How to make Instagram private
Contrary to popular belief, there’s no law against keeping your Instagram account private. But not all things are easy or obvious on Meta’s other social media site. That’s why we wrote this snazzy little guide on how to make Instagram private.
Not what you are looking for? Check out these related guides:
How to make your Instagram account private in browser
If you manage your Instagram profile mostly via a desktop browser, here’s how you can turn your public account into a private account.
- Click the “more” button in the lower left corner, then click “settings” in the menu.
- Click “who can see your content.”
- Below “account privacy”, check the box next to “private account.”
- Click “switch to private” to confirm.
Professional profiles aren’t able to make their accounts private. If you want to make your business account private, you’ll have to switch to a personal account first.
How to make your Instagram account private on Android or iPhone
Whether you use your Instagram via the Android app or iPhone app, the process is the same:
- Tap your profile pic (or the portrait icon on an iPhone) in the lower right corner.
- Tap the hamburger icon in the top right and choose “settings and privacy.”
- Tap “account privacy” and toggle “private account” to on.
Notably, you will not be asked to confirm your choice when switching to private, but you will be asked for confirmation when switching to public.
What’s the difference between a private and public Instagram account?
Here are the differences between the Instagram features of a public or private account as outlined by the platform itself:
|Public Instagram account
|Private Instagram account
|Who can follow you?
|Only followers you approve
|Who can see which public accounts you follow/follow you?
|Who can see which private accounts you follow/follow you?
|Only your followers
|Who can see your profile information (pic, bio, username?)
|Anyone, even off Instagram
|Anyone, even off Instagram
|Who can see the photos and videos in your profile or feed?
|Who can see your photos and videos in search, Explore, etc.?
|Who can share your stuff and see what’s shared?
|Anyone unless you tweak your settings
|Your followers unless you tweak your settings
|Who can embed or remix your stuff?
|Anyone, even off Instagram (exception: video remixes are for Insta users only and can be turned off in settings)
One fun private account option not mentioned has to do with direct messages: private accounts can block anyone not among their followers from sending them DMs.
How to make other social media profiles more private? Check out these resources:
- How to make Facebook private
- How to make Twitter private
- How to make Pinterest private
- How to make Venmo private
- How to make TikTok private
What does a private Instagram account look like?
A private Instagram profile shows only the profile picture, the post number, the follower number, and bio/description (if they have one). Approved followers can see everything you can see on a public account.
Can I make my private Instagram account public?
Yes, you can use the same method you used to make it private. It’s a short, 3–4-step process—follow either guide mentioned in the article above.
Can people see if you view their private Instagram?
Instagram doesn’t show anyone who viewed their account, private or public. However, if you want to access a private Instagram account, you have to follow it, and the account owner has to approve you. Then they’ll know that you’re viewing their private Instagram.