How to Delete Your Instagram Account (or Deactivate) in 2024

Abeerah Hashim  - Security Expert
Last updated: May 18, 2024
Read time: 15 minutes

This article explains how to delete or deactivate an Instagram account for users concerned with the privacy issues associated with Instagram.


Although using Instagram is a fun-filled activity for many social media users, its acquisition by Facebook some years ago turned out to be a repelling factor for privacy freaks. Besides, some Instagram users simply want to quit using the app in favor of a better alternative or just to take a break from this online window to their personal lives. All such reasons make users wonder how to deactivate their Instagram accounts. That’s what we’ll explain in this detailed guide.

As you probably know already, Facebook is Instagram’s parent company. As such, it is no surprise that privacy scandals are part of the conversation.


Let’s remember late 2018. Back then, the “Download Your Data” feature in Instagram had a security flaw that leaked a user’s password in plain text – which is a hacker’s ultimate prize, except that no hack was needed here.

This flaw is particularly ironic considering that the feature should supposedly have improved security and kept a user’s privacy and data safer. Moreover, it came into being after the Cambridge Analytica scandal as an attempt to calm users down. Talk about failure.

Once the problem became public knowledge, Instagram moved quickly to assure the world that only a few users were subject to any risk and that the company had already solved the issue anyway. So Instagram corrected this problem, let’s say. Does it mean it’s a safe service for you to use in terms of protecting your privacy? The answer is no. Instagram is a privacy threat to every user for a variety of reasons.

Let’s take one example. Instagram constantly tracks your physical location unless you turn that feature off by hand. No, it doesn’t do this, so your pictures get labeled automatically. However, your location informs the app about the type of advertising it should show you so that they are relevant to where you spend more of your time.

Also, your activity within the Instagram app (likes, comments, shares, interaction with stories, and more) is available to other users. And that’s just a start.

In early 2018, a DM service update came around. Unfortunately, it altered the status notification in a way that upset many users. Instagram suddenly told users about when other users were active, and the last time they did something on the app or website (similar to WhatsApp).

Of course, this feature could be disabled if you went to the “Privacy and security” section of your account’s settings – which doesn’t change the fact that it was active by default, which was an intrusive and unilateral decision by the Instagram team.

Let’s face it: Social media are not about privacy. They’re all about sharing too much about yourself with the world in a way you can enjoy. So, if you’re a social media fan, chances are that you’re not doing your privacy any favors, and the more accounts you have, the worse risk you are incurring.

If you want to start minding your privacy a little bit more, you’ll need to pick and choose the social media accounts you want to keep. Protecting your social media privacy and security will require you to consider deleting or deactivating some social media accounts. This article will show you how to delete your Instagram account permanently.

Deleting your Instagram account – A step-by-step guide

Delete Instagram account

You can only remove your account using a web browser, as deactivation is the case. If your goal is to delete your Instagram account forever, follow the following steps:

  1. Go to the Instagram official website and log in to your account.
  2. Go to the “Delete Your Account” page on the Instagram website. You need to choose a reason for leaving from the drop-down menu.
  3. Enter your password and click “Permanently delete my account.”
  4. Your Instagram account is now gone, as the website will inform you that “Your account has been removed. We’re sorry to see you go!

That’s it. You are now without Instagram.

While we are all for privacy protection and limited use of social media accounts, remember that your Instagram account will be permanently removed once gone, and you have 30 days to rethink. So, do not take this step unless you are absolutely sure you will be happy without it.

Deletion vs. deactivation: This is what you need to know

Deletion vs. deactivation: This is what you need to know

Both deactivation and deletion are available for Instagram users, depending on what you want. What’s the difference?

The main characteristic of deactivation is that it’s temporary. While your account is deactivated, all of your account’s information (profile, photos, followers, likes, and comments) will remain hidden from other users. Restoring everything to normal is as simple as logging back into Instagram and resuming your regular use.

Deleting your Instagram account, on the other hand, is an exemplary operation – you can’t undo it. Once you delete the account in question, every piece of information associated with it goes away for good – all of your data, photos, followers, likes, and everything else. In addition, the username associated with this deleted account won’t be available for you to use again (nor to anybody else, for that matter).

Instagram account deactivation

Instagram account deactivation

If you want to deactivate your account, the first thing you need to know is to log into your account using a web browser directly to the Instagram server. So, the app won’t let you perform a deactivation; it’s a strictly web-based operation. So you can start your Instagram vacation by following these steps:

  1. Once your browser has loaded the Instagram website, log into your account. Next, click on the person icon to reach your profile page.
  2. Choose “Edit Profile” and scroll to the page bottom, where you will find “Temporarily disable my account.” Click on it.
  3. You must answer, “Why are you disabling your account?“. Pick your answer from the drop-down menu.
  4. Re-enter your password and click on “Temporarily disable account” again.

That’s it. Your account is now officially deactivated. It will be as if it never existed until you log back in at any time you choose. Remember that you can’t just disable an account whenever you feel like it since Instagram’s policy allows you one deactivation per week.

How to reactivate your Instagram account

If you want to reactivate your Instagram account, you can follow these steps:

  1. Open the Instagram app on your mobile device or log in to Instagram on a web browser.
  2. Enter your username and password on the login screen. If you personally deactivated your account, the reactivation happens automatically.
  3. If you have problems reactivating your account, tap or click on “Request support” to contact Instagram’s support team.
  4. You will be asked to provide the email address or phone number associated with your account, as well as the username of your account.
  5. Once you have submitted this information, Instagram’s support team will review your request and, if approved, reactivate your account.

If you have just deactivated your account, you will have to wait up to 24 hours for reactivation.

Download your Instagram account’s data


Before you go ahead and delete your Instagram account, remember that you’ll lose all of your data forever. You won’t be able to see it or use it again. Hence, you may wish to download all of your Instagram data before you proceed with the deletion. This way, all your photos, videos, and other data will remain available to you, although not online on the website.

This is how you download a copy of your Instagram data:

  1. Go to your Instagram profile and click the gear icon (Settings).
  2. Click on the “Privacy & Security” tab, and then click on “Request Download.”
  3. Provide an email address. This is where you will get a link to your Instagram data download and then provide your password.
  4. Before 48 hours, you’ll have an email in the provided email address titled “Your Instagram Data.” Inside this message, you’ll find a link allowing you to download your Instagram data.

How long until Instagram deletes your account?

If you follow the steps in this guide, your Instagram account will cease to exist immediately.

Maybe you’re aware of the Facebook deletion process. First, they disable your account for two weeks. Then, it goes into the deletion queue, where it stays for as long as three months before the actual deletion. But since Instagram is not Facebook, you won’t really get three months to change your mind. So, make sure about your choice before you go ahead and do it.

Keeping your data private in other ways

Browse Internet Anonymously

Cloud Storage Services is a popular and valuable way to back up our most important data and to store the files we want to remain available for us at all times.

When choosing a storage service, it’s always best to choose one that encrypts your files automatically for increased security. But never forget that the service provider holds your encryption keys, enabling it to access your data and even share it if a governmental agency asks them to do so.

But you don’t need to rely on your storage provider for encryption. Instead, you can encrypt your files manually before uploading them to the cloud. That strategy gives you two advantages.

First, you don’t need a provider with automatic encryption because you’re doing it yourself. Second, your provider can’t decrypt your data because your encryption keys are offline – of course, you would need to keep your encryption keys away from the cloud.

Many free encryption software solutions (BitLocker and VeraCrypt, to name a couple) are safe and easy to use so that you can do your encryption without much work.

Choose an encryption program that works with your operating system, whether desktop or mobile and with your cloud storage vendor. Your solution of choice should include end-to-end encryption, and it should never store your password.

Instagram logging-in trouble

Instagram logging-in trouble

The steps we provided assume that nothing terrible has happened to your account. But things won’t be so straightforward if you’ve been hacked. For example, you can’t delete or disable an account unless you log in successfully first, and Instagram won’t do it in your stead.

You must recover your password if you don’t have it available because you’ve forgotten it or got hacked. Follow these steps:

  1. Launch the Instagram app.
  2. Under the Login button, you will find the “Get help logging in” option. Tap on it.
  3. If you’re an Android user, you will have several options “Use username, email, or phone” and “Log in with Facebook.”
  4. If you are an iPhone user, your choices will be “Username” and “Phone” only.
  5. According to your operating system and your preference, select your preferred option, then follow the prompts after your selection.

When should you delete your Instagram account?

When should you delete your Instagram account?

The decision to delete your Instagram account is a personal one and should be based on your own needs and preferences. Some people may want to take a break from social media, while others may be concerned about their privacy or time spent on the platform. Others may simply want to start fresh with a new account.

When you are unsure whether to delete your account, deactivate it temporarily to see how it feels because deleting it will lock you out permanently.

Alternatively, you can switch to a private account, meaning only approved followers can see your posts. When an account is set to private, anyone who wants to follow the account must send a follow request, which you can approve or deny.

However, deleting your account may be the best option if you’re not enjoying using the platform or feel like it’s negatively impacting your life somehow.

You’re not sure if Instagram is paying off

To determine whether your use of Instagram is paying off, you should first identify your goals for using the platform. Once you have a clear idea of your goals, you can evaluate your progress by measuring relevant metrics, such as the number of followers you have, the engagement on your posts, and the number of sales or leads you’ve generated through Instagram.

Overall, the key to knowing whether Instagram pays off for you is regularly tracking and analyzing your performance on the platform. This will help you identify any areas for improvement and ensure you’re getting the most out of your efforts on Instagram.

If your efforts on the platform are not giving you a positive return on investment, you should change your strategy or divert your focus to other platforms.

Your target audience doesn’t use Instagram

As a good practice, it is always good to regularly review and update your social media strategy. This ensures that you’re using the most effective platforms for reaching your target audience.

You may be posting the best content on Instagram. Still, if it is not reaching the intended audience, all your efforts are wasted because social media is only as effective as the marketing strategy.

Studying current reports and research articles about demographic patterns in various platforms can help you choose the best platform to reach your target audience.

You have more than one account for your brand

Managing multiple accounts for your brand on Instagram can be challenging and costly. Multiple accounts can also make maintaining a consistent brand image and message difficult across all your accounts. This can lead to confusion among your followers and can make it harder for them to recognize and engage with your brand.

In case of multiple accounts, you should identify the main account and have it blue-checked for authenticity. Additionally, you should delete all other accounts related to the brand to ensure consistency.

Managing Instagram is overwhelming

Managing Instagram can be overwhelming, especially if you want to grow your account and build an active community. To make the process more manageable, setting clear goals, creating a content plan, using automation tools, and taking breaks when needed are important.

Consider using automation tools to automate various aspects of your Instagram strategy to save time and effort. These tools can help you schedule your posts in advance, follow and engage with relevant users, and analyze your performance on the platform. Social media can be addictive, and giving yourself time to disconnect and recharge is important. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, take a step back and focus on other things in your life.

How to Stay Safe on Instagram


While it can be a fun and engaging way to connect with others, staying safe on Instagram is important to protect your personal information and prevent unwanted interactions. Below are some steps you can take to stay safe on Instagram.

  1. Use strong passwords: To protect your account from being hacked, use strong and unique passwords for your Instagram account. Avoid using the same password for multiple accounts, and use a combination of letters, numbers, and special characters in your password.
  2. Report any suspicious activity: If you encounter any suspicious activity on Instagram, such as bullying, harassment, or spam, don’t hesitate to report it to the platform. Instagram has tools and policies to protect users from harmful content and behavior, and they can take action against accounts that violate their guidelines.
  3. Don’t share personal information: Be careful about the personal information you share on Instagram. This could include your full name, phone number, email address, or home address. Only share this information with people you trust, and be cautious about sharing it publicly.
  4. Be cautious with links: Be cautious when clicking on links in comments or direct messages on Instagram. Scammers and hackers often use links to phish for personal information or to spread malware. If you’re unsure about a link, don’t click on it, and report any suspicious links to Instagram.
  5. Keep your account private: To control who can see your posts and information on Instagram, consider setting your account to private. This will require anyone who wants to follow you to send a follow request, which you can approve or deny. This can help prevent unwanted followers and protect your content from being seen by people you don’t know.


They say you’re not paranoid if someone’s really out to get you. This applies to social media accounts because, in fact, there are those wrongdoers who are always trying to steal personal data from social media accounts. This refers to hackers, of course. But let’s not forget that the social media providers themselves have been involved in scandals more often than we’d like.

Yes, social media is convenient in many ways, but it comes at a price, and that price is a piece of your privacy. Different services (Telegram, Whatsapp, Facebook, Instagram, and the rest) will focus on various aspects of your private data. Still, most of them will extract something and use it as part of their business model – to show you ads, at the very least, in the best-case scenario.

So, if you are active on every social media platform, you should believe your privacy largely compromised on each website. Hence, it’s wise to review your social media accounts and get rid of those that do not provide you with genuine value in their service.

For example, if Instagram is one of those services that do not add up to your online experience and life quality, the best idea is to delete it permanently. And now you know how to do it.


You can’t delete your Instagram account if you no longer have access to the email address associated with your Instagram account or don’t remember your password. Instagram requires you to log in to your account before deleting it.

In most cases, you don’t need to delete your Instagram account if it has been hacked. Changing your password and contacting Instagram support should be enough to regain control of your account. Deleting your account should only be considered a last resort if you’re unable to recover your account in any other way.

After you delete your account, it will remain in a deactivated state for 30 days. During this 30-day period, you can log in and restore your account if you change your mind. If you don’t log in to your account during this 30-day period, your account will be permanently removed, and all of your data will be irretrievable. In general, it’s a good idea to download a copy of your data before deleting your account.

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About the Author

Abeerah Hashim

Abeerah Hashim

Security Expert
166 Posts

Abeerah is a passionate technology blogger and cybersecurity enthusiast. She yearns to know everything about the latest technology developments. Specifically, she’s crazy about the three C’s; computing, cybersecurity, and communication. When she is not writing, she’s reading about the tech world.

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