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How to Deactivate Your Instagram Account or Delete Instagram: A Quick Guide
If you feel like you need a break from social media, it is okay to deactivate your Instagram account temporarily, or even delete Instagram for good.
We recommend that you download your Instagram data before you deactivate or delete your account.
Follow these steps to deactivate Instagram:
- Log in to Instagram on a browser.
- Click on your profile picture, choose “Profile” > “Edit Profile.”
- Scroll down and click “Temporarily disable my account.”
- Choose a reason in the “Why are you disabling your account” section.
- Re-enter your password and confirm your decision.
If you want to delete your Instagram account, the process is not very different. Check out the article below for step-by-step instructions.
If you are concerned about your privacy on Instagram, using a VPN can help to safeguard your data. A VPN protects your internet traffic from prying eyes and makes it harder for hackers to breach your privacy. We recommend picking a trusted VPN like NordVPN.
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Continue reading the article below for more information about how to deactivate or delete your Instagram account.
Instagram is one of the biggest social media platforms in the world, with over one billion active users every month.
While this translates to a lot of perfectly curated photos and stories to scroll through, it also makes the platform ripe for scams. Cyberattacks and fraud are rife on Instagram. We’ve reported on several Instagram cyberattacks this year, including a phishing attack that bypasses Gmail’s security filters.
Meanwhile, studies indicate that excessive use of social media platforms like Instagram can adversely affect your mental health. In fact, in 2021, Instagram tried to suppress an internal study that showed the negative effects of the app on teenage girls.
Are you concerned about your privacy? Are flashy influencers grinding on your patience? Do you want to spend less time scrolling through Instagram and focus on improving your productivity?
It may be time to deactivate your Instagram account, or perhaps delete Instagram altogether! Deleting your Instagram account is also the only way to delete your Threads account.
In this post, you’ll find detailed instructions on how to deactivate Instagram temporarily or delete your Instagram account permanently.
Deactivate vs. Delete: Which Is Right For You?
Instagram doesn’t want you to leave, so deleting your account is not your only recourse. You can also choose to deactivate it.
Here are the key differences between deactivating and deleting Instagram.
|Delete Your Instagram Account Permanently||Deactivate Your Instagram Account Temporarily|
|Deleting your Instagram account is irreversible||If you deactivate your Instagram account, you can reactivate it at any time just by logging in|
|When you delete your Instagram account, all your photos, followers, likes, and comments are permanently removed||If you deactivate your account, your photos, followers, comments, and likes are preserved|
|If you delete your account, you could lose your username if someone else claims it||If you deactivate Instagram, your account is hidden indefinitely, but no one can take your username|
Download and Backup Your Instagram Data
Whether you plan to deactivate or delete your Instagram account, we recommend that you grab a copy of all the things you’ve shared on the Instagram app.
How to download your Instagram data on the iPhone and Android app
Here’s how to download your Instagram data on your iPhone or Android device:
- Tap on your profile picture in the bottom right corner.
- Tap the three lines in the upper right corner.
- Select “Your activity.”
- To download your account data, click on “Download Your Information.”
- Next, click on “Request Download.” You can change the email address shown to have the data sent to another address.
- Enter your password.
- Tap “Request Download.”
It can take 48 hours to 14 days to receive your file. You’ll receive an email with the subject line “Your Instagram Data.” Click the link in the email to download your file. The file usually includes your profile information, photos, comments, and other data.
How to download your Instagram data on a computer or mobile browser
If you’re accessing Instagram on a web browser, here’s how to request your data file:
- Click your profile picture in the upper right corner.
- Choose “Settings” (the small cog icon).
- Select “Privacy and Security.”
- Scroll down to “Data Download” and click “Request Download.”
- Enter an email address to receive the download link, or leave the default email you used to log in.
- Choose the format for your data file — HTML or JSON. HTML is relatively easier to use.
- Type in your Instagram password.
- Click “Request Download.”
Within 48 hours, you will receive an email titled “Your Instagram Data.” Click the link in the email to download your file.
How to Deactivate Your Instagram Account
Not quite ready to walk away from Instagram? If you feel like a brief separation is all you need, then consider deactivating your Instagram account.
Unfortunately, you can’t deactivate an Instagram account from the iPhone or Android app. You’ll need to use your computer or mobile browser to cut ties with the social media platform.
Here’s how to deactivate your Instagram account on your computer or a mobile browser.
- Open a browser window and log in to the Instagram account you want to deactivate.
- Click your profile picture in the top right.
- Choose “Profile” > “Edit Profile.”
- Scroll down and click “Temporarily disable my account.”
- From the “Why are you disabling your account?” section, select a reason from the dropdown menu. You won’t be able to proceed until you select a reason.
- Re-enter your account password.
- Click “Temporarily Disable Account” to deactivate your Instagram account.
Your Instagram account will be hidden and won’t show up in search results. Your username, photos, likes, followers, and comments will be preserved.
Note: The moment you log back into your account, it will be reactivated. You can only deactivate your Instagram account once per week.
How to Reactivate Your Instagram Account
If you’ve deactivated your Instagram account but want to access it again, follow these steps.
- Launch the Instagram app on your smartphone or tablet, or open Instagram in a web browser.
- On the Instagram home screen, enter your login credentials.
- Tap “Login” and your account will be restored.
If you change your mind right away after deactivating your account, you may have to wait up to 24 hours before you can reactivate it. Instagram typically takes several hours to complete deactivation requests. Until that process is complete, you won’t be able to reactivate your account.
How to Stay Safe on Instagram
If privacy and safety are the primary reasons you’re considering deactivating or deleting your Instagram account, there are ways to enhance your privacy on the social media platform.
We recommend using a VPN like NordVPN to encrypt your web traffic and hide your IP address from hackers and other prying eyes.
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We have an article on how to tweak your privacy settings on Instagram for improved security. Our article on the most common Instagram scams is also a great resource. If you have kids, check out our guide on how to protect your kids on Instagram.
How to Delete Your Instagram Account Permanently
If you’re ready to completely delete your Instagram account, you’ll need to be on your computer with a web browser. Unfortunately, you cannot delete an Instagram account via the app on iPhone or Android.
Here’s how to delete your Instagram account permanently.
- Log in to Instagram on a browser. If you have more than one Instagram account, be sure you are logged in to the account you want to delete.
- Go to the “Delete Your Account” page. Unfortunately, there is no menu option to access this page easily, so you need the direct link.
- From the dropdown menu in the “Why do you want to delete [account name]” section, select the reason you want to delete your Instagram account. You will be asked for additional information, depending on the option you select.
- When you’re done, re-enter your Instagram account password.
- Click the “Permanently delete my account” button.
Your account will be deleted immediately, including all the photos, likes, followers, and comments associated with your account. You should see a message confirming this that reads, “Your account has been removed. We’re sorry to see you go!”
For all intents and purposes, your Instagram account has now been deleted. However, Instagram says it may take up to three months for your account data to be completely removed from its servers. Instagram’s Data Policy also points out that some information may be retained on its servers beyond this 90-day window for legal purposes.
Instagram can be fun, but it poses a potential risk to your privacy and—in some cases—mental health. There are different opinions about the right way to use social media, but it is clear that taking a break is necessary sometimes.
It is perfectly fine to deactivate or permanently delete your Instagram account. Instagram and all other social media will be there when you are ready to use them again.
If you’re looking to do a social media cleanse, we have articles on how to delete your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Reddit, and Telegram accounts.
How to Deactivate Your Instagram Account or Delete Instagram: Frequently Asked Questions
Check out the FAQ section below for answers to specific questions about how to deactivate or delete your Instagram account.
How do I delete my Instagram account from a phone?
Since Instagram doesn’t let you delete your account within the app itself, you’ll need to log on to Instagram via a web browser. Once you do, follow these steps to delete your Instagram account permanently.
- Go to the “Delete Your Account” page.
- In the “Why do you want to delete [account name]” section, choose the reason you are deleting your account.
- Re-enter your Instagram password.
- Click the “Delete [username]” button.
For more instructions, read our article “How to Delete Your Instagram Account.”
What is the difference between deleting and deactivating my Instagram account?
When you delete your Instagram account, all your photos, followers, likes, and comments are gone forever. Your username is also up for grabs. However, when you deactivate your Instagram account, your data is preserved, and you can reactivate your account at any time.
How do I deactivate an Instagram account?
You can only deactivate your Instagram account by logging in via a browser.
Follow the steps below to deactivate your account.
- Click your profile picture in the top right corner.
- Choose “Profile” > “Edit Profile.”
- Scroll down and click “Temporarily disable my account.”
- Choose a reason from the “Why are you disabling your account?” section.
- Re-enter your password.
- Click “Temporarily Disable Account.”
How do I reactivate an Instagram account?
To reactivate your Instagram account, all you have to do is log in via the app or a browser, and it’s done automatically. If you’ve just deactivated your account, you’ll have to wait for 24 hours before you can reactivate it.
Liz is a professional writer with a special interest in online privacy and cybersecurity. As a US expat who travels and works in diverse locations around the world, keeping up with the latest internet safety best practices remains her priority.
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You can do that by going to 'Settings', then 'Account Settings,' and scrolling down to 'Deactivate my account. ' Click on 'Deactivate Account' and follow the Instagram instructions to deactivate your profile.How do I deactivate my Instagram account step by step? ›
- Tap at the top.
- Tap See more in Accounts Center, then tap Personal details.
- Tap Account ownership and control, then tap Deactivation or deletion.
- Tap the account you'd like to permanently delete.
- Tap Delete account, then tap Continue.
Instagram account deactivation refers to shutting down an account temporarily and keeping the option of returning to the media-sharing platform sometime in the future open. On the other hand, deleting an Instagram account permanently removes a person's profile from the app.How do I temporarily deactivate my Instagram account on my phone? ›
- Launch Instagram.
- Tap on your Profile tab.
- Go into Edit profile.
- Scroll to the bottom of the page and select Personal information settings.
- Tap on Account ownership and control.
- Select Deactivation or deletion.
Unfortunately, you cannot delete your account without logging in. You can, however, reset your password and then log in. If you're logged into the account on your phone that you want to delete, you can use it to get to the mobile browser and delete it.How long does deactivating your Instagram last? ›
An Instagram account can remain deactivated indefinitely. The only restriction is, you can only temporarily deactivate an account once per week.Does deactivating Instagram delete everything? ›
If you temporarily deactivate your account, your profile, photos, comments and likes will be hidden until you reactivate it by logging back in. You can only deactivate your Instagram account from a computer, a mobile browser, or the Instagram app for iPhone.Does deactivating account delete everything? ›
Deactivating your account does not fully delete it. When you deactivate your account, Facebook saves all of your settings, photos, and information in case you decide to reactivate your account. Your information isn't gone—it's just hidden.When you deactivate your Instagram what happens? ›
Deactivating your account essentially hides your profile from the rest of the world. Your account will look like it doesn't exist, your photos won't show up in others' liked posts or tagged photos lists, and no one will be able to send you a message on the platform.What is the difference between deactivated and deleted accounts? ›
Tip: The main difference between deactivating and deleting a user is that a deactivated user can be reactivated while deleting a user is permanent. Keep in mind that if a user is deleted from the account and then needs to be added back to the account, they will be added as a brand new user.
A deactivated account will not have any profile image and will show the username as "Instagram User". Messages sent to such accounts will not be delivered.What happens if I deactivated my Instagram but it got deleted? ›
However, a deactivated Instagram account is exactly that – deactivated. It's not permanently deleted. You can enter your username and password and you'll be able to regain access to your account. It will be just as if you'd never left the platform.What is the benefit of deactivating Instagram account? ›
Here are some potential benefits: Improved mental health: Deleting your Instagram account can help reduce social media-induced anxiety and depression, which can be caused by comparing yourself to others, feeling overwhelmed by the constant stream of information, or experiencing cyberbullying.