Retrieve Your First Messages On Instagram [A Guide]

Instagram icon on white background

If you don’t want to manually scroll through the whole chat to locate your first message, you have several options. You can ask the other person to help you find it or check if you took a screenshot of the first message. You may also use the search function, press “PgUp” for faster scrolling, or download your data.

Instagram is a widely-used social media app, enjoyed by millions worldwide. Its user-friendly design and engaging features make it a favorite for many.

Instagram places a strong emphasis on user privacy, creating a secure and welcoming community for all its users.

What Exactly Are Instagram DMs And How Do They Work?

hand holding smart phone and play something
hand holding smart phone and play something

Have you ever heard of WhatsApp or Messenger? These are applications designed primarily for text-based and voice communication.

While they do offer additional features like stories, statuses, filters, and more, their core purpose revolves around conventional methods of texting and calling.

Now, let’s shift our focus to apps such as Facebook and Instagram, among many others. These platforms have redefined the way we communicate. They introduced a feature called “DMs.”

Unlike WhatsApp and Messenger, these platforms are not exclusively built around DMs. They emphasize maintaining a user profile, sharing content, and more. This diverse approach makes these apps versatile for communication purposes.

Now, because Instagram’s main focus isn’t on its DMs, some folks might get a bit confused about what Instagram DMs are and how they work.

In essence, Instagram DMs, also known as Direct Messages, are a distinctive feature of the Instagram platform that allows users to send private messages to one another. These DMs offer a more private form of communication when compared to the public interactions seen in stories, comments, and likes.

When users opt to send DMs on Instagram, their conversations remain confidential and away from the public eye.

DMs enable not only text-based communication but also the sharing of photos and videos directly within the chat, or using the “view once” option for added privacy. Additionally, you can react to messages and respond with GIFs, stickers, and avatars. You can also easily share other users’ posts, IGTV content, and Reels within your conversations.

Furthermore, you can engage in voice calls, and video calls, and send voice notes to enhance your communication experience.

Instagram also provides a “vanish mode,” reminiscent of how messaging works on Snapchat. Messages sent in this mode disappear within 24 hours.

Instagram grants you greater control over your chat settings. This includes allowing you to customize chats to your preferences and even mute chats if desired.

What’s The Method To View The First Messages On Instagram Without Manual Scrolling?

How to see the first Instagram message without scrolling

At times, many of us have needed to revisit the first message we sent to someone. Perhaps for nostalgia or any other reason.

However, it can be quite a challenge, especially if you’ve had long conversations. This is because manually scrolling through the entire chat can be tedious and impractical.

In such situations, you might be interested in finding more efficient ways to access that first message with minimal effort.

Look For It’s Screenshot

Blue gallery icon on white background

Sometimes, especially with someone you like or are in a romantic relationship with, people take screenshots of their chats. They do this to remember good moments or just to keep the conversation as a memory.

In some cases, you might have started a conversation with someone for a specific reason, like gathering evidence or having fun, and that’s when you take a screenshot.

If you have access to these screenshots, finding the first message becomes quite simple. You can just look for the screenshot and see that very first message for yourself.

Ask Them To Scroll Through

An old hand of a lady scrolling through her phone

Though it might sound a little self-centred, if you’d rather not go through the effort of scrolling up to find the first message, you can politely ask the other person to do it for you.

Of course, this only works if they still have the chat and are willing to put in the effort to help you out.

Search In Conversation

Search in conversation feature in the chat settings
Search in conversation

If you’d rather not scroll manually, you can also search for the first message. However, it’s most effective if you remember some words from that message.

Here’s how to search in conversation:

  1. Open Instagram.
  2. Log into your account.
  3. Swipe left or click the message icon at the top right of the screen.
  4. Select the chat with the person whose first message you want to find.
  5. Click on their name at the top to access chat settings.
  6. Look for the search icon; it looks like a magnifying glass. Click on it.
  7. A search bar will appear at the top of the screen. Click on the search bar.
  8. Type a keyword from the first message, and press “Enter.”
  9. All messages with that keyword will appear.
  10. Scroll through the messages, and you’ll find the first message.

If you’re using Instagram on your desktop, after opening DMs, you can press “Ctrl+F” to bring up a search bar at the top. From there, you can search for the first message using keywords.

Press PgUp

A PgUp black keu

If you’d rather not spend your energy scrolling up through the chat, you can use a different method with your desktop.

Open Instagram and navigate to the chat with the person whose first message you want to see. Then, you can either press the “PgUp” button on your keyboard or place a heavy object on it to quickly and effortlessly scroll up.

This method efficiently takes you to the first message without draining your energy.

Download Data

A woman using her laptop while downloading data from her phone
Download data

Lastly, you have the option to download your Instagram data. This includes everything from your Instagram account, neatly organized for your convenience. You can even find your very first message this way.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Open Instagram.
  2. Tap your profile picture at the bottom right to go to your profile page.
  3. Next, tap the three horizontal lines in the top right corner.
  4. Go to “Settings” in the menu.
  5. Look for the “Download Your Information” option. Click on it. A page will appear, asking you to request a download.
  6. Click the request.
  7. Choose your account.
  8. You can decide if you want a complete copy of all your data or just specific parts.
  9. Provide your email address.
  10. Your data will be sent to you within a few days.

How Do I Send Messages On Instagram?

A hand holding a paper with "How?" written on it.

Instagram is widely used, so many of us may already know how to send messages. However, if you’re not sure how to send messages on Instagram, follow these steps.

  1. First, open Instagram.
  2. Log in to your account.
  3. Look at the top right corner of the screen; you’ll see a message icon. Click on it, or swipe left, to access your direct messages (DMs).
  4. From the list of people, choose the person you want to message. If you can’t find them, use the search bar above to look for them.
  5. Once you’ve selected the chat, you’ll see a text box at the bottom. Click on it, and type your message.
  6. Then hit the send button on the right side of the text box.

Now, you’re not limited to just text. You can also send voice messages, stickers, GIFs, avatars, and pictures. Here’s how:

For GIFs, Stickers, And Avatars:

  1. Open a chat.
  2. Look at the icons at the bottom right of the text box.
  3. Click on the third one, which often looks like a sticker icon.
  4. A menu will pop up with options for avatars, stickers, and GIFs.
  5. Select anyone from the category, and your message will be sent.

For Voice Messages:

  1. Open a chat.
  2. Press and hold the record button, usually at the bottom right.
  3. If you want your hands free while recording, swipe up towards the lock icon.
  4. Once you’re done recording, tap the upward arrow to send it.

For Images And Videos:

  1. Open a chat.
  2. Click on the gallery icon, typically found at the bottom right.
  3. You can select one or multiple images or videos and then hit send.
  4. If you prefer to send it as “view once,” click on the camera icon at the bottom left.
  5. From there, you can either take a photo or video or choose one from your gallery.
  6. After selecting, you can add effects, and music, and choose whether it can be replayed, kept in the chat, or viewed only once.
  7. Finally, click send.

What Could Be The Reasons For Revisiting Your First Instagram Message?

3 white 3D question marks

There are many reasons why people want to go back and find the first message they sent to someone. I’ve outlined some of these common reasons in the list below:

AppreciationSometimes, people revisit the first message in friendships and relationships as a way to appreciate important milestones and cherish the sentimental value they hold.
RecordsAt times, the initial chat may have to do with work or something important, rather than casual talk. In this case, you might want to see that first message for your records or refer back to it later.
NostalgicSometimes, people want to revisit old memories and see their first message to feel nostalgic.
EvidenceAt times, you might need the first message as evidence or proof in case of disputes or important matters.
To PreserveSometimes, when you’re low on storage space or about to delete your account, you might want to specifically go back to check the first message and take a screenshot, especially if that first message is very important.
Reasons why people look back at their first message

Keep in mind that there could be various other reasons. It varies from person to person.


  • Instagram is a widely used social media platform.
  • Instagram Direct Messages (DMs) enable private messaging.
  • You can send various types of messages on Instagram, including text, photos, videos, voice messages, stickers, and GIFs.
  • To view your first messages on Instagram without manual scrolling, you can:
    • Check for screenshots.
    • Ask the other person.
    • Search in conversation.
    • Use the “PgUp” key.
    • Download your data.
  • People look back at the first message for sentimental, practical, or evidential reasons, depending on individual needs and circumstances.

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