So Here’s How You Delete Your Instagram Account

If you’re among the many Instagram users who are taking to the Internets to grumble about the photo service’s new terms of service and privacy policy, both taking effect Jan. 16, you might be considering the next  and final step — deleting your account. The bad news is it’s the only way to keep your photos out of the hands of Facebook advertisers. The good news is, it’s easy to do.

Before you go shutting down your account, you’ll likely want to save the photos you’ve taken thus far. None of those can be used to support “advertising revenue” if they’re taken before Jan. 16. Yes, you can view your photos on and take screen grabs of all of them, but we suggest using a service like Instaport to upload your pics to your computer as a .zip file a lot faster.

You can also import photos from your phone’s galleries using the mobile app for a service like Dropbox, unless you’re like me and already have it set up so each photo I take ends up going straight there in the first place. There are limits to how much data you can transfer to a free account, however.

From there on out, just click here to get to where Instagram will allow you to delete your account. Be warned that any photos or likes that existed under your account will be gone forever and ever, and you won’t be able to sign up under your same user name.

Again, the nugget of truth in the new policy that has people all riled up includes the fact that if you’re using Instagram you agree to the below:

To help us deliver interesting paid or sponsored content or promotions, you agree that a business or other entity may pay us to display your username, likeness, photos (along with any associated metadata), and/or actions you take, in connection with paid or sponsored content or promotions, without any compensation to you.

That busy buzzing you hear? That’s the sound of mobile app developers trying to come up with the next Instagram. Which will be great, until it too, falls under the mighty pressure of making money. And so it goes.

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.