Can You Stop People From Seeing Your Post on Instagram?
By Andrea Ruiz
Updated September 09, 2022
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.
Set Your 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.
What Does Restrict Do On Instagram?
Restricting on Instagram is an alternative method to control what you see and what other people can do, as explained by Instagram. Restricting prevents the person from being able to see when you're online or whether you've read their messages, and means that any comments they make on your posts won't be visible to anyone apart from them, unless you click "See comment" to view it yourself or "Approve" to make the comment visible to others. This doesn't stop them from seeing your post, but it does effectively limit how they can interact, and prevents you from getting notifications from them.
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.
The main difference between Instagram restrict vs. block is that if you block someone, they can't see your posts or find your account at all. They won't be notified, but it will become obvious they're blocked if they specifically try to access content posted by you.
How to Block Users
As Instagram explains, 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.
Understand the 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.
- Instagram Help Center: How Do I Set My Photos and Videos to Private So That Only Approved Followers Can See Them?
- Instagram Help Center: What Happens When I Block Someone?
- Instagram Help Center: Are My Comments and Likes Still Visible to People I Block?
- Instagram Help Center: How Do I Block or Unblock Someone?
- Instagram Help Center: Blocking People
- Instagram Help Center: Can a Person I Blocked @Mention Me?
- Instagram Help Center: How Do I Approve a Follower Request?
- Instgram Help Center: How Do I Restrict or Unrestrict Someone on Instagram?
Andrea Ruiz has written professionally for blogs, online entertainment magazines and television network websites for more than a decade. Ruiz has also been a web and social media developer, Internet business consultant and computer programmer since 1999, and worked for four years as a professional community manager. Ruiz holds a Bachelor of Arts from University of Massachusetts, Boston.