If you've decided that Instagram is no longer for you, are concerned about privacy threats, experiencing cyber bullying, or just want to take a break from the distractions of social media, you might want to delete your Instagram account.

Fortunately, deleting your Instagram account is easy: you need to just follow a few steps in the correct order. In this article we show how to quickly and permanently delete your Instagram account.

Before you go ahead and delete it, there is an alternative if you think you might want to return to Instagram one day. You can delete your account temporarily. So if you are wondering "If I delete Instagram can I get it back?" the answer is yes, sort of. We'll explain how to temporally disable your account below.

Another option that might appeal is making your account private. That will grant you more control over who sees your posts.

And if you are struggling with the popularity contest that is Instagram, you may be interested to learn that Instagram is currently running a trial in various countries to stop showing likes to your followers. Only you will see how many likes a photo gains, and how many views a video tots up. Other Instagrammers won't. (Those people making a living as Instagram Influencers are going to be concerned about that!)

On a related not (since Facebook owns Instagram) here is How to delete your Facebook account.

First we'll discuss how to delete your Instagram account.

How to delete Instagram 

Follow these steps to delete your Instagram account.

  1. Back up your photos.  Before you delete Instagram, you should make sure you have a back up of all your photos. You probably have copies of the images saved elsewhere, but it's worth checking. If you haven't got copies of your photos, log into the Instagram website from your Mac and drag your photos one at a time into a Finder folder. If you're just saving one or two this is the simplest approach. But if you'd like to back up everything on you Instagram account, you're better off looking for a batch saver such as Batch Media Saver from Instagram which is a Chrome extension that will  allow you to back up all the photos on your Instagram with one click.
  2. The next step is to delete your Instagram account from the Instagram website. Sadly there is no way to delete your Instagram account directly from the iPhone app. You need to open a web browser on your Mac and delete your Instagram account from Instagram's web page: go the Delete Your Account web page.
  3. Log on to your Instagram account (we'll discuss what to do if you can’t delete your Instagram account because you don't know the password below).
  4. Instagram will ask you for a reason why you are deleting your account, as well as emphasising that it is "keeping your data safe". You can choose from the following options: Delete instagram
  5. Once you have indicated your reason for leaving, a password entry field appears. You need to enter your password again.
  6. Now click 'Permanently delete my account' at the bottom of the page.

How to permanently delete an Instagram account

That's it. Your Instagram account is now permanently deleted. All of the photos you have added to this account have been deleted, and there is no way to reactivate your account. So please make sure to back up your photos first.

You may now be in the market for a new social network to fill the void. If that is the case, have a look at our guide to the Best alternatives to Instagram.

How to delete Instagram temporarily

What if you don't want to say goodbye to Instagram forever? Perhaps you just want to stop using it during revision time, or maybe you aren't prepared to completely sever ties with some of your Instagram followers.

Luckily you can temporarily disable your Instagram account and reactivate it again later.

If you choose this option you profile and everything you have uploaded will be hidden from your followers, but you will be able to reactivate it again later.

  1. As above, go the Delete Your Account web page (you can't do this via the iPhone app).
  2. Rather than going through the Delete Your Account steps click on Edit Profile in the sidebar.
  3. Scroll down and click on Temporarily disable my account.
  4. As with the steps to Delete Your Account you have to explain why you are disabling your account, and re-enter your password.

You can only disable your account once a week.

Disable Instagram with forgotten Password

You need your password in order to delete Instagram, so if you tend to log in via Facebook and have no idea what your password was you might be wondering what you can do.

  1. The obvious answer is to go to the Change Password section of the Instagram site and report that you have Forgot Password. Instagram password
  2. You'll need to click Send Login Link and the link will be sent to the email inbox you used to set up Instagram.

If that's not an option for you, you have a couple of options.

  • If you stop posting in your account Instagram may deactivate it. Instagram disables inactive accounts.
  • Alternatively you could post something against Intagram's terms and let them disable your account for you, although we wouldn't recommend you do that!

If your account is disabled by Instagram you will see a message saying:

"Your account has been disabled for violating our terms. You can learn more in the Help Centre".

Assuming you haven't done anything wrong you can later on tell Instagram you are innocent of the crimes and get your account reinstated.