Temporarily Deactivate Your Instagram (2020)

Do you feel down when you don't get as many likes as you had expected on a post?

When you see pictures of your friends having a great time, do you feel just a bit sad that your life doesn't seem to measure up?

Maybe you find yourself stressing about taking the perfect pictures on your vacation, instead of actually enjoying your surroundings.

Did you know that a study published by the University of Pennsylvania found that there's actually a link between Instagram use and feelings of loneliness and depression?

Our lives center around social media use; it's difficult to stay in the loop with your social circle, keep up with trends, and even conduct business without apps like Instagram. However, it's no secret that Instagram and mental health are nothing short of nemeses.

Instagram should be used as a tool to ease and improve our social interactions. If you're finding this "tool" to be a more of a toll, it might be time to consider an Instagram break.

What Does it Mean to Disable Your Instagram?

For users wishing to step away from Instagram and its addictive ways, there are two options:

  1. Permanently delete your Instagram - An article and video on this coming soon!
  2. Temporarily deactivate your Instagram - This is a great way to disappear off of Instagram with the option of coming back after a few days (or longer, if you'd like). For as long as you stay logged out of Instagram, your account is disabled.

Aside from a few nuances, disabling your Instagram account is very similar to deactivating your Facebook. We wrote a detailed article on how to temporarily deactivate your Facebook in 2020 if you're interested in that as well.

To summarize disabling your Instagram in a bit more detail:

  • Your profile will be hidden (other users won't be able to access it)
  • Your photos will be hidden
  • Any comments and likes you've made/given will be hidden

We'll walk you through a simple tutorial on how to take advantage of this feature as of August 2020.

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Why Should You Disable Your Instagram?

There are several reasons why you might want to disable your Instagram:

  1. You're tired of scrolling and scrolling and scrolling! Breaking your Instagram addiction can tremendously improve your quality of life.
  2. You're sick of the haters. Cyberbullying is a widespread phenomenon and the best solution may just be spending less time in environments that breed it.
  3. You want to spend your time more productively. Even if you're not quite addicted to Instagram, you could be working on your own hobbies, passions, and goals in those moments that you're looking at pictures of celebrities working on theirs.
  4. You want to feel better. This one might sound a little funny, but Instagram is notorious for increasing feelings of self-comparison, stress, and anxiety. If this point rings true to you, we touch on it a little more in the introduction of this article.
  5. You're thinking of deleting your Instagram permanently and want to try it temporarily first

There are numerous other reasons you may want to remove your Instagram, and disabling your account is the solution for any of those reasons that are temporary.

From a logistical perspective, here are a few key points to consider before disabling your account:

  • Disabling essentially means temporarily "hiding" you from Instagram, so be sure this is what you want before going through with it. We discuss the details of disabling your account more in the previous section.
  • You can only disable your Instagram account once a week
  • It may take a few hours for Instagram to fully disable your account; during this time, you won't be able to reactivate your account. Therefore, disabling is best suited for users who want to disappear for more than a day.

If you just want to stay off of Instagram for a while without having your profile disabled, you should just log out as opposed to disable your account. If you're worried about being tempted to get back online, we've discussed some options at the end of this article.

How Will You Reactivate Your Instagram? (And Why You Have to be a Bit Careful About It)

Reactivating your Instagram is extremely easy. When you successfully disabled your account, you will immediately be logged out. To reactivate your account, all you have to do is log back in.

Of course, this means that an accidental login (which is not so farfetched) will undo your disabling.

Here are some steps to avoid an accidental log in:

  • Delete Instagram from your phone and reinstall it once you're ready to come back.
  • Clear your computer's cookies; this logs you out of most websites so don't bother doing so if this sounds like too much of a headache for you.
  • Clear your browser's autofill entries for your address bar to avoid accidentally landing on Instagram (here is an article about how you can do that according to your specific browser)
  • Just be careful! This should be sufficient if you don't want to take any of the above steps.

The Steps to Deactivation

1) Start by heading over to https://www.instagram.com/. You will need to log into your account if you are not logged in already.

2) Once you're on Instagram, click the small circular image of your profile picture in the top-right corner. This will reveal a dropdown menu. From here, click 'Settings'.

Go to Settings

3) After the Settings page loads, scroll all the way down. At the bottom of the screen, you'll see a blue unclickable button labeled 'Submit'. Next to that button, there is some light blue text that reads 'Temporarily disable my account'. Click this link. We've included an image below in case you have trouble locating the text.

Temporarily Disable Your Account

4) You'll now be redirected to a page titled 'Temporarily Disable Your Account'. The first thing you'll have to do here is click the dropdown menu titled 'Why are you disabling your account?'.

A list of reasons will come up and you can choose whichever that reason you'd like, including the 'Something else' option at the bottom of the list if you don't want to be specific.

The reason you choose won't affect your ability to disable your account.

Choose any reason

5) Next, under the dropdown menu where you chose your reason for disabling your account, enter your password.

Enter your password

6) At the bottom of this page, you'll see a blue button titled 'Temporarily Disable Account'. Click this button to proceed.

7) A bubble will pop up over the button asking you to confirm that you'd like to disable your account. Once you click 'Yes', your account immediately be logged out and the disabling process will officially begin.

Confirm that you're ready to disable your account

At this point, your account is officially disabled! If someone tried to access your profile, all that will be displayed is this:

Your profile will be inaccessible

8) To reactivate your Instagram, simply head back over to https://www.instagram.com/ or open up the Instagram app and log in again. Just note that you have to wait a bit after you've disabled your account to do this.

Your account will immediately be reactivated.

How Do You Actually Stay Off Instagram After You Disable Your Account?

Disabling your account is only the first step of your Instagram break; due to ease of reactivation by logging back in, you might have to exercise some discipline to stay off.

  • Remember, you can only disable your account once a week! If you reactivate your account on a whim or in a moment of weakness, you're going to have to wait before you can try again.
  • Take advantage of the steps mentioned in the section titled 'How Will You Reactivate Your Instagram? (And Why You Have to be a Bit Careful About It)' above to make logging back in a little bit more difficult. Additionally, you can delete Instagram from your browser's bookmarks/history to get rid of even more traces of it.
  • There are several app blockers and website blockers designed specifically to help you with this.
  • Replace your Instagram usage with another activity. Maybe you disabled Instagram to make more time to study or work; if that's the case, start mentally focusing on excelling at those tasks to distract yourself from Instagram. If you don't feel like you have the discipline to work instead of use Instagram quite yet, you can consider choosing a hobby or doing something fun (preferably away from your phone and computer). Just don't choose anything that might bore you into turning back to Instagram!
  • Try reading content, watching videos, or listening to podcasts of other people who have tried out social media cleanses. You can also get a friend or relative to try detoxing with you. This might eliminate that feeling that you're "in it alone".

How Did We Feel About This Instagram Feature?

If you see several similarities between this article and our article about deactivating your Facebook, it's because disabling and deactivation are really similar features and processes. Both are useful features for short-term social media detoxes and taking a temporary break from these super distracting apps. They're also great for logistical breaks. An example of this is if you're planning on being away from the internet for a few days.

Just like with the case of Facebook, we appreciate how easy it is to temporarily disable your Instagram; however, it would be better if reactivation wasn't so easy. We're not saying Instagram should make you start solving calculus problems to get your account reactivated, but maybe they could add an additional step or two to help out users who want to work on their Instagram addictions.