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Worried about Facebook Privacy? Here’s How to Delete Instagram—Without Losing Your Photos

December 19, 2018, 4:57 PM UTC

With the latest bombshell over Facebook’s perceived cavalier approach to user privacy, questions are again being raised about whether advantages of the social media service are worth the costs.

While some people are weighing whether to delete Facebook and Facebook Messenger, others are looking at the company’s other popular apps, like Instagram.

Although Instagram wasn’t specifically mentioned in the latest privacy scandal, if you’re worried your information on the photo-sharing site might be going beyond close friends and want to delete the app for good, here’s how to go about it, while ensuring you keep all of the shots you’ve uploaded.

Before you get started, it’s important to realize there are two avenues to travel. There’s temporarily disabling your account, which allows Facebook to continue having access to all of your information. Or you can entirely delete your account.

Here’s what you need to consider.

Step One: Download Your Photos

Instagram is about more than photos, of course. The comments your friends make are sometimes just as important. Fortunately, you can download all of it, but the process can take up to 48 hours to complete. Here’s what to do:

  • Select the profile icon, located on the bottom right of the app.
  • Once there, tap the menu button in the top-right corner.
  • At the bottom of the page on the right, choose “Settings.”
  • Scroll down past the “Privacy and Security” heading to find “Data Download.” Tap that.
  • Tap “Request Download.”

Instagram will send you a link to a file when your data is ready.

Step Two: Delete Your Account

  • Head to Instagram’s Account Deletion page and log in.
  • You’ll be asked to choose a reason for your decision from a pull-down menu.
  • Confirm it’s you by entering your password.
  • Select “Permanently Delete” at the bottom of the page.

Once you click that, your account will be gone. You can always change your mind and come back, but you’ll need to pick a new username. Your old one will no longer be available.