How to delete your Instagram account permanently or deactivate it temporarily

  • You can delete your Instagram account permanently from the account deletion page.
  • If you think you might want to recover your Instagram account later, you can also deactivate it temporarily.
  • To delete or deactivate your Instagram account, you’ll need to use a web browser, not the app.
  • This story is part of Business Insider’s Guide to Instagram.

Instagram is one of the most popular social media sites around — and one of the most addicting. If you want to tone down your Instagram habits, you can always delete or deactivate your Instagram account.

The difference between the two options is that deleting your Instagram account is permanent, while deactivating is temporary and lets you get your account back later.

To delete or deactivate your Instagram account, you’ll need to use a desktop web browser or the web browser on your smartphone. You can’t do it through the mobile app.

Here’s how to do both.

How to delete your Instagram account permanently

1. On a desktop or mobile web browser, go to the Instagram website and log into your account using your username and password.

2. Once logged in, go to the account deletion page

3. From the drop-down menu at the top of the screen, choose the reason that you’re deleting your account. 

4. Once you’ve chosen your reason for deleting, you’ll be asked to re-enter your password. Do so, and then click the blue Delete [Account Name] button.


You’ll have to explain why you’re deleting the account.


Instagram notes that it’ll take a month for your data to be fully erased. Until then, your account will just be hidden from public view.

How to deactivate your Instagram account temporarily

If you think you want to recover your Instagram account later, you should disable it temporarily. This hides it from public view, but lets you restore it whenever you like.

1. Log into your Instagram account on the web and go to your profile page, then click Edit profile at the top of the page.

2. At the bottom of the page that opens, select Temporarily disable my account.

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The option to disable your account will be at the bottom of the page.

William Antonelli/Insider

3. Select a reason that you’re disabling your account and re-enter your password.

4. Click Temporarily Disable Account.

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Give a reason and your password.

William Antonelli/Insider

To reactivate your account in the future, simply log back into the Instagram app with your username and password. 

Jennifer is a writer and editor from Brooklyn, New York, who spends her time traveling, drinking iced coffee, and watching way too much TV. She has bylines in Vanity Fair, Glamour, Decider, Mic, and many more. You can find her on Twitter at @jenniferlstill.

William Antonelli

Editor & Staff Writer for Tech Reference

William Antonelli is a writer, editor, and organizer based in New York City. As a founding member of the Reference team, he’s helped grow Tech Reference from humble beginnings into a juggernaut that attracts over 20 million visits a month.
Outside of Insider, his writing has appeared in publications like Polygon, The Outline, Kotaku, and more. He’s also a go-to source for tech analysis on channels like Newsy, Cheddar, and NewsNation.
You can find him on Twitter @DubsRewatcher, or reach him by email at

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