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How to React to Messages on Instagram With Emojis (2024)

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In September 2020, Instagram announced a feature that allowed users to react to messages using emojis.

And this update turned out to be a game changer for the Instagram messaging app.

It allows you to respond to or acknowledge a message without typing anything.

If you’ve never used this feature yet, you might not understand how to use the Instagram message reaction.

That’s why we’ve crafted this post for you.

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In this post, we’ll show you how to react to messages on Instagram using an emoji.

On top of that, we’ll also show you how to customize the react emoji and remove the emoji reaction if you want to.

Keep reading if you want to understand how the Instagram emoji reactions feature really works.

How to React to Messages on Instagram (Mobile App)

Now, here comes the main part of this blog post.

Here are the following steps you would have to follow to react to messages on Instagram if you’re using the Instagram mobile app:

Note: This feature works similarly on both iPhone and Android devices.

Step 1. Open your Instagram app and head over to the chat section.

Step 2. Now open a particular chat and locate the message you want to react to.

Instagram message

Step 3. Then, Tap and Hold that message until you see some emojis start floating over that message. Click on any of the emojis to react to that message.

how to react to messages on instagram

Step 4. If you click on the Plus Sign, you’ll get more emoji options to choose from.

instagram message reaction

And that’s how you can react to Instagram messages if you’re using Instagram on any mobile device.

How to React to Messages on Instagram Web

You might be surprised, but not everyone uses Instagram on a mobile device.

Some people like using Instagram’s web version on their PCs or laptops.

Especially if someone runs a business Instagram account, they mostly prefer to use the web version of Instagram on their desktop because it’s much more convenient.

If you also fall into the category of Instagram web users, here’s how you can react to messages on Instagram using the web version of Instagram:

Step 1. Head over to Instagram and log in to your account.

Step 2. Go to your Instagram inbox, open the conversation, and choose the particular message in which you would like to react with an emoji.

Step 3. If you hover over that message, you’ll see a smiley emoji. Click on that, and you’ll be able to see hundreds of different emojis that you can use to respond to that message.

how to react to instagram messages

Step 4. Finally, pick one emoji and click on that to respond to the message with a reaction.

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That’s how easily you can react to any Instagram message within a few seconds if you use Instagram’s web version.

Note: If you cannot see the emoji options within your Instagram app or even on the web version of Instagram, please skip to the end of this post, where we’ve mentioned what could have potentially caused this issue and how you can fix it quickly.

How to Change Reaction Emoji on Instagram

Mistakes happen, even in reactions. 

If you’ve reacted with the wrong emoji to an Instagram message, don’t worry – you can always change it.

To change the reaction emoji on Instagram DMs, all you have to do is follow the same method we’ve shared above and try reacting once again to the same message.

This will override the previous emoji reaction with the new one, and the receiver won’t get a notification for that (of course, if they have not seen your reaction before, they won’t even know that you have changed the reaction).

This same method applies to both mobile and laptop devices.

How to Remove Reactions on Instagram Messages

Just like you can unsend a text message on Instagram, you can also remove the reactions and unsend them whenever you want.

But how can you do that?

To remove reactions on Instagram messages, all you have to do is follow these simple steps:

Step 1. Locate the emoji reaction you’ve given earlier and click on the emoji.

Remove Reactions on Instagram Messages

Step 2. Now, you’ll get a popup on the screen. Click on “Tap to Remove.”

How to Remove Reactions on Instagram Messages

And here’s how you effortlessly can remove any reactions from Instagram messages.

Note for Instagram Web Users: If you’re using the web version of Instagram on your laptop or desktop device, you can use the same method to remove reactions from any Instagram DMs.

Why I Can’t React to Messages on Instagram

If you’re unable to react to messages on Instagram, there could be multiple reasons for that.

We frequently get queries from Instagram users about this issue, which is a never-ending problem.

Luckily, we’ve found out why this actually happens most of the time and how you solve it.

Let’s have a look at some of the possible reasons for which you’re unable to use the Instagram React feature.

Your Instagram App is Outdated

The most common reason for this issue is an outdated Instagram app.

If you’ve not updated your Instagram app in a while, this could trigger many problems within the app, including Instagram emoji reactions not working properly.

On top of that, outdated apps can also be vulnerable to your account’s security and open up many opportunities for hackers.

To check whether your Instagram app is updated with the latest version or not, just head over to your Play Store or App Store and search for Instagram.

If you notice an update button there, this means your Instagram app is not updated to the latest version.

You would just have to click the “Update” button to update your app, and your app will be successfully updated with the latest version.

Alternatively, you can also enable auto app update for Instagram on your mobile device if you don’t want to get into the hassle of updating the app manually every time.

You Have a Poor Internet Connection

If your Instagram app is updated, but still you’re facing this issue, chances are you have a poor internet connection.

To check whether your internet is working correctly, you can use an internet speed checker, or you can just open YouTube to see if you can watch any videos without any lags.

If you find out your internet isn’t reliable, try switching to a different internet connection or wait for some time until it becomes stable.

There Are Some Glitch Within Instagram

This only happens sometimes, but glitches within the Instagram platform can also cause some features to malfunction.

If that’s the case, you can’t really do anything from your end.

All you have to do is wait until Instagram notices and fix the issue. Generally, Instagram always resolves these types of glitches within a few hours.

FAQ Related to Instagram Message Reaction

Do Instagram message reactions disappear after some time?

No, Instagram message reactions don’t disappear after some time. Just like Instagram DMs, they stay forever until you unsent them.

What if I accidentally react to a message on Instagram?

If you accidentally react to a message on Instagram, you can always unsent it, just like you can unsent a text message on Instagram.

To remove a reaction from a message, all you have to do is click on the reaction emoji and click on “Tap to Remove.”

Are Instagram message reactions available in group chats, too?

Yes, Instagram message reactions are available in group chats and all other forms of text messages within the platform.

Do Instagram message reactions have any impact on notifications?

Yes, Instagram message reactions do have an impact on notifications. When you react to a message, the receiver gets a notification about that immediately. But if you remove or change that reaction later on, the receiver won’t get any notifications for that.

Are there any limitations to using message reactions?

No, there are no limitations to using the message reaction on Instagram. You can send as many reactions as you want.

Can I use message reactions on older messages?

Yes, you can use Instagram’s emoji reactions feature to react to an older message (even if someone sent the message three years back).


We hope you now understand how to react to messages on Instagram using emojis.

You can use Instagram emoji reactions to easily reply to anyone’s message without writing anything in return.

We’ve always been using emojis to express our emotions on all social media channels, and Instagram’s react feature makes it even more effortless to convey our feelings for a particular message.

You can react to any messages, customize your reaction tab, change reactions after reacting once to a message, and even remove the reaction if you want.

Instagram literally gives you full flexibility for this feature, so you can use it the way you want without any limitations.

So, now that you know how to react to Instagram messages, go ahead and start reacting to messages with your favorite emoji.


  • Jennifer Smith

    Jennifer Smith is a writer at specializing in social media and digital marketing. She likes to make complicated things easily understandable for everyone. Her writing expertise includes how-to guides, social media tips and tricks, and digital marketing. When she's not writing, she is either traveling in some part of the world or painting in her house. She has been writing for the past 7 years and has written dozens of blog posts and articles around various digital marketing and social media topics.

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