How to Deactivate Instagram

We love Instagram, but everybody needs to take a break sometimes. Luckily, Instagram makes that really easy with it’s deactivate Instagram feature. (Note that the feature has now been re-named to “temporarily disable.”)

Don’t worry about losing your memories, though – deactivating and deleting aren’t the same thing.

In this article, we’ll tell you exactly how to deactivate your Instagram. But first, let’s look at some of the reasons why you might want to deactivate Instagram.

Instagram might not actually be what’s draining you. Your disillusion with it might actually all come down to how you’re using the app.

Why You Might Want to Deactivate Instagram

It’s pretty easy to see why somebody might want to deactivate Instagram. It can be overwhelming. There are streams of new photos and experiences and stories – every single day.

Notification buttons across different social media platforms.

People with large followings often need a break from nasty commenters and invasions of privacy. If you’re working hard to build your online presence, you might get overwhelmed by Instagram’s unpredictability. There are other reasons, too. Weddings, babies, sudden losses.

There’s no shame in taking a break. Everybody deserves vacation days – and that includes people who make money in a non-traditional manner.

If you need to deactivate your Instagram for a little while, you shouldn’t feel any shame about that.

…And Why You Might Not Want to Deactivate Instagram

Instagram can be exhausting, it’s true. But before you deactivate Instagram, consider a few of the reasons to stay.

  1. Instagram is inspiring. It’s a hub of art, creation, and people taking their lives into their own hands. Where else do you know where you can start a successful business from zero, no investor but yourself required?
  2. It could mean taking a dive in your business. If you make money off of Instagram (or if that’s your goal), it’s safe to say that taking a break could be a bad decision. We’re not trying to discourage you. We just want to say that you should make an informed decision. Take an honest look at how a break could affect your business. If negative news fills you with dread, maybe it’s time to start investigating other careers!
  3. Deactivating isn’t a permanent fix. If you choose to deactivate your Instagram, it’s easy to reactivate. All you have to do is log right back in. But deactivating is only a temporary solution. If Instagram is making you unhappy, that probably means you need to re-examine your relationship with Instagram in the first place.

How to Use Social Media In a Healthy Way

There’s no denying that social media has risen to some unhealthy levels in our culture over the past few years. Social media is a wonderful thing. It connects people from all over the world. It allows us to hold onto little moments we otherwise might have forgotten.

But it’s easy to mistake obsession for love.

Constantly worrying about how many likes your posts get isn’t a healthy way to engage with social media, Instagram included. Your social media use should, in the end, be for you.

A group of people taking a photo on a smartphone

If you happen to amass a following along the way, great! The unpleasant truth of it is that if you’re only catering to an audience, and you aren’t fulfilled or satisfied with the work you’re putting out, you’ll never be happy.

Your audience is important, but they shouldn’t control your life.

Before you deactivate Instagram, reconsider your relationship with it. Maybe all you need to do is step back into the driver’s seat.

Consider Other Strategies…

You may be at the beginning stages of your Instagram journey. Perhaps it’s not an audience stressing you.

Maybe it’s the time you put into creating great content, and the extra time engaging with other accounts to grow your brand. It’s a lot to keep up with!

Whether it’s time or constantly monitoring your Instagram that’s stressing you out, we understand where the stress is coming from.

Thankfully, there are a lot of tools nowadays that can help you more efficiently manage your Instagram.

Tools to Redefine Your Relationship with Instagram

So, you’ve decided not to deactivate Instagram, after all. Where do you start with turning this relationship into a healthy one? Here are some tools that can help you on your journey.

An Instagram planning app can help you maintain your life’s order in the face of Instagram’s algorithms. Lots of planning apps like Later and Planoly also offer tools to monitor engagement. That takes a lot of stress off an Instagrammer!

A screenshot of Later's home page listing its key abilities.

Design tools like Easil and Canva can help you come up with stunning layouts for posts and stories in a fraction of the time it would take you to create your own.

Easil's Instagram story templates


An Instagram manager can literally take the work off your hands by engaging with other accounts for you. What kind of Instagram manager would we be if we didn’t plug ourselves here? Try Upleap for free today.

The Pleasure of Starting Over

Audiences can be stressful. They can, in fact, be too stressful. Major stars know this. here’s a reason they always seem to be taking social media breaks!

When you have a large following, everyone has an opinion on everything you post. Even if they only have half the information!

But if you’re just a normal person who doesn’t want that audience anymore, you can always delete your Instagram account and make a new one. We have to do what’s best for our health.

Remember that there are no rules to social media except the rules that are best for you.

Instagram: Delete or Deactivate?

If you’re still not convinced, consider the benefits of deactivating Instagram over deleting.

A deleted Instagram account is gone – forever. A deactivated account can be reactivated at any time. A deactivated account is a good test run to see if you really do need to step away.

Some time away might be exactly what you need.

What Might Happen If You Deactivate Instagram

Deactivating your Instagram can actually lead to great things. People often report coming back to work feeling fresher and readier to work after a vacation.

It’s true that absence makes the heart grow fonder. When you deactivate Instagram, you return to life before it. You can reconnect with old hobbies and interests. You can make more of an effort to spend time with friends and family.

A young woman on a nature walk.

Your time away from Instagram can shed some light on what Instagram is bringing to your life – and what it’s taking away from it.

No matter what your ultimate decision is, if you do come back to Instagram, you have something to share there you didn’t before, and you’ll come back feeling refreshed and ready. Your experience might be just what one of your followers needs to hear.

How to Deactivate Instagram

So, if you’ve really decided to deactivate Instagram, here’s your guide. It’s fairly straightforward.

You can’t deactivate your Instagram from within the Instagram app, so get to a desktop or laptop computer. You click on this person icon in the upper right hand corner. Then click “edit profile”.

In the bottom right-hand corner, click on “deactivate My Account.” Instagram will ask you for a reason. Then you’ll simply re-enter your password, and voila! You’re gone.

The temporarily disable instructions page

You can only deactivate your account once a week, so we recommend sticking to it!

How Long to Deactivate Instagram For

You can reactivate an Instagram at any time. That’s great, and convenient. But a twelve hour break might not be exactly enough to reconsider your whole relationship. After you deactivate Instagram, how long you need to spend depends entirely on you. Is Instagram a major drain on your happiness? How long will it take you to feel ready for it again?

A friend group laughing while one holds a smartphone

An audience waiting for content can put extra pressure on you. But make sure that when you come back, you’re ready and willing to throw yourself into it.

Go back to Instagram when you feel like you can breathe on it.

No Shame In A Vacation Day

The decision to deactivate your Instagram can feel like a big one, but it shouldn’t have to.

Your relationship with Instagram is where the unhappiness comes from. Once you assess that, you won’t have the same problems.

If you’re overwhelmed by time, there are plenty of tools that can help you take control of your Instagram life. The worst case scenario is completely deleting your account and starting a new one with a different audience.

Instagram is amazing. But taking a little vacation never hurt anyone. In fact, sometimes it’s exactly what we need.

By Victoria Hendersen

Victoria is an American expatriate currently based in St. Petersburg, Russia. Originally from Santa Cruz, California, she lived in Bordeaux, France before relocation to Russia's cultural capital. Victoria holds a BFA in Film and Media Studies from UC Irvine.

She works as a copywriter and translator. An experienced travel blogger and vlogger, her main drive in life is discovering the jewels of lesser traveled cities. You can keep up with her travels on Instagram at @village_witch.

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