What to Know About Instagram Inactive or Deleted Account Policies

Instagram does delete inactive accounts

If you take a break from social media, you should be aware of any policies in place about inactive accounts. This article explains Instagram's policy on inactive accounts.

Does Instagram Delete Inactive Accounts?

Instagram will delete inactive accounts, but the time frame which the platform operates under is rather vague.

Instagram's Help Center has a page explaining inactive accounts, but the page does not mention a specific period of time used to determine if an account is inactive. Rather, an account can be branded as inactive if it meets certain factors:

  • What date was the account created on
  • If the account is not sharing photographs, commenting, and liking
  • If you are infrequently logging in

How Can I Keep My Account from Being Inactive?

According to Instagram's Help Center, you can avoid having your account branded as inactive simply by engaging with the platform in some way. The platform lists out the criteria on the Instagram inactive username policy page.

Basically, all you have to do is log in every once in a while and be active on Instagram in the form of posting photographs, liking, or commenting.

Can I Restore a Deleted Account?

No, Instagram will not restore deleted accounts, but you can appeal to the platform to restore disabled accounts. It's unlikely, however, that Instagram will do so. As part of Safer Internet Day in 2020, Instagram revamped its appeal process for disabled accounts.

Previously, appealing was done through the Help Center, but now the appeal function will appear if you try to log into your disabled account. Here's what happens when you try to log in to a disabled Instagram account:

  1. You will be presented with a notice explaining your account will be deleted. Tap Request Review.

  2. You will have to enter your full name, username, and give an explanation as to why Instagram should re-enable your account. Tap Request Review when done.

  3. Once done, Instagram will explain they're currently reviewing your appeal and it may take up to 24 hours.

    Steps to request a review of your account from inside the Instagram app.
  4. It's recommended you use the Download Data function to download everything from your Instagram account. If the account is eventually deleted, there will come a time when this content is no longer available

  5. If the appeal is granted, your Instagram account will be restored. If not, you'll get a notice telling you it's been deleted.

  6. At this point, tap Download Data.

    Instagram's deletion pages with Download Data buttons highlighted.

Can I Take Back the Username of a Deleted Account?

Once an account has been deleted, you can reuse the old name for a new Instagram account. However, if the account is only disabled or rendered inactive, you'll have to wait for the account to be deleted.

  • How do I delete my Instagram account?

    You can only delete or deactivate your Instagram account in a web browser. To deactivate, log in and then go to your profile > Edit Profile > Temporarily deactivate my account. To delete your account, use the Instagram account deletion page.

  • How do I see a private Instagram account?

    The only way to see a private Instagram account is to follow it. Private-account owners have to approve the follow request before you can see their page.

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