Why Cant you Reply to Messages on Instagram

Can’t reply to messages on Instagram? [Check these EASY fixes!]

Imagine being so excited about an Instagram message notification, but after tapping, you only see that dreadful spinning wheel or a blank screen. Uh-oh, were you hacked, or is your phone broken? Don’t worry, as that isn’t the case—most likely.

When you can’t reply to messages on Instagram, your app may be outdated, or you may be dealing with bugs in your phone and its cache. Other possible causes for this issue include server problems and connectivity issues.

How can you fix the issue, though? Well, that’s why I’m here! In this blog, I’ll detail 9 easy fixes so you can finally respond to your IG messages in less than 10 minutes! 

And to help you understand things better, let’s start off with the most common reasons to why you might be encountering this problem.

Why can’t I reply to a specific message on my Instagram?

  • The Instagram app on your phone needs updating – An outdated Instagram app won’t have access to the latest messaging features, so you may not see the reply option in some direct messages.
  • Your phone’s app cache is corrupt – When you have a corrupt app cache, your phone and apps may stop working correctly.
  • There are bugs or glitches on your phone – When you have bugs in the system, you might you might lose access to content and messaging features while using the app unless you address these system errors first.
  • Your device is outdated – Unsurprisingly, older devices may suffer from incompatibility issues with the latest versions of Instagram. So, your  smartphone may be unable to install the version that includes the messenger update.

With this issue, you won’t be able to reply to specific messages on Instagram without the update.

  • The feature isn’t available in your country or account – Since Meta is releasing the messenger update for Instagram in a few countries at a time, it might be unavailable in your region for the meantime.

    As such, you must wait for its official release or use workarounds to bypass the regional restriction and install the update early.
  • Instagram’s server is down – Sometimes, Instagram itself suffers from various problems and technical difficulties, rendering you unable to respond to messages or even access the app.
  • Your internet connection may be slow or down – Like all other online apps, you need Internet access to open your account and interact with others.

    Without a reliable internet connection, you can’t access Instagram content, write comments, or send and receive direct messages.

How to Fix Message Reply Problems on Instagram 

Here are some potent solutions to your Instagram app’s message reply problems. Note that replying to a specific message is only available on later Instagram versions, so other solutions may only work if you update the app beforehand.

FIX 1. Update Instagram’s messaging feature

Difficulty Easy ●●○○○
Number of Steps10
Time to Perform Fix50 seconds
Things NeededAny smartphone
A working internet connection

When your Messenger isn’t updated, you may encounter some errors, including being unable to respond to messages.

However, remember that updating your Instagram’s messaging feature isn’t the same as an app update. So, this action only downloads the necessary resources to add the bonus features from the messenger update. 

Therefore, you can access this messaging feature without updating the Instagram app if the “Update Messaging” option is available in your app’s menu.

Step 1: Log into your Instagram account and tap
your profile icon.

Step 2: Click the hamburger menu in the upper-right corner to
open the additional options panel.

Step 3: Go to Settings.

Step 4: Go to Update Messaging.

Step 5: Click Update to upgrade your Instagram’s
messaging feature.

Step 6: Wait for a dialogue box to confirm the update.

Step 7: Click the Messenger icon on your Instagram home feed.

Step 8: Select a conversation.

Step 9: Tap and hold a specific message to
reveal more options.

Step 10: Click Reply to respond to the
selected message.

FIX 2. Update the Instagram app 

Difficulty Very Easy ●○○○○
Number of Steps5
Time to Perform Fix40 seconds
Things NeededAny smartphone
A working internet connection

Although updating the messaging feature is separate, you might need to update the app before this option can be available. After all, using an outdated app might explain why you can’t reply to messages on Instagram.

Fortunately, the answer to this problem is straightforward since you only need to update your Instagram to its latest version, complete with the latest features.

However, you must note that updating your Instagram app may not be enough to gain the message reply feature. Sometimes, you must still select the “Update Messaging” option in the app after updating it from the Google Play Store to add this feature.

Step 1: Open Play Store.

Step 2: Tap your profile icon in the
upper-right corner.

Step 3: Click “Manage apps & device.”

Step 4: Click “Update all” to download and install
every available app update.

Step 5: Wait for the Instagram app to finish
installing its latest version.

Note: Upon updating Instagram, open it and go to your direct messages to
check whether you can reply using the previous instructions.

FIX 3. Clear its cache 

Difficulty Very Easy ●○○○○
Number of Steps7
Time to Perform Fix30 seconds
Things NeededAny smartphone

Once you update the app, the only possible reason you can’t reply to messages on Instagram is a system-related bug or error. Often, it could be due to your Instagram storing corrupt temporary data, which can happen during use.

All apps have a cache storage for the data they store whenever you use them. With this, your apps won’t need to redownload essential data or renew authorization or connecting to a server, allowing your phone to work more efficiently.

Unfortunately, the temporary data is susceptible to becoming corrupt over time, so you must clear its cache storage whenever your Instagram app is acting up. Here’s how to do it:

Step 1: Go to Settings.

Step 2: Go to Apps.

Step 3: Select Manage Apps.

Step 4: Find and click your Instagram app.

Step 5: Click Clear Data.

Step 6: Click Clear Cache.

Step 7: Click OK to clear Instagram’s app cache.

FIX 4. Log out of Instagram and log back in

Difficulty Easy ●●○○○
Number of Steps11
Time to Perform Fix50 seconds
Things NeededAny smartphone
A working internet connection

Regarding missing content and features, a quick and easy solution is logging out of your Instagram account. This way, you can log back in and allow their servers to update your account data and add missing content or features.

Sometimes, this action is necessary since the Instagram servers can experience a delay when updating your account data. 

If you still can’t respond to messages after updating the app or its messaging feature, you may need to redo your sign-in.

Step 1: Log into your Instagram account and tap
your profile icon.

Step 2: Click the hamburger menu in the upper-right corner to
open the additional options panel.

Step 3: Go to Settings.

Step 4: Go to Security.

Step 5: Select the Saved Info Login option.

Step 6: Turn off “Saved Info Login” to eliminate your
account’s sign-in details.

Step 7: Click Remove.

Step 8: Return to Settings, scroll down,
and click Log Out.

Step 9: Select an account and tap Log Out.

Step 10: Click Log Out again to complete
the sign-out.

Step 11: Log into your Instagram account and go to your direct messages to
check whether you can reply using the previous instructions.

FIX 5. Delete and reinstall your Instagram app

Difficulty Easy ●●○○○
Number of Steps11
Time to Perform Fix1 minute and 20 seconds
Things NeededAny smartphone
A working internet connection

You can also reinstall your app if updating it still doesn’t fix the Instagram reply issue. After all, even with the latest app version, some content and features might be unavailable if there were errors during installation.

Unfortunately, there’s no way to confirm this suspicion since its only telltale sign is when the app isn’t working correctly. So doing this step as a precaution will help if none of the previous solutions have worked.

Step 1: Go to Settings.

Step 2: Go to Apps.

Step 3: Select Manage Apps.

Step 4: Find and click your Instagram app.

Step 5: Click Uninstall.

Step 6: Click OK to delete Instagram’s app data and
remove it from your phone.

Step 7: Open Play Store.

Step 8: Tap your Play Store’s search bar.

Step 9: Type “Instagram” and click it in the
search suggestions.

Step 10: Click Install.

Step 11: Click Open, sign into your Instagram account, and go to
your direct messages to check whether you can reply
using the previous instructions.

FIX 6. Use Instagram on a new device

Difficulty Very Easy ●○○○○
Number of Steps1
Time to Perform Fix10 to 20 seconds
Things NeededA compatible smartphone
A working internet connection

If you’re using an older smartphone, upgrading to a new device to enjoy Instagram’s latest features might be the opportune time. 

Unfortunately, you can’t update to the app’s latest version (with all the latest features) unless your handset meets its minimum device requirement.

For instance, as of this writing, the current app version (305.0.0.34.110) requires a device with Android 9 or higher, so you can’t enjoy it on smartphones with an older OS.

Use Instagram on a new device

FIX 7. Use a VPN 

Difficulty Very Easy ●○○○○
Number of Steps7
Time to Perform Fix40 seconds
Things NeededAny smartphone
A working internet connection

Meta has been rolling up this messaging update for Instagram slowly, starting with a few countries before reaching all its global users.

The slow but steady update rollout is typical since companies must meet legal requirements before their services become available in certain regions. 

Unfortunately, this can take time since communications and data privacy laws vary between regions.

You can bypass this regional restriction by connecting your smartphone to a VPN server in another country. This way, you can install the messenger update on your Instagram app.

Step 1: Open Play Store.

Step 2: Go to the search bar and look up
your desired VPN app.


Note: There are various free options on the Play Store,
but you can also download a premium VPN app.
Step 3: Install your chosen VPN app.

Step 4: Open the VPN app.

Step 5: Accept the app’s terms of service and follow all
on-screen setup instructions.

Step 6: Click the globe icon to select a VPN server.

Step 7: Click Connect to connect to the
selected VPN server.


Note: The US, Japan, and India are examples of countries where the messenger
update is available. Select the corresponding VPN server for these
countries to access this feature on your Instagram app.

FIX 8. Wait for Instagram’s feature to be released in your region

Difficulty Very Easy ●○○○○
Number of Steps1
Time to Perform Fix20 to 30 seconds
Things NeededA PC or smartphone
A working internet connection

If you can’t reply to messages on Instagram due to this feature’s unavailability and you don’t want to use a VPN, you can play the long game and wait for the update’s official release in your region. 

It takes time, but Meta has plans for global release, so it’s not like you’re waiting for nothing.

You can visit the Meta Newsroom to keep in touch with their latest updates and announcements. This way, you’ll know once the messenger update for Instagram becomes available in your region.

FIX 9. Troubleshoot your internet connection

Lastly, you can troubleshoot your internet connection to fix any connectivity issues since an unreliable connection can cause all sorts of problems.

To do this, you can reconnect your smartphone to your WiFi network, or factory reset the router. Follow our instructions for these solutions below to fix your faulty internet connection.

STEP 1: Reconnect your device to your WiFi network

Difficulty Very Easy ●○○○○
Number of Steps4
Time to Perform Fix25 seconds
Things NeededA smartphone
A working internet connection
Step 1.1: Go to your smartphone’s notification/quick
settings panel.

Step 1.2: Long-press its WiFi icon to open its wireless
network settings.

Step 1.3: Tap the gear icon next to your WiFi network and click
Forget Network to delete the connection.

Step 1.4: Re-select the WiFi network, enter its password, and click
Connect to re-establish the connection on
your smartphone.


Note: Upon establishing the WiFi connection, open Instagram and
go to your direct messages to check whether you can reply using
the previous instructions.

STEP 2: Reset your router

Difficulty Very Easy ●○○○○
Number of Steps4
Time to Perform Fix3 minutes
Things NeededA WiFi router
A SIM ejector pin
Any smartphone
Step 2.1: Unplug the router’s LAN cable.


Note: The power cable must remain intact.
Step 2.2: Insert a SIM ejector pin inside the router’s pinhole
to access the reset button.


Note: You can also use a toothpick or paperclip.
Step 2.3: Hold the reset button for 10 seconds or until the router shuts
down and resets to factory settings.

Step 2.4: Plug in your router’s LAN cable and reconnect the smartphone
to its WiFi network.

Note: Upon establishing the WiFi connection, open Instagram and go to
your direct messages to check whether you can reply
using the previous instructions.

FAQs about Message Replies on Instagram

How do I turn on the message replies on my Instagram? 


Updating Instagram’s messaging feature will enable you to reply to specific messages. It’s not a switch you can turn on or off, so downloading the update will automatically add this feature to your Instagram account.

How can I enable the reply option on my Instagram? 


Holding your target message will reveal the reply option on your Instagram. Clicking the reply option lets you type a specific response to the selected message.

How do you get rid of message limits on Instagram?


Open your Instagram settings menu and go to Privacy > Limits to remove the limitations on your followers and non-followers. Doing so won’t limit the comments and messages you can receive.


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