How to delete and deactivate Instagram: A step-by-step guide

If you’ve had enough of Instagram, you’ve come to the right place. Studies old and new have linked rise in anxiety and depression to an increasingly tech-saturated world, with social media billed as a main culprit in the insidious dynamic. 

With the content that abounds on Instagram, from the pious clean-eating crowd, subsisting on their diet of spiralised beetroot and FaceTune, to the increasingly pervasive ads the app is touting, the image-sharing platform can be a toxic place. 

We’re not the only ones who think so, either. Google has just released its 2018 Year in Review, and among searches for Meghan Markle, the World Cup and flossing (the dance, not of the dental hygeine variety) were queries about how to delete Instagram.

Coming in at fourth place in the “How To…?” category, “How to delete Instagram?” was wedged between “How to get the old Snapchat back?” and “How to delete Facebook?” – a sign that, when it comes to social media, the tides are turning.

If you need a detox, you have two options: you can either delete your Instagram account permanently, which will wipe out all the photos shared on the site or app, or you can temporarily deactivate Instagram.

Be warned though, if you choose to permanently delete Instagram, your profile, photos, videos, comments, Likes and followers will be removed – there’s no going back. You have to be really sure you’re ready to enter the filter-free world.

How to delete Instagram 

  1. Step 1

    You can’t delete Instagram using the app, so you’ll need to use a PC or computer.
  2. Step 2

    Open the Delete Instagram account page on Instagram’s FAQ.
  3. Step 3

    Enter your username and password, if you’re not already signed in. This will take you to a page with a drop-down menu next to the question “Why are you deleting your account?”
  4. Step 4

    Choose from one of the seven options: “Trouble getting started,” “Created a second account,” “Privacy concerns,” “Want to remove something,” “Too busy/too distracting,” “Can’t find people to follow” and “Too Many Ads” or “Something else”. 
  5. Step 5

    Once you select a reason, you’ll be asked to enter your password one last time.
  6. Step 6

    To delete Instagram, click “Permanently delete my account” when it pops up.

Alternatively, you can deactivate your account for a limited time. Read on to find out how:

How to deactivate Instagram

If you don’t want to permanently delete Instagram, you can instead take a break from the service. You can deactivate and reactivate your account at any time on a desktop, but not via the app.

  1. Step 1

    Log in to your account on mobile or desktop.
  2. Step 2

    Select your profile picture and go to “Edit Profile”.
  3. Step 3

    Scroll down and hit “Temporarily disable my account”.
  4. Step 4

    You’ll be asked to select a reason why before being given the chance to finally hit the “Temporarily Disable Account” button that pops up.

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