How to Deactivate Instagram Account | Helpful 2023 Guide

how to deactivate instagram account

Instagram is one of the most popular social media platforms, but sometimes you may feel the need to take a break or deactivate your account. With over 1 billion monthly active users, Instagram can feel overwhelming or time-consuming. Fortunately, Instagram makes it relatively easy to temporarily or permanently deactivate your account if you want to step away for a while or delete it entirely. This comprehensive guide will cover everything you need to know about how to deactivate Instagram account, for both mobile and desktop.

Reasons You May Want to Deactivate Your Instagram

There are a few common reasons people look to deactivate their Instagram accounts, either temporarily or permanently:

Take a Social Media Break

If you feel exhausted or consumed by Instagram, deactivating can give you a refreshing mental break from the constant posts, Stories, messages, and notifications. It allows you to focus on other aspects of your life.

Avoid Distractions 

For similar reasons, students, professionals, and others may deactivate Instagram to avoid it becoming a distraction from priorities like studying or work.

Reset Your Usage

Deactivating your account for a set period can help “reset” your Instagram habits if you find yourself mindlessly scrolling too much.

Manage Privacy  

Instagram has vast troves of data on each user. Deactivating can help manage your privacy and limit the personal data stored.

Assess the Need for Account

If you haven’t used your Instagram in a long time, deactivating lets you evaluate if you really need it any more before deciding to delete it.

How to Temporarily Deactivate Your Instagram Account

If you want to take a short break from Instagram or test what it’s like without it, temporarily deactivating your account is the best approach. Here are step-by-step instructions to deactivate your Instagram temporarily:

On Mobile

1. Open the Instagram app on your mobile device.

2. Go to your profile page.

3. Tap the hamburger menu (three horizontal lines) in the top right corner.

4. Select “Settings” from the menu.

5. Tap “Account” on the Settings page.

6. Scroll down and select “Temporarily disable my account” under the Account Ownership section.

7. Select an option for why you are disabling your account from the dropdown menu.

8. Tap “Temporarily Disable Account”.

9. Enter your Instagram password when prompted to confirm deactivation.

Your account will now be temporarily disabled or deactivated. When you are ready to reactivate it simply log back into Instagram with your username and password. Your profile, photos, comments etc. will all still be there. 

On Desktop 

Deactivating Instagram from a desktop browser is also straightforward:

1. Go to and log into your account.

2. Click your profile icon in the top right.

3. Select “Edit Profile” from the dropdown menu.

4. Scroll down to the bottom of the Edit Profile page and locate the “Temporarily disable my account” section.

5. Select a reason for disabling your account from the dropdown.  

6. Click “Temporarily Disable Account”.

7. Enter your password and click “Temporarily Disable Account” again to confirm.

This will instantly deactivate your Instagram profile on your desktop as well. Just log back in any time with your username and password to reactivate your account.

How to Permanently Delete Your Instagram Account

If you are certain you no longer need your Instagram, want to permanently delete it, and do not plan to reactivate it in the future, you can follow these steps:

On Mobile

1. Open the Instagram app and go to your profile page.  

2. Tap the hamburger menu icon and select “Settings”.

3. Tap “Account” and then “Delete Your Account” at the very bottom.

4. Select an option for why you are deleting your account.

5. Tap “Permanently delete my account”.

6. Enter your password when prompted to confirm permanent account deletion.

Your account, posts, photos, messages, followers and all other data will be permanently erased by Instagram (with allowance for a 30-day grace period by law for non-EU users). The username will become available for others to claim. 

Account deletion is irreversible.

On Desktop

You can permanently delete Instagram from a desktop browser too:  

1. Go to, login, and click your profile icon.

2. Select “Edit Profile” from the menu.

3. Scroll to the very bottom and locate the “Permanently delete my account” section.  

4. Choose a reason for deleting your account and click “Permanently delete my account”.

5. Enter your password and select “Permanently delete” to confirm.

This will immediately and permanently delete your Instagram account and all its data based on your confirmation. There is no going back after your account is erased, so only follow these steps if you are absolutely certain.

What Happens When You Deactivate or Delete Instagram

Here are key facts on what happens after you deactivate or delete your Instagram account:

Temporarily deactivating pauses your account and makes your profile and posts private. You can easily reactivate it later by logging back in.

Permanently deleting erases your account data completely within 30 days. This cannot be undone. 

– Your username becomes available for anyone else to claim if deleting your account.

Posts/Photos you shared remain visible if shared by others who tagged you. But it will show “Instagram User” instead of your username.

– You can’t log in or use Instagram while deactivated. 

Messages are no longer accessible after deactivating or deleting.

Followers/Following are removed upon deactivating or deleting the account.

So in summary, deactivating makes your account temporarily dormant and hidden, while deleting erases your presence on Instagram permanently.

FAQs About Deactivating or Deleting Instagram

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about deactivating or deleting your Instagram account:

Does deactivating delete my photos and profile?

No, deactivating just hides your profile and photos temporarily. They will all still be there if you reactivate.

Can someone else take my username if I delete my account?

Yes, once your account is permanently deleted that username becomes available for anyone else to claim.

Can I reactivate my account after deleting it?

No, deleting your Instagram account permanently erases all your data and this cannot be undone or recovered. 

What happens to my direct messages if I deactivate them?  

Your DMs will no longer be accessible after deactivating or deleting your Instagram account.

Will people get notified if I deactivate my account? 

No, Instagram does not notify your followers if you disable or delete your account. It will simply disappear from their follower/following lists.

Can I temporarily disable comments only?

No, Instagram does not have an option to only disable commenting. You must deactivate the entire account.

Can someone hack my account if it’s temporarily disabled?

No, deactivating your account also secures it from any potential hacking by fully logging you out.

Final Words

Deactivating or deleting your Instagram account is simple and straightforward if you need a break or no longer want your account. Take some time to consider whether deactivating for a short break or permanent deletion is the right choice for your needs.

We hope this complete guide helps explain how to:

– Temporarily disable your Instagram account 

– Permanently delete your Instagram account

– Know what happens after deactivating or deleting  

Remember, deactivating your account through the app or desktop website is temporary and reversible while requesting deletion means permanent erasure. Now you know how to deactivate or delete your Instagram when the time comes!

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