Can You View a Private Instagram Account?

Like most social media platforms, Instagram allows users to make their accounts public or keep them private. The latter means most users cannot see posted content and key profile details without friending the user.

Can You View a Private Instagram Account?

It isn’t uncommon to want to view a private Instagram account. Perhaps you want to see what an old friend is up to without showing them what you’re posting. Maybe you’d like to check out a successful account and get ideas for your own. Whatever the reason, there are some ways to view a private Instagram account.

This article will teach you everything you need to know about viewing private Instagram accounts. However, there’s no guarantee that you can see everything someone posted. Now that we have established it is possible, let’s review all of your options.

Follow the User

Your first, most reliable, and morally acceptable way to see a private Instagram account is to simply send a follow request. If you’ve already tried this and it didn’t work, keep scrolling for more options, but if you have yet to send a follow request because you aren’t sure how, or you’re worried the private user won’t accept, this is the section for you.

Before you send a follow request, there are some things you can do to increase your odds that the user will accept it. Here’s what we’ve learned:

  • Have mutual friends (the more, the better)
  • Interact with their public comments on other’s posts
  • Ensure your profile is complete and you have interesting posts
  • Send them a direct message to introduce (or reintroduce) yourself

When you’re ready, it’s time to send a follow request on Instagram. Here’s what to do:

  1. Open Instagram on your mobile device or computer. Use the Search option to find the user’s profile you’d like to see. Then, select the user.
  2. Click Follow to submit the request.

Assuming the other user accepts your follow request, you can browse their entire account, including all posts (beware that they will know when you watch their Stories), but if they don’t respond positively to your request, you’ll need to try another method.

Ask a Mutual Friend

Another good option that doesn’t take much work is asking a mutual friend. As long as someone you know is following the user that interests you, you can ask them to let you see the private profile. But, how do you know which friends are mutual?

Fortunately, Instagram will tell you which friends to ask. Here’s how to see another user’s mutual friends:

  1. Open Instagram and navigate to the private user’s profile.
  2. Tap on the link under their profile picture next to Followed by.
  3. Finally, you will see a list of mutual friends.

Scroll through the list and find a friend who may help you. If you have no mutual friends, you can try to friend others first.

Use Google to View a Private Instagram Account

If you don’t want to send a follow request and wait without any idea when the request will be approved (or if the owner will accept it at all), you may want to try Google.

This trick is anchored on the idea that internet search engines don’t forget. Although one can establish access restrictions as soon as they’ve joined Instagram, many users do it after they’ve successfully established their brand. Google keeps all the posts they made when the account was public and provides this information with a quick search. All you need to do is follow these steps:

  1. Open Google on your browser.
  2. Enter their name and include Instagram in your query and hit the search button.

If a Google search doesn’t yield much, you could also check their other social media accounts. Most people run multiple social media accounts, especially those who want to tap different markets and impress users who prefer one platform over the other. A person’s Instagram bio can give you leads that may help you find their other social media accounts much faster.

You can also pick a photo, if you’ve been lucky enough to find one, and do a reverse image search which might land you on their Facebook or LinkedIn pages.

You could discover a library of photos or some other useful information this way, which might be enough for your needs.

Use a Fake Instagram Profile to View a Private Instagram Account

If you want to be more covert, you could deploy the Trojan Horse, which involves creating a “fake” Instagram profile that appears legitimate in the eyes of the target. You could then tender a follow request and wait for approval. While this might not be the most morally sound solution, the ethical decision is up to you.

For this trick to work, you need to be creative and take steps to impress the owner of the private account and influence their decision. For example, let’s say they are an elite trader and like sharing tips on how to succeed in that profession through a private Instagram account.

Lodging a follow request via your real account probably won’t work, especially if it isn’t related to trading information or some other related details. As such, you could create a new account that resembles that of an elite trader, complete with a dozen videos on key topics in the world of trading. You could even add a litany of trending industry nuggets and throw in an opinion or two about the current state of the market, all of which would create the impression of a user the private account owner would like to link to.

Use an Instagram Viewer Site to View a Private Instagram Account

 If you don’t want to deal with all the hassle of scouring social media channels or creating fake accounts that may go against your ethics and values, you might want to try dedicated Instagram viewer tools that will do all the work for you.

There are more than a dozen Instagram viewer sites that claim to help you unlock just about any private account on the platform. Some go as far as promising complete anonymity while you do so.

However, a fair proportion of these tools don’t work, and most shouldn’t be trusted. You could end up giving away valuable personal data that can be used to infiltrate your social media accounts.

It’s for this reason we don’t recommend these sites, but if you do, it’s important to proceed with caution. At a minimum, you should do thorough background checks and crawl online sources in search of reviews and other pieces of information that might give you a better idea of what you’re dealing with.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are the answers to more questions you may have about private Instagram accounts.

Can I view someone’s Story without them knowing?

Unfortunately, no. Instagram Stories are one of the rare aspects of social media where creators can see who viewed their posts. If you view someone’s Story, they will see the Instagram account you used to watch their content.

How will I know if someone accepts my Follow request?

Instagram will send you a notification when another user accepts your Follow request. You can also tell they’ve accepted it because the Follow button will change to Following.

Go Legit

If you’re having trouble viewing a private Instagram account, we recommend going legit by sending a follow request and waiting for approval. You can also try looking for their public posts or find them on other social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook.

If this doesn’t work out, some third-party apps may be able to help you view someone’s private Instagram material. However, it’s important to exercise due diligence before using such tools.

Are there some private Instagram accounts you’ve managed to crack? How did you do it? Let’s engage in the comments section below.

Disclaimer: Some pages on this site may include an affiliate link. This does not effect our editorial in any way.

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