How to delete your Instagram account forever

Or just deactivate it for a little while

Deactivate Instagram: app shown on smartphone

There comes a day when you want to delete Instagram – perhaps you're over looking at beach pics, photos of smashed avocado on toast and endless accounts dedicated to pet cats.

Social media can be stressful, after all. Instagram appears to be making progress on making its platform a healthier space, with features to combat cyberbullying, and trialling the removal of like counts – but when you've had enough, you've had enough.

Thankfully you're not tied to Instagram forever, and as a free service there's nothing like a costly cancellation charge to worry about – except perhaps the cost of missing out on your friends' brunch snaps, if that's something you really value.

There is an option to temporarily deactivate Instagram instead – without cutting it from your life entirely – which we've also run through below. But if you're here for the nuclear option we can show you how to delete your entire Instagram account instead.

How to deactivate Instagram (for a bit)

Instagram has the option to deactivate your account for a little while

Instagram has the option to deactivate your account for a little while

If you want to take a short break from Instagram, you can disable your account instead of permanently deleting it.

Doing this means people won’t be able to find your account, look at your photos or message you, but it also means you can one day bring your account back to life if you ever get the urge to get back on that Instagram train.

To do this, you'll need to head to the browser version of Instagram, as it's not possible within either the iOS or Android apps. So head to a browser on your phone, tablet or desktop computer and sign in here with your account details.

Then you’ll want to press the person icon in the top right and then press “Edit Profile”. You’ll then need to scroll down the page and press "Temporarily disable my account.”

You’ll need to give a reason for leaving to be able to disable your account and the form will ask you for your password one last time, just to check it’s still you using it. You’ll then be able to press the button and disable your account.

How to re-enable a disabled Instagram account

If you ever want to return to Instagram after disabling your account, the good news is it’s pretty easy. You’ll want to head back to Instagram’s website and sign in with your account information, where it will then allow you to reactivate your account, bringing you straight back to where you started.

How to permanently delete your Instagram account 

Deactivate that account for good

Deactivate that account for good

This is the big one. Be warned, if you go through with these steps you’ll be deleting your Instagram account for good. There is no returning to your Instagram account after you've done this.

You won’t be able to access your photos, messages or followers ever again.

To delete your Instagram permanently, you'll want to head to this page, where you’ll be asked to log in to continue. 

You’ll then need to select a reason for why you’d like to delete your account and then it will give you the option to get rid of it forever. If you press that button your account will be gone for good, so proceed with caution.