How to Make Your Pictures Private on Instagram

Account privacy changes must be made from the Instagram mobile apps.
... Justin Sullivan/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Making your pictures private on Instagram hides them from everyone but your approved list of followers. Private pictures do not appear in searches and cannot be viewed on your profile by someone who isn't following you. You can set your account as private from any of the Instagram mobile apps on Android, iOS or Windows Phone, but the option isn't available from Instagram's Web interface. If you change your mind, you can revert to a public account at any time.

Launch the Instagram app on your mobile device and tap the Profile button, which resembles small contact card icon.

Select "Edit your Profile."

Tap the "Posts are Private" setting to activate it. Tap "Done" and confirm your decision by tapping "Yes, I'm sure."

  • When you switch your Instagram account to private, all your current followers are automatically approved. New follower requests appear on your News Feed tab; tap the heart inside a speech bubble icon to open it. To block an existing follower, find the user's profile by searching on the Explore tab or tap the follower's link on your profile. Open up the action menu and select "Block User." You can also block users from a public account to prevent them from seeing your images.
  • Making your Instagram profile private gives you greater control over who can see your images and can be useful if you want to share personal photos with a select group of people. However, it limits your exposure on the Instagram network, making it more difficult for you to attract likes and new followers.

An information technology journalist since 2002, David Nield writes about the Web, technology, hardware and software. He is an experienced editor, proofreader and copywriter for online publications such as CNET, TechRadar and Gizmodo. Nield holds a Bachelor of Arts in English literature and lives in Manchester, England.