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how to delete instagram account

Of course, there comes a time when you might want to disconnect from your social platforms, and not just temporarily. More often than ever, people are choosing to delete their social media presence to live a life less focused on online culture. Whether you’re trying to protect your future job aspects by deleting your social media or just trying to reach for your phone a little bit less, deleting your social media accounts may lead to a healthier life.

Permanently deleting your Instagram account may seem like a significant step, but if you’re ready to be free of your profile and get some spare time back in your life, it’s easy to carry out. Let’s look at how to delete your Instagram account permanently.

Save Your Instagram Data before Deleting Your Account

Before you act out of frustration or simply want to make the move to permanently delete your Instagram account, it is a good idea to back up your Instagram data. You can’t add it back later, but you may have valuable photos, interactions, and friends. When you delete your account, Instagram will do just that: delete your account and everything in it. All of your photos, likes, comments, and friends will be permanently removed. To save your account data, follow these steps:

  1. Open “Instagram” and tap the “profile icon” in the lower right corner.

  2. Tap the “hamburger icon” (Menu) in the top right corner, then tap “Settings” at the bottom.

  3. Select “Security,” then tap the “Download Data” option.

  4. Enter your “email address” and tap “Request Download.”

Within 48 hours, Instagram will email a complete file of your profile to the email address you provided. The email contains your photos, comments, profile information, and everything else you may need to access in the future. Even if you think you’ll never need this data again, it’s an essential step to ensuring that your information is protected if you ever want to view it. If you don’t do this, you’ll be losing your information completely—and you’ll never get it back, no matter how hard you try.

How to Permanently Delete Your Instagram Account

After you’ve saved your data, you can move on to deleting your account. Instagram offers two options for users. The first is to permanently delete your account and everything associated with it, while the second is a temporary option.

Permanently deleting your Instagram account can only happen using a browser, but you can do it on both mobile and desktop browsers. Before your profile disappears forever, Instagram makes your account temporarily invisible for 30 days. Therefore, you can reinstate it if you change your mind. Here’s how to permanently delete your Instagram account:

  1. Go to the special Delete Your Instagram Account page on your browser (ensure that you’re logged in).

  2. Select a reason for deletion from the drop-down menu.

  3. Click or tap the “Delete” button to confirm your decision.

Temporarily Delete/Disable Your Instagram Account

If you are only looking for a break from Instagram or don’t want to make an irrational decision, disable your account rather than delete it. Disabling logs you out and hides your profile. As far as your followers are concerned, you may as well have deleted the account. However, this method allows you to reinstate your profile at any time when temporarily disabled by simply logging back in. Follow these steps to disable your account:

  1. Go to Instagram.com from your browser (you cannot do this from the app).
  2. Log in, if prompted to do so.

  3. Click or tap on the “profile icon” in the upper right-hand corner.

  4. Click or tap “Profile,” then select “Edit Profile.”

  5. Scroll down and tap “Temporarily disable my account” to the right of the “Submit” button.

  6. You will be asked why you are doing this. Select an option from the drop-down menu.

  7. Re-enter your account password.

  8. Click or tap “Temporarily Disable Account.”

Can’t Delete Instagram if You Can’t Log In

If you have been hacked and want to protect your personal information, you might find the above steps easy, but not if you don’t remember your login credentials. Unfortunately, there is no way to delete or disable an account without first logging in, nor can Instagram do it for you. If you cannot remember or find your password, or if it got changed by someone else, follow the below steps to recover it.

  1. Launch the “Instagram app.”

  2. Tap “Get help logging in” under the “Login” button.

  3. If you have Android, choose one of the following: “Use username, email or phone,” or “Log in with Facebook.”
  4. If you have iOS, choose one of the following: “Username” or “Phone.”

  5. Follow the prompts after your selection.

If you think you got hacked, you might not be able to use one or all of these methods, depending on how thorough the hacker has been at changing your recovery information.

  1. Open the app.

  2. Tap Get help logging in under the login fields.

  3. Select the option that allows you to enter your username.

  4. Tap Need more help?

From here, you can follow the prompts to contact Instagram. They will likely ask you for information regarding the account, such as previously used passwords, recovery information, etc.

Is There Any Way to Get My Account Back After Deletion?

So, officially there’s no option to get your account back after permanently deleting it. Still, several users swear by a workaround method, as explained below.

To sum it up, you need to report your account as hacked to Instagram, just as we’ve done above. Here’s how to do it.

  1. First, type in your username or email address and click on Instagram’s ‘Get help signing in’ option.

  2. From here, select ‘Trouble logging in’

  3. Follow the prompts such as selecting the type of account you’d like to recover and click the option for ‘My account was hacked‘ to proceed

  4. Then select ‘hear more about your experience.

  5. Fill out the forms and Instagram will send you an email within a few hours. You will eventually need to provide some verification such as images that you’ve uploaded to that account, your username, email address, and/or verification code for this to work.

Instagram Account Delete/Disable FAQs

How long does Instagram keep my data after I delete my account?

Instagram states that it can take up to 90 days to completely delete your account, meaning Instagram may still have pieces of information about your account stored on its servers. However, Instagram’s Data Policy also states that the company may keep information about your account beyond 90 days. The information the company may retain is for legal purposes or related to a violation of the company’s Terms of Use.

Can I delete my child’s account?

Unfortunately no, you cannot delete your child’s Instagram account, at least not without the users’ login information. Instagram’s policy on account deletion states that only the account owner can delete the account using the instructions above.

How long until Instagram deletes your account?

If you go through the deletion process outlined above, your Instagram account gets deleted after 30 days following the request, and your IG account becomes invisible so nobody can see it. However, all data stored in backups can take up to 90 days to delete.

If you’re wondering how long it takes Instagram to delete inactive accounts or accounts reported for spam or using bots, the answer is less known. Instagram periodically deletes completely inactive accounts and accounts detected to be bots through their system. However, no one except for Instagram is entirely sure how often this happens or the parameters for deletion.

Wrapping Up

By resetting and deleting your Instagram account for good, you can finally give yourself some personal time to escape and leave behind the ever-present slog of online culture. Of course, temporarily deactivating your account is a good option if you’re looking to get away for a while, but otherwise, delete away to protect your identity and personality—and your sanity. Do you have any experience or questions regarding deleting an Instagram account? Please share with us in the comment section below.

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