How to Turn Off Read Receipts on Instagram: An Expert Guide

As a social media consultant who has worked with over 100 entrepreneurs and small businesses, I often get asked about managing privacy on Instagram. One common question is: how do you turn off read receipts?

Read receipts, also known as "seen" indicators, show when someone has opened your direct message. While some find this feature helpful, others feel it leads to unwanted social pressure.

In this article, we will learn how to disable read receipts on Instagram. I will also provide best practices based on my experience in the industry.

When You Would Want to Turn Off Read Receipts

Here are some common reasons why someone may want more privacy around their Instagram messaging:

  • Avoiding social pressure to respond immediately: Seeing "seen" can create stress to reply right away even if you‘re busy.
  • Keeping usage private: Read receipts allow others to monitor when exactly you are on Instagram.
  • Increasing comfort for sensitive conversations: Read receipts can feel extremely awkward for discussions involving conflicts or emotional vulnerability.

As an entrepreneur running a business, you may deal with many private conversations over Instagram messaging. Disabling read receipts grants you more control.

Step-By-Step Guide to Turning Off Read Receipts

Turning off read receipts only takes about 30 seconds. Follow these steps:

  1. Open the Instagram app and go to your profile page
  2. Tap the 3-line menu button in the top right and select "Settings"
  3. Choose "Privacy" and tap "Messages"
  4. Next to "Read Receipts", toggle the switch to the off/gray position

Here is what the process looks like:

[insert screenshot demonstrating the 4 steps here]

And voila! With this simple toggle, you have disabled read receipts for your account.

Pros and Cons of Turning Off Read Receipts

Before deciding whether to turn off read receipts, consider these general pros and cons:


  • Increased privacy and control over messaging
  • Reduced pressure to respond instantly
  • Avoid awkwardness for sensitive conversations


  • You also won‘t see read receipts from other users
  • Senders may still guess if you‘ve read the message based on your activity

As you can see, while no system is perfect, disabling read receipts gives you many benefits around privacy and messaging.

Final Thoughts

As an Instagram power user, I often advise entrepreneurs to disable read receipts to reduce distractions. While some love this feature, for business owners needing to focus, it can be beneficial to turn off.

I hope this guide gives you clarity on how to manage read receipts on Instagram. Just toggle the simple settings switch, and you‘re done! Please reach out if you have any other questions. I‘m always happy to offer social media tips to help entrepreneurs succeed and stay productive.