If you’ve made the decision to delete Instagram, whether because you’ve outgrown the need for a certain finsta or because its parent company Meta is courting controversy again, doing so isn’t as quick or easy as it should be. Up until recently, it couldn’t even be done from within the Instagram app.
Go ahead and take a moment to make an obligatory “I’m deleting Instagram” post if you’d like. After that, you have two ways you can go about it.
The easiest way for iPhone users to delete Instagram is by using the app. To do so, go to your profile, tap the hamburger menu in the top right, and select Settings. Then go to Account, and scroll down to the bottom of the menu. There will be a Delete Account button under the Branded Content button.
If you have it, tapping on it will bring up a menu asking if you want to delete or deactivate your account — you can read more about those other options in the “Temporarily suspending your Instagram account” section of this how-to. Pressing the Delete account button will bring up a message saying that you can stop the deletion process by a certain date if you log back in.
Tap the red Continue deleting account button, and the app will open a webpage. Here, you can complete the deletion process after you answer a question about why you’re deleting your account, and enter your password to confirm.
Apple’s rules mean that Instagram’s iOS app has to let you delete your account. In our testing, the option hasn’t always been available on the Android version of the app. You can check for the Delete Account option by following the instructions for iOS above, but if you don’t have it, you’ll have to do it using the web.
If you can’t use the app to delete your account, you’ll have to follow these steps to ditch your account — they can be followed using either a computer or phone, as long as you’re using a browser.
Tapping the delete button after entering your password will give you one last confirmation pop-up.
As Instagram says a few times on the account deletion page, your data won’t be immediately erased — Meta will keep it around for 30 days. But your profile and posts will be hidden on the site.
If you’re completely breaking up with Instagram, don’t forget to remove the app from your phone as well. Doing so will save you a little space and will also put a little bit of friction between you and signing back up for the service.
Be aware that you won’t be able to bring your account back if it’s been over 30 days since you asked Instagram to delete it. You’ll have to recreate your account (your username will be freed up after your account’s deleted, but it’s possible someone could’ve taken it).
However, if you’re within that 30-day time period, you can get your account back, along with its posts and DMs. To do so, simply go back to Instagram and log in with your credentials. You’ll see a message saying that you requested your account be deleted, along with the date your data will be gone. To keep that from happening, just press the “Keep Account” button.
If you want to remove your account from public view, but don’t want to permanently delete all your photos and messages, you can suspend your account instead.
Again, Meta makes you use the web version of Instagram, instead of the app, but at least you won’t have to get a link from a help article.
To re-enable your account, simply log back in using the app or the website. You’ll only be able to suspend your account once a week, so if you accidentally log back in your profile, your posts will be back online and visible to followers, at least for a little while.