How to Remove Followers on Instagram

Lose people fast without them even knowing

The Ultimate Guide to Instagram
The Ultimate Guide to Instagram
Introduction

When it comes to Instagram followers, quality is better than quantity. On the Instagram app, you can remove unwanted followers—such as ghost followers—without blocking them first. If you're using a web browser, you must block (and unblock) them, but they won't know they were ever blocked.

What Are Ghost Followers?

Ghost followers are followers who are either inactive or don't engage with you by leaving likes or comments. They could be:

  • Bots
  • Lurkers (either strangers or people you know)
  • Users who are only interested in getting followed back (and who will eventually unfollow you anyway)
  • Users who were once active but then abandoned their accounts

The common theme among all types of ghost followers is that they offer you no real value other than a boost to your follower count.

How to Get Rid of Followers on Instagram

There's no official way to remove followers from Instagram on a web browser. You must access your Instagram account from the iOS or Android app to use the Remove followers feature.

  1. Open the Instagram app on your iOS or Android device, and sign into your account.

  2. Tap the profile icon in the lower-right corner.

  3. Tap Followers to see a list of your followers.

  4. To find a follower you want to remove:

    • Scroll through your Followers list until you find them, or
    • Start entering a name in the search field at the top of the screen.

    You must do this step from your followers list. You won't find a follower removal option anywhere except your followers list.

  5. Tap Remove next to the name of the follower you want to remove.

  6. Tap Remove to confirm that you want to remove the follower.

    Facebook - steps to remove a follower
  7. Repeat steps four through six to remove another follower.

Users aren't notified when you remove them as a follower. It's up to them to notice that they're no longer following you. If they do notice, bear in mind that they're free to find your account and follow you again. You can make your account private if you want the ability to approve who follows you.

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See Who Unfollowed You on Instagram

Tip #1: Avoid Using Third-Party Apps That Claim to Offer Bulk Follower Removals

Once upon a time, there were lots of free third-party apps that could connect to your Instagram account to help you manage your followers. One of the most helpful things they did was allowed you to remove unwanted followers in bulk.

Many such apps still exist, but today, the ones that claim to do so are in violation of Instagram's API Platform Policy. Worse, apps like these could be outdated or total scams and result in your account being compromised.

It might be time consuming, but the security of your account depends on your willingness to manually remove followers on an individual basis. If you have many followers and, therefore, can't keep track of which followers engage with you, verses which ones fit the role of ghost follower, you can use a service like Iconosquare (with a 14-day free trial) to see in-depth analytics of your follower engagement.

Tip #2: Remove Followers from Instagram.com by Blocking and Unblocking Them

Instagram.com doesn't have as many features as the app, and the ability to remove followers is one of those missing features. Luckily, there is a workaround if you absolutely have to remove followers from a web browser:

  1. On Instagram.com, navigate to a follower's profile.
  2. Select the three dots in the upper portion of the screen.
  3. Choose Block this user.
  4. Select the three dots again > Unblock this user.

Blocking automatically removes them as a follower, but when you unblock them, they will remain a non-follower.

Instagram users are not notified when you block them.

This is a more time consuming process than using the follower removal option in the app. Not only do you have to navigate to each follower's individual profile, but you also have to carry out two more steps: blocking them and then immediately unblocking them.

Tip #3: Make It Harder for Ghost Followers to Follow You by Making Your Profile Private

When your Instagram account is set to public, anyone can follow you which puts you at a higher risk of being followed by accounts that only want a "follow back" and will probably ignore your content. If you want the option to screen new followers, consider making your Instagram private.

With a private account, you have the ability to control who follows you. Users will have to send you a follow request that you'll have to approve before they can follow you.

If you receive a follow request from a total stranger, with very promotional content, or one who follows a disproportionally large number of users relative to their follower count, they'll probably end up a ghost follower and you're better off declining their follow request.