who were dissapeard from 8 to 5 then i searched their name i clicked on a send message it was showing their messages which they sended to me why it is dissapearing ? i havent decline myself ( y is it happening ? )

  4. I had opened my request for message and i had’nt accept or decline it. Now I can’t see the request. What I need to do to view the request?

  5. I actually accepted a request and now completely not able to see the conversation wherein im not able to seethe txt i hav sent
    How is it possible?

  6. I just had a request, clicked on it and it wasn’t there. It’s annoying me so much that I can’t see who it was from. I assume they deleted the message? Can I recover this message at all by using one of them recovery apps?

  7. Hey please help me i have so many direct messages in my instagram suddenly instagram logged me out i tried alot to open it again but when it opened i cant see any direct messages . Please help me those messages were very important please !

  8. I think that the person who wanted to send a message to me unsent their message, is there anyway I can see who it was?

  9. I had a dm from a chick and replied and blocked her. She was an ex of my bf. It stayed a few days and has now dissapeared. Why? I did snapshot it.

  10. ive had a DM group invite sent to me on Instagram, I did not receive the invite though. There are no requests below the taskbar for some reason. The person sending the invite can see me on their group thread. It evens shows when I am online. However I can’t join or find the invite, Nor can I leave the group for others to invite me

    Any ideas. Tried restarting, logging off, etc


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here