Deleting Instagram: A Step-by-Step Guide to Erasing Your Digital Footprint

Instagram, the popular social media platform that revolutionized visual storytelling, can sometimes become overwhelming or even toxic for some users. Perhaps you’ve had enough of curated highlight reels or constant comparison with others’ lives. Whatever your reason might be, deleting your Instagram account is a straightforward process that requires careful consideration and planning. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through the steps to erase your digital footprint on the platform.

Before You Start

Before diving into the deletion process, it’s essential to consider a few factors:

  1. Backups: If you’ve shared photos or stories with others, produce sure they’re backed up safely before deleting your account. This will prevent any unintended consequences for those involved.
  2. Data migration: Some users might want to migrate their Instagram data (e.g., posts, comments) to other social media platforms or cloud storage services. This section will outline the process and available options.

Preparing Your Account for Deletion

Before deleting your account:

  1. Log in: Make sure you’re logged in on a desktop computer or mobile device with which you access your Instagram account.
  2. Download photos: Go to “Settings” (represented by three horizontal lines) > “Account”> “Original Posts” and click the “Request Download”. This will export all your posted content, including stories, IGTV videos, and feed posts.
  3. Backup story highlights: For each highlight you want to save, follow these steps:
    • Open Instagram Story
    • Tap on the desired highlight
    • Press “Edit”
    • Tap the three vertical dots at the top right corner > “Download Original”

Deletion Methods

There are two methods to delete your Instagram account:

Method 1: Using the Mobile App

  1. Open app: Open the Instagram app on your mobile device.
  2. Settings: Tap on the profile picture in the bottom-right corner, then select “Settings” (represented by three horizontal lines).
  3. Account: Scroll down to “Delete Your Account”.
  4. Select Reason: Choose why you’re deleting your account from a list of predefined options or enter your own reason.
  5. Confirm Deletion: Tap “Permanently Delete My Account”.

Method 2: Using the Instagram Website

  1. Visit website: Open on a desktop computer or laptop.
  2. Settings: Click your profile picture at the top-right corner, then select “Settings”.
  3. Account: Scroll down to “Delete Your Account” and click it.
  4. Select Reason: Choose why you’re deleting your account from a list of predefined options or enter your own reason.
  5. Confirm Deletion: Enter your password, re-enter the confirmation code displayed on screen, then click “Permanently Delete My Account”.

Post-Deletion Steps

After deletion:

  1. Verify removal: Open Instagram to confirm that you’re no longer logged in.
  2. Review settings and data backup plans:
    • Update any apps or services connected with your Instagram account.
    • Review cloud storage accounts, email clients, or other platforms where photos might have been shared.

Additional Tips and Considerations

  • If you’ve connected third-party apps (e.g., scheduling software) to your Instagram account, disable them as they may continue to access the now-deleted account.
  • You can no longer recover deleted data from Instagram. Make sure you back up any valuable content before deleting your account.
  • Deletion won’t automatically cancel linked subscription services or paid promotions.


Deleting an Instagram account requires careful planning and attention to detail. This step-by-step guide has provided comprehensive instructoins for a smooth transition, ensuring minimal disruption and preserving your digital footprint when necessary. With this process complete, you can bid farewell to the social media platform and begin a new chapter online.

Bonus Tips:

  • Review privacy settings on other platforms that might have been affected by Instagram connectivity.
  • Explore alternative visual sharing platforms or photo editing tools.
  • Re-evaluate your social media habits for long-term digital health.