For whatever reason, sometimes it's necessary to make your Instagram account lay low for a little while. Luckily, you don't have to just delete your whole IG account to make those photos and videos disappear from the public eye.
Whether you're trying to hide an individual, company, or creator account, to help you with your clandestine needs, we'll explain briefly and step-by-step how to deactivate your Instagram account.
What does account deactivation mean on Instagram?
A deactivated account is different from a deleted account.
Deactivated Instagram accounts are simply not searchable, cannot be modified, and are not visible to other users at all for the duration of their deactivation. All images, comments, insights, and other activities are preserved, they are simply no longer visible.
Deleted accounts are, for all intents and purposes, gone, along with everything that they contain.
That's usually what delete means.
Why might you want to temporarily disable an Instagram account?
There are a few reasons why deactivating your IG account for a little while might be useful to your company. These can include but are not limited to:
- Your company is undergoing significant changes such as rebranding, a merger, or other activity that could affect your public image and the future status of your social media accounts is unknown.
- Your social media team is devising an entirely new Instagram strategy and you decide against leaving old, outdated content public during this development process.
- Your business has opened multiple accounts for different purposes or by different employees over time, and you are consolidating or seeking official verification, but don't want to delete them yet.
- The company has decided against using Instagram as a platform at the present time and does not want public content visible, but also does not wish to relinquish their username by deleting the account.
- Negative PR or other unfortunate events have driven the company away from Instagram for a temporary period.
Whatever your reason for deactivating your Instagram business account, the process is not hard and is extremely easy to reverse when the time comes to get back to it.
How to deactivate an Instagram business account
Taking your account offline for a little while is not a complicated process, but unfortunately, it cannot be done via either the Android or iOS Instagram apps.
Instead, you'll have to head on over to Instagram.com in your mobile browser or via desktop. You can follow this link to access the site.
>Note* If you're reading this article on your mobile device right now, clicking the above link may instead open your Instagram app automatically. Instead, you can try to copy and paste the link directly into your mobile browser. Or type it manually. It's not long.
Once you've logged into your account on desktop, visit your Profile page. You can find it by clicking on your small image in the upper right corner. Here you can see your page's biography, posts, and other content. At the top, in the middle next to your username, click "Edit Profile".
On the next screen, on the bottom right in blue text you'll see "Temporarily disable my account". They naturally try to hide this a little bit, so keep in mind that it is found, as of 2021, on the same page as your username, password, website, and other basic information, and you may have to scroll down to see it.
After clicking that, you'll be asked to provide a reason for disabling your account from the dropdown window. You must select a reason from the list, after which you will be prompted to re-enter your password.
Finally, click "Temporarily Disable Account" and poof, your account will disappear!
To undo this and reactivate your Instagram account, all you must do is log in again. It's important that your social media team be aware of this so that any "accidental" logins do not trigger an unwanted reactivation.
Tip* If you want to confirm that your account is no longer visible, have an employee search for your company's page using their personal account. The deactivation should be immediate, but if it is still visible, check back in 30-60 minutes.
Alternatives to deactivating your Instagram account
Under many circumstances, there may be better alternatives to deactivating your Instagram account.
A few ways that you can do this include deleting certain unwanted or outdated content, maintaining your branding despite hardships, or simply reconsidering its value, revamping your strategy, and building your account bigger and better than ever.
Making your Instagram account private
One mixed alternative to an Instagram deactivation is to simply make your page "private". This means that only followers can see your content and anyone who wishes to become a follower must request your permission and be approved.
However, Instagram business accounts cannot be made private, so you will have to switch to a personal account first.
This can be done in the desktop browser or mobile app by accessing your privacy settings. At the bottom of your Account page in Settings, you can simply tap "Switch Account Type".
In your browser, you can find the option on the left side of your profile settings page.
Unfortunately, changing your IG business account to a personal account also removes in-app insights about content and promotions irreversibly, so this is best done when you're really looking for a clean slate or your data really isn't essential. You can switch back to a business account whenever you wish and make your account public once again, but you'll be starting off with fresh new insights.
Note for facelift users*: Even if you can't access your insights in the Instagram app if you go private, we've got your back! Your data is safely stored in facelift! But remember, private Instagram accounts cannot be connected to facelift, so you will have to reconnect your account when you make it a public business account again. Your old insights will be safely stored within the cloud in the meantime.
The benefit to a private account is that it is great for design overhauls. It gives you the chance to work on your design, filter your images, and perform general account maintenance in real-time, in-app. You can experiment and tweak as much as you like.
On the other hand, a brand account with a private profile may seem a bit weird to anyone who stumbles across it, so this is best done quickly, especially if your brand has a large following. Also, your existing followers can still see your activity, and if you have a large following, maybe deactivation is worth reconsidering.
No matter your reason for deactivating your business's Instagram account, the process is very simple and easily reversible.
Remember that if you're using facelift to manage your Instagram account(s), the access token that connects your deactivated Instagram account will expire. You will then have to reconnect the account again when and if you return to Instagram, but this is a quite straightforward process that should only take a minute.
Before you go!
If you'd like to learn more about how you can improve your Instagram campaigns rather than run from them, we prepared this exhaustive (but not exhausting!) guide to short-form video content on Instagram, TikTok, and other top video-sharing platforms. It's a super-helpful guide for any social media team looking to step up their video game this year, right as it becomes more essential than ever.
You can download it for free right here and take a look.