HomeWinBuzzer TipsHow to Deactivate or Delete an Instagram Account

How to Deactivate or Delete an Instagram Account

We show you how to deactivate Instagram, how to delete an Instagram account permanently, and how to download your Instagram data.

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You might consider to delete your Instagram account for several reasons but at the same time be unsure about it. Yes, Instagram is one of the most popular social media platforms out there, and it can be a lot of fun to share your photos and stories with your friends and followers. Let´s have a look at why you might want to quit Instagram, some alternative measures, and how to delete Instagram if you finally decide to do so. We also show how to deactivate Instagram and reactivate it again and how you can download all your Instagram data before deleting your account.

Instagram Is Addictive

First of all, Instagram is very addictive. You might find yourself spending hours scrolling through your feed, watching reels, checking out stories, and liking posts. This can take a toll on your mental health, your productivity, and your relationships. You might feel anxious, depressed, or lonely if you compare yourself to others or seek validation from likes and comments. You might also miss out on real-life experiences and connections if you are always glued to your phone.

Instagram Can Mislead and Distract You

Instagram can also be very misleading. You might think that what you see on Instagram is real, but it’s not. A lot of people use filters, edits, and staged photos to create a perfect image of themselves and their lives. This can make you feel insecure, inadequate, or jealous if you think that everyone else is happier, richer, or more successful than you. You might also lose touch with your own identity and values if you try to fit in with the trends and expectations of Instagram culture.

Instagram is also very distracting. You might think that you are using Instagram to relax, have fun, or learn something new, but you are actually wasting a lot of time and energy on something that doesn’t really matter. You might lose focus on your goals, your passions, and your purpose if you are constantly bombarded with ads, influencers, and celebrities that try to sell you something or influence your opinions. You might also miss out on opportunities to grow, create, or contribute if you are always consuming instead of producing.

Instagram and Privacy

You should be aware of some of the known and potential privacy risks of having an Instagram account. Instagram is owned by Meta, formerly known as Facebook. That means your data on Instagram is shared with Facebook and other apps and websites that use Facebook’s services. This data includes your location, your contacts, your browsing history, your interests, and more. Meta uses this data to show you targeted ads, recommend content, and personalize your experience. You can’t opt out of this data sharing completely, but you can limit some of it by adjusting your privacy settings.

Instagram might also expose you to various online threats, such as predators, cyberbullies, hackers, and scammers. Predators can use Instagram to find and contact children or vulnerable people. Cyberbullies can use Instagram to harass or humiliate others. Hackers can use Instagram to steal your account or personal information. Scammers can use Instagram to trick you into clicking on malicious links or downloading malware. You can protect yourself from these threats by being careful about who you follow, what you post, and what you click on.

Should You Delete Instagram?

So, what can you do about it? Well, one option is to delete your Instagram account altogether. This might sound drastic, but it can be very liberating and empowering. You can reclaim your time, your attention, and your happiness by freeing yourself from the pressures and distractions of Instagram. You can focus on what really matters to you and live more authentically and intentionally.

Of course, deleting your Instagram account is not for everyone. Maybe you use Instagram for work, for education, or for socializing with people who matter to you. Maybe you enjoy Instagram as a creative outlet or a source of inspiration. Maybe you have a healthy relationship with Instagram, and you don’t let it affect your self-esteem or your lifestyle.

In that case, you don’t have to delete your Instagram account, but you can still take some steps to use it more wisely and mindfully:
  • Set limits on how much time you spend on Instagram per day or per week.
  • Turn off notifications or put your phone on silent mode when you are working, studying, or spending time with others.
  • Unfollow or mute accounts that make you feel bad about yourself or that don’t align with your values.
  • Follow or interact with accounts that make you feel good about yourself or that inspire you to grow.
  • Be selective about what you post and share on Instagram. Ask yourself why you are posting and what value it adds to your life and others’.
  • Be authentic and honest on Instagram. Don’t use filters, edits, or staged photos to create a false impression of yourself or your life.
  • Be respectful and kind on Instagram. Don’t compare yourself to others or judge them based on their posts. Don’t leave hateful or hurtful comments or messages.

Deactivate Instagram: An Alternative to Deleting an Instagram Account

If you want to take a break from Instagram, you have two options: deactivating or deleting your account. Deactivating your account means that you can hide your profile, photos, comments, and likes temporarily. You can still access your messages and reactivate your account anytime by logging back in. Deleting your account means that you will permanently erase everything on your profile, including your username, photos, videos, followers, and messages. You won’t be able to use the same username again or add it to another account. Before you delete your account, you should download a copy of your data from Instagram.

How to Deactivate Your Instagram Account

The following steps show you how to deactivate Instagram using your web browser. As said previously, this allows you to still access your messages and reactivate your account anytime by logging back in.

  1. Open Instagram and click your profile picture
     
    Windows 11 - Instagram - Profile Picture
  2. Select “Profile”
     
    Windows 11 - Instagram - Profile Picture - Profile
  3. Click “Edit profile”
     
    Windows 11 - Instagram - Profile Picture - Profile - Edit Profile
  4. Scroll down and click on “Temporarily deactivate my account”
     
    Windows 11 - Instagram - Profile Picture - Profile - Edit Profile - Deactivate Account
  5. Select your reason for deactivating Instagram or just “Something else”
     
    Windows 11 - Instagram - Profile Picture - Profile - Edit Profile - Deactivate Account - Reason
  6. Re-enter your Instagram password and click “Temporarily Deactivate Account”
     
    Windows 11 - Instagram - Profile Picture - Profile - Edit Profile - Deactivate Account - Reason - Password - Confirm

How to Reactivate a Deactivated Instagram Account

If you have previously deactivated your account, you can reactivate Instagram anytime by just logging in.
 
Windows 11 - Instagram - Credentials - Log In

How to Access and Download Your Instagram Data

The following steps show how to download Instagram data as an offline copy. This is recommended before you permanently delete an Instagram account.

  1. Click on your Instagram profile picture
     
    Windows 11 - Instagram - Profile Picture
  2. Select “Settings”
     
    Windows 11 - Instagram - Profile Picture - Settings
  3. Scroll down a bit and select “Privacy and security”
     
    Windows 11 - Instagram - Profile Picture - Settings - Privacy & Security
  4. Scroll down to “Data Download” and click on “Request Download”
     
    Windows 11 - Instagram - Settings - Privacy & Security - Data Download - Request
  5. Add your email information and choose HTML or JSON as data format
     

    If you want to download your Instagram data, you have two options: HTML or JSON. HTML is a format that displays your data in a web-like way, with images, links, and text. JSON is a format that stores your data as plain text with keys and values. Both formats contain the same information, but they have different advantages.

    HTML is easier to read and navigate, especially if you want to see your photos and videos. You can open the HTML files in any browser and browse through your posts, stories, comments, and likes. HTML is also more compatible with other web services if you want to import your data somewhere else.

    JSON is more compact and efficient, especially if you want to analyze or use your data for programming purposes. You can open the JSON files in any text or code editor and manipulate them as you wish. JSON is also more flexible and customizable if you want to change the structure or format of your data.

     Windows 11 - Instagram - Settings - Privacy & Security - Data Download - Request - Email - Format - Next

  6. Enter your Instagram password and click “Request Download”
     
    Windows 11 - Instagram - Settings - Privacy & Security - Data Download - Request - Email - Format - Password - Confirm
  7. Check your email inbox for the download link and download your Instagram data
     
    When you request a data download for your Instagram profile before deleting it, you may wonder why it takes so long to receive the file. Several factors affect the time it takes until you can download your data, such as the size of your account, the number of photos and videos you have uploaded, the format you choose (HTML or JSON), and the demand on Instagram’s servers. According to Instagram, it can take up to 48 hours for you to receive an email with a link to your data.
     

    This is because Instagram needs to collect and organize all the information you have shared on the platform, such as your profile, comments, messages, stories, and more. You can view some of this information on the app or website without requesting a download, but if you want a complete copy of everything you have shared on Instagram, you need to wait for the data download. Downloading your data is a good way to backup your content and have more control over your privacy. However, it may take some time and patience before you can access your data file.
     
    Windows 11 - Instagram - Settings - Privacy & Security - Data Download - Request - Email - Format - Password - Result

How to Permanently Delete an Instagram Account

When you delete your Instagram account, your profile, photos, videos, comments, likes, and followers will be permanently removed. If you’d like to take a break, you can temporarily deactivate your account instead. Before deleting your account, you might want to download all Instagram data as shown above.

  1. Log into your Instagram account
     
    Windows 11 - Instagram - Log In
  2. Go to the “Instagram Delete Your Account page” and select a reason
     
    Select an option from the dropdown menu below “Why do you want to delete [account name]?” and re-enter your password. The option to permanently delete your account will only appear after you’ve selected a reason from the menu and entered your password, but you can choose “Something else” if you don´t want to answer.
     
    Windows 11 - Browser - Delete Account Link - Reason
  3. Re-enter your Instagram password
     
    Windows 11 - Browser - Delete Account Link - Reason - Password - Delete
  4. Confirm with “OK”
     
    Windows 11 - Browser - Delete Account Link - Reason - Password - Delete - Confirm
  5. Take note of the deletion date
     
    Instagram will not delete your account immediately but deactivate it for 30 days until the shown date. Until the final day, you can log into your Instagram account normally to cancel the account deletion (as shown in the next section).
     
    Windows 11 - Browser - Delete Account Link - Reason - Password - Delete - Confirm - Result

How to Restore a Deleted Instagram Account (Within 30 Days)

If you delete your Instagram account, you can cancel the procedure during a 30-day holding period, as shown below.

  1. Log into your deactivated Instagram account normally
     
    Windows 11 - Instagram - Log In
  2. Click “Keep Account” in the info-box
     
    Windows 11 - Instagram - Log In - Keep Account

FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions About Instagram Accounts

Can I temporarily disable my Instagram account from the mobile app?

Unfortunately, the Instagram mobile app does not provide the functionality to temporarily disable (deactivate) your account. To deactivate your account, you must log in via a web browser on a computer or mobile device. Navigate to your profile settings, select ‘Edit Profile’, and at the bottom of the page, you’ll find the option to ‘Temporarily disable my account’. Follow the prompts to confirm your decision.

Will I lose my Instagram data if I deactivate my account temporarily?

No, temporarily deactivating your Instagram account will not lead to the loss of any data. Your profile, photos, comments, and likes will be hidden but not deleted. When you choose to reactivate your account by simply logging back in, all your content will be restored and become visible again to your followers.

How can I make my Instagram account private to protect my privacy without deactivating or deleting it?

To enhance privacy without deactivating or deleting your account, you can make your Instagram account private. This restricts non-followers from viewing your content. On your profile, tap the hamburger menu (three lines) in the top right corner, select ‘Settings’, then ‘Privacy’. Here, you’ll find the option to switch on ‘Private Account’. Once enabled, only your current and future followers will have access to your posts and stories.

Is there a limit to how many times I can deactivate and reactivate my Instagram account?

Instagram’s policy allows for the deactivation of your account once per week. While there’s no specific limit mentioned for reactivation, repeatedly deactivating and reactivating your account might trigger Instagram’s security protocols, potentially leading to temporary restrictions on your account to prevent abuse of the feature.

What should I do if I don’t receive the email link to download my Instagram data?

If the email with the data download link doesn’t arrive, check your spam or junk folder first. If it’s not there, ensure that the email address associated with your Instagram account is correct and request the download again. It might take up to 48 hours for Instagram to compile and send your data, so patience is also key.

Can I choose to download only specific types of data from Instagram, like photos or messages?

Instagram’s data download feature compiles a comprehensive archive of your account data, including photos, messages, comments, and profile information. Currently, Instagram does not offer the option to customize the download package to include only specific data types.

How can I secure my Instagram account against unauthorized access?

To secure your account, start by using a strong, unique password that combines letters, numbers, and symbols. Enable two-factor authentication (2FA) from the ‘Security’ section in your account settings for an added layer of security. Be cautious about phishing attempts and suspicious links claiming to be from Instagram. Regularly reviewing your account’s login activity can also help you spot and address any unauthorized access promptly.

If I deactivate my account, how long before my username becomes available to others?

While your account is deactivated, your username is held and not made available to others. If you choose to permanently delete your account, Instagram may eventually free up the username for reuse, but the platform does not specify a timeline for when or if this will happen, and there’s no guarantee that the username will be made available to others immediately or at all.

How do I report an impersonation or misuse of my deleted Instagram account?

Even if your account is deleted, you can report impersonation directly through Instagram’s Help Center. Look for the ‘Report Something’ section and follow the instructions for reporting an impersonation. You’ll need to provide identification to verify your identity and detail the impersonation issue, allowing Instagram to take appropriate action.

Can I reactivate my Instagram account after the 30-day deletion grace period?

After initiating account deletion, you have a 30-day grace period during which you can cancel the deletion by logging back into your account. Once this period passes, your account and all associated data are permanently erased from Instagram’s servers, making reactivation impossible.

How do I manage or delete individual posts without deactivating my entire account?

To manage individual posts, navigate to the post you wish to delete or archive. Tap the three dots at the top of the post for options. Select ‘Delete’ to permanently remove the post from your account or ‘Archive’ to hide the post from your profile without deleting it. Archived posts can be reviewed and restored from your Archive at any time.

Can I block or restrict someone without deactivating or deleting my Instagram account?

Yes, you can block or restrict users to control how they interact with your account. To block a user, visit their profile, tap the three dots at the top right, and choose ‘Block’. To restrict a user, which limits their interactions without blocking them outright, select ‘Restrict’ from the same menu. Restricted users won’t know they’ve been restricted, and their comments on your posts will only be visible to them unless you approve them.

How can I stop receiving direct messages from people I don’t follow on Instagram?

To control who can send you direct messages, go to ‘Settings’, select ‘Privacy’, then tap on ‘Messages’. Here, you can adjust your message delivery preferences, including who can send you message requests and where these requests are stored.

What happens to my active Instagram promotions if I deactivate my account?

Deactivating your account temporarily pauses all active promotions. These promotions will not run or accrue costs during the deactivation period. To resume promotions, you’ll need to reactivate your account and manually restart any campaigns you wish to continue.

How can I remove my Instagram account from being suggested to others?

To limit your account from being suggested to others, navigate to ‘Settings’, then ‘Privacy’, and look for options related to account suggestions. Disabling ‘Similar Account Suggestions’ can reduce the likelihood of your profile being recommended to others when they follow similar accounts. However, your profile may still appear in other suggestion areas on Instagram based on mutual followers and other connections.

Related: How to Turn off Active Status on Instagram

The activity status on Instagram is a feature that lets other users you follow and anyone you message see when you were last active or currently active on Instagram. There are several reasons why you might want to turn off your activity status on Instagram. In our other guide we will explain you everything about Instagram active status and show you how to turn it off, if you want to.

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Related: How to Share an Instagram Post in an Instagram Story

Instagram Stories and Instagram posts are both powerful tools for connecting with an audience and growing one’s online presence. Sharing an Instagram post within an Instagram story can serve multiple purposes. In our other guide, we show you how to repost on an Instagram story and how to post your Instagram memories in an Instagram story. As an extra, we also show you how to share an Instagram post with select users privately if you don´t want all your followers to see it inside a story.

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Related: How to Add a Link to an Instagram Story

Instagram Stories have emerged as a powerful tool for businesses, influencers, and everyday users to engage their audience. One particularly effective feature is the ability to add links directly within Instagram Stories themselves. In our other guide, we’ll discuss the benefits of this approach and how you can harness its potential.

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Last Updated on April 21, 2024 10:47 am CEST by Markus Kasanmascheff

Markus Kasanmascheff
Markus Kasanmascheff
Markus is the founder of WinBuzzer and has been playing with Windows and technology for more than 25 years. He is holding a Master´s degree in International Economics and previously worked as Lead Windows Expert for Softonic.com.
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