How to Delete an Instagram Account: Your Quick and Definitive Tutorial

Last Update:

9 mins

Explore the process for permanently removing your Instagram account, offering clarity and peace of mind in your digital life.


Reviewed by Chloe Bidle

Creative social media strategist, driving engagement and innovation.

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  1. Preparing to Delete Your Instagram Account
    1. Backup Your Data
    2. Review Account Information
  2. Deletion and Deactivation Options
    1. Permanently Deleting Your Instagram Account
    2. Temporarily Deactivating Your Instagram Account
  3. Steps to Delete on Mobile Devices
    1. Delete on iPhone
    2. Delete on Android
  4. Deleting with Password Issues
  5. Are There Filters To Narrow Down Search Results On Instagram?
  6. What's The Quickest Way To Locate Friends On Instagram?
  7. The Bottom Line
  8. Frequently Asked Questions
    1. What steps are needed to sync phone contacts with the Instagram app on an iPhone?
    2. How can I find and follow my phone contacts on Instagram using an Android device?
    3. Why might my contacts not appear in the Instagram search, and how can I fix it?
    4. What methods are available for discovering people on Instagram after recent updates?
    5. Is there a way to prevent my contacts from knowing that I'm on Instagram?
    6. How has the 'Discover People' feature on Instagram changed, and what are the new ways to use it?

In today's digital world, managing your online presence and privacy has become crucial. Deciding to delete your Instagram account is a significant step in protecting your digital footprint. The process to permanently remove your profile, along with all your photos, videos, comments, likes, and followers, may seem daunting, but with the right guidance, it's a straightforward task.

Deleting your Instagram account is an irreversible action that impacts your online identity and privacy. It's essential to understand that once your account is deleted, the content associated with it cannot be recovered. If security concerns or the need for a digital detox motivate your decision, taking control of your social media presence is empowering.

It's important to note that Instagram provides you with the option to either temporarily disable your account if you hope to return to the platform in the future, or delete it permanently if you're certain you won't need it again. Make sure you have considered which option best suits your privacy and security needs before proceeding with the deletion process.

Preparing to Delete Your Instagram Account

Before you proceed with deleting your Instagram account, it's important to safeguard your data and ensure that your account information is reviewed. You'll need to use a browser on a desktop or mobile device to perform these actions.

Backup Your Data

To avoid losing your Instagram photos, videos, and posts, take the necessary steps to download and archive your data. Here's how:

  1. Log in to your Instagram account via a web browser on your desktop or mobile device.
  2. Go to your Profile and click on the Settings gear icon.
  3. Click on Privacy and Security.
  4. Scroll down to find Data Download and click Request Download.
  5. You'll be prompted to enter your email address to receive a link to your data archive.
  6. After entering your email, click Next, then Confirm your identity by re-entering your password.
  7. Instagram will email you a link to download your data — this may take up to 48 hours.

Note: The link to your data will expire after a few days, so be sure to download your archive promptly.

Review Account Information

Before deletion, ensure that your personal details and account ownership are up-to-date. This is crucial in case you need to prove account ownership or contact Instagram support for any pre-deletion queries.

  • Verify your email address and phone number associated with the account in Settings under the Edit Profile section.
  • Review your username and make sure it is the one associated with the account you wish to delete.
  • Remember, once the account is deleted, the username may become available for others to use.

By taking these steps, you're safeguarding your data and confirming your account's ownership, readying you for the deletion process.

Deletion and Deactivation Options

When deciding to take a break from Instagram, you have two routes: permanent deletion of your account or temporary deactivation. Each action carries different consequences for how your content is handled.

Permanently Deleting Your Instagram Account

To permanently delete your Instagram account, you must use a web browser to access the Delete Your Account page; this option is not available directly through the app. After logging into your account at, choose the reason for wanting to delete your account via a dropdown menu. Once provided, you will be prompted to re-enter your password to confirm the permanent deletion. Be aware that once your account is deleted, all your photos, videos, comments, likes, and followers will be permanently removed and you cannot recover them.

Temporarily Deactivating Your Instagram Account

If you desire a short break, you have the option to temporarily deactivate your account. This can also be done through a web browser by going to your account settings. At the bottom of the settings page, you'll find an option to 'Temporarily disable my account'. Before deactivation, you’re required to select a reason from the provided list. During deactivation, your profile becomes invisible, effectively making it private, and does not appear in search results or friend lists. Notably, you can reactivate it any time by logging back in.

Steps to Delete on Mobile Devices

When deciding to delete your Instagram account via a mobile device, it's crucial to know that this action is irreversible and will permanently remove your profile, photos, videos, comments, likes, and followers.

Delete on iPhone

To delete your Instagram account from an iPhone, you must use a web browser, as the Instagram app does not provide an account deletion option.

  1. Open Safari or any web browser of your choice on your iPhone.
  2. Navigate to Instagram's account deletion page by typing in
  3. Log in with your Instagram credentials if prompted.
  4. Select a reason from the drop-down menu why you are deleting your account.
  5. Re-enter your password to confirm the deletion.
  6. Tap on "Permanently delete my account".

Delete on Android

Similarly, if you are using an Android device, the Instagram app will not facilitate account deletion, and you must proceed through a web browser.

  1. Open Chrome or the web browser you prefer on your Android device.
  2. Go to the same Instagram account deletion page at
  3. Sign in to your account if you're not already logged in.
  4. Choose a reason for removing your account from the provided options.
  5. Confirm your choice by typing in your password again.
  6. Select the "Permanently delete my account" button to complete the process.

Deleting with Password Issues

If you've forgotten your password and are unable to log into your Instagram account, recovering access is essential before you can proceed with deletion. Follow these straightforward steps to regain control and permanently delete your account.

Reset Your Password:

  1. Go to Instagram's Login Page: On a browser or the Instagram app.
  2. Select 'Forgot Password': Found beneath the login fields.
  3. Provide Your Information: Enter your username, email, or phone number associated with the account.
  4. Check Your Inbox: Look for a password reset email or SMS from Instagram.
  5. Follow the Reset Link: Create a new password and sign back into your account.

Account Recovery:

  • If you don't receive the reset email, visit Instagram's Help Center for further assistance.
  • Ensure to check your spam or junk folder for the reset email before contacting support.

Contacting Support:

  • In the event of account recovery challenges, utilize the 'Need more help?' option through the Instagram login screen to contact Instagram support.
  • Be prepared to verify your identity, which may involve providing additional information about the account.

Once you've regained access to your account, follow the regular procedure to permanently delete your Instagram account. Remember, once an account is deleted, it is irreversible and all photos, videos, and data associated with that account will be permanently lost. Ensure you have backed up any essential information prior to deletion.

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Are There Filters To Narrow Down Search Results On Instagram?

When searching for contacts on Instagram, you can leverage various filters to refine your search outcomes. To begin, tap on the search bar at the top of your Instagram app. This will not only display your keyboard but also open up your recent search history. If needed, you can clear any previous searches by tapping the 'X' beside the respective search term.

Within the search bar, you can input keywords, which can be hashtags, usernames, or location tags. Here's a breakdown of the filters you can use:

  • Hashtags: Entering a # followed by a keyword will display posts tagged with that specific hashtag.

  • Usernames: By typing in a username, you can find users whose profiles match the term.

  • Location Tags: For finding posts from a specific area, use location tags by entering the name of the place.

Additionally, Instagram has enhanced its search functionality to help users find local businesses or attractions by incorporating a map search. This feature includes filters for different categories, enabling you to pinpoint the type of place or account you're looking for more easily.

Remember to use relevant keywords in your searches. This means if you're hunting for photographs or accounts tied to a certain theme, incorporating those specific words will yield better-targeted results. It’s crucial to note that placing relevant terms directly in the search bar affects what appears to you, making the process more efficient.

Use these filters strategically to navigate through Instagram's voluminous content and home in on contacts or interests that align with yours.

What's The Quickest Way To Locate Friends On Instagram?

Locating friends on Instagram rapidly can be accomplished in a few simple steps.

First, ensure that you have the Instagram app installed and that you're logged into your account. In the quickest method, syncing contacts from your phone allows Instagram to instantly suggest accounts to follow based on your existing contacts:

  1. Navigate to your profile by tapping your profile icon.
  2. Access settings through the hamburger icon (three horizontal lines).
  3. Scroll to find 'Discover People' and select it.
  4. Choose 'Connect Contacts' and 'Allow access' if prompted.

For direct searches:

  • Tap the magnifying glass icon to open the search function.
  • Use the search bar to enter a username or other details.

Instagram will also provide suggested friends under the 'Discover People' section, based on your contacts and whom you already follow.

Step Action
1. Profile Access Tap profile icon
2. Settings Menu Select hamburger icon
3. Discover People Scroll, then tap
4. Sync Contacts Allow access when asked

Keep your searches quick and efficient by using precise usernames when possible. The search bar is the most direct tool for finding specific users. However, for a broader network of connections, syncing contacts is typically the fastest overall method.

The Bottom Line

When seeking to expand your community on Instagram, leveraging existing connections can streamline the process of growing your social circle. To effectively find and follow your contacts on the platform, a few straightforward measures can be taken.

Firstly, sync your phone's contact list with Instagram; this is a seamless method to surface profiles in your network. You can do this by accessing the Options or Settings menu in your Instagram app, and enabling the Contacts Syncing feature.

Secondly, you can navigate to the 'Discover People' section by tapping the profile icon, then the menu icon, and selecting 'Discover People'. Here you’ll find suggestions, including contacts, to follow.

Remember to keep your app permissions up to date to ensure seamless functionality. Syncing contacts requires permission to access your contact list, a standard practice on social media platforms to aid in connecting users.

Steps to Follow Purpose
Sync Contacts Find contacts on Instagram
Discover People See suggested profiles to follow
Update Permissions (if needed) Enable Instagram to access contacts

Finally, while engaging with your community, ensure to adhere to privacy and ethical standards of both your contacts and the social media platform.

By following these tips, you remain well-equipped to connect with friends, family, and professional contacts, enriching your Instagram experience and fostering a wider network.

Frequently Asked Questions

In this section, you'll find specific instructions to connect your phone contacts to Instagram on various devices, troubleshoot issues with contact syncing, discover the latest features for finding friends, and maintain your privacy.

What steps are needed to sync phone contacts with the Instagram app on an iPhone?

To sync your iPhone contacts with Instagram, go to your profile, tap the hamburger icon (three lines) in the top right, select 'Discover People', and then tap 'Connect' next to 'Connect Contacts'. Grant Instagram access to your contacts when prompted.

How can I find and follow my phone contacts on Instagram using an Android device?

On your Android device, open Instagram, navigate to your profile, tap the menu (three lines), and choose 'Discover People'. Then tap 'Connect' beside 'Contacts' and allow the app to access your contact list. Instagram will then show you a list of contacts on the platform.

Why might my contacts not appear in the Instagram search, and how can I fix it?

If your contacts aren't showing up, ensure your Instagram app has permission to access your contacts in your phone's settings. If permission is granted and issues persist, try refreshing the contacts syncing feature or updating the Instagram app.

What methods are available for discovering people on Instagram after recent updates?

After recent updates, you can use the search bar to enter names, usernames, or keywords. The 'Discover People' section includes suggestions based on your likes, follows, and Facebook connections, if you've linked your account.

Is there a way to prevent my contacts from knowing that I'm on Instagram?

To conceal your account from contacts, go to your Instagram settings, navigate to 'Privacy', and adjust your 'Connections' settings. You can disable the 'Similar Account Suggestions' and contact syncing to minimize your visibility to contacts.

How has the 'Discover People' feature on Instagram changed, and what are the new ways to use it?

The 'Discover People' feature now integrates better with your activity and any linked accounts, like Facebook, to suggest accounts to follow. You can find it by tapping on the profile icon, then the menu, and selecting 'Discover People'. Use this feature to follow new and interesting accounts recommended by Instagram's algorithm.

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