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How To Delete (or Deactivate) Your Instagram Account

How To Delete (or Deactivate) Your Instagram Account
Mar 7, 2022
Over 70% of US-based people between 18 and 29 use Instagram, with 320 million total Instagram users globally.
Berktug Mutlu
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How To Delete (or Deactivate) Your Instagram Account - FastVPN
Over 70% of US-based people between 18 and 29 use Instagram, with 320 million total Instagram users globally. It can be great to connect with friends and family via this photo-sharing platform. But Meta, the parent company also known for Facebook, isn’t known for its respect for your data. If you have similar concerns, this article will teach you how to delete your Instagram.
Regardless of why you want to disable your Instagram account, it is your business. Below, we will provide you with some compelling reasons to delete your account and provide you with the steps you need to do so.

Why Should I Delete My Instagram Account?

There are three reasons you should delete your Instagram account:
  • Instagram has a vast history of data leaks
  • Instagram’s privacy policy isn’t great
  • Social media is inherently unsafe
Instagram is known for having a history of data leaks. While not all of them are due to Instagram’s security issues, most come from the inherent lack of safety from using social media. Here are some of the recent ones:
  • Comparitech’s security research team revealed an unsecured database of 235 million Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube profiles.
  • Socialarks, a Chinese startup company, had a massive data leak of 400 GB of personal data, including over 11 million Instagram user profiles.
  • Anurag Sen, a security researcher, revealed that Instagram had an unprotected server showing over 49 million exposed account credentials.
Almost 15% of Instagram users have exposed user information in the best-case scenario. Given the high number of social influencers who use the platform, it is likely more.
Given that celebrity data is among the leaked information, a lot of money flows through Instagram. This social platform is a gold mine for any hacker who can break down these walls.

How To Delete Your Instagram Account Permanently

If you want to delete your Instagram account permanently, you must do so from a mobile browser or desktop computer. You cannot delete your account from the Instagram app.
Here are some steps you can follow to proceed with the deletion process:
  1. Go to the Instagram “Delete Your Account” page
  1. Select a reason why you are deleting your account from the deletion page.
  1. Scroll down until you see “Delete Account.”
  1. Click the button and re-enter your password for confirmation.
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You will receive an email confirmation and log out of your account, knowing the deletion process has begun. If you are still in the profile or move to another page, you will have to try again.

How Long Does It Take for Instagram to Delete Your Account?

It takes Instagram 30 days to complete the account deletion process. During this time, your profile will be disabled, and nobody will be able to view it from your profile URL.
In some cases, Instagram states that it can take up to 90 days to complete this process. This situation is more likely if you have more account history and pictures.
Instagram will bring your account back from deletion if you log in during this deletion process. However, this undoing is only guaranteed for the first 30 days. If you log in between 31 and 90 days, your account is still likely to be deleted.

Can You Get Your Account Back After Deletion?

If you manage to contact Instagram before your account is permanently deleted (within 30 days), you will be able to prevent your account from being removed. However, it is impossible to bring back your account from deletion after up to 90 days.
After the account deletion process is done, Instagram removes the following:
  • Profile data
  • Photos
  • Videos
  • Comments
  • Likes
  • Follows
Because of this, you will need to create a brand new account to access Instagram’s services. If you want, you can choose your old username.

Can You Temporarily Deactivate Your Instagram Account?

If you prefer to take a break from Instagram, the service also allows for temporary disablement. Much like deletion, the public won’t have access to any profile data. Your comments, likes, and follows will also be made invisible.
Much like deletion, you will need to do so from a desktop or mobile browser. Here are the steps you need to take:
  1. After logging in, click your profile picture, select “profile,” and select “edit profile.”
  1. Scroll until you see “Temporarily disable my account.”
  1. Provide a reason for why you are disabling your account in the drop-down menu
  1. Scroll until you see “Temporarily disable account.”
  1. Re-enter your password to confirm you want your account disabled.
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There isn’t a way to permanently disable your account, unlike account deletion. Upon logging in, Instagram will ask if you want to re-activate your account.
This makes bringing back your account a more straightforward process than deleting. After all, Meta (Instagram’s parent company) doesn’t like to give up your user information quickly, as it makes money off of providing that information to advertisers.

What Does Deactivating Your Account Do?

Deactivating your account hides the following information.
  • Profile data
  • Photos
  • Videos
  • Comments
  • Likes
  • Follows
Bear in mind that hiding doesn’t mean your data isn’t there. It just means that your account isn’t public, meaning Instagram is still using your data for informational and advertising purposes.
When re-activating your account, your data should revert to prior settings. If you have a private account, only your friends (and maybe friends of friends) will see your comments, profile, and likes. Otherwise, your account defaults to public.

Can I Delete My Child’s Instagram Account?

To delete your child’s Instagram account, you will need to access a desktop or mobile browser. You will also need to log out of your current account, which you can do in the upper-right-hand corner.
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Instagram disallows non-owners of an account from requesting deletion. Regardless of whether you are the parent, you will struggle with Instagram’s support on your right to delete their online profile.
If your child is below the age of 13, you can report the account. Violations of Instagram’s terms of service are a quick way to cause permanent removal. However, Instagram will need to b able to confirm this, so fill out this form in the event you catch someone underaged using the social platform.

How To Download Your Instagram Account Data

Much like everything else on this list, you need to download your account data from either desktop or mobile browser. There’s no download button available on the mobile application.
Before you remove any data from Instagram, you should retrieve a copy of it. You can use Instagram’s Data Download tool to do this, which you can find under your profile settings within “Privacy and Security.”
To download your data, you will need to follow these steps:
  1. Confirm your email is accurate from the tool
  1. Select either JSON or HTML format
  1. Re-enter your password to confirm your identity
The file you receive will not include data you’ve already removed from Instagram. So that embarrassing comment you left on your crush’s page, still gone forever.
The JSON format is a lightweight text-only information piece. Meanwhile, HTML is best viewed in browsers and is more user-friendly. Selecting either format yields similar results.

Why Would You Want Your Instagram Account Data?

Even if you do not want your data on public social media display, there is some benefit to keeping digital copies. Here are some of the most common reasons:
  • It enables you to track specific data exposures
  • You can use it to go down memory lane
  • You can hold Instagram accountable for data breaches
The best way to maintain ownership of your data is by tracking it. If you do not have a copy of your information on a flash drive or secure cloud server, it is hard to prove that the data belongs to you.
Information proving you were on Instagram can entitle you to recompose in the event of data leaks. Even if Instagram wasn’t the leaker, finding your data on a third-party website is more doable if you have a copy of it.

Essential Points To Instagram’s Privacy Policy (Data Policy)

Being a product of Meta (known for Facebook), Instagram’s policy on user information is abysmal. Privacy enthusiasts everywhere should avoid both Facebook and Instagram account with this in mind.
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Much of this comes from the kinds of information Instagram collects, specifically this quote:
We collect the content, communications and other information you provide when you use our Products, including when you sign up for an account, create or share content, and message or communicate with others.
Based on the wording of Instagram’s data policy, It can take information from your private messages.

What Data Does Instagram Store About You?

Outside of the worst offense above, Instagram collects this information:

Information You Provide

  • Posting content
  • Sign up data
  • Metadata (location, time of photo)
  • Camera data
  • Data with special protections (optional)
The “special protections” might include religious or political views. Meta uses everything you are willing to provide.

Connections (People You Know)

  • Friends
  • Hashtags
  • Groups
  • Address book information (should you choose to provide it)

Usage Data

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