How to Make Your Instagram Account Private

Learn to use Instagram settings to make your account private

The Ultimate Guide to Instagram
The Ultimate Guide to Instagram

If you decide to make your Instagram account private, your posts will be seen only by your followers, and any hashtags you use will be hidden from searches. Here's how it works.

Hand holding a smartphone with "This User is Private" and an Instagram logo
Nusha Ashjaee / Lifewire

These instructions apply to the Instagram app on Android and iOS devices

Make Your Instagram Account Private

Making your profile private is quite simple. Here are the steps to getting it done, as explained using the Instagram iPhone app:

  1. Tap your profile icon in the lower right-hand corner of the screen.

  2. Tap Menu (three lines) on the top-right of the screen.

  3. Tap Settings.

    Instagram app's profile icon, menu, and settings highlighted
  4. Tap Privacy.

  5. Under Account Privacy, toggle on Private Account.

    Instagram Private account toggled on

    If it's not your whole profile you want to make private, but just a few pictures, you also have the option to hide select photos on your Instagram account. The option is in the photo menu.

Making Your Profile Public

If you change your mind and want your profile to be visible again, return to the Account Privacy screen following the steps above and toggle Private Account off again. Additionally, if you're 16 or under when you create your Instagram, your profile will be set to private by default. You'll need to turn the privacy setting off manually to let everyone see your feed.

Instagram Privacy Q&A

We answer some of the most common questions people have about their Instagram privacy:

Tagging in a Private Profile

What if I tag a user or add a hashtag to one of my Instagram posts when my profile is set to profile? Can people still see it? 

Only the users who follow you will be able to see it. Tagging other users who don't follow you or putting a hashtag in the description does not override the privacy of the post. It will not be visible to anyone else who does not follow you already.

Sharing From a Private Profile

What if I want to share an Instagram post on other social network sites when my profile is set to private? 

If you decide to share a post to Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Flickr, or another social network, it will be publicly accessible to view as a standalone post. Anyone viewing it will be able to click on the Instagram permalink to view it in full, but if they click on your username to view your full profile, they will not be able to see your other content unless they follow you already.

How Following Works

If someone decides to follow me while my profile is private, will they be able to see my posts? 

Not until you approve them. When one user taps the Follow button on a user whose profile is private, it only sends a follow request message. So if you get a follow request from someone, they will not be able to see any of your content until you manually approve their request to follow you.

Block a Follower

Someone is following me, but I don't want them as a follower anymore. How do I get rid of this person? 

To stop someone from following you, block the account. Open their profile, tap the three dots in the top-right corner, then tap Block User to remove that account from your followers. (If the account holder is behaving inappropriately, consider reporting the account.)

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