Instagram is undeniably a wonderful platform for sharing photos and videos. While Instagram encourages public sharing, it does not restrict its users from having private accounts either.
So what can you do if the Instagram profile you want to view is private? Fortunately, getting access to someone’s Instagram profile is not rocket science and can be done with a couple of different solutions.
Hey, at least it is doable, not impossible! Read on and we will show you how to view private Instagram profiles.
But before that, let’s be clear about one thing: there are advantages and disadvantages of using public or private Instagram accounts.
Public Vs Private Instagram Accounts
Public or private? Well, that depends on what you use your Instagram for and what you wish to achieve from it.
If you are trying to hide your social life from your employers, families or exes, then it would be best for you to have all of your social accounts private, including Instagram.
Unless you do not mind sharing your contents with the world, then there is no need to have your Instagram profile locked down.
Make your Instagram profile public if:
- You’re a brand or small business looking for more engagement with your target audience.
- You’re a public figure, social influencer, or aspiring talent looking for more public exposure and better engagement with fans.
- You don’t mind sharing your personal life (including locations) with the world.
Make your Instagram profile private if:
- You’re a low-profile person who doesn’t want strangers to see your contents (on hashtags) or locations.
- You’re not in the spotlight.
- You don’t care about getting more followers.
When you’re sharing your personal life with the world, it doesn’t always mean that you’re sharing every single detail of your life with the world. Please be careful when sharing your locations.
Public Instagram account — best for both commercial and non-commercial use such as gaining more social exposure, brand awareness and followings
Private Instagram account — best for both personal and non-commercial use like keeping your contents just to yourself and selected groups of friends.
How to Private Your Instagram Profile
Set your Instagram profile to private with these quick and easy steps!
- Open your Instagram app.
- Go to the profile icon which is at the bottom right corner of your screen.
- Tap on the 3-horizontal-line icon at the top right corner of your Instagram profile.
- Tap on the gear (settings) icon at the bottom right corner of your screen.
- Scroll down until you find the ‘Private account’ option. Switch it on.
Setting your own Instagram account to private is definitely much easier than trying to view private accounts of others.
How to View Private Instagram Profiles
Okay. Maybe you’re trying to get to know someone you barely know and you realize that the person has an Instagram account. You’ll likely want to connect with the person through the social platform, but then realize that the person’s account is private. So what can you do?
1. Send a Follow Request
One of the best (and legitimate) ways to view private accounts on Instagram is simply by asking the owners directly. It doesn’t always matter if they know you or otherwise.
Here are some tips to help you with the process.
Ask nicely — Send them a follow request and wait for them to approve it. If you’re a friend of a friend or someone they already know, then it won’t be long until they approve your follow request. Once they’ve approved you, you should be able to see their photos, videos and Instagram stories instantly.
Be patient — After sending a follow request, wait patiently. Give your target some time. You might get lucky and have them approve your follow request in no time even when they don’t know you. Of course, this depends heavily on the users you’re trying to connect with.
Drop a line — Some people strictly do not approve requests from people they do not know. In this case, send them a direct message instead. Express how you feel and let them know who you are and why you are interested to follow them on Instagram. Be as genuine as possible.
Inform or remind them — If you’ve met or seen them somewhere before, let them know. Try saying something like “Hi, you might or might not remember me, but we’ve recently met at your brother’s wedding.”
Interact with them — If you’re able to catch their attention via direct messaging, encourage them to check out your profile. You may want to keep your profile public. Make sure your contents are interesting so that they’ll feel compelled to accept your follow request.
2. Search Their Usernames
You might not get far with this, but it does help a little. Here’s how you do it.
- Log in to your Instagram and find the people you’re looking for. You’ll still be able to see their usernames even when their accounts are private.
- Now, go to Google search (or any of your preferred search engine) and paste the name of your target into the search box.
- High chances are your target might have left some trails on the digital space before they switched on their privacy protection on Instagram. If they have their photos and information elsewhere, like an unprotected Facebook account, then you might be able to get their information easily.
This may not be the best and most effective solution for your mission. But if you’re looking for additional photos or information about your target, this is definitely a more legitimate way of doing it in comparison to our next solution.
3. Create Fake Accounts
If sending a follow request and direct message don’t work for you, don’t give up. There’s still hope! You can create fake Instagram accounts.
While this is not a practice supported by Instagram, technically, it works. With this method, chances of you passing through those private walls are high.
Since this method is unethical, you may want to reconsider it, or limit your access and usage. We do not endorse this practice, so by all means, DO IT AT YOUR OWN RISK.
Tips for creating a fake Instagram account:
- Use decent photos. Make your profile as interesting as possible. We recommend creating a female persona.
- If you choose to create an account of a female user, upload photos that reflect women’s interests. See what’s trending among female Instagram influencers and use it to guide you.
- Try setting your Instagram account to private. This will create curiosity for your target.
- Send a follow request to the account of the person you wish to view.
- If you still don’t get any feedback, send your target a direct message and explain to them about your intention.
4. Use Instagram Profile Viewer Tools
There are many websites out there claiming that they can help you view private Instagram profiles with just a few easy steps via their websites.
Be careful when entering these sites. They may lead you to a number of suspicious websites which would tell you that no payments or special requirements are needed in order to use their services.
Sounds too good to be true? You should be cautious — because these websites might come with virus and malware.
Watch out for sites like WatchInsta, Instaspy, Private Instaviewer and View Private Profiles. These sites typically make people join surveys or sweepstakes that will eventually require their credit cards or other forms of payment in order to complete.
This is how they operate:
- They will ask you to use your Instagram username.
- Then, they will ask you to choose whether you wish to just view or download the photos.
- They will also ask for your personal information.
- Finally, they’ll take you to the private account that you wish to view.
We don’t recommend using any of these sites. They don’t look safe at all. Besides, Instagram’s API strictly doesn’t allow third-party apps to obtain their users’ personal data. This also means that while it’s possible for apps to access general data such as users’ list of followers, they won’t be able to see photos or videos of private Instagram accounts.
If you’re willing to give them a try, do so at your own risk. We do not endorse any of these apps.
Overall, all of these methods can help you view private accounts on Instagram. We highly recommend using the first method which is simply following and asking the person directly. It’s ethical and won’t get you into trouble.
If that or a fake account doesn’t help, your last option is to try using any Instagram profile viewer tool that can help you view an Instagram profile without following. Please be extra careful when using them as there’s no guarantee that your data won’t get stolen in the process.
Alternatively, try to build a stronger social presence on Instagram. People tend to follow Instagrammers who have huge followings. You can achieve this by using services by Upleap.