How to Turn Off Read Receipts on Instagram

We all communicate differently. Some are compulsive texters who reply as soon as they can; others tend to take their sweet time. Whichever group one finds oneself in, often it’s better not to let the other party know when you’ve read their message. Thankfully, Instagram lets you turn off read receipts not just for individual chats but, as a recent update will have it, for all chats. Here’s how to go about it.

How to turn off read receipts on Instagram

Follow the steps in the following two sections depending on whether you want to turn off read receipts for a particular chat or all chats.

For Individuals chats

Here’s how to turn off read receipts for an individual chat on Instagram:

  1. Launch Instagram and tap on the ‘Messenger’ icon at the top right corner. 
  2. From the list of your chats, tap and select the chat whose read receipts you want to turn off. Then tap on their username at the top.
  3. Tap on Privacy and safety and then toggle Off Read receipts.

From now on, no matter if you read the message from the notification screen or directly from the chat, the other party won’t receive the ‘Seen’ read receipts. 

For all chats

Until recently, users had no option to disable read receipts globally and had to toil long and hard to disable read receipts individually for every chat. Not anymore! Instagram will let you turn off read receipts for everyone with a flick of a switch. Here’s how:

  1. Tap on your profile icon and then open Settings. 
  2. Select Messages and story replies.
  3. Tap on Show read receipts and then toggle off Read receipts.
    Image: Instagram (Threads)

And that’s about it! You won’t have to trouble yourself wondering what others will think when you’ve left them hanging without a reply and can take your own sweet time to craft a response (or not). 


Let’s consider a couple of frequently asked questions about read receipts on Instagram.

Why can’t I find the option to turn off Read Receipts for all chats on Instagram?

The option to turn off Read Receipts is found under Settings > Messages and story replies > Show read receipts. If you don’t find it there, update the app or wait until the new feature is rolled out to you. 

What is ‘Show activity status’ on Instagram?

‘Read Receipts’ lets others see if you’ve seen their message, while ‘Show activity status’ determines if others can see when you were last online or if you’re currently active. They’re fundamentally different features, even though they fall under the wider purview of messaging on Instagram. 

We hope you were able to turn off read receipts on Instagram. Until next time! Stay safe.  

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