Instagram DM Guide for Mac Users

It’s so nice to be in the Apple ecosystem. Whenever you work on your Mac and you get a phone call, you can answer it from your computer. Your iPhone is away at the moment and getting up to answer would distract you.

You can just pick up from your Mac, quickly get through the conversation, and resume your work. 

But what happens with social media notification? If someone sends you an Instagram direct message, you don’t get it on your Mac by default. 

Instagram was designed to be a mobile app, and it hasn’t evolved towards a Mac app. This shouldn’t be a big problem, right? You can always access Instagram through Safari or any other browser you use. You’ll fill in your break with some scrolling and you’ll return to work. 

Oh, but there’s a problem after all. You can’t see or answer an Instagram DM on Mac. The desktop version doesn’t allow you to do that. There are a few Instagram DM tricks that will help you solve this issue. 

Why Would You Want to See and Answer Instagram Messages on Mac?

People usually use a Mac or a MacBook for work. They leave their phones aside and don’t like to get distracted by using them. When they get a phone, they can easily answer or decline through their computers.

Most people would still like to get notifications from social media and have complete functionality on those platforms. 

Instagram is a marketing tool, too. Many people use it for work. They communicate with followers and influencers through the platform. Getting from your computer to your phone and back would make your working routine a complete mess. 

So yes; there’s an obvious need for accessing Instagram DM on Mac. Since the platform doesn’t give us that option on the desktop site, we need to search for solutions. 

I’m Not Getting Instagram DM on My iPhone. What’s the Problem?

Instagram added the notification feature in 2017, enabling its users to view direct messages on a locked smartphone screen. If you’re not getting these Instagram DM notifications, you’ll only need to enable them in the settings. 

Get your phone.

  • Open Instagram and get to your profile page
  • Find Settings under the main menu in the upper right corner
  • Choose Notifications and go to Direct Messages
  • Turn the notifications on

All done. Now you’ll see the notifications on a locked screen. This is the first step towards enabling Instagram messages on Mac, but you have another important thing to do. 

How to Use Instagram DM on Mac

You’ll need to use a trick on your computer or a third-party app. 

Let’s start with the trick. You’ll make Instagram think you’re accessing the platform from a phone, but you’ll be doing it through your Mac. You’ll be able to see Instagram messages on Mac.  

Here’s how to do that:

  • Go to Advanced Preferences in Safari
  • You’ll see a Show Develop Menu in Menu Bar option. Check that box.
  • Find Use Agent under Develop in the top menu bar
  • You’ll see a list of iPad and iPhone operating systems. Choose the latest version of iOS for the iPhone. 
  • Now, reload Instagram. You’ll see a functional version of the mobile app on your phone.

This little trick enables you to view and send Instagram direct message directly from your browser. You’ll also be able to edit and upload photos and stories, just like you do with your phone app. The only disadvantage is that you can’t upload a video. 

The problem with this method is that the mobile app format is not comfortable to view on your computer. Sometimes Instagram will ask you to rotate your device since it thinks you’re accessing via mobile. You’ll need to narrow down the window to suit the format.

A third-party app might be a better option if you constantly plan to use Instagram on Mac.

Third-Party Apps that Let You Use Instagram DM on Mac


Flume is a beautiful Mac app that lets you see Instagram as a platform that was specifically designed for macOS. It sends you notifications about a new Instagram DM, and it lets you send messages.

If you use Instagram to communicate with fans, followers, and customers as part of your job, you’ll truly appreciate Flume. 

You get support for translated comments and captions, so you’ll understand what all your followers say. 

The Pro version also lets you edit and upload photos directly from your Mac. It’s better than just tweaking Safari to show the mobile app version since Flume also lets you upload videos.  

The question is: how do you send or access an Instagram direct message through Flume? Easy; you’ll see the same DM icon like the one in your mobile app. You’ll find it in Flume’s menu bar. Click that button to access your inbox.


IM+ is an app that lets you manage social messaging features from different accounts. If you use Instagram, Facebook, Skype, Twitter, LinkedIn, Gmail, and other tools to communicate with social media followers, you’ll appreciate having all conversations in a single app. 

To access an Instagram DM through this app, you’ll click the same DM icon that you see in your mobile app. 

Use the Full Potential of Your Mac

We love the Apple ecosystem because it connects our devices and we can see everything through a Mac. Instagram makes that difficult, but it’s not impossible to access direct messages through a computer.

Why would you go from one device to another when all you need is on your computer? Instagram makes things difficult for people who like using the platform through a desktop browser.

We can’t post photos, videos, and stories. We can’t even see the inbox through the desktop site. We can only scroll and comment. That’s not enough. 

It’s possible to tweak Safari to show the mobile app version, but you can also use a third-party app to access the fully-featured Instagram on Mac. What option will you choose? 

My Author Bio:

James Dorian is a technical copywriter. He is a tech geek who knows a lot about modern apps that will make your work more productive. James reads tons of online blogs on technology, business, and ways to become a real pro in our modern world of innovations.