How to Delete Your Instagram Account Permanently
How to delete your Instagram account permanently in 2021?
Instagram is popular amidst people from all walks of life – riding the hashtag train can be an addictive ride to internet stardom. It’s also a great way for pseudo celebrities to twerk around. Or it could be a user looking to connect with their hero. Or it could be someone who loves travelling and loves sharing pictures. Or bear with us, it could be someone who just loves flicking their thumb through endless streams of TikTok videos reuploaded to the ‘gram.
Hey – we’re not putting down Instagram users. It’s a fun app.
But then, it’s now owned by Facebook. The very same company that has seen more privacy scandals than anyone else on earth (which is a giant statement in itself). Not to forget the time, not too long ago, when Instagram leaked the private details of over 49 million of its users.
So, a lot of people decided to permanently hit the kill-switch on their Instagram accounts. That is probably the reason why you stumbled onto this article. So, without further ado – let’s begin.
Why should I delete my Instagram account?
Oh – we could go on and on here. But we’ll try to give you a quick bite on a few aspects of how the ‘gram is not only knowingly tracking you and selling that data to advertisers – but in spite of being under the banner of BigTech – they somehow keep falling prey to hackers.
1. They’ll happily share your likes, activity, location (where you are and where you’ve been) along with your individual demographic profile (that they built up) with advertisers and other third-party companies.
2. They’ll inform other users about everything that you do – when you come online, when you go offline, if you’re typing something, if you’ve read their messages.
3. In 2019 – hackers managed to get the private details of more than 49 million users.
4. Beyond being an incredible privacy risk – Instagram is also an enormous time-sink. It enhances your procrastination – and you’re better off without it. But we’ll let you be the judge of that?
5. Instagram is a con-man’s playground. While it’s lovely to share pictures with friends and family – it’s also easy for these pictures to be misused or falling
prey to cybercriminals.
6. Your location and your demographic profile are being used against you. Don’t believe us? Try clicking an ad on Instagram – the very same ad will follow you on Facebook and across the Internet. This is called Remarketing.
Ready to take that leap? Whether you wish to permanently get rid of your account or are simply looking to temporarily deactivate it (Instagram offers both options) – we’ll guide you through both.
Things to keep ready before deleting your Instagram Account
Here’s all the things you’ll need
1. Access to a web browser. You cannot permanently delete or temporarily deactivate your account through the app. You need to access Instagram.com through a web browser like Chrome, Firefox or Edge or even Safari.
2. Keep your username and password ready. You’ll need it – as you’ll be entering your password more than once.
3. Access to the mobile account used to activate the Instagram account. If you have 2FA enabled or if Instagram detects that your PC is not from your usual download location – they may trigger a text message to your phone. It doesn’t happen all the time, but be ready, just in case.
4. Download your Instagram data. We’ll explain more in the next bit.
Downloading your Data from Instagram
As we’ve said, Instagram offers two ways to disable your account. One is where you temporarily disable your account. Everything still stays with Instagram – your account is temporarily not visible to anyone. Once you wish to come back, you login to Instagram again and you’re back.
The other is where you permanently delete your account. This means everything you’ve uploaded – all the posts, captions, your username – everything is scrubbed off the Instagram servers.
At such times it’s important that you take a backup of your account. To do this –
1. Visit the Instagram Website on a web browser of your choice.
2. Login with your Username and Password.
3. Click on the little circle to the top right that has your avatar and in the dropdown that opens, click “Profile”. Or visit https://instagram.com/<Your Username>
4. On your profile page, click on the “Edit Profile” button.
5. In the page that opens up, click on “Privacy and Security” on the panel on the left-hand.
6. On the “Privacy and Security Page” screen, scroll down till you see “Data Download” – click on the link below it that says “Request Download”
7. On the next page, verify that your email is correct and is an account that you have access to. In the information format, let HTML remain selected – it is easier to view. If you’re tech-savvy and know your way around a JSON file – go ahead with that.
Once satisfied, click “Next”.
8. On the next page, enter your Instagram password and click “Request Download”.
9. That’s it – now wait for an email from Instagram. You should receive a link that will download an archive (a file with a .zip extension). You can extract this file using any Zip application (WinRAR is our favorite). Once extracted, you’ll have access to all the images and videos you’ve uploaded, all captions and other account data.
Congratulations. You’ve downloaded your Instagram account.
How to temporarily deactivate your Instagram account?
Instagram allows you to temporarily deactivate your account.
This is good when you wish to have a temporary break from social media without giving away all your followers, your posts and your username.
When you temporarily deactivate an account, your account is hidden from others and your profile is inaccessible on Instagram. However, it is still on Instagram servers and any and all corresponding data to your account is still with Instagram.
Also, it reactivates immediately once you log back in with your password, without you having to do anything else.
To temporarily deactivate your account,
1. Follow Step 1 through 4 given above, until you reach the “Edit Profile Screen”.
2. Once there, scroll down and you should see a link on the bottom right that says, “Temporarily disable my account” – click on it.
3. On the next page, you need to select a “Reason for disabling your account” and Enter your Password
4. Once done, click the bright blue button that says “Temporarily Disable Account” right below it.
That’s it – your Instagram account is now disabled, albeit temporarily.
The moment you log back in, it’ll be back. If you want a more permanent solution, read on.
How to delete your Instagram account permanently?
So, you’re done with Instagram? And wish to permanently leave the ghost of the ‘gram behind? Read on…
To permanently disable your account, follow the below steps.
1. The steps to “permanently delete” your account are similar to the above. However, you need to visit this special link to access it. Click this link to Permanently Delete your Instagram
Instagram is sneaky. They don’t want you to know the link. So, they hide it in their Help Center (Here is a link to the Help Center Article)
2. Once on that page, you have to select the Reason for Deletion and enter your password.
3. Once you select the reason, Instagram will show you a tentative date of deletion, which is 30 days from your date of beginning the process.
4. Finally, click on the “Delete Account” button at the bottom.
That’s it. Adios Instagram!
Remember, for the next 30 days – your account will be in the “Temporarily Disabled State”. So, if you log back in within that time period, your account will be reactivated again, and your “Delete Request” will stand failed.
Instagram can take up to 90 days to delete your account completely off of their servers.
Is there a way to browse Instagram safely?
There is. It’s called a VPN.
We recommend checking out NordVPN – PinPointVPN’s #1 Choice for a VPN.
You can also visit PinPointVPN’s Homepage and check our other reviews of the best companies that we’ve personally vetted for you.
Having a VPN allows you to ensure complete anonymity and added layers of safety when browsing the internet. This is true for Instagram, Facebook and any other site.
A VPN spoofs your location. So, these sites will never even know your country, let alone any other information about you. All they’ll see is the IP and location details of the VPN Company’s servers.
VPNs also encrypt the data being sent from your computer to the Internet. So your ISP, your school, your workplace or anyone trying to spy on you sees garbled garbage and not the sites you’re visiting, your passwords or any other data about you.
Stay safe out there, folks!