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How to See Private Instagram

Published February 8, 2024

Instagram is one of the largest social media platforms on the planet. That means there is a lot of personal information floating around. With the potential of billions of people being able to see your content, many of those who have personal accounts have made them private. 

Instagram users have the option to switch between a private and public profile whenever they want with no limits. This is good news for someone who may have had a public profile but needs to make it private for safety reasons, or anything else. 

You may have found yourself in a position where a user who has content you’d like to see has their profile set to private. So, how do you see a private Instagram? The simple solution is to request to follow the account, but there are other workarounds. 

What is a Private Instagram?

First, it’s important to understand what a private Instagram account is. Simply put, a private Instagram is an account where you have chosen that users have to request access to view your account. Then, you must approve them so they can see your profile. This includes all Instagram feed posts, Stories and Reels. 

When a user has a private Instagram account, their follower and following lists are also private. The amount of posts they have and highlights are not shown. All someone can see is their profile picture, number of followers and bio. If you have a private Instagram, you can still interact with and see public accounts. 

Why Would Someone Have a Private Instagram?

With a public Instagram account, even users who don’t follow you can see what you’re posting. You can always block specific users, or make the account private to have complete control over who sees it. 

Having a private account can also limit the amount of spam you receive. You won’t see random users viewing your story, or getting as many message requests. 

How to Follow a Private Instagram Account 

If you’ve come across a private Instagram account that you want to look at, you’ll need to request access to follow it. Here’s how:

  • Find their Profile Page
  • Click the Follow Button
  • The button will turn gray and now say ‘Requested’
  • Wait for them to Accept Your Request 
  • Once they accept, you’ll Receive a Notification

After the user accepts your follow request, you’ll be able to view their profile. They may even follow you back. 

How to See Private Instagram Without Following 

Here are a few off the beaten path ways you could potentially view someone’s private Instagram without following them. 

Find Mutual Friends 

While you won’t be able to see their full list of followers, you will be able to see if any mutual connections do. This is a way to figure out if you may know this user already. What you can then do is talk to those mutual connections to see if they can connect you to this person. 

You can also always send a follow request without doing this and you may end up being accepted. 

Use a Third-Party App

If you’ve been rejected from following a private Instagram account, there are third-party apps that may help. We recommend trying to follow them first, but if they reject you these are some apps that may help you see their content that will typically cost money. 

You may also run the risk of the user realizing you attempted to do this, and these apps wil usually only let you view the story component of their profile. 

If you want to check out someone’s private Instagram, your best bet is to request to follow them. A lot of the time, private account users will approve requests from mutual connections. 

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Written By:
Jessica is a writer who specializes in social media, marketing, and digital strategy. She is a graduate of Antioch College and earned her MBA at Boston College’s Carroll Graduate School of Management, specializing in STEM Management. Her work has been published in numerous academic journals and mainstream publications. She lives in New England with her husband, two children, and three dogs.
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