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How to Monitor Instagram Direct Messages

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In this article you’ll learn how to monitor Instagram direct messages on someone else’s phone.

The monitoring methods below will allow you to see who they follow on Instagram, posts they engage with, comments, who they Direct Message with, and the content of those messages.

Instagram is one of the most popular social media platforms in the world. But it’s also used as a way to discretely communicate with others.

If you have suspicions about who your child, partner, spouse, or loved one is talking to through Instagram DM’s, this article will help you get peace of mind.

3 Ways to Monitor Instagram Direct Messages

There are 3 ways to monitor Direct Messages on Instagram. Below you’ll find them in order of simplicity.

1. Use an Instagram Monitoring App

uMobix Instagram monitoring features page

The best way to monitor someone’s Instagram DMs is to use an Instagram monitoring app or spying app.

Spying apps that can monitor someone’s Instagram messages are NOT FREE, but they allow you to monitor an Instagram account WITHOUT the person knowing. They will also continue to work if the person changes their password.

Spy apps also allow you to track a wide variety of data on a target phone from an online control panel.

My favorite spy app is uMobix. It allows you to see Instagram DMs, post interactions, and more. It also allows you to track other social media apps, text messages, GPS location, call history, and more.

Read More: My Favorite Instagram Monitoring Apps

Below are the steps you’ll need to get started monitoring Instagram with uMobix

  1. Go to umobix.com and sign up for an account.
  2. Next select the type of device you want to monitor (Android or iPhone)
  3. Then choose the subscription plan (the annual plan is BY FAR the best value)
  4. After payment, instructions will be emailed to you for installing the app on the target phone
  5. Once the installation is complete you can login to your uMobix online dashboard.

iPhone Functionality

logo for iPhones

The uMobix app for iPhones allows you to view the person’s Instagram app as your own. You can read messages, scroll through feeds, click on posts etc.

From the online dashboard you can view all the conversations between the user you are tracking and their contacts.

The iOS version of the app does not require you to install anything on the target cell phone.

The installation process on an iPhone requires that you know the users iCloud login username and password. After entering this information a 2 factor authentication code will be sent to the target phone. Enter this code in the uMobix dashboard to complete the setup.

The uMobix app will now download data stored in the user’s iCloud account for you to view.

Android Functionality

The Android version of uMobix takes screenshots every few seconds. This allows you to “follow along” whatever the user is doing when using Instagram.

From here you’ll be able to see comments, photos they upload, their Instagram feed, explore section, and DMs.

From the dashboard, click on Instagram under the Social heading.

The uMobix app utilizes screenshots to track activity within the Instagram app.

From your online dashboard you can setup how often screenshots are taken. There is one caveat. Setting the interval too short will quickly drain the device’s battery as each photo will be sent via the phone’s data connection or wi-fi.

You can also use the built-in uMobix keystroke logging feature to make sure you don’t miss anything the user types in a message. The only downside to this method is that it only captures keystrokes made on the target phone, so you won’t be able to see the other side of conversations.

From your dashboard you can even see when the user is currently using Instagram. There will be a green tag next to the Instagram app when they are actively using the app.

Installation of the uMobix app on an Android device requires physical access. The app is downloaded and installed directly on the phone. You will receive detailed installation instructions after signing up for the app.

Click here to read my uMobix review for more information.

If spy apps aren’t for you then you can try to two methods below.

2. Reset the User’s Instagram Password

The second way to read someone’s Instagram DMs is to reset their password and login to their account.

***This method requires that you have access to the email the person used to setup their instagram account.***

Follow the steps below to reset their password.

  1. Go to Instagram (either on a computer or open the app on your phone). If you are logged into your own account you’ll need to log out first.
  2. Then click log in.
  3. Click the link for “Forgot Password” at the bottom.
  4. Enter the user’s email address, phone number, or username and click “Send Login Link”
  5. Within a few minutes a link will be sent via email for resetting the password.
  6. Click the link in the email and enter the new password.

You will now be able to log into their account using the new password. You’ll have full access to the account as if it were your own.

This is only a short-term solution. The downside to this method is that the user will most likely know their account has been tampered with since their password will no longer work. And once they change the password to access their account, you will no longer be able to access it.

3. Restore from a Backup (iOS Devices Only)

The third way to read Instagram Direct Messages is to restore their phone from a backup. This method ONLY works with iPhones and iOS devices that have been backed up to the Cloud or a computer.

***You will need an extra iPhone for this method, or be willing to restore the user’s iPhone over yours. You will also need the user’s iCloud login information or have access to the computer they use for backups.***

Restore from iCloud

For this method to work you will need access to the user’s iCloud account. From here you can restore the latest backup of their phone onto another iPhone.

Follow the steps below to get started.

  1. Power on the device. For new phones, you should see a “Hello” screen. If your device is already set up, you will need to erase all of its content before restoring from a backup.
  2. Follow the onscreen setup until you see the “Apps & Data” page, then tap “Restore from iCloud Backup.”
  3. Sign in to iCloud with the user’s Apple ID.
  4. Choose the most recent backup. Then the transfer will start. If you receive a message stating that a newer version of iOS is required, follow the onscreen steps to update.
  5. Once the transfer is finished you will be be asked to sign in with your Apple ID to restore all apps. 
  6. Make sure the device is connected to Wi-Fi and wait for a progress bar to complete. This process might take a few minutes to an hour to complete. If your connection is interrupted, the transfer will pause until you reconnect.
  7. Once the setup is complete you should be able to access the user’s phone as if it were theirs.

Restoring from Computer

You can also restore their phone using a computer backup. Follow the steps below to get started.

  1. For Macs with macOS Catalina or later, open Finder. On Macs with macOS Mojave or earlier, or if using a PC, open iTunes.
  2. Connect the device you want to clone to the computer using a USB cable. If you get a message asking for your passcode or to Trust This Computer, follow the onscreen steps.
  3. Select iPhone or iPad when it appears in the Finder window or iTunes.
  4. Select Restore Backup. You may need to update the device’s software if it is older. 
  5. Choose the newest backup.
  6. Click Restore. Wait for the process to finish. You may be asked for an encryption password.
  7. Keep the iOS device connected after it restarts and wait for it to finish synching with the computer. Once the sync has finished you can disconnect the device.

Which Method is Best for You?

If you’re willing pay spy apps are by far the best (and easiest) method. You will have full access to their Instagram account. And the user will have no way of knowing their Instagram account is being monitored.

Resetting the user’s password works well for one-time access, but is useless once they reset their password again.

The third method works well if you have an extra phone and access to their iCloud or the computer used for backups.

About the Author

Jason has over 25 years in the information and internet security industry. He is passionate about smartphones, gadgets, and technology. He also got a solid background in programming and software.  This includes Python, C++, app development and more.

jason thompson