Last Updated on February 5, 2023 by James McAllister

By: James McAllister


Are you worried that your inactive account will be deleted by Instagram?

Or perhaps, there’s a username you want, and you’re wondering if Instagram will ever free it up to be used again.

Either way, you may be wondering – does Instagram delete inactive accounts? And if so, how long will it take?

In this article, we’ll cover everything that you need to know!

Does Instagram Delete Inactive Accounts?

Instagram App

The answer is both yes, and no.

Technically, Instagram’s terms of service give it very broad powers, and reserve the right to delete accounts or force username changes at any time, regardless of whether or not the account goes in active.

In reality, even accounts that have been inactive for 10 years are still online, and are able to be used by the original account owner.

So, although Instagram technically does have an inactive account policy, it doesn’t seem to be enforced.

You Likely Have Nothing To Worry About, However

Again, just because the policy exists, does not mean that you need to worry about your account being deleted.

I can personally attest to this – an Instagram account I abandoned over 9 years ago is still online, with all of my old photos still publicly visible.

Instagram wants inactive users to one day return to Instagram and begin using the service again. By the same token, they want as many accounts on their platform as possible to appeal to Meta’s investors.

Deleting accounts would go against their own interests, for almost no benefit.

Is It True That Inactive Instagram Accounts Are Deleted After 30 Days?

No. This is not true, and other articles online claiming this is the case are misleading.

If you’ve read that Instagram accounts may be closed after 30 days of inactivity, this is because other articles are citing Instagram’s old and outdated Terms of Use page.

On this page, it states that “We reserve the right to force forfeiture of any username that becomes inactive…”

However, this Terms of Use page was only applicable until January 19th, 2013. The Terms of Use page that exists today no longer has this clause stated on the page.

So, while Instagram’s old policies seemed to be much more strict regarding inactive accounts, it appears that their updated policies are far more lenient.

It’s still not a good idea to let your account go inactive however, as there are other things that can lead to get it getting banned, deleted or suspended. Let’s talk about those now!

Why You Shouldn’t Let Your Account Go Inactive Regardless

Despite the fact that Instagram likely won’t delete your account if it goes inactive, it’s still a good idea to log into your account periodically.

In fact, there are other things that can get your account deleted if you let it go inactive, so you should always be mindful of your old accounts if you plan on starting a new one – or taking an extended break.

The biggest risk is that somebody with malicious intent may gain access to the account. When accounts are taken over like this, they are generally used to spam or deceive other users.

As you might expect, both of these go against Instagram’s terms of service, and can lead to the account being permanently banned. It doesn’t matter if you weren’t the one that did it – if somebody logs into your account and breaks the rules, the account will be banned regardless.

You can usually recognize when an account has been compromised, for a few reasons.

First of all, it will start following random Instagram accounts without any input of your own. This is done because it may now be part of a bot network that’s being used to sell followers to others, or to make the account look more legitimate.

Secondly, it may start uploading new posts to the account. These may or may not be promotional in nature.

Finally, it may start sending DMs to your followers and following list, or anybody that you’ve sent a direct message to previously. In fact, this is how many people first find out that their Instagram account has been compromised – friends notify them of random, spam DMs.

In order to keep your Instagram account safe, log into it periodically, never reuse the same passwords across multiple websites, and enable two-factor authentication on your account.

For more tips and information to secure your Instagram account, click here!


Although Instagram reserves the right to delete inactive accounts, this is rarely put into practice.

However, you should still prevent your account from going inactive in order to be absolutely sure you’ll keep it.

I hope that you’ve found this article helpful. If you have any other questions about Instagram, please ask them using the comment form below.

Wishing you the best,

– James McAllister

About the author 

James McAllister

James is the owner of He started his first blog at the age of 11, and has since gone on to start several successful businesses. In total, these businesses have sold hundreds of thousands of units and have touched millions of lives. Here on, he shares his knowledge that brought him to where he is today. If you want to connect with James, follow him on your favorite social networks!

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