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How to Recover Deleted Instagram Messages: A Comprehensive Guide

Ever accidentally deleted an important Instagram message and panicked? Trust us, you’re not alone. Recovering deleted Instagram messages can be tricky, but it’s not impossible. Whether it’s a casual chat, a business deal, or a sentimental text from a loved one, this guide will help you retrieve what’s lost.

How to Recover Deleted Instagram Messages:

  • Navigate to Instagram settings
  • Proceed to the “Security” section
  • Select “Download Data”
  • Wait for an email containing your chat history
  • Access your deleted messages from the received ZIP file

Let’s delve into the intricate details and cover all possible options you’ve got for this recovery operation.

Understanding Instagram’s Data Policy

Before embarking on the recovery journey, it’s wise to acquaint yourself with Instagram’s data retention policies. Understanding how Instagram treats your data can significantly affect your chances of a successful recovery.

What Does Instagram Store?

You might think that pressing delete means it’s gone forever, but that’s not exactly the case. Instagram does keep a record of your conversations, but there are limitations to what they store and for how long.

Why the Time Factor Matters

Instagram generally keeps data for around 90 days. After this period, even if you used a bulldozer, you couldn’t get those messages back. So the clock starts ticking the moment you hit delete. This is why it’s crucial to act fast and initiate the recovery process as soon as possible.

Encryption and Privacy

Instagram values user privacy, so rest assured, your data is encrypted. However, this encryption can sometimes make the recovery process slightly more complicated than you’d hope.

Manual Methods to Recover Deleted Instagram Messages

A hands-on approach is often the first line of action. Here, you’ll learn about different ways you can manually retrieve your deleted messages.

Instagram Settings: A Step-By-Step Guide

Going through Instagram settings is the most straightforward method for recovery.

Here are the detailed steps:

  1. Open Instagram and navigate to your profile.
  2. Tap on the three horizontal lines at the top-right corner.
  3. Click on ‘Settings’.
  4. Head to the ‘Security’ section.
  5. Click on ‘Download Data’.
  6. You’ll be prompted to enter your email. Enter and tap ‘Request Download’.
  7. Instagram will send a ZIP file to your email.
  8. Extract this file to find your deleted messages.

What to Expect in the ZIP File

The ZIP file contains more than just your messages. You’ll find data related to your posts, comments, and even likes. Navigate through the file to find a folder specifically for messages.

Recovery via Connected Facebook Account

If your Instagram and Facebook accounts are linked, you’re in luck. Instagram messages get automatically archived in your Facebook Messenger.

  • Open Facebook Messenger.
  • Navigate to the ‘More’ tab.
  • Click on ‘Archived’.
  • You should find your Instagram messages here.

Benefits and Risks of Third-Party Software

Third-party applications offer a convenient method for recovering messages, but they come with their own set of risks and benefits. Trusted software like Dr.Fone and Enigma Recovery can get the job done, but always ensure you read user reviews and their privacy policy before installing.

Advanced Tips for Message Recovery Success

Knowing the basics is good, but mastering the advanced tips can make you a recovery guru.

Check Other Devices

If you’re logged into multiple devices, there’s a good chance your deleted messages might still be visible on one of them.

Server Backup

In rare cases, Instagram might be able to recover messages due to a server backup. This is a long shot, but contacting Instagram support might be worth it.

Legal Methods

For extremely important messages, involving legal help can assist in compelling Instagram to recover messages, although this is an extreme step.

Setting Up Auto Backup

To prevent future losses, setting up automatic backup of your Instagram data can be a lifesaver. There are apps designed for this specific purpose.

FAQ Section

Can I recover deleted Instagram messages after 90 days?

Your chances are slim to none. Instagram generally deletes data after 90 days.

Is third-party software safe for recovering messages?

While many software options are reliable, always read user reviews and data policies before downloading any application.

Why haven’t I received my Instagram data email?

If you haven’t received the email within 48 hours, request the data download again. Also, double-check your email’s spam folder and ensure you’re using the correct email linked to your Instagram account.


The conclusion is simple yet vital—there is hope to recover your deleted Instagram messages, but timing is of the essence. Whether you opt for manual methods, third-party software, or explore advanced options, the key is to act swiftly and wisely. With this guide, you’re well-equipped to take on the challenge.

Chris Bennett
Editorial Staff
ĐĄhris is an skilled writer with plenty of experience in writing high-end content, proofreading and editing. He delivers in-depth how-to's, reviews, researches and guides about all aspects of the social media industry. Chris has contributed work to The Washington Post, Forbes, Influencive, Los Angeles Times, and many others.
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