How to Temporarily Deactivate Instagram (Or Delete It): 2024

Updated on March 13, 2024

12 min to read

Content Writer

Published June 1, 2023

How to Temporarily Deactivate Instagram (Or Delete It): 2024
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You’re looking for ways to deactivate Instagram temporarily, huh?

Sometimes, clients resort to deleting their social media accounts for damage control purposes. Other times, they just need time to regroup and rethink their strategy before anyone else sees their profile.

Whatever the reason, social media managers need to know how to deactivate Instagram accounts (or permanently delete them).

And that’s what we’ll cover in this guide.

Table of contents

What you’ll learn:

  • Things to consider before you temporarily deactivate Instagram
  • Temporarily deactivate your Instagram account with a browser
  • Temporarily deactivate your account via the Instagram app
  • How to delete an Instagram account permanently
  • What you should do if the Deactivate option isn’t showing
  • How to maintain a healthy Instagram publishing strategy
  • Customers Also Ask
  • Take the hassle out of Instagram publishing with Vista Social

Things to consider before you temporarily deactivate Instagram

“I need to temporarily deactivate my account.” 

The moment your client utters those words, you need to hit them back with a question: 


Deactivating your account, even temporarily, may cause a hit on your client’s brand. Not only will they miss out on potential leads and sales, but their temporary absence may also confuse their existing followers—forcing them to look elsewhere for content or products.

While it isn’t common practice, there are a handful of reasons why deactivating your client’s IG account might make sense:

  • Rebranding or brand overhaul
  • Legal or compliance issue
  • Cybersecurity concerns
  • Crisis or controversy
  • …or clients just want to take a bit of a vacation from Instagram

The points above are some of the most common reasons why brands temporarily disable or delete their Instagram accounts. However, for the most part, you ought to avoid disabling since you miss out on the benefits your clients might reap from having an active Instagram.

What does deactivating Instagram actually do?

When you deactivate an Instagram account, nothing is lost permanently. 

When you reactivate, everything—including your client’s Instagram following list order, photos, comments, Reels, and likes—will be intact. Rather than temporarily pulling them down from Instagram’s servers, your client’s account data will only be hidden. 

It’s also important to tell your client that they can only deactivate an account once per week. So, if they’re trying to avoid a controversial topic or a surge of trolls, they need to plan the timing of their deactivation strategically. 

Finally, you should inform your client about the differences between deactivating and permanently deleting your Instagram account. 

What’s the difference between deactivating and deleting an Instagram account?

Account deactivation on Instagram is completely reversible. But if you delete your Instagram account, you only have 30 days to change your decision. 

There’s no Instagram appeal form or contact number you can use to restore a deleted account after 30 days have passed. Your photos, files, conversations, Reels, Stories, and other profile details will be irretrievable.

However, deleted account data will remain on Instagram’s backup storage for up to 90 days. You still won’t be able to access your data, but Instagram will hold on to it for purposes like term violations investigations, legal issues, and harm prevention cases. 

Downloading a copy of your Instagram data

Let’s say your client decides to either deactivate or delete their Instagram account. 

Before doing either, it’s important to store a backup of their Instagram data. 

Instagram backups let them restore all their content in a fresh, new account. It also enables you to repurpose their content for other campaigns. 

Learning how to save Instagram Story with music, Reel videos, and feed content is a step in the right direction. But in order to download ALL Instagram data in one fell swoop, follow these instructions: 

Step 1: Log into Instagram and head to the profile page. Tap the three horizontal lines in the upper-right corner. 

Log into Instagram and head to the profile page.
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Step 2: On the pop-up menu, tap ‘Your activity.’ 

On the pop-up menu, tap 'Your activity.'
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Step 3: On “Your activity” page, scroll down and tap ‘Download your information.’ 

Download your information.
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Step 4: On the next page, tap ‘Request download’ to request a copy of your (or your client’s) account data. 

Request download.
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Step 5: Choose the Instagram account you want to download a copy for. Tap ‘Next’ and choose whether to download all information or just a specified set of data. 

Choose the Instagram account you want to download a copy for.
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Step 6: Finally, specify the file options for your data download. It may take longer, but choosing ‘All time’ for the date range and ‘High’ for media quality is recommended (for content repurposing). 

Tap ‘Submit request’ and wait for the email notification when your download is ready. 

Specify the file options for your data download.
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Tip: Remember that your download will only be available for four days. After expiration, you’ll need to request a new copy of your client’s Instagram information.

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Also, here’s a bit of a heads-up when following the instructions below for temporarily deactivating Instagram accounts.

It only works for IG accounts that aren’t linked to a Facebook account.

When you wish to temporarily deactivate your IG account that’s linked to your Facebook account, you have to remove that Facebook account from your IG account.

This can only be done when you have access to the email account associated with your IG account.

Once that’s done, proceed to reset your IG password and you can then proceed with the following steps below to temporarily deactivate your IG account.

You can do this via a browser or your IG app.

[Must read: How to Unlink Facebook And Instagram: Easy Steps [2024]]

Why you shouldn’t temporarily deactivate Instagram or delete it

As mentioned, you’ll face serious consequences if you temporarily disable your Instagram account.

So before you let your clients hit that deactivate or delete button, let them know why they should think twice about doing it.

Lay out the following factors.

1. Decreased brand visibility

As cliché as it is, “Out of sight, out of mind” is true, especially for your clients’ followers. 

If followers don’t see your clients on Instagram, they’re likely to forget your clients exist. It can diminish your client’s brand visibility, wasting all your hard work.

So it’s always a better option to keep your clients’ Instagram feeds alive and kicking to keep them top of mind for followers.

2. Lost audience connection

Deactivating or deleting your clients’ accounts is like ghosting their followers—it’s just painful for everyone involved.

Your clients can lose the connection and trust they’ve already built with their followers—and they may not be able to get that back when your clients decide to rise from the dead.

3. Miss out on audience engagement opportunities

Instagram can be a goldmine of audience engagement.

But if your clients deactivate or delete their Instagram accounts, they’ll miss opportunities to interact with their followers—from Direct Messages (DMs) to comments.

Really. It makes zero sense to cut off an excellent space for communicating and engaging with audiences who have huge potential to become loyal followers and paying customers.

Essentially, losing out on engagement can mean losing money, especially if your clients monetize their Instagram accounts.

[Must read: How to Monetize Instagram in 2024: Tips, Policies, Timelines]

4. Lose your competitive edge

Bowing out from Instagram when competitors are killing it can lead your clients to lose their competitive edge.

So don’t let your clients hand the spotlight to their competitors. Help them stay in the game by keeping their Instagram accounts alive and active.

5. Leave valuable insights on the table

Instagram can be a treasure trove of insights into audience behavior, which helps inform their marketing strategies.

Switching off your clients’ accounts means missing out on these valuable audience data insights.

6. Lose brownie points with the Instagram algorithm

Constant activity tells the Instagram algorithm that your clients are active and engaging audiences.

The higher the engagement, the more chances of your clients getting featured in more users’ feeds.

It helps draw more eyeballs to your clients’ Instagram feeds and brands.

All this can go away if your clients deactivate or delete their accounts.

[Must read: Instagram Following List Order Algorithm Explained [2024]]

7. Close doors to networking opportunities

Instagram is an excellent space to gain a massive following and build connections with other brands, influencers, and potential collaborators in the industry.

Closing down your clients’ Instagram accounts can cut those ties they’ve already built, and they’ll miss golden opportunities.

Besides saying goodbye to their established networks, your clients can also lose their communities.

We all know how challenging building a community from scratch is, so get your clients to think about their decision a thousand times before deleting or deactivating their accounts.

Temporarily deactivate your Instagram account with a browser

Now that your client’s Instagram data is safe and secure, you can proceed with the account’s deactivation.

Step 1: On a desktop browser, go to and log in to your client’s account. 

Step 2: Click ‘More’ in the bottom-left corner. 

Log in to your client's account.
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Step 3: Click ‘Settings’ in the pop-up menu. On the “Edit profile” page,  scroll down and click ‘Temporarily deactivate my account.’ 

Click 'Settings'.
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Step 4: Select your reason for deactivating and enter your password to confirm account ownership. If you choose ‘This is temporary, I’ll be back,’ you can set an automatic re-activation time for the Instagram account. 

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Click ‘Temporarily deactivate account’ to complete the process. 

Temporarily deactivate account.
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Temporarily deactivate your account via the Instagram app

You can also deactivate your client’s account via the Instagram mobile app. 

Let us show you how: 

Step 1: Load up your Instagram iOS or Android app and head to the profile page. From there, tap the three horizontal lines in the top-right corner to pull up the menu. 

Temporarily deactivate your account via the Instagram app.
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Step 2: Tap ‘Settings’ in the pop-up menu. 

Tap 'Settings'.
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Step 3: On the “Settings” page, tap ‘Account’ to go to the account settings page. Scroll to the bottom and tap ‘Delete account.’ 

Scroll to the bottom and tap 'Delete account.'
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Step 4: Tap ‘Deactivate account’ on the “Delete account” page. 

Tap 'Deactivate account' on the "Delete account" page.
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Step 5: Instagram will launch the mobile browser and take you to a page where you can complete the deactivation process. Just specify your reason for deactivation, enter your client’s Instagram password, and tap ‘Temporarily Deactivate Account.’ 

Just specify your reason for deactivation.
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How to delete an Instagram account permanently 

Before you permanently delete your client’s IG account, remember to warn them of the disadvantages of the permanent deletion.

Although the idea of a “fresh start” may sound appealing, remind your client that permanently deleting can negatively impact their business. They could:

  • Hurt their reputation with their exciting customers
  • Lose potential sales
  • Lose followers and engagement
  • Etc.

When clients are adamant about a  “clean slate,” suggest rebranding without erasing their Instagram Timeline Content.

Below are the steps to do this. 

Step 1: Log in to your client’s Instagram account and head to the profile page. 

Step 2: Tap the three horizontal lines in the top-right corner. 

Step 3: Go to ‘Settings’ and tap ‘Account’ to go to the account settings page. 

Step 4: Scroll to the bottom of the page and tap ‘Delete account.’ 

Step 5: Tap ‘Delete account’ and choose ‘Continue deleting account’ when shown the option. 

Delete an Instagram account permanently.
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What you should do if the Deactivate option isn’t showing

No social media app is perfect, including Instagram, so it’s prone to the occasional bug or technical glitch that makes the deactivation button disappear.

So what do you do when this happens?

The first method is to clear your device’s mobile browser and Instagram app cache.

Stale data can cause the Instagram website or app to malfunction sometimes. An easy fix is to clear the cache.

If that doesn’t solve the problem, check whether you’re using the latest version of the Instagram app.

Outdated app versions can get those glitches and bugs. After updating, open the Instagram app and check whether the deactivate function is working.

If you can’t deactivate your client’s account via the Instagram app, try using the website.

Sometimes the Instagram app malfunctions, but the website works fine, so your best bet is to temporarily deactivate or delete your client’s account through a web browser.

If none of these work, contact the Instagram Help Center, Accounts Center, or Support for assistance.

How to maintain a healthy Instagram publishing strategy

Deactivating or deleting an Instagram account is rarely ever good news, especially for agencies and social media managers.

After all, an account deactivation or deletion request could spell the end of your job.

To keep yourself on your client’s payroll, you need to step up your Instagram publishing game. 

Bolstering your client’s Instagram campaign with Vista Social

Let’s cut to the chase: Vista Social is the only social media management platform you need to excel not just on Instagram, but other networks as well. 

Use it to build and sustain an effective Instagram publishing strategy that aligns with the target audience’s content preferences. 

Start with a content calendar that’s based on their Instagram habits. 

For starters, use the Vista Social publisher to reveal the ideal posting times based on previous content engagement. Just click ‘Show optimal times’ when scheduling a new post. 

Show optimal times.

You can build an automated Instagram schedule based on these posting times.

For this, go to ‘Settings’ and select ‘Publishing Settings.’ You’ll be able to configure your automated schedule under “Publishing Queues.” 

Select 'Publishing Settings.

Keep in mind that there’s more to Instagram success than just pretty pictures and inspiring slogans. 

Ensure your content is fine-tuned down to the last pixel for maximum user experience. We’re talking about using the perfect Instagram Reels dimensions, image aspect ratios, and content elements (stickers, filters, etc.).

When in doubt, use Vista Social’s built-in image editor to nail every post’s formatting specs.

Vista Social's built-in image editor.

Don’t forget to sprinkle your Instagram content with the necessary text elements. This includes hashtags, photo dump captions, mentions, and more. 

And yes—Vista Social can help with that, too.

Sprinkle your Instagram content with the necessary text elements.

Additional tips for a healthy Instagram campaign

  • Have an internal social media approval process to ensure every post is brand-safe and relevant to the client’s campaign objectives. 
  • Use Instagram drafts to give your team (and your client) more control over content publishing and approvals. 
  • Get to know your target audience’s preferences with Instagram poll questions.
  • Track Instagram marketing performance over time with Vista Social’s reporting tools.
  • Amplify your clients’ Instagram marketing campaigns with a robust link in bio tool to drive traffic and conversions. Vista Social’s link in bio feature comes with Vista Page, a landing page and a micro-website you can easily customize for your clients’ brands and campaigns. 
  • Come up with catchy and engaging captions, descriptions, and taglines fast using Vista Social’s ChatGPT-powered AI Assistant. Enter your prompt, and the AI Assistant will generate well-polished text for you in seconds, saving your team tons of time and effort. 
  • Find relevant and popular hashtags in your clients’ industry or niche based on specific topics and keywords in a flash to boost their content’s searchability and chances of getting featured by the algorithm. Use Vista Social’s free AI hashtag generator for social media to get hashtag suggestions in seconds. 

[Must read: How to Put a Link in Instagram Bio: Step-by-Step Guide]

Customers Also Ask

How long can you temporarily deactivate Instagram account?

An Instagram account can remain deactivated indefinitely. The only restriction is, you can only temporarily deactivate an account once per week. 

Does temporarily deactivating Instagram delete everything?

No—temporarily deactivating an account doesn’t delete anything from Instagram’s servers. Photos, captions, messages, and user interactions will remain hidden until the account is reactivated. 

How do I recover my deactivated Instagram account?

To reactivate an Instagram account, simply log in with the account’s credentials. You will be logged in to the account and regain access to Instagram’s features as usual. 

Can I still reactivate my temporarily deactivated IG account?

Absolutely! You’ll simply need to log back in using your IG username and password, and your account will be recovered.

Is there a way to restore a permanently deleted Instagram account?

Unfortunately, when the account has been deleted, it can no longer be recovered. The only logical option to pursue is creating a fresh new account with the same email address previously used.

1. Can I delete my Instagram account without a password?

No, you can’t delete any Instagram accounts if you don’t have the password. 

Remember, only those with account ownership and control have the power to delete or deactivate account.

If your clients forget their password, you can help them create a new one. 

Click the Forgotten your password option on the login page and follow the instructions, which are usually sent to the email address your clients used to create their Instagram accounts. 

From there, you can reset the password, log back into your client’s IG account, and proceed with the deletion. 

Also, you can’t deactivate an Instagram account with the password. 

2. Can I deactivate or delete Instagram without logging in?


You must log in to the account first before you can deactivate or delete it. 

3. What’s an alternative to deactivating or deleting your Instagram account?

There are other less drastic options than deactivating or deleting your clients’ Instagram accounts.

For instance, if your clients need to take a break from the ‘gram because of toxic users, they can always mute accounts they don’t want popping up on their feeds.

Another option is to log out of the Instagram app while keeping the notifications on so your clients don’t miss engagement opportunities with followers.

Take the hassle out of Instagram with Vista Social

Want to keep a healthy and productive Instagram campaign?

Here’s a tip: get yourself a reliable social media management platform. 

Vista Social’s arsenal of social media management tools is second to none. Schedule posts, track conversations, analyze performance metrics, and even manage online reviews—it’s all here. 

See the magic in action by creating a free trial here!

About the Author

Content Writer

Jimmy Rodela is a social media and content marketing consultant with over 9 years of experience, with work appearing on sites such as, Yahoo, SEMRush, and SearchEnginePeople. He specializes in social media, content marketing, SaaS, small business strategy, marketing automation, and content development.

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