It’s fun to be on social media, particularly Instagram, where there’s not much reading required as you scroll through an endless loop of photos of videos. But it’s also true that the photo-sharing platform can be tiresome, and the onslaught of constantly having to upload Instagrammable moments can trigger anxieties.
If Instagram is starting to feel like a ball and chain, maybe it’s time for you to get rid of it. Below are instructions on how to temporarily disable your account, if you need some time off, and permanently deleting your Insta for good.
Do remember that once your account is deleted, there’s no way of getting it back. Everything in it—photos, followers, likes, comments, and account history— is forever removed. You can’t sign up with the same username, too if ever you create a new account.
In addition, there’s no way to delete your account from the Instagram app. Literally, there’s no option from the mobile app. You need to open your account from your desktop computer or mobile browser.
1. Download Your Instagram Data First
But before deleting your account, you may want to download your data to your personal hard drive first.
To do this, log in to your account using the web browser and click “Settings” on your profile page. Click the “Privacy & Security” option on the pop-up screen, then click the “Request Download” on the Data Download menu.
Enter your email address and hit the “Next” button. Instagram will give you a downloaded file of all your information within 48 hours.
2. Deactivating vs Deleting
You can either deactivate or permanently delete your Instagram account, depending on your choice.
Deactivating your account is temporary, so once it is deactivated, your account will be concealed from other users along with your profile, followers, photos, and comments. To recover all this information and start using Instagram normally again, just log back into your account.
Deleting your Instagram account, meanwhile, is irreversible – a deleted account cannot be restored. If you delete your Instagram account, all your data will be lost for good. In the future, if you want to sign up for Instagram again, you will not be able to use the same username again, nor will anyone else.
3. Deactivating an Instagram Account
You can’t deactivate Instagram from the app, it needs to be done in the web browser on the Instagram website. If you wish to take a break from Instagram, you can deactivate your account by taking the following steps:
On the Instagram website, log in to your account and click the person icon to go to your profile page.
Select ‘Edit Profile,’ scroll to the bottom of the page and click ‘Temporarily disable my account’.
You’ll be asked, ‘Why are you disabling your account?’ Choose a reason from the drop-down menu.
Re-enter your password and select ‘Temporarily disable my account’.
Your account is now deactivated and it will be hidden from other users until you log in to it once again. As per Instagram’s usage policy, you can only deactivate your Instagram account once a week.
4. Delete your Instagram Account
Log in to Instagram and click this link to go to the Instagram account deletion page. Let Instagram know via the options in the drop-down menu why you want to delete your account.
You will then be asked to enter your password. Fill it out and click ‘Permanently delete my account.’
5. Keep Your Data Private
Many of us use a Cloud Computing Service to back up essential data and/or store information. If you use one of these backup facilities, select one that encrypts the files automatically. However, as the cloud service owns the key to your encryption, they will be able to view and even share your data with government authorities upon their request.
You can get around this issue by manually encrypting the files before you upload them to the cloud. You would then be the only one holding the key to your data. Your storage service will not have access, as long as you do not upload encryption keys to the cloud as well.
There are a variety of free encryption services out there that are easy to use, even if you have no previous experience manually encrypting your information.
Choose an encryption software that is compatible with your device and smartphone operating systems and your cloud service provider. Your encryption software should also provide end-to-end encryption, and your password should never be stored.
6. Goodbye, Instagram!
Your account, along with all of your images and info, will be removed from the site for good. You’re not going to be able to register a new account with the same username, so make sure you really want to delete your account before you press the button.