Instagram provides you the option to either temporarily deactivate your account or delete it permanently.
Instagram is one of the most popular platforms for sharing photos and short videos. While the platform launched back in October 2010 was initially popular among celebrities, it recently emerged as a place for individuals to highlight public issues. We also saw Instagram becoming as a medium in the recent protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) in India and the 2019 Hong Kong protests. Having said that, just like Facebook and other social media platforms, Instagram also get many posts that spread fake news and misinformation. This could be the reason why you want to deactivate your Instagram account, or maybe social media has become just too much for you.
For deactivation, Instagram provides two options. You can either temporarily deactivate your account or delete your account to permanently remove your profile as well as photos, videos, comments, likes, and followers. If you’ve decided to move on completely, you should go with the option to delete your account.
How to temporarily deactivate your Instagram account?
To temporarily deactivate your Instagram account, you need to follow the steps provided below.
- Log into your Instagram account from a mobile browser or computer by visiting https://instagram.com.
- Tap or click your profile icon from the top-right corner and then select the Edit Profile option.
- Now, scroll down and then tap or click the Temporarily disable my account option in the bottom right.
- Instagram will show you a page with a drop-down menu next to Why are you disabling your account? You’ll need to pick an option from the menu and then re-enter your password. The drop-down menu includes options such as Can’t find people to follow, Concerned about my data, Just need a break, Privacy concerns, Too busy/ too distracting, Too many ads, and Want to remove something. You can also pick the Something else option if you don’t want to specify your reason for temporary deactivation.
- Tap or click the Temporarily Disable Account button to accomplish the deactivation process.
It is worth noting that you can’t temporarily deactivate your account using the Instagram app on your mobile devices. Also, if the account has been deactivated, you can reactivate it by simply logging back. Your Instagram profile, photos, comments, and likes will be hidden until you reactivate your account. Furthermore, you can temporarily deactivate your Instagram account only once a week.
Instagram has provided the options to set your posts private or block people, in case if you don’t want to deactivate your account but want to make changes to adjust your privacy and preferences.
That said, if you don’t want to deactivate but permanently delete your Instagram account, there is a separate workaround.
How to delete your Instagram account permanently?
If you want to delete your Instagram account permanently, you need to follow the steps provided below. It is important to note that once you delete your account, you can’t sign up again using the same username or add that username to another account. Instagram also can’t reactivate any deleted accounts.
- To permanently delete your Instagram account, go to the Delete Your Account page after logging into Instagram on the Web.
- Now, you’ll be required to select an option from the drop-down menu next to Why are you deleting your account? There are options such as Too many ads, Privacy concerns, Concerned about my data, Created a second account, Trouble getting started, Want to remove something, and Can’t find people to follow. Instagram will provide with the links to some of the articles in its Help Center related to your reason. You can also choose the option titled Something else from the drop-down menu if your particular reason for deletion isn’t in the list.
- You’ll now have to re-enter your password.
- Click or tap the Permanently delete my account button.
Once you click or tap the Permanently delete my account button, your photos, comments, likes, and followers on Instagram will be removed permanently and won’t be recoverable. Also, as mentioned above, you won’t be able to sign up using the same username again in the future.
If you have a separate account that you’d like to delete permanently, click the username of that account from the top-right corner of the Delete Your Account page, tap or click on the settings gear option next to the username and then select Log Out. You’ll now need to log in with the account that you want to delete and then follow the aforementioned steps.
You can also switch to the temporarily deactivation page directly from the Delete Your Account page if you don’t want to delete your Instagram account permanently.
Just like temporarily deactivating, deletion of an Instagram account works only through the Web browsers and isn’t provided through an option in the Instagram apps.
In the near past, Instagram has tried to reduce the number of deactivation and deletion of accounts by making certain changes. The Facebook-owned platform rolled out a ‘Restrict’ option to let users stop people who bully them by posting offensive content and passing abusive comments. It also added a ‘Caption Warning’ feature to flag objectionable captions.
Instagram in August introduced a fact-checking programme in the US that enabled users to flag fake news on the platform. However, the initiative was found to have a limited scope to remove disinformation. Instagram also recently announced that in order to fight against misinformation, it is partnering with fact-checkers around the world. The platform already started working with third-party allies in the US to help identify, review, and label posts spreading bogus content to the public.
Last month, Instagram started requiring birthdates from all new users to expand the audience for ads on age-restricted products and bring new safety measures for young users who are at least 13 years old. The platform, however, doesn’t ask for a proof to verify birthdates and would rely on artificial intelligence to verify the facts provided by its users.