How to Permanently Delete Your Instagram Account in 2024 [Step-by-Step Guide]

So you‘ve decided you‘re done with Instagram. Maybe you‘re concerned about your privacy or mental health. Maybe you‘re sick of feeling pressure to post the perfect selfie. Or maybe you just don‘t have time for the endless scroll anymore. Whatever your reason, you‘re ready to pull the plug on your Instagram account for good.

In this no-nonsense guide, we‘ll show you exactly how to permanently delete your Instagram account as of 2024, on both mobile and desktop. We‘ll also explore some of the most common reasons for quitting the app, and what you should do before pulling the trigger. Plus, get tips on how to stay connected with friends and followers without Instagram.

Why Delete Instagram? 4 Reasons People Are Leaving

Before we get into the nitty gritty of how to delete your Instagram account, let‘s talk about why you might want to do it in the first place. Quitting Instagram is a big decision, but more and more people are choosing to do it. In fact:

  • 1 in 6 Instgrammers has considered deleting their account at some point (Statista)
  • 55% of people who have taken a break from social media say it was good for their mental health (McLean & Company)
  • 79% of people think society would be better off if we used social media less (Clario)

So what‘s driving this trend? Here are some of the top reasons people give for wanting to leave Instagram behind:

1. Privacy Concerns
In light of data breaches and scandals, many people no longer feel comfortable sharing their personal lives on Instagram. In a poll of U.S. Instagram users, 27% cited privacy as their top concern with the app (eMarketer). If you don‘t trust Meta/Instagram with your data, deleting your account is the best way to protect it.

2. Mental Health
Instagram is supposed to be fun, but for many it becomes a source of stress, anxiety and low self-esteem. Seeing other people‘s curated highlight reels can make you feel like you‘re not measuring up. Chasing likes and followers is exhausting.

As psychologist Peggy Drexler explains, "The more we use social media, the less happy we seem to be. One [reason] is that we are comparing our lives with others‘. This phenomenon is nothing new, but Instagram takes it to another level."

If Instagram is taking a toll on your mental health, it may be time for a serious break or a permanent split.

3. Productivity
Let‘s face it – Instagram is a major time suck. Mindless scrolling and posting can eat up hours of your day without you even realizing it. A recent survey found that 70% of people sleep with their phone within arm‘s reach (Reviews.org). It‘s all too easy to get sucked in when you should be focusing on work, school or quality time with loved ones.

4. Superficiality
For some, Instagram has lost its authenticity. It‘s become a game of trying to project a perfect, enviable lifestyle. Overly polished content and influencers hawking products make Instagram feel shallow.

Instagram hides so much of what makes us human and vulnerable – we post to curate our ‘image,‘ not to connect or share. Once you recognize this, it‘s hard to feel good about participating.

The quest for more followers, more likes, more comments can start to feel hollow.

Permanently Delete Your Instagram Account on Mobile

Okay, you‘ve weighed the pros and cons and you‘re ready to delete Instagram once and for all. Here‘s the fastest and easiest way to delete your account permanently using the Instagram app on your iPhone or Android phone:

  1. Open the Instagram app and tap on your profile picture in the bottom right to go to your profile
  2. Tap the 3 lines in the top right, then tap "Settings"
  3. Tap "Account", then scroll all the way down and tap "Delete account"
  4. You‘ll see two options: "Deactivate account" or "Delete account". Tap "Delete account" to permanently delete
  5. Choose your reason for deleting from the list
  6. Tap "Delete @yourusername" and enter your password to confirm

Screenshot of Delete Your Account page

That‘s it – you‘ve officially deleted your Instagram account! Keep in mind:

  • Your profile, photos, videos, comments, likes, and followers will be permanently removed
  • You will not be able to sign up again with the same username
  • You have 30 days to cancel the deletion – just log back into your account to restore it

So there‘s no going back after 30 days. Make sure you‘re really, really sure before confirming that final step.

How to Deactivate Your Instagram Account

Not quite ready to say goodbye forever? If you just need a temporary break from Instagram, you can deactivate your account instead of deleting it. Here‘s how:

  1. Log into instagram.com from a mobile or web browser (not the app)
  2. Click your profile picture in the top right to go to your profile
  3. Click "Edit Profile"
  4. Scroll down to the bottom and click "Temporarily disable my account"
  5. Choose your reason for disabling from the dropdown menu
  6. Re-enter your password and click "Temporarily Disable Account"

When you deactivate your account:

  • Your profile, photos, comments and likes will be hidden
  • Your username will not be searchable
  • You can reactivate at any time by logging back in
  • Instagram will save your account data in case you decide to come back

So deactivation gives you the freedom to take a breather without the pressure of having to commit to a full delete. You‘re not locked out forever.

4 Things to Do Before Deleting Your Instagram Account

Before you close the book on your Instagram chapter, take care of these important items:

  1. Download your data: Instagram allows you to request a copy of everything you‘ve shared on the app, including photos, videos, messages, profile info and more. That way you have your memories saved before you delete. To download your data:
  • On a web browser, go to your profile and click "Edit Profile"
  • Scroll down and click "Download Data"
  • Enter the email where you want the download link sent, and click "Request Download"
  • You‘ll get the link within 48 hours
  1. Notify your followers: Don‘t ghost your Instagram community. Post an update or story letting them know that you‘re planning to delete your account. If you want to stay connected, direct them to another social platform or your contact info. And if you‘re deleting a business account, be sure to highlight your other marketing channels.

  2. Tie up loose ends: Resolve any outstanding Instagram business like:

  • Thanking brand partners
  • Ending influencer campaigns
  • Paying outstanding ad invoices
  • Handling customer support issues
  1. Remove third-party connections: If you‘ve granted any other apps access to your Instagram account, like shopping apps or social media management tools, revoke that access before deleting Instagram.

Life After Instagram: How to Stay Connected

So you‘ve deleted Instagram. Now what? How will you keep up with friends‘ milestones, get outfit inspo, or share photos of your adorable kids/pets/plants? Here are some ways to stay connected without Instagram:

  • Text: Sounds basic, but texting is still one of the best ways to keep in touch with individual friends and family members. It‘s private, instant, and doesn‘t require any special app.

  • Group chats: For friend groups or teams, group chat apps like WhatsApp, Telegram or GroupMe let you easily stay in touch without social media. You can share photos, videos, links and more.

  • Shared photo albums: You don‘t need Instagram to share and view photos. Shared photo albums on iCloud, Google Photos or Flickr are a great alternative.

  • Alternative apps: If you still want a social media fix after quitting Instagram, consider these alternatives:

    • Dispo: Fun photo sharing app modeled after disposable cameras
    • Glass: Community for photographers to share their work
    • Vero: Aims to be a more authentic social media experience
  • IRL connection: Sometimes the best way to connect is to put down your phone and meet up in person. Schedule a regular coffee date, go for a hike or have friends over for game night. Real connection always beats a like or comment.

When you free yourself from Instagram, you open yourself up to more intentional, authentic ways of staying connected. And you may just find yourself feeling happier and more present.

Moving Forward (With or Without Instagram)

There you have it – everything you need to know to delete your Instagram account in 2024. No judgment if you decide it‘s the right move for you. Just be sure you‘re doing it for the right reasons, not just as an impulsive reaction.

If the idea of deleting your account gives you major anxiety, you‘re not ready. And that‘s okay. Instead, try taking a break, unfollowing some accounts, or setting firmer boundaries around your Instagram usage. Monitor how you feel over time. If Instagram consistently makes you feel bad, then revisit deleting.

At the end of the day, Instagram is a tool. A very addictive, shiny, FOMO-inducing tool. If it‘s not adding value to your life anymore, there‘s no shame in putting it down for good. Remember – you are so much more than your Instagram grid.