If you’ve decided to delete Instagram, whether because you’ve outgrown the need for a specific finsta or because its parent company Meta is courting controversy yet again, the process isn’t as simple as straightforward as it should be.
It’s impossible to do it from within the Instagram app.
If you want to make an obligatory “I’m deleting Instagram” post, go ahead and do so, and then follow these instructions to delete your account – they work on both a computer and a phone as long as you’re using a browser.
- To begin, go to Instagram’s dedicated account removal request page, which may be accessed here or by following the link in the account deletion assistance article. You’ll have to input your credentials if you’re not already logged into Instagram for the web (which most users aren’t). In fact, you’ll almost certainly have to enter your password again during the deletion process, so now is a good opportunity to double-check that you know what it is.
- You should be directed to a screen with the old Instagram logo and a drop down box asking why you wish to cancel your account. Depending on the option you select, you may be presented with a variety of links to Instagram’s support center promising to resolve your problems or a message urging you to double-check which account you’re deleting.
- Whatever option you select, a popup will appear below the links asking you to reenter your password.
After that, indicate that you’re sure by tapping or clicking the “Delete (your account name)” button.
Your data will not be destroyed immediately, as Instagram states several times on the account deactivation page – Meta will store it for 30 days. Your profile and posts, however, will be concealed from view on the site.
If you’re ending your Instagram relationship, don’t forget to delete the app from your phone as well. This will save you some space while also putting some friction between you and signing up for the service again.
How to un-delete your Instagram account
If it’s been more than 30 days since you asked Instagram to erase your account, you won’t be able to get it back.
You’ll have to register a new account (your username will be available when your account is canceled, but it’s likely that someone else has already grabbed it).
If you’re within that 30-day window, you can reclaim your account, including all of your posts and DMs.
Simply return to Instagram and log in using your username and password. You’ll notice a message stating that you’ve asked for your account to be erased, as well as the date when your data will be destroyed. Simply press the “Keep Account” button to prevent this from happening.
Temporarily suspending your Instagram account
If you want to remove your account from public view, but don’t want to permanently delete all your photos and messages, you can suspend your account instead.
Meta forces you to use the online version of Instagram rather than the app once again, but at least you won’t have to rely on a link from a support page.
- Go to your profile and click the Edit Profile button after logging into Instagram.com (if you’re using a mobile browser, you’ll have to hit the settings cog to obtain the option).
- Go to “Edit Profile” > “Temporarily disable my account” (it’ll be at the bottom of the page).
You’ll have to choose a reason for suspending your account and enter your password, just as when you delete it.
Simply log back in using the app or the website to re-enable your account. You’ll only be able to suspend your account for a week, so if you accidently log back in, your postings will be available to followers again, if only for a short time.