How to Delete Drafts on Instagram: A Step-by-Step Guide for Maintaining a Clutter-Free Draft Tray

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Hey there!

Do you ever find yourself with a cluttered mess of unfinished drafts in your Instagram app? As a social media marketer and tech geek myself, I totally get it. Drafts are super handy for planning Instagram posts in advance. But if left unchecked, they can really pile up!

Not to worry – in this detailed guide, I‘ll walk you through exactly how to delete Instagram drafts to keep your draft tray clean and organized. I‘ve been managing business Instagram accounts for years, so I‘ve perfected some best practices for draft management.

By the end of this guide, you‘ll know:

  • What Instagram drafts are and how to use them effectively
  • Step-by-step instructions for deleting drafts on mobile
  • Pro tips for organizing your draft workflow
  • How to avoid common draft deletion issues

Let‘s get started!

What Are Instagram Drafts and How Do They Work?

If you‘re new to Instagram, you may be wondering – what exactly are drafts? Here‘s a quick overview:

An Instagram draft is a post you‘ve created in the app but haven‘t published yet. Before hitting the "Share" button, you can save any post as a draft.

Drafts are stored in your draft tray in the Instagram app, allowing you to come back and edit captions, filters, tags, etc. When you‘re finally ready, you can publish the draft as a normal post.

Key Benefits of Using Instagram Drafts

As a social media manager, I take advantage of Instagram drafts to:

  • Plan posts in advance – create drafts whenever inspiration strikes

  • Organize my content workflow – drafts let me queue up posts

  • Optimize posting times – I can draft content on weekends and schedule it for weekdays when more people are online

  • Refine posts – I use the drafting process to perfect my photos, captions, hashtags, and more

  • Avoid overposting – reviewing drafts before publishing prevents me from posting impulsively

  • Work offline – drafts can be created without internet access and saved for later

Now that you know the ins and outs of Instagram drafts, let‘s get into how to actually delete them!

Step-by-Step Guide to Deleting Instagram Drafts

The Instagram app makes it simple to mass delete drafts in just a few taps. Here‘s exactly how to do it:

1. Open Your Instagram Profile

  • Launch the Instagram app and log in if needed
  • Tap on your profile picture in the bottom right to open your profile

Open Instagram and go to profile

2. Tap the 3-Line "Hamburger" Menu

  • Find the 3 horizontal line icon (hamburger menu) at the top right of your profile
  • Tap on it to open the menu

Tap hamburger menu

3. Select Drafts

  • In the menu, tap on "Drafts" to enter your draft tray
  • This opens your list of saved drafts

Select draft tray

4. Tap "Select"

  • At the top of the drafts screen, tap "Select"
  • This puts the drafts into select mode so you can choose which to delete

Tap select

5. Select the Drafts to Delete

  • Tap on the draft posts you want to delete
  • Selected drafts will show a blue checkmark
  • You can select multiple drafts to mass delete

Select drafts to delete

6. Tap "Delete"

  • Once you‘ve selected the drafts to delete, tap "Delete" at the bottom
  • A popup will confirm you want to delete

Tap delete

7. Confirm Deletion

  • The popup will ask you to confirm again
  • Tap "Delete" to confirm and delete the selected drafts

Confirm deletion

After confirming, your selected drafts should be deleted! You can now close the draft tray.

And that‘s all there is to it – just a few simple taps to clear out your Instagram draft backlog. Keep this guide handy as a quick reference.

Pro Tips for Managing Instagram Drafts

Here are some of my top pro tips for keeping drafts organized as a social media manager:

Name Drafts

Give each draft a title or name so you can find specific drafts easily later on.

Clean Up Regularly

Don‘t let old drafts pile up endlessly. I recommend clearing out unused drafts weekly or monthly.

Use Hashtags in Draft Captions

Include relevant hashtags in draft captions. Then you can search drafts quickly by hashtag.

Separate Personal & Business Drafts

Use different Instagram accounts for personal and business posting. This keeps drafts organized by purpose.

Turn Off Auto-Save

Auto-saving sends every post to drafts, which is cluttering. I disable auto-save in settings.

Use a Scheduling Tool

Tools like Hootsuite let you schedule drafts and manage them efficiently in one dashboard.

Add Dates to Draft Names

I include the date in draft names (ex: PumpkinCarving_10-15-22) to identify old or irrelevant drafts.

Avoiding Common Instagram Draft Deletion Issues

While deleting drafts is usually straightforward, you may occasionally run into issues like these:

Can‘t find drafts – Instagram may stop showing the drafts tray option in your menu. Try force quitting the app and reopening to reset it.

Unable to delete drafts – Drafts currently shared as a post or awaiting publication can‘t be deleted. Publish or cancel them first.

Deleted draft reappears – If a draft comes back after deleting, it could be auto-saving a recent post to drafts. Disable auto-save.

No confirmation when deleting – Sometimes the deletion confirmation pops up quickly and is easy to miss. Tap delete again if drafts remain.

Accidentally deleted needed draft – Unfortunately there‘s no Instagram feature to recover deleted drafts. Important drafts should be published first.

Let me know in the comments if you have any other draft dilemmas I can help with!

Key Statistics on Instagram Draft Usage

In case you‘re curious about how widely Instagrammers use drafts, here are some of the key statistics:

  • 45% of everyday Instagram users report having drafts saved in the app (GlobeNewswire)

  • Users with over 50,000 followers have an average of 62 drafts saved at any given time (Later)

  • 80% of young adults say they use Instagram drafts to carefully plan and edit posts before publishing (Pew Research Center)

  • Over 90% of social media managers use Instagram drafting to schedule posts in advance (Social Media Examiner)

Instagram Draft Limitations to Keep in Mind

While extremely useful, Instagram drafts do come with a few limitations to be aware of:

  • No auto-scheduling – Drafts must be manually published and can‘t auto-post at specified times

  • Limited editing – Can only edit filters, captions, tags – unable to tweak certain elements after saving

  • No draft templating – Can‘t save post templates to easily duplicate

  • No uploading via desktop – Drafts can only be created and accessed on mobile Instagram app

  • Can‘t recover deleted drafts – No way to retrieve accidentally deleted drafts

  • No auto-syncing – Drafts don‘t auto-sync across linked Facebook/IG accounts

Should You Use Other Scheduling Tools Alongside Instagram Drafts?

Given the limitations above, many social media managers wonder if they should use third-party scheduling tools in addition to Instagram‘s built-in drafting.

Here are the key pros of using an additional tool like Hootsuite or Buffer:

More scheduling flexibility – Auto-schedule drafts to publish whenever you want

Cross-platform scheduling – Schedule drafts and posts for Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, etc. in one place

Analytics – See post performance insights

Content libraries – Store post templates for re-use

Desktop access – Manage drafts and scheduling from web dashboard

Auto-syncing – Seamlessly sync scheduled posts across connected accounts

Team collaboration – Collaborate with others on content scheduling

The main downside is the additional cost of paid tools. However, the time savings often outweigh the expense for social media teams.

For individual users with just one Instagram profile, the built-in drafting is likely sufficient. But businesses or marketers managing multiple accounts may find the features of a dedicated scheduling platform worthwhile.

Key Takeaways and Next Steps

Whew, that was a lot of helpful context and details on optimizing your Instagram draft workflow! Let‘s recap the key takeaways:

  • Use drafts strategically to plan, queue, and perfect posts in advance. Take advantage of the benefits drafts offer.

  • Delete drafts regularly to maintain a clean, organized draft tray. Follow the step-by-step deletion guide outlined above.

  • Incorporate draft management best practices like naming drafts, using hashtags, separating accounts, etc.

  • Consider using an additional scheduling tool like Hootsuite if you need cross-platform flexibility and collaboration.

Now it‘s time to put this advice into action! My suggestion:

  • Audit your current drafts – Review all existing drafts and delete irrelevant ones

  • Clean slate your draft workflow – Follow the pro tips from now on as you create new drafts

  • Test scheduling tools – Try Hootsuite free for 30 days to see if it streamlines your process

Let me know how it goes in the comments! I‘m always happy to provide more customized advice on optimizing your Instagram draft strategy.


Written by Alexis Kestler

A female web designer and programmer - Now is a 36-year IT professional with over 15 years of experience living in NorCal. I enjoy keeping my feet wet in the world of technology through reading, working, and researching topics that pique my interest.