Delete Instagram: How to deactivate or delete an Instagram account

Follow our independent guide on how to remove an Instagram account, whether it's for a temporary or permanent vacation from social media

How can I delete or deactivate my Instagram account?

Instagram and Facebook have had a number of trust issues for a while, so what should you do if you’ve decided you want to take control back? Luckily it’s really easy:

To start, you’ll have to decide which of the two different ways you’d like to take your account offline.:

  • The first is to deactivate your Instagram account, which is a temporary measure. When you deactivate your account, your profile, photos, comments and likes will all be hidden. However, when you log back in all of that information will be restored, and it will be as if you never left. This is the best option if you want a temporary respite from the service for whatever reason, but aren’t quite ready to remove yourself and your data for good.
  • The second way is to completely delete your Instagram account − an irreversible measure. When you delete your account, your profile, photos, videos, comments, likes and followers are gone for good – as is the login. It’s impossible to reactivate a deleted account or retrieve any of the data within it. What’s more, you won’t be able to sign up again with the same username, or add the same username to another account.

Before you do this, you might want to download your Instagram pictures, videos and other account details first – find out how to do this further down this page. First though, here’s how to deactivate an Instagram account.

Related: how to delete Facebook

1. How to deactivate Instagram temporarily

To temporarily deactivate an Instagram account, with a view to either resurrecting or permanently deleting it later down the line, follow these steps:

  • Visit the Instagram website and log into your account − the reason for this is you can’t deactivate an Instagram account from within the phone app – it has to be done from the website
  • Navigate to your profile page and click ‘Edit Profile’
  • Select ‘Temporarily disable my account’ at the bottom of the page
  • Open the drop-down menu next to ‘Why are you disabling your account?’ and select the option most relevant to you
  • Re-enter your Instagram password when prompted
  • Select ‘Temporarily disable account’
It's easy to temporarily disable your Instagram account

It’s easy to temporarily disable your Instagram account

2. How to delete an Instagram account permanently

To permanently delete Instagram, follow these steps:

  • Visit the Instagram website and log into your account − once again, you can’t delete an Instagram account from within the app, it has to be via the website.
  • Follow this link, which takes you to the ‘Delete Your Account’ page
  • Open the drop-down menu next to ‘Why are you deleting your account?’ and choose the option most relevant to you
  • Re-enter your Instagram password when prompted
  • Select ‘Permanently delete my account’
Deleting your Instagram account is also easy – and permanent

Deleting your Instagram account is also easy – and permanent

3. How to download your Instagram pictures and account details

Before doing any of that, it’s well worth taking a few moments to download a copy of everything you’ve uploaded to the platform first. This includes your photos, videos, comments and profile information.

To download your data, follow this link, enter your password and hit the Request Download button. Unfortunately, it can take Instagram up to 48 hours to gather this data together and send it to you, so it requires some extra patience.

That’s it – now you can relax knowing you are no longer part of the social media carousel.

Make sure you get a backup of your Instagram data first

Make sure you get a backup of your data and photos first

4. What more can I do to protect my online privacy?

If you’re still concerned about your online privacy, you should also check out our comprehensive reviews of the best VPNs for security and privacy. If you’re not familiar with VPNs, they encrypt and anonymise your internet use giving you an additional degree of privacy from data collectors online. We’ve also listed a few of the better current deals below:

We continually check thousands of prices to show you the best deals. If you buy a product through our site we will earn a small commission from the retailer – a sort of automated referral fee – but our reviewers are always kept separate from this process. You can read more about how we make money in our Ethics Policy.

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