When you take some time to look back at many of the predictions made at the start of the new millennium, none of them came close to foreseeing how much social media would take over and influence our daily lives. Many people spend countless hours scrolling their Instagram feeds to keep up with the lives of friends and celebrities. It’s now possible to make an entire living by amassing a large Instagram following and attracting the attention of the right product sponsors.
Sometimes, though, it just gets to be too much. It often feels like you’re spending more time keeping up with your Instagram account than living a real life. There are also the abusive posts that now seem to populate even the most innocuous accounts. You may also have concerns about having your privacy compromised by hackers or a careless company leak.
Luckily, Instagram doesn’t force you to jump through a bunch of hoops when it comes to deleting or deactivating your Instagram account. Everything you need to follow through on your decision can be found in your account profile. Instagram also provides you with the option of downloading your content before taking your desired choice of action.
Is it Time to Delete Your Instagram Account?
Maintaining an Instagram for business or even personal reasons is no small feat. The picture-perfect lives showcased on other Instagram accounts often makes people feel like they need to compete with those images. So, they spend a lot of time and money making sure the world believes they’re living their best life. Trying to maintain a perfect Instagram persona can negatively affect your overall mental health.
If you feel that your Instagram obsession has become more of a burden than a brief distraction, it may be time to separate yourself from your account. The urge may be strong to delete the entire thing and move on with your life. However, you may only need a brief Instagram break to get your priorities straight and get away from the pressure.
You may want to consider deactivating your account over deleting the entire thing. Deactivation gives you the option of returning to your account later if you want to return to that world. It also spares you the experience of issuing a detailed goodbye message that goes on about the evils of social media, only to return and be forced to start over again with no ties to your old Instagram persona.
Those who experience a lot of harassment and cyberbullying on Instagram may feel strongly about their decision to be completely free themselves Instagram. It may not be worth it to hang onto something that only brings back negative memories. With the account still around, you might fear being tempted into getting back into bad habits. In that case, it’s understandable that account deletion is the better option.
Temporarily Deactivating Your Instagram Account
Deactivating an Instagram account allows you to keep all your information remains in place. That includes everything in your profile, your posts, all related comments, and likes. Instagram stores everything away in a cloud server. If you decide to return, the company retrieves all your data and lets you continue scrolling and posting like you never left. You’ll appreciate that if you leave in a fit of anger before taking some time to cool down and reconsider.
If you think it’s time to spend some time away from Instagram via an account deactivation, you must do it through your web browser. It’s not possible to deactivate your Instagram account through a mobile application. Once you’ve logged into a web browser like Chrome or Firefox, click your person icon located in the upper right portion of the screen and choose the “Edit Profile” option.
Look for the link titled “Temporarily disable my account.” You should be able to find it in the bottom right side of your screen, but it may in a different position if Instagram changes its layout.
You’ll be prompted with the question, “Why are you disabling your account?” and presented with an array of options. Pick the one that best fits your reasons for taking a break from Instagram by deactivating your account.
To be sure it’s really you who is requesting the disabling of your Instagram account, you’ll be asked to re-enter your current password. Once Instagram confirms that you’re the valid account holder, you’ll see an option titled “Temporarily Disable Account.”
Before clicking the link, make sure you’ve saved your Instagram username and password in a secure place. Alternately, you can leave a coded reminder for yourself if you want to be sure no one else gets hold of that information. You’ll need those pieces of data if you decide to reactivate your Instagram account.
Permanently Deleting Your Instagram Account
Again, once you pull the trigger on deleting your Instagram account, you’ll never be able to get any of the information back. That post you made highlighting the trip to Belize you took? Gone. The shot of you and your best friend having a great time at a party? It’ll be gone forever. Clicking “Delete” send all that information into the ether of the Internet, never to be seen again. If you choose to come back to Instagram, it will need to be under a new name with no ties to your old account. It won’t be possible to reuse your old username.
Before pulling the trigger, it’s a good idea to go through your Instagram history and take stock of what you’d like to save. Make sure you have copies of your favorite videos and pictures saved in a safe place. You can also ask Instagram to send you a download of everything saved to your account.
You must log in to Instagram through a web browser to initiate an Instagram account deletion. Navigate to the “Delete Your Account” page. Instagram will ask you why you’ve decided to delete your account. Pick one of the available options that best matches your reasoning.
Instagram will give you the opportunity to think through your decision by asking whether you want to permanently delete your account. If you’re ready to take the plunge, click the link you’re presented with to make your Instagram account permanently goes “Poof!”
Reactivating Your Instagram Account
If you find yourself ready to rejoin the Instagram community, log back into your Instagram account from a browser. Instagram will ask if you’re ready to reactive your account. Click “yes”, and it’s like you never left. That’s all it takes to restore your deactivated Instagram account. Easy, right? It’s moments like these where you’ll be glad you went with the deactivation option instead of getting rid of everything.
Things get a little more complicated if you’ve forgotten your old Instagram password. If that happens, click the “Get help signing in” link for help. You’ll get an Instagram prompt asking you for either your old username or the email associated with your account. Hopefully, you have those in your memory or stored somewhere safe. Instagram’s going to need you to provide at least one of those pieces of information to continue recovering your account.
Next, you’ll be given the option of recovering your password by receiving an email with a link to update your password. You can also log in to Instagram using your Facebook account if you still have one that is active. If you choose the email option, you’ll get a message with instructions on how to reset your Instagram password and continue restoring your account.
Accessing or Reviewing Your Instagram Data
There’s been a lot of controversy over the past few years around how companies share and profit from user data. Facebook and Instagram responded by tightening up the controls and policies around user privacy and who gets access to their personal data.
If you’d like to see and possibly change your current privacy settings from a web browser, start by going into your profile and clicking the “Settings” icon, then select the option titled “Privacy and Security.” Navigate over to “Account Data” and look for an option named “View Account Data.” It’s possible to view these same settings from your mobile phone by clicking the menu icon, choosing “Settings”, then navigating to “Security”, then “Account Data.”
Take the time to go through everything and ensure you’re not giving away more information than you intended. Protect yourself from having your information exploited by other bad actors.
Downloading Your Instagram Account Details and Pictures
It’s a good idea to back up your information if you’re deactivating or deleting your Instagram account. If you’re using an internet browser, look for the “Settings“ icon in your profile, then navigate to “Privacy and Security.” Scroll down until you see “Data Download.” You should see an option titled “Download Data.” Click there to start an information download request to Instagram.
Requesting your account information from a mobile device works similarly. You’ll look for the “Settings” icon in your profile, then navigate to “Security”, then “Download Data.” Provide Instagram with your email address, then click “Request Download.” You must enter your current password to finish your request. It typically takes Instagram around 48 hours to respond with your requested download link. It’s a good idea to wait until you receive the link before deleting your Instagram account.