How to Delete Your Instagram Account (Or Temporarily Deactivate It)

Sometimes a break from Instagram is necessary

instagram login screen
Photo © picjumbo

Tired of Instagram or need to take a short break from it? You can deactivate your Instagram account temporarily or you can delete your Instagram account completely. Follow these detailed instructions to see exactly how to do either one. 

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Temporarily Disable Your Account: Access Instagram in a Desktop or Mobile Web Browser

A screenshot of the Instagram login page.

All Instagram users have the convenient option of temporarily disabling their account so that it's completely hidden, yet still restorable. This is a good option for people who need some time to think about whether they really want all of their Instagram information taken offline forever. An additional alternative to disabling or deleting is to simply limit access to your profile by making your Instagram profile private.

If you're ready to temporarily disable your account, you'll need to access Instagram from the desktop web, or a mobile web browser at the very least. Grab your laptop, desktop computer, tablet, or smartphone and open up your preferred web browser (Firefox, Chrome, Safari, or other).

Instagram doesn't currently let users disable their accounts from within the app. This is presumably for security purposes.

Type Instagram.com into the URL field and hit Enter or Go. The Instagram homepage will appear, and you should see a button on the page that says "Log in." If you're accessing it from a mobile device, it will be at the bottom of your screen.

Click or tap it and log in to your Instagram account with your username and password.

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Temporarily Disable Your Account: How to Deactivate Your Instagram Account

A screenshot of Instagram.com.

As soon as you log in, you'll be taken straight to your home feed.

Whether you're accessing it from the desktop or mobile web, you'll see a profile icon in the bottom menu to the far right, just like within the app. Click or tap it to be taken to your profile.

Just beneath your profile details, you should see a big button that says Edit Profile. Click or tap it.

Scroll down to the bottom of the next page and look for the blue link that says Temporarily disable my account. Click or tap on it.

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Temporarily Disable Your Account: Select Your Reason For Disabling The Account

A screenshot of Instagram.com.

Instagram will bring you to a page that provides you with a dropdown menu of options to choose why you want to disable your account.

Click or tap the drop-down and select the appropriate reason. Some suggested tips will then appear along with a request to re-enter your password if you'd like to keep going.

Click or tap the big blue Temporarily Disable Account button to disable the account. Click or tap to confirm it if Instagram gives you a pop-up message (in case you clicked/tapped by accident).

Instagram will bring you to a page to confirm that your account has been temporarily disabled. To reactivate it, you just need to log back in again via Instagram.com.​

Don't freak out if you disable your account but can't get in after trying to reactivate it by logging in again a few minutes later. If you try to log back in via the mobile web browser or app immediately, you might receive a message saying, "We haven't finished disabling your account yet. If you want to reactivate it, try again in a few hours." You can only disable your account once a week.

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Permanently Delete Your Account: How to Delete Your Instagram Account

A screenshot of Instagram.com.

Just like temporarily disabling accounts, Instagram also doesn't let users delete their accounts from within the app. Again, this is presumably for security purposes.

Instagram has a completely separate link you need to access if you want to permanently delete your account rather than temporarily disable it. You can access it here:

You may be asked to log in to your account again before you're taken to a "Delete Your Account" page with some notes about Instagram's terms of service (TOS), a link to the alternative disabling option, and a drop-down menu of reasons you're deleting your account.

Deletion is permanent. You will never be able to restore your account and get all of your photos, videos, likes, comments, or followers back. Even if you decide to delete everything in the end, bear in mind that doing so doesn't mean your photos and videos will be gone from the web forever. Anything and everything you post or upload to Instagram (and social media in general) is still accessible by the social network itself.

To continue with the deletion process, click or tap the dropdown menu and select your reason. You'll be asked to re-enter your password before you can click or tap the big red Permanently deactivate my account button.

Once you've done that, Instagram will ask if you're sure you want to go ahead. Click/tap OK if you're sure and Instagram will bring you to a page confirming that your account has been permanently deleted.