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How To Delete Your Instagram Account? 2023 Update (Expert Guide)

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In an era of non-stop social media usage, quitting any major platform can seem impossible. With over 1 billion monthly active users worldwide, Instagram in particular has become a daily habit for many.

However, according to Forrester‘s 2022 reports, 41% of US adults are rethinking their relationship with social media. Experts cite mental health struggles, privacy concerns, and desire for self-control as top reasons.

So when is deleting your Instagram account the right decision? As a social media marketing guru, I break down all you need to know:

When Should You Delete Your Instagram Account?

Before outlining the step-by-step account deletion process, let‘s explore key signs that quitting Instagram may be right for you:

1. You Spend Too Much Time Mindlessly Scrolling

  • Over 60% of young adults log into Instagram multiple times a day, per Forrester
  • The average user spends 53 minutes a day scrolling feeds, according to Omnicore Agency
  • This distraction severely impacts productivity and creativity

2. Seeing Curated Photos Triggers Anxiety

  • Rising rates of anxiety and depression correlate to increased social media usage, says BMC Psychiatry
  • Viewing unrealistically perfect photos can spur FOMO (fear of missing out), jealousy and self-criticism

3. You Want More Control Over Personal Data & Privacy

  • Instagram tracks online activity to target personalized ads
  • Over 93 million users‘ personal data was improperly scraped in 2022
  • Deleting account allows you to reclaim ownership over private details like DMs

4. Your Instagram Account Got Hacked

  • 8 million accounts hacked in 2022, per Instagram’s data breach announcement
  • Recovering compromised account is very tedious (more below)
  • Deletion may be best path forward to protect photos and info

5. You Need a Self-Imposed Social Media Detox

  • Temporary deactivation can give space for a short break
  • But permanently deleting forces accountability to limit screen time

Now let‘s explore how to permanently delete your Instagram account step-by-step:

How to Permanently Delete Instagram Account on Mobile & Desktop

If you‘ve weighed the pros and cons carefully, and are fully ready to erase your presence from Instagram forever, follow these simple steps:

Deleting Instagram via Mobile App

  1. Open the Instagram app and tap your profile picture
  2. Navigate to Menu (3 lines) > Settings
  3. Scroll down and select Help > Help Center
  4. Search for "delete your account" and select the relevant article
  5. Tap Delete Your Account then choose why you are deleting
  6. Re-enter your account password and hit Permanently delete
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Deleting Instagram via Desktop Website

  1. Go to Instagram login page or Instagram.com
  2. Click your profile icon and hit Settings
  3. Select Help Center from the Menu bar
  4. Search "delete your account" and choose relevant article
  5. Click Delete Your Account and select reason for deleting
  6. Re-enter your password and press Permanently delete account

Irreversible Deletion

Once confirmed, your account and all associated data will be permanently erased. This includes:

  • Profile information
  • Photos and videos in feed or story
  • Captions and comments
  • Likes and followers/following lists
  • Direct message history
  • Previous usernames

So if you have any photos or details you want to save as memories or records, use Instagram’s Data Download tool to export archives before initiating deletion.

How To Delete Hacked Instagram Account

If your account security has been compromised, you may need to consider deletion if you cannot regain access or curb misuse of your information. But firstly take the following steps:

  • Reset your password to block intruder access. Use a strong 12+ digit one.
  • Enable Two-Factor Authentication for added security, requiring login codes from your mobile phone.
  • Report hacking attempts to Instagram directly via this form. Provide proof of ownership.
  • Review login activity for locations to trace source of infiltration

If repeated hacking attempts continue despite the above preventative measures, deleting your account may be the last resort to protect personal details like messages and photos from exploitation.

Unfortunately, there is no way to recover an erased account in the future. So be 100% certain before proceeding.

Instagram Post-Deletion FAQs

You may still have some lingering questions about the implications of removing your presence from Instagram. Let‘s explore common queries:

Can You Reactivate An Instagram Account After Deleting?

No. Unlike deactivation which pauses your account temporarily, deletion is an irreversible, permanent erasure. Once confirmed, there is no way to retrieve or reactive the account ever again in the future.

What Happens To My Instagram Data When I Delete Account?

All your Instagram activity will be permanently erased from existence. This includes:

  • Photos, videos, reels in-feed and stories
  • Captions, comments, tagged posts
  • Likes and follower/following lists
  • Direct message history
  • Profile info and settings
  • Signed up email ID and phone number
  • Usernames from account history

So if you want to access any past memories before deleting account, make sure to download your data.

Can Someone Else Take My Username After I Delete Account?

Yes, Instagram recycles and makes available deleted account usernames. So if you had a unique but memorable Instagram handle, someone else can signup newly and claim it once your account is permanently erased.

What Is The Difference Between Deactivation Vs Deletion?

Deactivation temporarily disables your account but retains all data. You can easily reactive within 30 days. Deletion is permanent and irrecoverable – all personal information is erased forever.

To Summarize Key Takeaways…

  • Permanently deleting your Instagram erase all personal data and cannot be undone, so download your account data if you want backups
  • If hacked, try resetting password and enabling 2FA security before considering deletion
  • Deactivation simply pauses account temporarily, while still retaining information
  • All photos, messages and your username itself will no longer exist after confirming deletion

Quitting Instagram can undoubtedly be tough for loyal long-term users. But for many folks, a break from round-the-clock social media may be key to reclaiming focus, improving mental health, and protecting privacy.

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