How to Delete Your Instagram Account

instagram login screen
Photo © picjumbo
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Access Instagram.com in a Desktop or Mobile Web Browser

Instagram
Screenshot of Instagram.com

So, you've made the decision that you want to delete your Instagram account. But when you go into your profile settings on the Instagram app, you can't seem to find any option that says "delete account" or something similar. What the heck?

Yes, it's a bit confusing. And you have to navigate through a few pages first before you can get the job done. But if you follow these detailed instructions, you'll see exactly how can do it.

First, there are a couple important things you need to know.

1. Instagram Doesn't Currently Let Users Delete Their Accounts from Within the App

Presumably for security purposes, Instagram's most updated app versions don't allow their users to get rid of their accounts. You can search through your settings all you want, but you won't find anything.

You'll need to access Instagram from the desktop web, or a mobile web browser at the very least. The app won't help you here. So before you do anything, make sure you can open up a web browser either on a computer or a mobile device and sign in to Instagram.

2. Consider Temporarily Disabling Your Account Instead of Permanently Deleting It

All Instagram users also 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 think about whether they really want all of their Instagram information taken offline forever.

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 do decide to delete everything in the end, bear in mind that doing this 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) can still be accessibly used by the social network itself.

To learn how to temporarily disable your account, follow slide 1 through 4 to find out how to do it from a desktop (or mobile) web browser.

If you're dead set on permanently deleting your account and have no interest in leaving it temporarily disabled, you can skip slides 1 through 4 and go right to slide 5, where we cut right to the chase.

An additional alternative to disabling or deleting is to simply limit access to your profile by making your Instagram profile private.

Head to Instagram.com

If you're ready to temporarily disable your account, grab your laptop, desktop computer, tablet, or smartphone and open up your preferred web browser. (Firefox, Google Chrome, Safari, or other.)

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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Access Your Profile Settings to Temporarily Disable Your Account

Instagram
Screenshots 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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Select Your Reason from the Dropdown

Instagram
Screenshots of Instagram.com

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

Click or tap the dropdown and select the appropriate reason. A list of new options will then appear, with links to the Instagram Help Center, along with a request to reenter your password if you'd like to keep going.

Click or tap the big red Temporarily Disable Account button to go ahead and disable it. 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, all you have to do is log back in again via Instagram.com.

IMPORTANT NOTE ABOUT REACTIVATION: 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. As you can probably guess, I tried to log back in via the mobile web browser and it didn't work.

When I tried to log in via the app to reactivate it, I got a note that said "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 Instagram Account

Screenshots of Instagram.com

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:

https://instagram.com/accounts/remove/request/permanent/

Reminder: Account deletion is permanent. You cannot undo this.

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 TOS, a link to the alternative disabling option, and a dropdown menu of reasons why you're deleting your account.

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

Once you've done that, Instagram will ask you 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.