scorecardHow send DMs on Instagram from a computer, using either Safari or Google Chrome
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How send DMs on Instagram from a computer, using either Safari or Google Chrome

How send DMs on Instagram from a computer, using either Safari or Google Chrome
Tech4 min read

instagram iphone computer


To send DMs on Instagram from your computer, you'll need to use an internet browser.

  • You can send DMs on Instagram from a desktop computer or laptop by using developer tools, which let you configure how your internet browser functions.
  • Using these tools also lets you start new conversations and attach pictures to a direct message. 
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Instagram is built to be used on your smartphone, and on your phone, it's great. You can post pictures and videos, find new artists and photographers to follow, and even send direct messages to your friends.

However, the desktop version of Instagram - in other words, the version of Instagram that you access through the internet browser on your desktop computer or laptop - doesn't have nearly as much going for it. You can still view posts from people you follow, as well as find new people to follow, but you can't post anything of your own, nor send direct messages.

At least, you can't do these things by default. There actually is a way to send direct messages on Instagram from your computer. If you're using Safari or Google Chrome, it will involve using something called a developer menu.

Here's how to do it.

How to send DMs on Instagram from a computer

Change your internet browser to work like a phone

To send Instagram DMs from our computer, we'll be configuring our internet browser to look like a smartphone screen.

If you're on a Mac and using Safari...

1. Go on and log into your account.

2. Click on "Safari" in the menu bar at the top of your screen.

3. Select "Preferences," and then go to the "Advanced" tab at the end.

Screen Shot 2019 10 30 at 3.56.51 PM

William Antonelli/Business Insider

Open the Safari Preferences menu.

4. At the bottom of the Advanced menu, check "Show Develop menu in menu bar." Once checked, you can close the Preferences menu.

Screen Shot 2019 10 30 at 3.57.05 PM

William Antonelli/Business Insider

Enable the Develop menu.

5. Click on "Develop" in the menu bar.

6. Roll over "User Agent," and in the menu that appears, select the option that has "iPhone" at the end. There should only be one, near the top of the menu.

Screen Shot 2019 10 30 at 3.57.14 PM

William Antonelli/Business Insider

Set Safari to look like an iPhone browser.

This will change the appearance of Safari to replicate the browser of an iPhone.  

If you're on a PC and using Google Chrome...

1. Again, log into

2. Right-click anywhere on the screen, and select "Inspect."

Screen Shot 2019 10 30 at 3.59.11 PM

William Antonelli/Business Insider

You can open Chrome's Inspection menu on any page.

3. A large window will appear on the right side of the screen, filled with code. At the top of this menu, click the tiny icon that looks like a phone in front of a tablet, so it turns blue. This is the "Toggle Device Toolbar" button. In the small toolbar that then appears on top of the Instagram page, make sure that the leftmost word says "Responsive."

Screen Shot 2019 10 30 at 3.59.28 PM

William Antonelli/Business Insider

The icon to change your browser format is small, and will be highlighted blue when it's on.

4. Refresh the page.

5. Once refreshed, you can close the Inspect window - just click the X at its top-right corner.

Like with Safari, this will change your Chrome browser so it looks like an iPhone screen.

Access the Instagram DM menu

Once your browser is configured, the direct messages shortcut will appear in the upper-right corner of the Instagram homescreen - it looks like a paper airplane.

Screen Shot 2019 10 30 at 3.57.27 PM

William Antonelli/Business Insider

You'll find the direct messages menu in the top-right.

Like the mobile version, you can read and reply to your previous messages, attach pictures, or start a new conversation by clicking the compose button at the top-right of the DM screen. 

Check out the video version of this article on YouTube:

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