Delete Instagram account: how to permanently delete or temporarily deactivate Instagram account

Instagram is among the most popular social media platforms currently. Apart from photo and video sharing, Instagram has also transcended into a messaging platform. Needless to say, excessive usage of social media can often be quite debilitating in terms of your mental health, if not used correctly. There are also instances where your personal security might be compromised.

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In such cases, you might want to delete your Instagram account or temporarily disable it. While the former is a more drastic step, the latter can be used if you just want a break from social media for a while. In this article, we’ll outline the simple ways in which you can permanently delete or disable your Instagram account. We’ll also tell you how to save your Instagram data for safekeeping.

How to delete Instagram account permanently

You can only delete your Instagram account via a browser

If you want to delete your Instagram account, there’s just one way to go through with it – with a browser. The Instagram app doesn’t provide the option to users for deleting their accounts. Therefore, the only way to successfully delete the account is through a browser on your desktop, laptop, or phone. Here’s how you go about this:

  1. Open your Instagram account on a computer or your mobile’s browser. Go to the “Delete your account” page for Instagram. You must be logged into your account before this.
  2. Select a reason for deleting your account based on one of the reasons from the drop-down menu.
  3. After selecting the reason, you have to re-enter your password in the space provided.
  4. After you have entered your password, you can select the “Delete [account name]” option provided below the page.
  5. Your Instagram account will then be permanently deleted.

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How to deactivate or disable Instagram account

You can choose to temporarily deactivate your Instagram account

If you don’t want to delete your Instagram account, and just want a small break from social media, you can temporarily deactivate your Instagram account. During this period, people will not be able to message you, tag, or comment on your pictures. They will not be able to share posts to your DMs either. The only way to retrieve your account will be to log into it again when you’re ready to return to the online world. Here’s how you deactivate or disable your Instagram account. Once again, you cannot deactivate your account from the app itself. You will have to use a web browser, either on your computer or on your mobile phone.

  1. Open your web browser on your preferred device and go to Instagram’s website.
  2. Log into your account.
  3. Go to your account page and then click on the “Edit profile” option.
  4. On the new page that opens, scroll down until you see the option “Temporarily disable my account”. Tap on this option.
  5. A new page will open that will ask you to state your reason for disabling your account from a drop-down menu. Select the option that most closely resembles your reason.
  6. Re-enter your password in the field given on the page, after you have stated your reason.
  7. After both the reason and your password have been entered, you can select the option “Temporarily Disable Account”.
  8. Your account is now disabled for as long as you require. You can reactivate your account by logging into it as you usually do – through the app or a web browser on your phone/PC.

How to download and save your Instagram data

Make sure to save your Instagram data before deleting your account

When you plan to delete your Instagram account, Instagram will permanently delete all records that are associated with that account. This includes posts, likes, comments, shares, stories, highlights, and tags. If there’s anything that you want to save from your time on Instagram before deleting an account, there’s a way to download the data you’ve shared on Instagram. Here’s how:

  1. Open your Instagram app and go your profile
  2. Tap the three horizontal lines at the top right corner.
  3. Find the section called “Settings” and tap on it.
  4. Navigate to the “Security” tab and click on it.
  5. Scroll down a bit further on the new window. Under the “Data and History” section, you’ll find the option to “Download Data”. Tap on this.
  6. A new window will open in which you can enter your email. Add the relevant mail address where you want all your data to be sent.
  7. Tap on “Request Download”.

In the next 48 hours, Instagram will send you a file in the email address you have provided. This file will contain all the data and history connected with your Instagram account, including your posts, stories, and likes. You can then keep this data safe as you never know when you might need it. Once your Instagram account is deleted, there’s no chance of getting back old data unless you have used this method previously.

Anirban Dutta Choudhury

Anirban Dutta Choudhury is a PhD scholar, researcher, and freelance writer. He loves keeping his tabs updated on technology, gaming, pop culture, literature, and philosophy. Oh, and he hopes to take his love for gaming narratives into the academic mainstream. Anirban has five years of experience in writing, whether it's for SEO-based content, blogs, or research papers. He whiles away his free time through reading fiction and philosophy, as an escape from the daily drudgery of reality.