In the decade since its launch in 2010, Instagram has evolved into a ubiquitous component of popular culture, with celebrities using it to communicate with fans and online influencers relying on it to grow their audiences and monetize their personal brands.
The visually-oriented social media platform boasts more than 1 billion users worldwide, who share millions of videos, still images and temporary “stories” on a daily basis. However, despite this, there are still a swath of users looking to figure out “how to delete your Instagram account”.
Instagram was acquired by Facebook in 2012, and both are now operated by the recently-rebranded parent company Meta, helmed by Facebook founder and tech magnate Mark Zuckerberg. Similar to its sister company Facebook, Instagram users have begun to voice concerns about the app’s potential negative effects, both at an individual level and a broader cultural level. These issues include:
How to Delete Your Instagram Account
If you’ve weighed the pros and cons and concluded that Instagram’s presence in your life is no longer serving you, you have several options for disengaging from the platform—both of which require you to log into Instagram from a web-based browser instead of the mobile app that most people use to access Instagram on a daily basis.
You can temporarily disable your Instagram account, which gives you the opportunity to take a break from the site and gauge whether its absence from your daily schedule offers net benefits, or you can take the leap immediately and permanently delete your Instagram presence. Below, learn how to delete your Instagram account.
NOTE: If you’re looking for a more comprehensive guide to far more than just how to delete your Instagram account, we implore you to check out Removaly’s full social media cleanse guide, available HERE.
How to Disable Your Instagram Account
To disable your Instagram account:
- Log into your account from a desktop or mobile browser:
- Click on your profile picture in the upper right corner.
- Select Profile from the drop-down menu that appears.
- Click on the button at the top of the screen that says Edit Profile.
- Click on the blue text at the bottom of the page that reads “Temporarily disable my account.”
- On the next screen, you’ll be asked to choose a reason for disabling your account from a drop-down menu.
- After you make your selection, you’ll be asked to re-enter your password, after which you can click the Temporarily Disable Account button. Within a few hours, your account will be deactivated.
- While in deactivation mode, your account will not be visible in others’ searches, but your username and all of your content will be preserved.
- Logging back into your account will reinstate it to active mode.
How to Delete Your Instagram Account
Permanently deleting your Instagram account is irreversible, and your full account history—including your username, photos, followers, likes, and comments—will be permanently erased.
If you choose to sign up for a new account in the future, you will have to select a new username. If you take the permanent route, consider downloading a copy of your Instagram data by going to the Settings menu, clicking Privacy and Security, and scrolling down to Data Download. Click Request Download and enter your password and email address. You should receive your data file within 48 hours at the email address you provide.
How to delete your Instagram account:
- Log into Instagram on a web-based browser.
- Go to the Delete Your Account page.
- Choose your reason for deleting your account from the options provided and re-enter your password and enter your password to confirm your request.
- Click Permanently Delete My Account.
Final Thoughts on Leaving Instagram
If you’re currently a heavy user of Instagram, you may find yourself habitually reaching for your phone to click the familiar camera icon or feeling a sense of FOMO when you overhear acquaintances discussing the latest viral video.
Over time, you’ll find you miss Instagram less and less, and the time and emotional energy you have to dedicate to other areas of your life will easily make up for the resources you once spent scrolling past ephemeral content shared by complete strangers.
Most importantly, your private data will once again belong to you, and not a global tech giant using it to add to its multibillion-dollar annual profit margins.