How to make your Instagram account private in a few easy steps

Find out how to make your posts private on the photo and video-sharing app with this easy guide.

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. That's fine if you are hoping your images will receive Beyoncé-levels of exposure. But there are dangers in your posts and information being made public, especially for young users. And remember, once something is online it could be visible forever - the internet never forgets.

[Read more: What is Instagram? How to get the best from the photo-sharing app]

But fear not – it’s quick and easy to make your Instagram account private, so only your approved followers can see what you share on the app. Though you can only do so from your phone, not your PC. Which is something to bear in mind.

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

  1. Open the Instagram app.
  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 a Windows phone?

  1. Open the Instagram app.
  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.
  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.

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

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

Tap their username to open their profile, tap the three horizontal dots icon, 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 social network. So, should you tweet your Instagram post, it will be available for your Twitter followers to see and possibly share with others.

Read more: Three easy steps to stay safe online

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