How To Delete Your Instagram Account [2024]

Sometimes a New Year brings a new start – and an end, also, and choosing to close your Instagram account might be one of them.

I’m not here to judge, but if you consider just taking a break instead of deleting your account altogether, I’ll show you how to take a break from posting, by disabling your Instagram account, just temporarily, or if that’s not enough, how to delete your ‘Gram for good.

If you care to take a look, you should also look up my Instagram account (@blueocto), before you delete your account completely. I’d love to have you subscribe, if you decide to stick around after all, but if that’s not enough to entice you to keep your account active, let’s get started with some ways to shut it down.

Just because you’re done with your Instagram account, don’t throw out the baby with the bathwater.

I strongly suggest you download your photos, videos, and other data before moving on with your life. You can request a data download from either a web browser or from the app itself.

How to download your data

  1. In the app, tap this “burger” icon in the top right corner.
  2. Tap the “Settings and privacy” option
  3. Tap the “Accounts Centre” option
  4. Tap the “Your information and permissions” option
  5. Tap the “Download your information” option
  6. Tap the “Request a download” button
The options menu in the top-right of Instagram account
Settings and privacy option in an Instagram account
Accounts Centre option in an Instagram account
Download Your Information option in an Instagram account

If you have multiple accounts that you manage, at this point you’ll be asked to select the Account or Profile you desire to download the data for.

You will then be prompted to choose from a complete copy or to select the type of information;

Select information option in an Instagram account

Choosing the option for “Complete copy” presents the option to notify whom will get the data (this would be the email associated with your account by default), the format (HTML), media quality if including images or videos and the data range.

Select types of information

Choosing the “Select types of information” you’ll have the choice of the following information types;

  • Comments
  • Messages
  • Guides
  • Saved
  • Events
  • Fundraisers
  • Likes
  • Checkout
  • Story sticker interactions
  • Content
  • Monetisation
  • Reports
  • Subscriptions
  • Threads
  • Gifts
  • Meta Spark
  • Other activity
  • Instagram Live
  • Avatars store
  • Device information
  • Information about you
  • Personal information
  • Loyalty accounts
  • Auto-fill information
  • Digital wallets
  • Followers and following
  • Contacts
  • Past Instagram Insights
  • Recent searches
  • Policy updates and permissions
  • Link history
  • Login and account creation
  • Apps and websites
  • Media settings
  • Your topics
  • Advertising
  • Ads and topics
  • Instagram ads and businesses
Information Types option in an Instagram account
File options in an Instagram account

I’d suggest selecting HTML for easier reviewing later over choosing JSON. Clicking Next on the “Select information” screen will present the same options as “Select file options”.

Once you’re happy with your selection, you can then “Submit Request“.

Regardless of which method you choose, it may take up to 48 hours to get the email with the link to download your data.

When you get it, download and extract the zip file.

You’ll be able to find your posted photos and videos in the media folder organised by date. This may also be an eye-opening!

Look into all the other data stored in your Instagram account. You can take a peek at your search history, a list of all your followers and people you’re following, and all sorts of other records of your dealings on Instagram.

Depending on the age of your account, there could be no data in a lot of these folders, but I am intrigued by these secret conversations and secret group stocks. I’ll have to come back to that another time!

Do you know your LAL from your VLAL?
Check out the Meta Facebook Jargon Buster!

Deactivate or Delete your account

Now that you have a backup of your whole account, you’ll be ready to deactivate or delete your Instagram account.

I found the easiest way to find the right screen, was to use the search; “burger” icon in the top right of the screen > Search > start typing deletion and it should pop up for you.

Search for Deactivation or deletion of Instagram account

If you manage more than one account, you will be prompted with a list that you have access to – select the account you wish to action.

Choose which account to deactivate or delete

You will then be presented with the option to Deactivate, or Delete the account you have selected.

Deactivating or deleting your Instagram account

Disabling the account means your account will be hidden until you reactivate it by logging back in. You have to provide a reason why you want to do this, even if you just choose something else. No further elaboration is required.

Enter your account password, click the disable account button.

Tap yes to confirm you really wanna do this, and that’s it. Your account is no longer accessible to the outside world or to you either, unless you choose to log back in.

Again, you can always reactivate your account by logging back into it from the webpage or in the app though.

If you had a good reason to disable it in the first place, maybe take some time to enjoy the freedom before you dive back in.

If you’ve decided to walk away from Instagram for good or at least shut down one of your many usernames, here’s how to delete your Instagram account.

If you’re using the desktop version in your web browser, you can also visit:

Select the reason why you want to delete your account. Depending on your choice, the site offers suggestions for solving your problem without actually deleting your account.

Whichever you choose, if you still want to continue enter your password and click the delete button with your username on it.

You’ll get one more chance to back out or confirm your choice, and you’ll get a confirmation that your account will be deleted a month from now, so if you do nothing, your account will be wiped clean on the date displayed.

But if you change your mind between now and then, you can still enter your username and password, click on keep your account and everything goes back to normal.

I’m guessing this feature was added for people that rage quit Instagram for some reason, then think better of it later on and wish they could get it all back.

Whatever your reason for disabling or deleting Instagram, I hope this has helped you find the result you’re looking for. Thanks for reading, until next time!


Caroline Hagan

Caroline brings over 20 years experience as a Designer and Developer; featured in .NET magazine, the only woman in the UK accredited for Google Mobile Sites. A STEM Ambassador and Google Women Techmaker Ambassador. Previous clients include Blackberry, FIAT, Clark Shoes and Sky.

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