By default the images you share on your Instagram profile can be viewed by virtually anyone that signed up with an account on the app. If you’d rather stay under the radar instead, there are a few things you can do to hide your Instagram account and prevent your contacts and other people from finding you on the social network.
For example, by removing specific information, even if someone has your phone number, they won’t be able to find you on Instagram. Follow along with this guide, as we detail additional options that will help you stay hidden from prying eyes.
Remove Your Facebook Account From Instagram
To make sharing easier, Instagram allows you to link your Facebook account to the app (and vice versa.) If you want to prevent people from finding you on Instagram, we advise against it.
Linking the two accounts means both apps will have access to the others’ friend list. So whenever a Facebook friend of yours creates an account on Instagram, your profile will show up as a friend suggestion. Since this is something we want to avoid, go ahead and remove your Facebook connection from Instagram.
- Open the Instagram app on your Android device.
- Tap on your circular profile icon on the bottom right.
- Go to the hamburger menu located in the upper-right corner of your profile and select “Settings” from the menu that pops up.
- Scroll down and tap on “Accounts Center” at the bottom.
- Tap on “Accounts” under the “Account settings” section.
- Press on the “Remove” button next to your Facebook account name.
- Instagram will ask you to confirm whether you want to “disable connected experiences for your account.” Tap on the blue “Continue” button.
- Confirm your choice by pressing the “Remove” button on the next screen.
- You can also do this from Instagram on PC. On your feed page, click on your profile icon in the upper-right corner of the display.
- Select “Settings.”
- On the left side, scroll down and click on the “Accounts Center” option.
- Select “Accounts” on the left and then click on your Facebook account.
- Press the “Remove” button next to your Facebook account.
Once you unlink your Facebook account, you will no longer risk appearing as a friend suggestion for any of your Facebook friends joining Instagram.
Make Your Account Private
Setting your account to private is one of the easiest ways to make your profile less visible. Even if someone does eventually find you, they won’t be able to see your posts unless you give them express permission to do so.
- You can activate the privacy mode on mobile by heading to “Settings -> Privacy.”
- Then toggle on the “Private account” option at the top.
- On PC, go to “Settings -> Privacy and Security” and tick the “Private Account” option.
Remove Your Phone Number from Instagram
Before you go ahead with removing your phone number from Instagram, keep in mind that you won’t be able to have the two-factor authentication feature enabled. You also need to have a verified email address for this to work, since Instagram does require at least one verified way to contact you in case of emergency.
You can disable two-factor-authentication by going to “Settings -> Security -> Two-Factor Authentication” and turning it off from there.
- To remove your phone number, tap on the profile icon and select “Edit profile.”
- Swipe down to “Personal information settings.”
- Delete your phone number from the dedicated field.
- On PC, click the “Edit profile” button next to your Instagram profile name.
- Scroll down and make sure the “Phone number” section stays empty.
Once your phone number is removed, people who have saved your digits to their mobile won’t be able to find you once they activate “Connect Contacts.”
Turn Contact Syncing Off
Speaking of which, you’ve probably used the option yourself back when you were setting up your Instagram account for the first time. Still, if you wish to stay hidden, you should relinquish this functionality. You’ll need to use your mobile device for this.
- Go to “Settings -> Account” on your device.
- Hit the “Contacts syncing” option.
- Disable “Connect contacts” from there.
Prevent Your Friends From Finding You in Similar Accounts
The person you’re trying to hide from can easily find you if they happen to follow an account similar to yours. To prevent this from happening, go to Instagram on your desktop browser. Strangely enough, you won’t be able to turn off this option from your phone or tablet.
- Go to your Instagram profile on your PC and hit the “Edit Profile” button, just like we showed you above. Scroll to the bottom, where you’ll see a box you can uncheck that will prevent your account from appearing in any similar account results.
- Click on the blue “Submit” button.
From here, it’s also possible to add or remove your phone number, in case you didn’t follow the steps described above.
Turn Your Online Status Off
If you want even more privacy, turning your online status off is a step in the right direction. To hide your online status from others on Instagram for mobile:
- Go to “Settings -> Privacy.”
- Tap on “Activity Status.”
- Toggle off the “Show Activity Status” button. If the button is blue, that means it’s on, and if it’s gray, it’s off.
- Alternatively, you can do the same from PC. Just go to “Settings -> Privacy & security” and uncheck the box next to “Show Activity Status” on the right.
Block Certain Accounts
Want to make absolutely sure someone can’t find you no matter what? Block their account if you know their username.
- On mobile, simply navigate to their profile and tap on the three-dot menu in the corner of the display.
- A pop-up menu will show up from the bottom of the display. Select “Block” from there.
- On your PC, find the three-dots next to their Instagram user name and select “Block” from the pop-up window.
Temporary Deactivate Your Account
The only way to be 100% sure someone will never find you is if you erase your account. But since that’s a bit drastic, you can opt instead to temporary disable your account and get some peace of mind.
This means your photos, likes, and comments will be hidden until you decide to log back into the app.
Note: You can only deactivate your account once a week.
To deactivate your account you must use Instagram on a PC or log into your account into a mobile browser.
- Go to your profile and press the “Edit profile” button.
- Click on the “Temporary deactivate my account” option at the bottom.
- Select a reason why you’re deactivating your profile and type your password once again.
- Click “Temporary Deactivate Your Account” and then “Yes” to confirm your choice.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I control who messages me on Instagram?
If you wish to control who you interact with on Instagram via Direct Messages you can. Go to “Settings -> Privacy -> Messages” and set up “Message Requests” for people who follow you and those who don’t. This means Direct messages won’t automatically go to your Instagram Inbox, but will be lodged in a “Request” tab from where you can quickly delete them. Also make sure you tweak the settings for who can add you in “Group chats” and to “Groups” if you don’t want to socialize more than you have to.
How do I remove an Instagram follower?
Go to your profile and tap on “Followers” next to your profile picture. The list of accounts that follow you will become visible. Tap on the “Remove” button next to the account you want to get rid of to delete them from your list. Instagram won’t notify that particular account that you’ve removed it.
If I block an account, can the person behind it still contact/follow me via another account?
Unfortunately, yes. This is why we recommend making your account private, so you can screen any account that wants to follow you and identify any potential shady accounts you don’t want to have in your list.
Image credit: Ibadah Mimpi via. All screenshots by Alexandra Arici.
Our latest tutorials delivered straight to your inbox