Instagram Direct is responsible for exchanging text, photos, videos, locations, emojis, and media. Besides a fun way to stay in contact with people, it can be of great importance if those messages contain something crucial to you. But whether entertaining, sentimental, or pivotal, losing your chat on Instagram is never a good thing. Luckily, as you’ll quickly see, Instagram realized its value and offers built-in ways to restore messages and other types of media with ease. With encouragement out of the way, let’s not twiddle our thumbs and get into how to recover Instagram chat.
1. Ask the recipient to help with Instagram chat recovery
It seems silly to point this out, but it’s true. Instagram messages that are deleted or simply missing on your side aren’t necessarily missing for the other person. They can copy-paste the important parts of the chat, and send it over. Furthermore, they can use method 3 themselves, then send the entire chat transcript.
2. Recover Instagram chat through Facebook/Messenger
Your first line of defense against the loss of Instagram messages is using Facebook. They not only own both platforms but have slowly begun merging chats from Instagram and Facebook into one service, Messenger. For that reason, if you encounter a loss of messages on the Instagram web page/app, you can find it through one of the two. Although it’s best if you linked accounts already, it doesn’t hurt to do it after the fact – messages might reappear. Here’s how it works:
1. Linking accounts
Here’s how to link your Instagram account with Facebook:
- Open the Instagram app.
- Tap the three-icon menu, then select Settings.
- Go to Linked Accounts.
- Tap on Facebook and then log in.
- You’ll see a checkmark next to Facebook when the process is complete.
- Follow the steps below.
Instagram chat recovery via Facebook works like this:
- Tap on the Messenger icon in the top right corner.
- You now have two options:
- Click on the three-dot menu in the top right corner. Select Message Requests.
- Click on the 4-arrow icon (See all in Messenger). You should see chats from both platforms mixed up, but listed chronologically.
To recover Instagram messages via Messenger, do this:
- Sign in to Messenger with your Facebook account.
- In the top left corner, click the three-dot menu.
- Choose Message Requests from the drop-down list.
3. Recover Instagram chat via Data Download
Remember when we taught you to restore Facebook messages by requesting Facebook to gather up information they’ve collected about you? The same can be done if you want to recover messages on Instagram. You can do this through the app too, but we’ll demonstrate the process in the browser. After all, that’s where you’ll most likely download it anyway. Follow these steps to recover Instagram chat through Data Download:
- Click on your profile picture/icon in the top right corner.
- Select Settings from the drop-down list.
- In the left sidebar, click on Privacy and Security.
- Scroll down and click on Request Download under Data Download.
- Wait. It can take up to 48 hours for Instagram to process your data and make it available.
- You’ll receive a message to the registered e-mail once it’s ready. It will be titled Download Your Data.
- Click the link in the e-mail to be redirected to the download page.
- Tip. Only download Part 1 of the data, since that’s where messages will be stored.
- UnZIP the archive and extract it anywhere you want.
- Open the messages.json file in a text editor app/software such as Json Genie Viewer for Android or Jayson for iOS.
- Find the contact, then the messages you seek.
4. Recover Instagram chat via data recovery software
Messages you sent or received via Instagram are temporarily stored in the memory of your device. As such, even after the app is deleted, they remain until the system overwrites them. That’s where the best iPhone data recovery software and the best Android data recovery software swoop in to save the day. They can scan for fragments of that data, then put it back together. For specific instructions to recover Instagram chat, check method 4 in our “how to recover Snapchat photos” guide. The only difference is that you should put a checkmark in front of Messages under Contacts/Messages (in submethod 1, step 5), and Messages instead of Photos/App Photos (in submethod 2, step 5).
Important. Be wary of third-party websites offering to restore chat on Instagram
We’d like to warn you that there are a plethora of fake websites offering free Instagram message recovery. They rank high in search results but are nothing but a scam. Here’s how to recognize them:
- The URL has nothing to do with Instagram and can be unusually long
- The home page looks outdated
- The home page is filled with ads, including annoying pop-ups
- They ask for your Instagram username at first, then later the password and/or e-mail
- They ask you to complete surveys for alleged “human verification”