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How to Check Instagram Messages On Your Computer

Instagram is a great social media platform not only for photo sharing but also for interacting with other users. You can do this through comments, and direct messages/ Instagram DMs. We will focus on the latter. And, that you can do a lot with DMs, even recover deleted ones or read them on your computer. Therefore, we will show you how to view Instagram messages on PC instead of the mobile app.

Instagram on the Apple MacBook Pro, Instagram app on iPad Pro and on iPhone 7

The Present State of Instagram on PC

Instagram direct messages have always been a thing on the Instagram app through mobile phones either on Android or iPhones. However, it was until recently in 2020 that you could use Instagram direct messaging through PC or Mac. As before you would have to use workarounds to send Instagram direct messages via your Instagram account on PC or Mac to other Instagram users.

While the Instagram website has many of the same features as their ISO or Android app counterpart the one thing that was seriously lacking is to be able to post photos through your web browser and direct messaging. They have managed to sort out the latter, and currently no word of the former.

How to Send DMs Through PC/ Macs

Now you can send DMs using your PC without the need to download Android emulators such as BlueStacks, etc. so that you can download Instagram on your desktop computer. All you have to do is go to the Instagram homepage. Then, log in to your Instagram account and you will be greeted by quite a lot.

On the homepage, you can see posts from the people and influencers that you follow as well as Instagram stories that you can watch on any web browser of your choosing be it Google Chrome or Firefox, etc. This should be the same setup on Microsoft Windows 10, Mac, and Linux.

The home screen is rather similar to the mobile device version that you downloaded from the Google Play Store or the App Store onto your mobile, it is just wider and shows more. In the top right corner of the Instagram web version, you will see four icons in between your profile picture and the search bar.

The one that is important for this article is the one that looks like a paper airplane icon. However, if you have connected your Facebook and Instagram then it will look like the Facebook messenger icon: the word bubble with the lightning bolt in the center. They both serve the same purpose- it is the icon to go to and to use your DMs.

When you press on that icon it will take you to your inbox with your messages.

If you want to send a message to someone you have to press “send message”. Or you can click on the pencil in a box icon to the left of your screen by your Instagram name. Either way, a box will open and it is here where you can scroll down to the people that you have interacted with before or you can search their name in the search bar.

If you want to create a group chat then you can do the same as you would for text messages or as you would on WhatsApp. You type in their usernames and click on them, and then you do the same for the other members you want in the group chat. However, if you just want to chat one-on-one then you can just choose one name.

Either way, from there you press “next” and the box that you are on will disappear and bring you to the newly formed chatroom you have just “created”. Then you can type your message and send it to the group by pressing enter on your keyboard or by clicking on “send” to the right side. And, an interesting fact, you can hold shift and press enter to go to a new line.

In this chat, you can send emojis and pictures such as screenshots or what you have on your PC, etc. Much like you would with an ISO iPhone, iPad, or Android device but with your web browser. Plus, you can also use hashtags in this chat since they work. As in if you click on them they will take you to all the posts that have used that particular hashtag. But, sending gifs or stickers is a bit trickier when it comes to using social media platforms like Instagram through PC, etc.

How It Was Back in The Day

Before the website of Instagram caught up to their app counterpart, people had to jump through a few hoops to be able to check and send DMs via their browser. This is where Android emulators came to play. You could download an app such as BlueStacks which turns your computer into a giant mobile. To do this you would have to download the app, and then log into your Google Account to access the Play Store. From there you can download the Instagram app and log into your account through it.

It is here where you would have all the features of Instagram on your laptop, Mac, and PC. The interface often looks like that of an Android tablet making it easy to use. It is also through this that you can send photos and videos as DMs or upload them as posts. The former can be done by allowing the app to have access to your microphone and webcam. And much like the mobile side of Instagram, you can edit your photos as you would on the app.

How You Can Upload Photos and Video Without An Emulator

The Instagram site does have a lot of the features that the app has, but it is also lacking some. However, you can still send photos through DMs. But, you cannot upload them as posts through your web browser. Unless it is a long IGTV video then you would have to upload it on the site since the app has a limit in the file size. As well as if you try to upload to both Facebook and Instagram through Facebook’s Business Suite, it will not upload to Instagram since the file size is too big.

It would seem that Facebook’s Business Suite is targeting the app of Instagram and not the browser. But, back to the topic at hand. To send a photo you would have to record it and save it on your desktop. In the bottom right corner of your desktop chat, you will see an icon that looks like a landscape picture. Clicking on this will open up your files that are on your PC and it is here that you search for the photo you want to send. But you do not seem to be able to send voice clips or videos, so keep that in mind.

How To Unsend Messages

If you send a message that you regret sending you can unsend it. This is simple since all you have to do is to go to the message that you want to unsend and click on the three dots that appear next to it. When you click on these dots, two options will pop up: to like your message or to unsend. Click on the latter, obviously.

When you click on this opinion Instagram will ask for confirmation as well as point out that people may have already seen your message. Another thing you can do is delete the whole conversation. There is an “i” icon at the top of your chat screen on the right side, and this stands for “information”. When you press on this icon it will give you a few options such as:

  • Mute messages- so that you are not bothered by it (for group chats)

  • Move to General- this is the folder on Instagram where your not very important messages go

  • Add people- if you are in a group chat

  • You can see who the members of the chat are

  • You can also make other members admin of the group chat

  • Leave chat- this one is self-explanatory, however, you can be added back if someone wants you there

  • And finally, delete chat

The latter is what we are looking for. However, this will delete the conversation on your end, not on the other members’ or member’s side. This can be great if there is a conversation you would like to forget about for your mental health or other types of reasons. As the old saying goes: out of sight, out of mind and you can carry on without the nasty reminders if you so want to. Or not, it's up to you.

Why Would You Want To Send DMs Via The Site and Not With The App

There can be a few reasons why sending DMs through the Instagram site is more beneficial. For one, it is often easier to type, certainly so if you have a lot to say. Plus, it is also easier to edit. While Instagram is first and foremost a mobile app it does come with its downsides. The first being texting and typing. It is a bit annoying when you have to write a lot with your small keyboard on your app. And auto-correction can also get on your nerves at times.

Auto-correction and typing are a lot easier to do and deal with on a keyboard. It can let you write a lot as well as go back and edit and fix up without screwing up the rest of the text. Great for people who have a lot to say.

Another upside of going through DMs on their site is that you will find it easier to send links. Since you are on a web browser you can open the link you want to share in another tab. Then you just copy and paste it into your chat.

On the app, this is slightly more complicated in that you have to go out of your Instagram app. Go to your mobile web browser, struggle to copy the link, and then go back to the app. It is the small things that can make a big difference. Plus, it can be an easier way to send photos to yourself if you want to upload them onto the app. If you are a digital artist then you would be creating your work on your PC/Mac/Linux and not your mobile, most likely. When you finish your masterpiece, you would want to share it.

Therefore, if you go to your Instagram account on your browser and you have two accounts then you can just send the work to yourself. And then you can go onto your mobile Instagram app and download it to your phone, to share it with the world of Insta. You would not even have to exit the app to upload your post. It can be quite convenient for artists if they have two accounts.

You could have a personal one and a professional one. Or you could just make a throw-away account so that you can send your works to yourself to upload on the app. Or you can go for emulators, but we think this way could be a touch easier to do.

Sending in instagram direct message icon on smartphone screen macro view

What You Can Do On DMs Through The App that You Cannot Through a Browser

DMs through the browser is an easier way to send links or artworks. However, some features are lacking such as sending a voice note, and stickers. This can be done through the app. Furthermore, you can also FaceTime the people or person you are chatting to. The browser side is lacking these features currently.

Plus, if you miss a call and you go to your browser chat log it will tell you to go to the app to view that type of message.

To Summarize

It is very easy to check your direct messages through the Instagram site. You would not have to download an emulator as it was done back in the day. However, there are some features that are lacking on the browser side of Instagram. But, if you just want to chat a lot then going through the browser would be easier and quicker.

The browser acts very similarly to the app. All that you have to do is click the airplane icon or Facebook messenger icon and off you go chatting.

While there are some things that you cannot do currently. Such as sending videos, voice clips, stickers, etc. But, hopeful Instagram will add these features to their browser to make it more in line with their app. But, it is good as it is, if you just want to chat, and text a lot. Plus, sending DMs via a browser can be a great and quick way to upload your artwork.

Certainly for if you are a digital artist. Speaking of digital art; why not check out this article about if having an Instagram Creator Account would be good? Other than that, happy and safe chatting either through the Instagram site or their app. Both get the basic job done, very well. But the latter does have more to offer but the latter is just easier for long sessions of typing.

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