A Complete Guide to Fixing Instagram Direct Messages Not Sending

A Complete Guide to Fixing Instagram Direct Messages Not Sending

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All solutions in this guide apply to Android and iPhone. To troubleshoot direct message issues on Instagram Web, refer to Method # 1, # 4, # 6, and # 7. Let’s get right to the point.

1. Check the internet connection

Of course, it is impossible to use Instagram without an active internet connection. If you also can’t display photos and videos on your IG timeline in addition to not being able to send direct messages, the issue is likely connectivity. Put your phone in airplane mode and turn it off after a few seconds. This will help to refresh your device’s internet connection. If the problem persists, check that your router is working properly. For cellular data, make sure you have an active internet connection and that you are in an area with strong network and reception.

2. Relaunch Instagram

Close or force stop the application on your smartphone and restart it. If you still can’t send a DM to anyone, you can try signing out of your Instagram account and signing back in. If you are using an Android smartphone, clearing Instagram’s cache can help.

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3. Update Instagram

The problem could also be due to a bug or an app malfunction. Instagram fixes these errors quickly, and sometimes the fixes come with a new version of the app. Therefore, you may need to install the updated Instagram app to eliminate the bug that prevents you from sending direct messages. Update Instagram on your device and check if that fixes the DM issue.

4. You have been blocked, maybe

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If your internet is working fine, just like the Instagram app, it is possible that the problem is not on your side. If you cannot send direct messages to a particular user, there are two possibilities. First, the user has configured their account’s privacy settings to restrict DMs. Second, the person has blocked you. When blocked on Instagram, you may not be able to send direct messages. We have a step-by-step guide on how to tell if someone has blocked you on Instagram. You should also know more about what happens when you’ve been blocked on IG.

5. Use a VPN

This tip is for Instagram users who cannot initiate a DM conversation. If you’ve tried sending a DM to someone on Instagram for the first time, but it doesn’t work, a VPN might help. Here is how it works.

First of all, close Instagram, launch the VPN app, and turn on the VPN connection. Now relaunch Instagram and try to send the DM again. You don’t need to activate the VPN all the time. A VPN helps you get through the door. You can continue the conversation and send subsequent messages with or without the VPN.

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It’s also worth mentioning that a free VPN would suffice for this. We have compiled and reviewed some great VPN apps for Android as well as for iOS devices. They’re fast, secure, and all offer enough free plan / subscription to help you send DMs on Instagram.

6. Check the status of the Instagram server

The servers feeding Instagram are sometimes offline. As a result, the entire application or some of its features (direct messaging, for example) stop working. This has happened several times in the past and is bound to happen from time to time. You can use tools like DownDetector to check if Instagram servers are online. The tool also tells you if other users are having (similar) difficulties with Instagram.

7. Wait

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It is common for social media applications to limit the rate of use of certain features or services. As a spam prevention measure, Instagram can temporarily prevent you from sending DMs if you’ve messaged too many users, especially people you don’t follow, in a short period of time. We’ve seen reports of many Instagram users being temporarily banned from directing because they’ve posted too many messages online.

And since there is no official Instagram policy or documentation regarding DM limits, it’s somewhat difficult to know if you’ve been posting too many messages or not. However, we found out that sending 30-100 DM to users you don’t follow can exclude you from the search. We therefore recommend that you work with this range as a guide and avoid going too far with the number of DM (daily) you send.

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As mentioned earlier, the ban is only temporary and usually only lasts 24 hours. If you can’t wait that long, and you’re sure you haven’t sent multiple spam messages, skip to the following troubleshooting solutions below. But if Instagram has truly banned you, you have no choice but to wait until the ban ends.

8. Update the phone operating system

If you still can’t send a DM but other Instagram users can, then the problem may be with your device. Check for software updates and make sure the latest version of the operating system is running on your smartphone. This applies to Android and iOS devices.

DM freely in style

Restarting your smartphone (or browser – for Instagram Web) is also an effective troubleshooting solution that we recommend. Leave a comment below if you need further assistance.


Are you missing Instagram messages because you are not receiving DM notifications on your smartphone? Check the solutions in the article linked below to resolve the issue.

Last updated Oct 16, 2020

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