How to Delete or Deactivate Your Instagram Account


Kevin Urrutia




May 05, 2024

You may want to delete or deactivate your Instagram account for many reasons. Many people use their accounts for business purposes. If that business did not take off as expected, you might want to delete the account. Or, if you feel Instagram takes up too much of your time, you may want to deactivate the account. Some people want to delete their accounts because of their unpleasant experiences. Regardless of the social media platform, you could run into people that cyberbully.

If you just ignore your account, people may wonder where you went or what happened to you. Instead, close out your account so that they do not think something happened to you. It’s very easy to deactivate or delete your account. Before you do that, think about whether you want to permanently or temporarily delete your account. When you permanently delete it, you cannot get it back. When you temporarily delete your account, you could reactivate it later if you change your mind. If you are deleting your account for any reason, be sure to save your data in the event that you need it later.

Should You Delete or Deactivate Your Instagram Account?

Whether you use your account for business or personal posts, you spent a lot of time preparing posts, reading posts made by others, liking posts and creating an online brand. If you temporarily deactivate your account, you will not lose any of the data, such as who follows you and who you are following. But, if you delete your account permanently, you will lose all of that.

When you deactivate your Instagram account, others cannot see your account, but it remains on Instagram’s servers, waiting for you to reactivate it. If you do change your mind, you can reactivate the account and pick up where you left off. You will have most of your followers – some may leave if they find your account inactive, and you will have all of your old posts.

However, if you were a victim of cyberbullying on Instagram, you may not want to reactivate your account. Before you take the permanent step of deleting your account, make sure you get any information from the account that you might want to save, including pictures or evidence that you could use if you were to sue someone for cyberbullying.

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If you are closing your account because you are closing a business, you may also want to download your information before you permanently delete your account. You should also download any photos, videos and individual posts you created before you permanently delete your account.

How to Temporarily Deactivate Your Instagram Account

If you are not sure whether you want to go back to Instagram, it is better to deactivate your account temporarily. Also, if you are a business, but are planning to deactivate your account permanently, it is better to temporarily deactivate it until you get any information you might want before you permanently delete it.

Even if you do not believe that you will use that information again, there may come a time when you start another business along the same lines as the business you just closed, and those posts you created may come in handy for the new business. Instead of creating brand new posts, you could save time by editing old posts to update them.

When you temporarily deactivate an account, no one can see it, but it remains on Instagram’s servers so that you can access your information at a later date. To temporarily delete your account:

  • Log into Instagram on a web browser, not the Instagram app.
  • Click on the person icon located at the top right of your page.
  • Click “Edit Profile.”
  • Scroll down until you see “Temporarily disable my account.” It is at the bottom right of the page.
  • When Instagram asks, “Why are you disabling your account?” select one of the available options.
  • Re-enter your password to show that it is really you temporarily disabling your account.
  • Click on the option to “Temporarily Disable Account.”

Make sure you write down your user name and password – you’ll need them to reactivate your account.

How to Permanently Delete Your Instagram Account

If you permanently delete your Instagram account:

  • You will lose all of your followers, posts, pictures, videos and other information.
  • Your user name is rendered useless. If you decide to sign up again, you will not be able to use that user name again.
  • If you change your mind, you have to start all over from scratch, including creating an account and looking for followers.

If you still want to delete your account permanently:

  • Log into Instagram with a web browser. You cannot delete your account via the Instagram app.
  • Click the person icon in the top right.
  • Click “Edit Profile.”
  • Go to Instagram’s “Delete Your Account” page.
  • Select one of the reasons for deleting your account.
  • Re-enter your password.
  • Click on the link to “Permanently delete my account.”

Once you permanently delete your account, everything is gone. Before you take such a drastic step, be sure to download your account data and any photos, videos, posts and other data you want to keep. You’ll have to request a download in the “Data Download” section as the area where you can view your data only keeps track of your personal data, such as your user names, login information, account activity, connections, profile information and stories activity.

How to Reactivate Your Instagram Account

You temporarily deactivated your account and now you want to reactivate it. You might have more time, or you might be trying to re-open a business venture. If you temporarily deactivated your account, you can easily reactivate it, as long as you remember your user id or the email you originally signed up with.

  • Log into Instagram.
  • Answer “Yes” to reactivate your account.

You can now pick up right where you left off.

If you forgot your password, click “Get help signing in.” You must be able to enter your user id or your email. You can get your password by clicking send an email, or you can log in with Facebook if you remember your Facebook credentials. If you click “Send an email,” Instagram will send you an email to reset your password. Click the link, then enter your new password. Then, click “Reset Password.”

How to Access or Review Your Data on Instagram

To review or access your Instagram data, go to your profile, then:

  • On the web, select the settings icon.
  • Click “Privacy and Security.”
  • Scroll down to the account data section, then click “View Account Data.”
  • Click “View All.”

If you want to access your data through the app:

  • Go to your profile.
  • Tap the three horizontal menu bars.
  • Tap the settings icon.
  • Select “Security.”
  • Select “Account Data.”
  • Select “View All.”

How to Download Your Instagram Pictures and Account Details

Whether you plan on permanently deleting your account, temporarily deactivating your account, or you just want to backup your account, you can download your Instagram pictures and account details to your computer. You have to send a request to Instagram to do this.

Using a web browser:

  • Click on your profile.
  • Click the settings icon.
  • Click “Privacy and Security.”
  • Under the ‘Data Download’ section, click “Request Download.”
  • Enter your email address and your password, making sure that you use the email address where you want Instagram to send the download.
  • Instagram will send you a link to your data. Click the “Download Data” link and then follow the instructions on your screen.

If you want to download your data through the mobile app, click the three lines for the menu, then tap the settings icon. Select “Security,” then select “Download Data.” Enter your email address and then tap “Request Download.” Enter your Instagram password when the app asks for it. You will receive an email from Instagram with a link to download the data. Click the link, then follow the prompts to download your data.

It could take up to 48 hours to receive the link to download your data on the web and on the app. After you download your data, check the download to ensure that your data downloaded and that the file is not corrupt. You can then continue with temporarily or permanently deleting your account, or saving the file as a backup if you downloaded your data for safekeeping.

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