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Fix: Instagram says I have a message but I don’t

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  • 4 min read

Instagram is one of the most popular social media platforms around at the moment, and with new features arriving every so often, it’s keeping itself relevant against the competition. 

However, just like everything else tech, Instagram also suffers from occasional bugs and glitches. In this article, we’re looking at what to do when Instagram says you have a message (DM), but you don’t see any. 

Restart your phone 

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again, restarting your device can do wonders with seemingly random issues. If you’re not getting your Instagram notifications, try restarting your phone to see if it fixes your issue.

Also read: What is Vanish mode in Facebook and Instagram?

Update your Instagram app

More often than not, if you’re running an outdated app, it can cause problems.

Head over to your respective app store to check if there are any updates available. If they are, update your app and try again.

Reinstall the app

Reinstalling your app can fix a bunch of issues, including the ones that cause your notifications to stop working. Regardless of whether you’re on Android or iOS,  try reinstalling the app to see if it resolves the issue.

Check your message requests

Some DMs from people you don’t follow, or strangers can end up in your DM requests instead of DMs. If you’re using an Instagram business account, you can have unread DMs in your primary, general or requests box.

Log out of your Instagram app

Another quick fix for random issues like this is logging out of your Instagram app and logging in again. 

How to fix the 'Instagram notifications not working' issue?
  • Open the Instagram app and tap on your profile picture in the bottom right.
  • Tap on the hamburger menu icon in the top right. 
  • Tap on Settings.
  • Scroll down and tap logout. 

Now log back in to check if your issue is resolved.

Also read: Instagram try again later error: 7 Fixes

Clear the app cache

Clearing the app’s cache can eliminate any corrupt files or data that might interfere with Instagram’s functionality.

How to fix the 'Instagram notifications not working' issue?
  • Tap on Apps and notifications.
  • Tap on Show all apps and find Instagram from the list. If you’ve recently used Instagram, it’ll show up in the recent apps as well.
  • Tap on Instagram.
How to fix the 'Instagram notifications not working' issue?
  • Then tap on Storage & cache.
  • Then tap on the Clear Cache button.

Try unlinking your Facebook account

Since Facebook Messenger and Instagram’s DM features merged, there’s a chance that the notifications you’re getting are actually coming from Messenger. Try unlinking your Facebook account to see if that solves the problem. 

  • Open Instagram and tap your profile icon in the bottom right.
  • Tap the hamburger menu icon in the top right.
  • Tap Settings. 
  • Scroll down and tap Account Centre.
  • Tap on your accounts
  • Tap your Facebook account.
  • Tap Remove from Accounts Centre to unlink account. 

Try restarting the app now, and the notifications should’ve gone. 

Also read: Instagram loading screen issue: 7 Fixes

Yadullah Abidi

Yadullah Abidi

Yadullah is a Computer Science graduate who writes/edits/shoots/codes all things cybersecurity, gaming, and tech hardware. When he's not, he streams himself racing virtual cars. He's been writing and reporting on tech and cybersecurity with websites like Candid.Technology and MakeUseOf since 2018. You can contact him here: