What is Vanish Mode on Instagram? Here's what you need to know about the platform's disappearing messages feature

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What is Vanish Mode on Instagram? Here's what you need to know about the platform's disappearing messages feature
Instagram's Vanish Mode lets you send secret messages that disappear when you're done chatting.d3sign/Getty Images
  • Vanish Mode on Instagram lets you have a temporary chat that is automatically erased when the chat ends.
  • To enable Vanish Mode, swipe up from the bottom of a chat window.
  • Either party can end Vanish Mode by tapping "Turn Off Vanish Mode."

Not all messages are meant to live forever, or at least that's the idea behind Instagram's Vanish Mode, which lets you send temporary, self-destructing messages in a special chat mode.

It's like Snapchat's self-erasing messages, and only takes effect when you manually turn it on; otherwise, your messages are as permanent as ever.

Vanish Mode is a relatively new feature that debuted for Instagram users in late 2020.

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How to use Vanish Mode on Instagram

Vanish Mode is easy to turn on and off - here's how.

1. Open the Instagram app and go to the chat page by tapping the "Chat" icon at the top right corner of the screen.

What is Vanish Mode on Instagram? Here's what you need to know about the platform's disappearing messages feature
Start a chat in the usual way, by tapping the "Chat" icon at the top right of the screen.Dave Johnson/Business Insider

2. Open an existing chat or use the "New Message" button at the top right to create a new chat.

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3. To start Vanish Mode, swipe up from the bottom of the screen and release.

What is Vanish Mode on Instagram? Here's what you need to know about the platform's disappearing messages feature
Swipe up from the bottom of the screen and release your finger to start Vanish Mode.Dave Johnson/Business Insider

4. The screen will turn black and a bunch of "Shush" emojis will fall from the top of the screen to indicate you're in Vanish Mode. Send your messages as usual. The recipient's chat window will also be black, with a message on screen indicating that it's in Vanish Mode.

5. When you want to end Vanish Mode and go back to messaging as usual, tap "Turn Off Vanish Mode" at the top of the screen. Both you and the recipient will exit Vanish mode, but you'll still be able to see the messages you sent in Vanish mode until you close the window. After that, they'll be gone forever.

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What is Vanish Mode on Instagram? Here's what you need to know about the platform's disappearing messages feature
To end Vanish Mode, just tap the button in the chat window. The messages will be erased when you close the window.Dave Johnson/Business Insider

There are a couple things to keep in mind about Vanish Mode:

  • This mode only works for one-on-one messages. Vanish Mode does not work for chats with more than two people.
  • If someone takes a screenshot in Vanish Mode, the other person is notified immediately.

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