Controlling Your Visibility

Setting Your Photos and Videos to Private

How do I set my photos and videos to private so that only approved followers can see them?

By default, anyone can view your profile and posts on Instagram. You can make your posts private so that only followers you approve can see them. If your posts are set to private, only your approved followers will see them in the Photos tab of Search & Explore or on hashtag or location pages. Posts can’t be set to private from a desktop computer.

To set your posts to private from the Instagram app:

Apple iOS

  1. Go to your profile by tapping
  2. Tap
  3. Turn on the Private Account setting

Android

  1. Go to your profile by tapping
  2. Tap
  3. Turn on the Private Account setting

Windows Phone

  1. Go to your profile by tapping
  2. Tap Edit Profile
  3. Turn on the Posts are Private setting by checking the box and then tap the check mark to save your changes

Things to keep in mind about private posts:

  • Private posts you share to social networks may be visible to the public depending on your privacy settings for those networks. For example, a post you share to Twitter that was set to private on Instagram may be visible to the people who can see your Twitter posts.
  • Once you make your posts private, people will have to send you a follow request if they want to see your posts, your followers list or your following list.
  • Follow requests appear in Activity, where you can approve or ignore them.
  • If someone was already following before you set your posts to private and you don’t want them to see your posts, you can block them.
  • People can send a photo or video directly to you even if they’re not following you.

About Privacy on Instagram

Who can see my photo map?

  • If your profile is set to private, only your approved followers will be able to see your photo map.
  • If your profile isn’t set to private, anyone will be able to see your photo map.
  • If you send a photo that includes a location with Instagram Direct, the people you send it to may be able to see that location.

If you name your location, people will be able to tap on the place name and see a page with all of the public photos that have been tagged with that location. When you set your profile to private, your photos won’t appear on a location’s page.

Keep in mind that after you’ve added a photo to your map, the next time you share a photo it will automatically be added to your photo map. You can turn off this setting any time by deselecting Add to Photo Map before you share a photo.

How do hashtags work on private photos?

Someone who’s set their profile to private can add hashtags to photos and videos, but only that person and their approved followers or the people they send photos/videos to with Instagram Direct will be able to see that photo on the hashtag page. Private photos/videos, even when hashtagged, aren’t visible to the public.

Who can see my liked photos?

If you have a private profile, your approved followers can see likes on your posts. These likes won’t appear in the Activity > Following feed.

Likes on posts sent to people with Instagram Direct also won’t appear in the Activity > Following feed. The people you’ve sent posts to directly can see each other’s likes on that post even if they aren’t following each other.

If you have a private profile and like someone’s public post, your like will be visible to the public and your username will be clickable below the post, but only approved followers can see your photos/videos.

Are my comments and mentions hidden?

If someone with a private profile mentions someone who isn’t one of their approved followers on a photo or video, the person mentioned will be able to see part of the comment in the You section ofActivity. They may get a push notification (if their notification settings are turned on), but won’t be able to navigate through to the private photo or video.

If someone with a private profile leaves a comment on a photo that a public Instagrammer uploaded, their comment will be visible and their username will be clickable below that photo.

If you send a photo/video to a specific group of people with Instagram Direct, only those people can see the comments or mentions associated with that photo/video.

What happens if I share my photo to another social network?

If someone with a private profile shares a photo or video to a social network (like Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare and so on) using Instagram, the image will be visible on that network and the permalink will be active. In other words, the photo will be publicly accessible by anyone who has access to its direct link/URL.

Keep in mind that sharing a photo or video to a social network doesn’t mean that the image will be visible in Instagram. Your account will still appear private to those who aren’t approved followers.

What happens if I accidentally approved a follower? How do I get them to unfollow me?

You can block someone to get them to stop following you. People aren’t notified when you block them. Learn more about blocking people.

People are getting suggestions to follow other people after they follow me on Instagram. How do I opt out of this?

When someone taps Follow on your Instagram profile, we show them suggestions of similar profiles they might also want to follow. If you don’t want these recommendations included with your profile, you can opt out. Keep in mind that opting out of other people being suggested on your profile means you won’t appear as a suggestion on someone else’s profile either.

To opt out:

  1. Log into instagram.com from a desktop computer
  2. Click your profile picture in the top right and then click Edit Profile
  3. Un-check the box next to Similar Account Suggestions and then click Submit

Instagram Privacy on the Web

How can I remove my images from Google search?

Your images may appear in Google search results if you’ve logged into your account using a web viewer, which authorizes them to access your profile and images. These third-party sites have been created with our API and aren’t affiliated with Instagram directly.

If you don’t want your photos or videos to appear on Google, we suggest revoking access to the third-party website or setting your account to private. It may take some time for these sites and Google to re-index and remove the images, even if you delete your account.

If you need to contact the app that’s displaying your photographs on Google to expedite the process, here are links to support pages for popular third-party services utilizing our API:

Instagram isn’t directly associated with third-party apps that utilize our API such as web viewers, desktop apps or image printing services, and we can’t assist you in speeding up the process to remove any Instagram images that may appear on Google.

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