Instagram Download Tips – How to Download Your Data

Ready for the ultimate Instagram download?

This year, Instagram made it possible for users to request a complete copy of everything you’ve ever shared on the social platform.

That means you can get every Instagram photo, every dodgy direct message, and anything else you’ve published to your account delivered in a handy package straight to your email account.

You can access the Instagram Download feature here, or you can find it yourself by going into the app’s privacy settings (we’ll give you a better guide below).

So, why would you want to take part in such a dramatic Instagram download in the first place?

There are two options. The first is that you’re having a #Paranoia moment, and you want to know what kind of private information Instagram has stored on their servers. Let’s face it, privacy is a pretty big issue right now, and after the events of Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica scandal, no-one would blame you for being nervous.

The other option is that you’ve decided you want to take all of your data and transfer to another photo-sharing site instead. Either way, the Data Download option is handy.

Why This Instagram Download Feature Exists

You’re probably wondering why Instagram would give you a feature that allows you to grab your information and run – particularly with the reputation that it’s parent company, Facebook has.

Ultimately, the Instagram download your data feature is being offered as part of the social channel’s bid to comply with the data portability rule laid out by the European Union’s policy called “GDPR.”  GDPR demands that any company that interacts with customers or other partners in the EU needs to give those people more control over their data.

The GDPR regulation went into effect on May 25th this year, which is why the Instagram download data feature appeared in April.

Picture of a key in a lock

What Does This Mean for Instagram?

If you’re concerned that the data dump option is bad news for Instagram – don’t be.

With more than a billion users a month, and 500 million users per day, Instagram doesn’t need to lock its users into staying on the channel.

However, it’s fair to say that the social giant hasn’t been afraid to fight dirty in the past. We’ve all read the stories about Instagram “stealing” SnapChat Stories to come up with a far more popular version of the tool: “Instagram Stories.”

The new Instagram download option could mean that the playing field begins to feel a little more level for other photo-sharing apps that had been concerned that Instagram was getting a bit too big for its boots. On the other hand, it could also help to protect users from using dangerous third-party apps to scrape their Instagram content.

Ultimately, this change gives Instagram fewer problems to deal with, both from its competitors, and potential unhappy customers.

Screenshot of the Instagram download data screen

What You Get from Instagram’s Data Download

To get your Instagram download packed full of delicious data, you’ll need to log into your account and request a “Copy of what you’ve shared on Instagram.”

The page promises to share everything that you’ve posted on Instagram since the day you first became a #Grammer, from photos and comments, to profile information. Importantly, Instagram will only willingly give you the data that “you’ve shared.” This means if you were hoping for an insight into the information that Instagram has gathered about you – then you’re out of luck.

The statement that you get with this Instagram download is pretty vague too. For instance, what does “and more” mean? Do you get a download of your Instagram stories, videos, and account settings too?

From what we can find out when you unzip your IG data archive, you’ll get a folder packed full of JSON files, which can open up and browse through at your leisure.

Screenshot of the Instagram download files

These files contain a pretty significant amount of data, including:

  • Comments you’ve left on follower’s photos, or replies to comments
  • Who has blocked you on Instagram (and when they committed the offense)
  • When you started following users, and when those users started following you
  • The date of every time you “liked” content from other users (but not copies of that content)
  • The date of when you posted content to Instagram, and the caption you used.
  • The messages you’ve sent to Instagram users through every IG mobile app
  • Information from your profile, and profile settings
  • Any searches you’ve made or hashtags you’ve looked for

You can also see the videos you’ve published on Instagram, the stories you’ve archived, and all the photos you’ve ever uploaded or shared through a direct message.

💡 Related Post: How to download Instagram photos on smartphone and PC

What the Instagram Download Doesn’t Include

Obviously, the Instagram download your data option gives you a lot of useful content and information. However, it doesn’t share everything. For instance, you can’t see the times you’ve accessed your account in the past or the kind of devices you’ve used in the past.

There’s also no option to trawl through the data insights that Instagram might have collected about you and your usage in the past. In that way, the Instagram download is a lot like Facebook’s service for downloading your data. You get a lot – but you don’t get everything.

Still, there are no real red flags here from a security perspective. Ultimately, the only thing that the Instagram download does is give you an easier way to acquire a backup of everything you’ve done on the app before now.

Also #Bonus – you get to reminisce about some of the insane photos you might have uploaded when you first got the app.

How to Conduct an Instagram Download of Your Data

If after all this you’ve decided that you do want an Instagram Download that gives you all of your data, then it’s pretty easy to get started.

Go to Instagram’s website and enter your log-in details, then click on the small icon of a person in the top right-hand side of your screen. From there, go to settings and click on the Edit Profile option. When a menu pops up giving you your Settings option, click on Privacy and Security.

After you scroll down a little, you should see a section that says “Data Download” followed by a link that allows you to “Request [a] Download.”

Click on the link, and Instagram will ask you if you want to get a “copy” of all your information. Give them your email address, or confirm that the one they have is correct, then click Next.

You’ll be asked to provide your Instagram account password, which you should know by heart at this point, particularly if you’re as Instagram-addicted as we are. Instagram will then tell you that it could take up to 48 hours for you to receive a copy of your file.

The data will come to you in a ZIP file format, which is brimming with folders, named things like “Stories” and “Photos.” The download link you get will only be available for four days after the archive is created – so act fast, or you’ll have to request another file.

How to Delete Data After an Instagram Download

So, what happens if you get your Instagram download and you see something you don’t like?

Maybe there’s an #Selfie that you can’t stand on your account, or you want to clear your profile completely before you delete Instagram.

Well, that’s the great thing about GDPR – it demands that Instagram gives you the “right to be forgotten.” In other words, you can delete your data whenever you choose. Doing so will require you to remove your account permanently, however, so make sure you know what you’re getting into.

To officially delete your data:

  • Go to the delete your account page on Instagram
  • Choose why you want to delete your data
  • Select Permanently delete my account

There you have it, ashes to ashes – dust to dust. Of course, if you don’t want to delete your data, but you do want to run a more successful Instagram account, we can help with that too. With Upleap, you can boost your follower account, engagement levels and more in no time. Find out more and sign up for your free trial here!

By Rebekah Carter

Hi! I'm Rebekah, a full-time writer specializing in the spaces of digital content, business, social media and tech.

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