Instagram now shows your friends when you’re online - here's how to turn it off

For the longest time, Instagram has been a safe space of social avoidance – you could go on the app and as long as you didn’t like or post any photos you could scroll to your heart’s content, without a friend messaging to ask why you could trawl Instagram but not message them back. 

But Instagram has now decided to follow in the footsteps of Facebook, WhatsApp and Messenger by adding a feature that tells friends when you were last online checking out some flawlessly filtered salads. 

It’s not all bad news, though – the information is only shared with the people you last privately messaged or tagged in an Instagram story and, even better, you can opt out.

Opt out

If you’d really rather no one knew just how often you were on Instagram, turning off the ‘last active’ feature is simply a matter of going to your profile page and heading into the 'Options' menu.

You can get to that on Android by pressing on the three vertical buttons in the top right hand corner own profile, while on iOS you'll see a cog icon next to 'Edit Profile' that you'll need to press.

From here you’ll be able to scroll down to settings where you’ll find a toggle for ‘Show Activity Status’ about half way down. Slide this to off with the panic the situation warrants and your problem is solved.

It’s worth noting that once you turn off your own activity status you won’t be able to see anyone else’s either, but this seems like a fair trade off to us.  

Emma Boyle

Emma Boyle is TechRadar’s ex-Gaming Editor, and is now a content developer and freelance journalist. She has written for magazines and websites including T3, Stuff and The Independent. Emma currently works as a Content Developer in Edinburgh.