How to Make Your Instagram Profile Private

All new Instagram accounts are publicly visible by default. But as soon as you create one, you can make it private. That way, your posts will be visible only to the followers you approve.

Switching from a public to a private account won’t take you more than a couple of minutes. Here’s what you have to do.

Make Your Profile Private

Only personal accounts can be set to be private. If you have a business account on Instagram, you’ll need to make it personal.

On your Android or iOS Instagram app:

  1. Open your Instagram app and go to profile.
  2. Open the main menu and go to settings
  3. Then go to Privacy and select Account Privacy.
  4. Find the option Private Account and tap next to it.

instagram icon

If you’re accessing Instagram from a web browser:

  1. On Instagram.com click on the profile icon.
  2. Click the settings icon.
  3. Go to Privacy and Security > Account Privacy.
  4. Check the Private Account box.

If you want to disallow people to follow you, you can remove them from your followers’ list easily:

  1. Go to your Profile > Followers.
  2. Find the people you want to remove and click Remove next to their name.
  3. Confirm by clicking Remove again.

The people you removed won’t receive a notification that you’ve removed them.

How to Use Your Private Account

Some of your private posts can still be visible to others if you share them to other social networks, such as Facebook and Twitter. To prevent your content from becoming publicly visible on those networks, change the privacy settings on each network you’re using to share your Instagram photos.

People who would like to follow you will be able to send you follow requests. You’ll see those requests when you tap on the heart icon. You can either approve or ignore follow requests. Once you’ve accepted a request, that person becomes able to see your content, including photos, videos, and the followers/following lists.

Even the people who aren’t following you can send you their content (photos and videos) directly.

Turn the “Last Active” Status Off

If you don’t want your followers to track your activity you can turn off the status visibility. If you’re using the Instagram app for Android or iOS, take these steps:

  1. Open your Instagram app and go to profile.
  2. Open the main menu and go to settings.
  3. Then go to Privacy and select Activity Status.
  4. Check if Show Activity Status is on or off. Turn it off.

If you’re accessing Instagram from a web browser:

  1. On Instagram.com click on the profile icon.
  2. Click the settings icon.
  3. Go to Privacy and Security.
  4. Uncheck the Show Activity Status box.

Note that when your activity status is hidden, it works in both directions. If you turn the “Last Active” off, you won’t be able to see when were the people you follow last active.

Hashtags, Likes, and Privacy

When you set your profile to private, you’ll still be able to use hashtags. Such posts will be selectively visible on hashtag pages. Your followers will be able to see them, and they’ll be hidden from everyone else.

Setting your profile to private won’t prevent people from seeing your likes on public posts. When you like someone’s post, everyone who can see the post will also be able to see that you liked it and click on your username – but they’ll still need to seek approval to see the content on your profile.

Mentions, Comments, Notifications, and Your Privacy Settings

If your profile is set to private and you mention someone who doesn’t follow you, they won’t receive a notification about it.

If you leave a comment on a photo or video uploaded by someone whose profile is set to public, everyone will be able to see the comment and click on your username, even though your profile is set to private.

If you use Instagram Direct to send content to a group, and your profile is set to private, your posts – as well as any associated comments and mentions – will only be visible to your approved followers.

Other Privacy Options on Instagram

You can prevent your followers from getting suggestions to follow “similar accounts” and mutual friends by taking these simple steps:

  1. Open your Instagram app or go to Instagram.com on your browser.
  2. Go to Profile > Edit Profile.
  3. Find the Similar Account Suggestions, click next to it to turn it off, and click Submit.

Once you’ve turned account suggestions off, Instagram will stop suggesting your followers to follow other people. However, this will also prevent your profile from appearing as a suggestion on other people’s profiles.

Your images may appear on Google search. This happens if you’ve authorized a web viewer to access your profile and images. Apart from setting your profile to private, you can remove your images from Google search by revoking access to the third-party website.

To prevent your contacts from finding you on Instagram, you can disconnect your phone number in a few steps. On your mobile device:

  1. Open Instagram and go to the menu.
  2. Go to Settings, choose Contact Settings.
  3. Find the Connect Contact option and toggle it off.

On a computer:

  1. Go to Instagram.com.
  2. Enter your profile and go to Edit Profile.
  3. Choose Manage Contacts.
  4. Find synced contacts and delete them.

Public or Private

Setting your profile to private has numerous advantages, as it protects your privacy. But it also has its limitations. It is indeed hard to promote your content with a private profile.

Is your profile public or private? Which option works better for you? Let us know in the comments section below.

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