How to Block Messages on Instagram

Nowadays, you can connect with people from all over the world with just a touch of a button. Unfortunately, this also means getting exposed to the wrong kind of communication. So, to keep the social media experience pleasant or at least harmless, many platforms offer tools to protect you and your privacy. 

In general, Instagram is a popular, user-friendly platform. It allows you to share your videos and photos with the rest of the world. Also, users can also send you direct messages or “DMs”. But, sometimes these messages contain appropriate, friendly content. Other times, they don’t! To keep you in control, Instagram offers various tools. So, the block option is one of the most known features that can help you limit who can contact you on Instagram. 

Here are some of the ways to stop or block messages on Instagram from a specific user or from everyone else.

Block them

There is no direct way to turn off your message on Instagram. However, if someone is bothering you, there are some tools to stop them from sending you DMs. First, there is the Block option. By blocking someone on Instagram, they will not be able to see your profile, stories, or even posts.

The same goes for messages as well. A blocked user cannot send you DMs. Also, Instagram will not notify the person you have blocked. Still, they might notice when they cannot find your profile or see your posts anymore. 

The user you have blocked on Instagram will not be able to send you new messages. However, your chat history with them will not automatically get deleted.

If you decide to unblock them, your old messages will remain intact. In case you wish to delete them, you can do that separately. All the old likes and comments of the person you have blocked will also remain on your Instagram account. Whenever you want, you can easily delete them as well.

Instagram messages on desktop

Here are the steps for blocking someone on Instagram:

Android and iOS

  • Open your chat history with that user.
  • Tap the “i” icon. Find it in the upper-right corner.
  • Scroll down till you reach the “Block” option. After that, you’ll find it at the bottom of the page.
  • Tap on “Block.” To confirm your choice, click on the “Block” button. 


  • Go to the exact Instagram profile of the person you want to block.
  • Now, you need to tap on the three dots in the top right
  • A pop-up window will appear.
  • Select “Block.”
  • Click on the “Block” button to confirm.
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  • Open your Instagram Direct Messages.
  • Go to the conversation with the person that you want to block.
  • Now, tap the “i” icon in the upper-right corner.
  • Select the “Block” option.
  • Finally, confirm your choice by clicking “Block”.


  • Go to the person’s Instagram account.
  • Click on the three dots in the top-right of their profile.
  • A pop-up window will appear. 
  • Choose “Block this user”. 
  • To confirm, hit “Block” again.
  • A confirmation will appear. Click “Dismiss” to return to your Instagram account.

Disable DMs from strangers

Blocking users one by one can be frustrating, especially if there are many. With this option, you can stop all strangers from sending you private messages on Instagram. This feature has been long requested by Instagram users. Now, it’s finally here. 

Stalkers or harassers are usually people you don’t follow on Instagram. Normally, their messages would show up in your “Message requests” section. With this new feature, you’ll not receive their DMs anymore. Thus, only people you follow on the platform will be able to send you messages. 

Be aware, though, blocking messages from ALL strangers will not just stop negative communication. Even friendly DMs or comments on your stories will be stopped if they were sent by strangers. To enable this feature:

  • Open the Instagram app.
  • Go to your profile.
  • Tap on the three-bar icon at the top right.
  • Select “Settings” from the menu.
  • Choose “Privacy” then “Messages”.
  • Tap on “Your followers on Instagram”. Then select “Don’t receive requests”. This way, you’ll not receive any messages from your followers. 
  • You can also choose “Others on Instagram” or “Others on Facebook”. Select “Don’t receive requests”. This will stop any messages from people you’re not connected with on Instagram or Facebook. 

Here is how to find the Message Controls settings. First, find the privacy tab for messages.

Privacy tab

Now, you’ll see the privacy settings for messaging followers and people on IG.

Message controls

Restricting messages from someone’s IG 

You don’t have to block someone to stop receiving messages from them. In fact, Instagram offers you a less harsh option: “Restrict”. With this feature, all messages from the selected user will be directed to the message “Requests” tab. Consequently, they will not land in your primary message folder anymore.

By restricting a user, you won’t not need to unfollow or block them. This will make it harder for the person to notice you have restricted them on Instagram. Unlike the block option, restricting someone does not have any obvious signs or indications. They will not just be able to see your online status on the platform anymore. Other than that, everything will look normal to them.

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Here are the steps on how to restrict someone on Instagram:

Android and iOS

  • Open your DM conversation with that user.
  • Tap the “i” icon. You can find it in the upper-right corner.
  • Scroll down till you reach the “Restrict” option. 
  • Select “Restrict.” To confirm your choice, click on “Restrict Account”. 


  • Go to the Instagram profile of the person you want to restrict.
  • Tap on “Following”.
  • Choose “Restrict”.
  • To confirm, tap on “Restrict Account”.

On Desktop

  • Go to the person’s Instagram account.
  • Click on the three dots in the top-right.
  • A pop-up window will appear. 
  • Choose “Restrict”. 
  • Click on “Restrict Account” to confirm.
Restricting someone’s account

Mute someone on Instagram

If you’re searching for something even less harsh than the “Restrict” option, check out the “Mute” feature. In reality, when you mute someone on Instagram, you won’t be notified when they send you a message. Instead, you’ll silently receive the message. They will see your online status on Instagram. However, you’ll not be bothered by notifications from their messages anymore.

To mute a user:

  • Open your conversation on Instagram with them.
  • Tap on the “i” icon in the upper-right corner.
  • Go to “Mute messages” and turn on the toggle.
  • You can also mute call notifications from them on Instagram by selecting “Mute call notifications”. 

In all cases, the person will not get notified you have muted them. They will not also notice anything different on your Instagram account.

Turn Off notifications

Instead of turning off the notifications of each user, you can do that for the entire messages on Instagram. This way, messages will arrive saliently in your inbox. Here is how:

Android and iOS

  • Open your profile tab. 
  • Click on the three horizontal lines at the top right.
  • Tap on “Your activity”.
  • Choose “Time spent”.
  • Scroll down and select “Notification settings”.
  • Tap on “Messages and Calls” and customize the notifications as you want.
  • If you want to turn off all Instagram notifications, return to the “Notifications” page. Turn on the switch next to “Pause All”.


Here the options are limited. The notifications customization is better on mobile devices. 

  • Go to your Instagram profile.
  • Select “Settings”.
  • Choose “Push Notifications”. It’s on the left panel.
  • Scroll down to “Instagram Direct Requests”. 
  • Finally, turn it OFF.
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Private Instagram profile

Another great way to stop getting messages from strangers is by turning your Instagram account into a private one. With a public profile, anyone can DM you. They don’t need your permission. In private mode of Instagram profiles, on the other hand, only your followers can send you messages.

Everybody else needs your approval first. You also need to approve user requests to follow your private Instagram account. Creator Accounts cannot be made private on Instagram, however. 

Here is how to make your Instagram account private:

Android and iOS

  • Open your Instagram app.
  • Go to your profile.
  • Tap on the three horizontal lines at the top right.
  • Choose “Settings”.
  • Select “Privacy”.
  • Flip the switch next to “Private Account”.


  • Log in to your Instagram account.
  • Go to your profile page.
  • Select “Settings”.
  • Go to “Privacy and Security” in the left panel.
  • Check the box next to “Private Account”. Now, you should find it near the top of the screen, under “Account Privacy”.

Decline messages

When someone you don’t follow sends you a message, it goes automatically to your “Message Requests” tab. So, this user will not be able to see if you have read their message unless you accept the request. In this case, the message will be transferred to your primary inbox. 

The other option would be to decline the message request. In this scenario, the message will get deleted. To save yourself time and energy, you can delete multiple message requests at once. If the message requests are too many, you can choose the “Delete All” option. This will empty your “Message Requests” folder. Here is how to do that:

  • Go to your Instagram inbox.
  • Select the “Requests” tab. 
  • Choose “Delete all”. You can find it at the bottom of the page. 

Many Instagram users choose to ignore hurtful, harassing messages. However, you don’t have to. Being exposed to all this negativity can take a toll on your health and mental well-being. So, make use of all the above tools to protect your Instagram account and take control of it. You can always report a message or comment to Instagram. They will take further actions like suspending the harassing account. 

Make your Instagram experience more enjoyable and pleasant. Block all negativity from your social media accounts!

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Switoma writers share their best guides from experts in social media, search engines, and Internet-related topics. We spend our time doing the research, then testing things that you can try and rely on for your daily search and online usage.

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