Instagram has been a massive success story. Since it launched in 2010, the photo and video-sharing app has garnered more than 600 million users who share a staggering 70 million images a day.

As with most social networks, Instagram’s default setting allows your profile and posts to be seen by any other user, which is fine if you are hoping your images will receive wide exposure. But there are of course dangers in your posts and information being public, especially for young users.

Fear not – it’s quick and easy to make your Instagram account private on your phone, so that only your approved followers will be able to see what you share on the app.  It’s not possible at present to make your Instagram account private on a desktop, so do bear that in mind. Read more in our article: What is Instagram? How to get the best from the photo-sharing app.

How do you make your Instagram account private on an iPhone or Windows phone?

  1. Open the Instagram app on your phone.
  2. Tap the icon to access your Profile, which looks like a person’s head and shoulders.
  3. Tap the Settings icon which looks like a cog.
  4. Turn on the Private Account setting.

How do you make your Instagram account private on an Android phone?

  1. Open the Instagram app on your phone.
  2. Tap Profile, which looks like a person’s head and shoulders.
  3. Tap the Settings icon which looks like three vertical dots.
  4. Turn on the Private Account setting.

Instagram private screenshot

Once you make your posts private, people will have to send you a follow request if they want to see your posts, your list of followers or the people that you follow.

What else can I do to stay private on Instagram?

You can limit the amount of personal information in your profile – you don’t even have to use your real name if you don’t want to.

Tap the Profile icon again and click on Edit Your Profile. Then click on any of the four options: Name, Username, Website and Bio to make changes.

You can also block anyone who followed you before you made your account private, if you so wish. 

Tap their username to open their profile, tap three horizontal dots (iPhone/iPad) or three horizontal dots (Android), then tap Block User.

What else do I need to know about keeping my Instagram posts private?

It’s worth remembering that even if you have made your Instagram posts private on the app, if you share them elsewhere on social media they may be visible to all users, depending on your privacy settings for that network. So, should you tweet your Instagram post, it will be available for your followers to see and possibly share with others.

Read more: 14 tips for amazing Instagram photographs