Can You Stop People From Seeing Your Post on Instagram?

By Andrea Ruiz

Your Instagram privacy settings apply to both your photos and your videos.
i Creatas/Creatas/Getty Images

By default, the content you post on your Instagram account is publicly viewable by all users within the app. However, you can set your profile's privacy settings so that only approved users can view your photos and videos and other profile information, or you can block individual users from accessing your content. Each option has different considerations regarding how restricted your Instagram audience is.

Profile Privacy Settings

You can set your Instagram profile's privacy settings so that only the users you approve can see your pictures and videos. Users won't be able to find your profile in searches, and unapproved users won't be able to see your list of followed accounts or followers on your profile. When a user requests to follow you, the app displays the request in your followers list, and you must tap "Yes" or "No" to approve or reject the request. You'll still be able to send pictures to any individual account through Instagram Direct, regardless of whether you've approved the user as a follower, by tapping "Direct" in the Share options of the photo in the app and then selecting the user to whom you want to send the photo.

Blocking on Instagram

You can block individual users from seeing your photos and videos and from finding your account on Instagram search if you don't want to set your entire profile to private. Instagram doesn't notify users when you block them. If the user follows you, your account remains on the user's following list, but your content immediately becomes inaccessible. Blocked users can't send you posts via Instagram Direct from within the app.

How to Block Users

To block an individual user from seeing your pictures and videos and finding you in Instagram searches, tap the compass icon in the main menu and type the account's username in the search field. Tap the settings icon, which has three horizontal dots on Android devices and a rectangle with an arrow on iOS devices. Select "Block User" to block the user. To unblock the user at a later date, follow the same process but select "Unblock User" in the final step.

Limitations of Blocking

When you block individual users, they'll still be able to view some of your content on Instagram. For example, if you have mutual followers or follow some of the same people, a blocked user will still be able to see your likes and your comments on the other users' photos. Blocked users can also still see your username on other users' following and followers lists. If a user you have blocked tags you in a post or comment, the notice is still displayed in your news feed. Previous comments and likes of a blocked user on your photos don't disappear when you block the account; you must manually delete them. Additionally, if your profile privacy settings are otherwise set to public, all users can still see all your photos and videos by visiting your profile on the Web, regardless of whether you've blocked them in the app.