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Do Message Requests on Instagram Expire?

Instagram’s message request feature allows users to message each other, even if they don’t follow each other. This can be useful for connecting with potential new friends or business contacts. However, one question that often comes up is: do Instagram message requests expire?

Let’s take a deeper look at how message requests work and what happens when they expire.

How Do Instagram Message Requests Work?

When you send someone a message request on Instagram, it will show up in their message requests folder. This is a separate folder from their regular direct messages.

The user you messaged will get a notification that they have a new message request. However, they need to open the message request and accept it in order to start a conversation with you.

Once they accept your message request, your messages will show up in their regular inbox and you’ll be able to have an ongoing conversation. At this point, the normal Instagram direct messaging limits apply.

However, if the user you messaged declines or just ignores your message request, no conversation will start. This brings us to the expiration policy…

Message Requests Expire After 14 Days

If a user doesn’t open your Instagram message request within 14 days, it will automatically expire and disappear from their message request folder.

At that point, if you still want to message that user, you’ll have to send a new message request and start the process over again. The previous expired message request will be deleted and inaccessible.

So in summary:

  • You send a message request to User A
  • User A has 14 days to open the request
  • If 14 days pass with no action, your request expires
  • You’d have to send a new request if you still want to message User A

This 14 day expiration policy helps prevent message request folders from getting overcrowded with unused requests. It encourages users to either open requests in a timely manner, or let them expire so the sender can follow up if needed.

What Happens When a Message Request Expires?

When an Instagram message request hits that 14 day limit, here’s exactly what happens:

  • The message request is permanently deleted from the recipient’s request folder
  • The sender will not receive any notification that the request expired
  • There is no way to retrieve or reopen an expired message request
  • If the sender visits the recipient’s profile, the option to send a new request will reappear
  • It will be like the original request never happened

So in other words, an expired message request is gone forever. The sender can send a brand new request as if it’s their first time messaging that user.

Can You Resend an Expired Message Request?

Since expired Instagram message requests are deleted entirely, there is no way to directly resend or reopen an expired request.

However, as mentioned above, the sender can simply send an entirely new message request to start the process over. The contents of the original expired request will be lost, but the sender can rewrite a new request if they still want to get in touch.

The recipient may or may not remember getting a previous expired request from the same sender. So it’s best to write the new request as if you’re starting a conversation for the first time. Don’t reference the expired request, since the recipient will no longer have access to it.

Tips to Prevent Message Requests From Expiring

Here are some tips to increase the likelihood that your Instagram message requests will be opened within 14 days:

  • Only message users you have a reason to contact – Don’t spam strangers with message requests or you’ll probably get ignored. Make sure you share common interests or have a purpose for connecting.
  • Keep your first message short – Long message requests can be overwhelming. Get straight to the point in 1-2 sentences max.
  • Follow up if you don’t hear back – If your request hasn’t been opened after a few days, consider sending a reminder or following up.
  • Check if they accepted your request – Log into Instagram on a desktop browser to see if your message request has been accepted, before resending.
  • Be patient – Don’t resend requests too frequently, give recipients time to respond before assuming your message expired.

Following these best practices will show recipients that your requests are meaningful and increase the chance they’ll open them within 14 days.


Here are some common FAQs about expired Instagram message requests:

Can an expired message request be recovered?

No, there is no way to recover or reopen an expired message request. Once the 14 days pass, the request is permanently deleted.

Do users get notified when their request expires?

No, Instagram does not send any notification to the sender when a message request they sent expires. The request will simply disappear.

What if I deleted the message request – does that trigger expiration?

No, deleting a message request manually does not cause it to expire for the sender. They would still be able to send a new request to you. Expiration only happens automatically after 14 days.

Can I extend the expiration date on a message request?

Unfortunately, there is no way to extend the 14 day expiration period on Instagram message requests. The countdown cannot be paused or adjusted.

Does the 14 day expiration apply to regular DMs too?

No, the 14 expiration rule is only for new message requests. Once a request has been accepted, there is no expiration on regular Instagram direct messages.

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In summary, Instagram message requests do expire after exactly 14 days if the recipient does not open and accept the request in that time frame. Once expired, the original request is deleted forever and cannot be recovered.

However, the sender can simply send a brand new request as if they are starting the conversation for the first time. Following best practices like only messaging relevant users and sending polite, personal requests can help increase open rates.

Understanding Instagram’s message request expiration policy allows you to manage your incoming and outgoing message requests effectively. With the right strategy, you can connect with new friends and contacts successfully on Instagram without losing touch.

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