Wondering how to delete your Instagram account?
There are lots of reasons why you might want to.
Maybe you’re fed up and no longer want to use the social media platform.
Or perhaps you have multiple Instagram accounts and no longer want to use them all.
You might feel like the account has gone in the wrong direction, or you can’t keep up.
Whatever the reason, there are ways to deactivate or delete an Instagram account. Deleting is permanent, while deactivating will temporarily hide your account.
Let’s dive into the deets for both.
How to back up your Instagram profile
The first thing to do before deleting is to consider backing up the account.
You might later want to see what you posted and when. Or keep a record of who commented or liked posts.
It’s a wise precaution to backup your IG profile before deleting it.
To back up your profile:
- Open the Instagram app on your smartphone.
- Tap the profile icon in the bottom right corner.
- Tap the menu (3 lines) on the top right corner.
- Tap Settings from the drop-down menu.
- Tap on the Security tab and scroll down to tap Download Data.
- Then add an email address to request the download.
Once you’ve gone through the steps, you’ll get a link to photos, comments, profile information, and more, that will arrive within 48 hours of your request.
You can see steps 2–6 on the infographic at the end of this article. Pin it to your Pinterest as a reminder! There’s a clip of it below.
How to Permanently Delete an Instagram Account
Deleting an Instagram account is a permanent step – so only do this if you are 100% sure you’ll never need the account again. If you’re not positive, scroll down to learn how to temporarily disable your account.
You can’t delete an account from the app itself. You need to go to Instagram on a browser, which you can do on your smartphone, tablet, or computer.
Once you’re ready, go the Delete Your Account page.
(This can’t be accessed from your account. You must click the link above!)
You do need to be logged into the account on the device you are using. Be sure it’s the correct account that you want to delete!
If you’d like to delete a different account:
- Click the username in the top-right of the Delete Your Account page.
- Tap/click on next to username and select Log Out.
- Log back in as the account you want to delete.
Once you’re in the correct account, select the box giving the reason for deleting the account. You’ll have to re-enter your password to ensure this is a legit request.
Once you’ve selected a reason, the Delete [username] button appears (image below).
If this is the correct account that you want to delete, tap the button.
How to Delete an Instagram Account on mobile
Deleting your IG account on mobile works exactly the same as described above. Don’t use the app, do go to the Delete Your Account page on a browser.
iPhone users have Safari browser by default and Androids have Chrome, but any browser installed on your phone or tablet will work.
How to Delete an Instagram Account in the app
Do NOT go into your account and search for “delete your account.” This will bring up several suspicious accounts with few posts but numerous IGer comments requesting “delete my account.”
This will not work!
You must delete an IG account from the Delete Your Account page on a browser.
However, a reader who was managing linked Instagram accounts left a comment that she was able to delete them from the app.
Proceed with caution! I have not tried this – I didn’t even want to log out of all my accounts. So beware, I can’t predict nor be responsible for your results.
Once you log out of ALL your accounts, when you go to log back in you can “manage accounts” and delete them separately.
Can Instagram delete my account for me?
For security reasons, Instagram can’t delete an account for you. Nor can you delete an account for anyone else, even as the parent or guardian of a minor.
You’ll need to be able to log into your account to delete it. If you can’t remember your password or username, here are tips for logging in.
How to Disable or Deactivate an Instagram Account
Another option is to disable or deactivate your account. This means you can reactivate it sometime later.
It’s the perfect option if you want to take a break from social media, or just from this Instagram account. You won’t lose the presence you’ve built up there through all your efforts to grow your Instagram account.
If you temporarily disable your account, your profile, photos, comments, and likes will be hidden until you reactivate it by logging back in.
Again, you can’t use the iPhone app or Android app for this – you must use a browser. But in this case, you’ll go to your Instagram profile on a browser. Be sure you’re logged in.
Click the profile picture on the upper right-hand corner, then Settings, then Edit Profile.
At the bottom of this panel is a link to Temporarily disable my account. Click this.
There’s a question that asks why. You must complete this and re-enter your password (image below).
Now you can choose the Temporarily Disable Account button if you wish.
Your account will be hidden until you reactivate it by logging back in.
Note that you can only disable your account once a week, max.
How Long Until Instagram Deletes your Account?
If you do delete your Instagram account, you’ll have a chance to recover it within 30 days. Just log back in and choose to keep it.
Note that this is at the time of writing this article, and is subject to change with the whims of social media! So make sure you are certain before you complete the deletion process detailed above.
When I started this process on November 4, 2021, I was alerted that my profile and account details would be deleted on December 04, 2021. My account would not be visible in this interim, but I could log back in before December 4 and choose to keep my account.
Is There Any Way to Get my Account Back after Deletion?
After 30 days, your account is permanently deleted by Instagram. All your posts and profile details are gone – unless you backed them up first.
But the account itself is gone.
You can, however, create a new account with the same username, or add that username to another account, as long as the name hasn’t been taken by another Instagram user.
Once someone else has taken your old username, there’s nothing you can do but dream up a new Instagram username.
Here’s an old workaround for recovering a deleted account. This might not work any more. I have my doubts, since IG now allows a 30-day “cooling off period” to recover your account.
This isn’t an official process. The suggestion is to follow the process as if you’d been hacked or lost your login information.
Use the ‘get help signing in’ option on the main login screen.
Select ‘trouble logging in’ and follow the prompts using the ‘my account was hacked’ option.
Fill in the forms and wait to hear back from them. They may want verification such as your personal information, or a verification code to reinstate the account.
Or they may simply say no.
Deleting your Instagram Account
Deleting your Instagram account is a big step, and not one to take lightly.
Disabling or deactivating the account is a better option if you want a break, or just take some time while you make a permanent decision. Here are some great social media break messages you can post while you consider it.
But if you do decide to make a permanent break, you have the steps to follow.
Pin the image below to Pinterest as a reminder of how to delete your Instagram account!