How to delete your Instagram account

Social media has become the most important voice of our time and a reliable feedback tool. But what information you share with the public – whether for business or pleasure – is up to you. For this reason, each platform grants you the right to terminate your membership on request and to erase all traces of your social media activities.

Instagram profiles can also be deleted in seconds; all images and videos can be removed from the platform. However, deleting your account is quite final, so if you aren’t 100% sure, you should consider temporarily disabling your Instagram profile. This means that you content will be temporarily removed from the public eye. We explain how this works.

Note

Be aware that any content you publish on the internet can be viewed, saved, and copied by anyone. Even if you delete your social media profile, including all your information, there is no guarantee that your images and videos will disappear completely from the net. Providers like Instagram only delete data from their own servers, but have no influence on servers belonging to other platforms. When images reappear elsewhere, users are often powerless to delete them. The internet never forgets! You can find further information on how to use social media safely in our guidebook “Soziale Netzwerke und ihre Gefahren“.

Disabling your Instagram account

Instagram allows users to temporarily disable their accounts. This means that if you want to remove your content from the net for a short while, you don’t have to go as far as to delete your account, which would make it irretrievable.

You can disable your account via the web interface in the browser. It only requires five steps.

  1. Log in: Open the Instagram log-in area in the browser and log in with the account you want to temporarily disable.
  2. Click on “Edit Profile”: Here you can access the account settings of your Instagram profile.
  1. Select “Temporarily disable my account”: In the account settings of your Instagram account, you will find the link “Temporarily disable my account” at the bottle right. Click on it and follow the instructions on the next page.
  1. Justify disabling: To disable your account, you must first provide a reason. The following options are available:
  • Just need a break
  • Trouble getting started
  • Created a second account
  • Privacy concerns
  • Want to remove something
  • Too busy/too distracting
  • Can’t find people to follow
  • Too many ads
  • Something else
Note

Disabling your Instagram account needs to be justified, although approval from the provider is not required.

Depending on the reason you specify for wanting to disable your account, Instagram will suggest suitable articles in the help section of the social media platform. These may contain solutions to your problem.

  1. Complete the disabling process: If you want to disable your account despite the problem-solving strategies offered to you, you just need to enter your password again. Then complete the deactivation by clicking on “Temporarily Disable Account.”

After disabling your account, your Instagram page will be temporarily taken offline, including all photos, comments, and “likes.” Content will remain hidden until you reactivate your account by logging in again.

Note

If your Instagram account has been successfully disabled, it may take a few hours to be reactivated again due to technical reasons.

Permanently deleting your Instagram account

If temporarily isn’t enough and you want your account to be permanently deleted, proceed with the following steps. Be aware that a deleted Instagram account cannot be restored.

Tip

Are you considering deleting your Instagram profile because you haven’t connected with as many people as planned on the social network? In this case, we recommend our “Instagram for business” guide series. With more than 800 million users, the photo network is one of the best-known and most frequently used communication channels worldwide. More than 25 million companies use Instagram to raise awareness of products and services, increase brand awareness, or enhance their corporate image.

You cannot find the function to delete your Instagram account in the profile settings, but rather on the support page provided under the following URL:

www.instagram.com/accounts/remove/request/permanent

The deletion process requires just two steps.

  1. Justify the deletion request: Just like disabling your Instagram account, the social media company also asks you to justify your reasons for deletion. Here, you also get the choice of the same options that have been mentioned above.
  1. Confirm the deletion: Once you have decided on a reason, you only need your password to start the deletion process. Confirm the irrevocable deletion of your Instagram account by clicking on “Permanently delete my account.”

Permanently deleting your Instagram account has the following consequences:

  • All your images stored on the social media platform will be deleted 
  • All your followers as well as social signs and image comments will be lost
  • Once your account has been deleted, your login name will be available to others

Before you take this drastic step, be 100% sure that it’s what you want.

Tip

Instagram doesn’t back up deleted profiles. Your data will be lost as soon as the deletion process is completed. Users who want to back up their data can do so using the download function offered by the provider. You will find this under “Edit Profile” à “Privacy and Security” à “Data Download.” The download file contains all your images, videos, and stories as well as comments, profile information, connections, search queries, and chat messages in JSON format.


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