How to Delete an Instagram Post in 2023: The Complete Guide

Hey there! Have you ever needed to delete an Instagram post? Don‘t worry, we‘ve all been there. With over 1 billion active monthly users, Instagram is one of the biggest social platforms around. And with that many people posting regularly, it‘s no wonder we end up with photos or videos we want to remove.

In this comprehensive guide, I‘ll walk you through how to delete Instagram posts, stories, and even your entire account. I‘ll also provide tips from social media experts on how to manage your online presence. Let‘s dive in!

Why Instagram is So Popular

Before we get into the how-to, let‘s look at why Instagram is so popular these days:

  • Visual nature – We love looking at cute, funny, and beautiful photos and videos!
  • Simplicity – Anyone can join and start sharing moments from their life. Instagram is intuitive and easy to use.
  • Stories – Instagram Stories let you share ephemeral photos and videos that disappear after 24 hours. They‘ve become hugely popular for daily updates.
  • Shopping – Brands love showcasing products visually on Instagram. Over 130 million users tap on shopping posts to learn more monthly!
  • Influencers – Instagram has become a platform where everyday users can gain huge followings and influence as Instagram influencers. Who doesn‘t want to be Instagram famous?

With these appealing factors, it‘s no wonder Instagram has exploded to over a billion users since launching in 2010.

But with such a large audience viewing your content, you may end up with some posts you want to remove. Let‘s look at the main reasons people delete Instagram posts.

Top Reasons to Delete an Instagram Post

Here are the most common motivations for deleting Instagram posts:

1. Embarrassing Posts

We all have silly, cringey, or just plain embarrassing photos pop up on our feeds. Hey, we can‘t be perfect all the time! Deleting those posts can save you from humiliation when friends and family scroll through your old pics.

2. Ex Partners

After a breakup, most people don‘t want to keep romantic photos of their ex on social media. Removing old couples‘ photos can help you move on and avoid uncomfortable explanations.

According to a 2021 survey, 58% of people delete all traces of exes on social media post-breakup.

3. Changes in Opinion

Our views evolve a lot through life. As you grow and change, you might disagree with opinions expressed in old posts. Deleting them keeps your profile consistent with who you are now.

4. Irrelevant Content

If you use Instagram for a business or creative outlet, old posts may no longer fit your brand or theme. Removing irrelevant content keeps your profile cohesive.

5. Negative Responses

The internet can be harsh. If a post gets significant backlash or negative comments, deleting it ASAP stops the criticism.

6. Fresh Start

Deleting all your old posts gives you a blank slate to rebuild your profile however you want. Celebrities often delete content before major launches.

Now that we‘ve covered why you might delete posts, let‘s look at how to actually do it.

Deleting a Single Instagram Post

Deleting one Instagram post at a time is quick and straightforward right in the app. Here‘s how:

  1. Open the Instagram app and go to your profile page.
  2. Tap the post you want to delete to open it.
  3. Tap the three-dot menu icon in the top right corner.
  4. Select ‘Delete‘ from the menu.
  5. Tap ‘Delete‘ again on the confirmation screen.

And voila! The post vanishes from your profile instantly. However, the post will still be visible to anyone who previously liked it or commented on it.

You can also delete from the grid view of your profile:

  1. Go to your profile page.
  2. Find the post you want to delete.
  3. Tap the three-dot icon above the post.
  4. Select ‘Delete‘ and confirm.

Super simple, right? But what if you want to delete a post without erasing it forever? Let‘s look at archiving.

Archiving an Instagram Post

With archiving, you can hide a post from your profile without deleting it. Archived posts will still be visible to you when you log in but hidden to everyone else.

Here‘s how to archive a post:

  1. Open the post you want to archive.
  2. Tap the three-dot menu.
  3. Select ‘Archive‘.

The post will instantly disappear from your profile.

To view archived posts:

  1. Go to your profile.
  2. Tap the clock icon in the top right corner.
  3. Select ‘Archive‘ then tap ‘Posts Archive‘.

Here you can browse all your archived posts. To unarchive a post, open it and select ‘Show on Profile‘.

Archiving lets you remove posts from public view without losing them forever. Now let‘s talk about mass deleting multiple posts at once.

Bulk Deleting Multiple Instagram Posts

Manually removing posts one by one can be tedious. To mass delete, use a third-party Instagram cleaner app like Cleaner for Instagram.

Here‘s how Cleaner for Instagram works:

  1. Download and install the Cleaner for Instagram app.
  2. Log into your Instagram account through the app.
  3. Tap ‘Delete by Source‘.
  4. Select the posts you want to delete or tap ‘Select All‘.
  5. Tap ‘Delete‘ to erase all selected posts.

The free version of Cleaner will let you delete up to 100 posts at one time. For unlimited bulk deleting, you‘ll need to upgrade to the paid pro version.

Bulk deleting with Cleaner is perfect when you need to remove lots of old posts quickly. But what if you want to wipe your entire account?

Disabling Your Instagram Account

If you need to take a break from Instagram without losing your account, temporarily disabling it is the way to go. Here are the steps:

  1. Log into Instagram on a desktop web browser.
  2. Click your profile picture in the top right.
  3. Select ‘Edit Profile‘.
  4. Scroll down and click ‘Temporarily disable my account‘.
  5. Choose a reason for disabling and re-enter your password.

Your profile will vanish but your account will remain safely on Instagram‘s servers. You can jump back on whenever you want by just logging into the Instagram app again.

Temporarily disabling lets you take an Instagram cleanse without deleting your account. But for a total fresh start, deletion is an option too…

Permanently Deleting Your Instagram Account

If you are absolutely certain, you can permanently erase your Instagram account. But be warned – once it‘s gone, it‘s gone for good! Here‘s how to permanently delete:

  1. Log into Instagram on a desktop web browser.
  2. Click your profile picture.
  3. Select ‘Edit Profile‘.
  4. Scroll down and click ‘Permanently delete my account‘.
  5. Choose a reason for deleting.
  6. Re-enter your password and confirm the deletion.
  7. Click ‘Permanently delete account‘.

Once your account is deleted, all posts, photos, messages, followers – everything will be unrecoverable. Only delete permanently if you are 100% sure.

So what‘s better – deactivating or deleting your account? Let‘s compare.

Deactivating vs Deleting Your Account


  • Temporarily hides your profile
  • You can reactivate anytime
  • Keeps all your data intact


  • Permanently erases your account
  • Cannot be undone
  • All data is lost forever

For most people, temporarily disabling is the best option for taking a break from Instagram without losing your account. But for celebrities like Taylor Swift who want total rebrands, deletion gives them a blank slate.

Either way, don‘t rush into deleting your account without considering what you‘ll lose!

What to Consider Before Deleting Your Instagram

Here are a few things to think about before deleting your Instagram:

  • Photos and memories – Do you have your old photos and videos saved elsewhere? If not, you‘ll lose them.
  • Contact with friends – Will deleting your account cut you off from friends you only keep in touch with on Instagram?
  • Business contacts – Do you need Instagram for promoting creative work or your business?
  • Your audience – If you have a large following, understand that deleting your account means losing that audience.
  • FOMO – Will you regret deleting your account and miss seeing what friends are up to? Deactivating avoids FOMO.

If you‘re still unsure, start by archiving old posts and taking a break with a temporary deactivation. You can always permanently delete later.

Now let‘s look at a bonus tip – deleting your search history!

Clearing Your Instagram Search History

For privacy, you can delete your full Instagram search history:

  1. Go to your profile and tap the menu lines icon.
  2. Scroll down to ‘Settings‘ > ‘Security‘ > ‘Access Data‘ > ‘Search History‘.
  3. Tap ‘Clear All Searches‘ at the bottom.

This completely wipes your search history clean. You can also remove individual searches by tapping ‘Remove‘.

Deleting Instagram Stories

Stories delete automatically after 24 hours. But you can manually remove them too:

  1. In your story bar, press and hold the story you want to delete.
  2. Tap the trash can icon.
  3. Confirm that you want to delete.

And just like that, the story is gone instantly. Unlike regular posts, deleted stories are gone forever.

The Psychology of Curating Your Online Presence

Why is cleaning up our social media accounts so satisfying? According to psychologists, maintaining our online personas boosts our self-esteem and confidence.

Deleting old posts that don‘t represent our current self-image helps us feel in control of how we are perceived. It‘s like a virtual spring cleaning of our digital lives!

According to social media expert Jennifer Golbeck:

"Every time you remove an outdated photo or delete an old post, you are getting closer to showing people the version of yourself that you want them to see."

So while deleting old posts takes effort, most people ultimately find it liberating. Just be mindful that deleting content doesn‘t always erase it from the internet forever.

Closing Thoughts

We all end up with Instagram posts that make us cringe or no longer suit our personal brand. Thankfully, Instagram provides easy options to remove posts, stories, and full accounts.

Archiving lets you clean up your profile without losing memories and photos forever. And if you need a total reset, deactivating your account gives you a clean slate while protecting your data.

As you move forward, be purposeful about what you share online. Aim to post content that accurately represents who you are. With a little curation, your Instagram profile can shine!

So go forth and start deleting those dreadful old posts! Just follow this guide and you‘ll be an Instagram post deleting expert in no time. Here‘s to a refreshed online presence.

Written by Jason Striegel

C/C++, Java, Python, Linux developer for 18 years, A-Tech enthusiast love to share some useful tech hacks.