Instagram is an incredibly popular social media platform and one of the ways it stays that way is to keep users active and engaged. In order to maintain an active user base, Instagram has a policy of deleting all inactive accounts that meet certain criteria.
This means you have to be careful with your Instagram profile as you could lose all your posts if you don’t log in often enough. This policy applies to everyone, no matter how popular their account is or how many posts it has.
But how long does it take for Instagram to declare an account inactive? What exactly does Instagram take into account when determining whether to delete an account or not? In this article, we will delve into Instagram’s inactivity policy.
How does Instagram mark accounts as inactive?
Instagram has many strict rules in the user agreement provided when creating an account. Users who do not follow the rules will be subject to various penalties.
Many people don’t realize how easy it is to get caught breaking the rules. Instagram uses complex algorithms that search and crawl the content, actions, etc. of its users. For example, Instagram may remove a post if it shows inappropriate content. Even if you delete problematic content, Instagram will keep all your data for possible later use. They can also delete any account for any reason.
An Instagram account can be marked as inactive based on a number of factors, including the following:
- The date your account was created
- The last time you logged into your account
- Have any photos, videos or stories been shared on your account
- Did your account like other photos
- Does your account have followers, etc.
When will Instagram remove inactive accounts?
Instagram has never made clear statements about how long it takes before an inactive account is deleted.
However, the staff encourages its users to log in and use their platform from time to time to avoid the risk of having their accounts deleted. You can read about it in Instagram’s inactive usernames policy .
Although there are no official statements to confirm this, some users believe that Instagram deletes accounts if they have been completely inactive for 1 to 2 years.
How to avoid deleting your account?
If you’re not very into Instagram and don’t use it every day, but still want to keep your account intact, you need to do some activity.
The easiest way to avoid deleting your account is to log in from time to time.
For example, you can log into Instagram once a month and your account will most likely not be marked as inactive.
If you continue to interact with other messages in any way, your account is basically immune to the inactive flag.
Can you take the inactive username?
People often fail to select the username they want because another user has already claimed that username. It can be very frustrating when you can’t use your favorite nickname without adding additional characters to it.
However, it’s also a common scenario that those busy usernames are actually inactive. Does this mean you can take them?
If you notice that another account already contains the username you want, it is inactive, all you can do is report it to Instagram. After the Instagram staff reviews your report, they will decide if the account should be deleted or not. You can get the username you’ve always wanted.
But reviewing your Instagram report may take some time. In addition, they may decide that the account you reported is not inactive and should not be deleted.
If you find a busy username you want to use, here’s what you can do:
- Find this account, check its status
- Check the number of posts, followers, and people the account follows.
- Check profile picture
- Check flagged images (if account is unlocked)
If the account doesn’t have a profile picture, any posts, followers, and if it doesn’t follow other users, you’ll have everything you need to make a strong case when you report them.
If your account has messages, but the number is relatively low, you can still proceed to the next step.
The next step requires you to send an email to the Instagram team. Compose an email explaining your situation and why you want to report a particular account. Send an email to [email protected]
This may take some time, but you should receive a response from them and your username may be automatically changed.
What should I do if I can’t log in?
If you’ve lost access to your Instagram account because you no longer have your login credentials or it’s been hacked, you have a few options. In the latter case, you will want to report and verify your Instagram account in order to get it back. If you no longer have access to your email or password, try this to log in:
- Try logging in with your phone number
- Try logging in with Facebook – if the accounts were linked, this should bring back your right to log in.
- Use the “Need help signing in” option on Instagram. Fill out a hacked account report and wait for an email response, which can take several hours.
- Try to regain access to your email account
- Ask a friend to look up your username on their account.
Instagram account security measures can cause problems if you forget your login credentials or you no longer have access to the verification methods you added to your account. Although the Instagram support team has a bad reputation (there is no phone number you can call and this involves waiting for an email response), it’s worth contacting them for help recovering your account.
Don’t forget to login
If you don’t want to lose your Instagram account, remember the advice from this article. In short, don’t forget to log into your Instagram account from time to time and like a few posts. If you want to take the username of an inactive account and set it as your own, your chances are better if that account is inactive and your account is fairly active and has a lot of followers.
Do you have any tips, tricks or questions about the Instagram account inactivity policy? Let us know in the comments section below.