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How to Temporarily Disable Your Social Media Accounts

Tess Hansen By Tess Hansen February 10, 2022

Summary: Need a break from social media? We’ll walk you through all the steps you need to take to temporarily disable your Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and TikTok.

The new year is a chance to start fresh. And 2022 is no different.

Now is the perfect time to wipe the slate clean and commit to your New Year’s resolutions, whatever they may be. Perhaps you’d like to save some money, exercise every day, or maybe, you’d like to take a much-needed break from your phone and social media.

If that sounds like you, know that you’re not alone. Countless studies have demonstrated how social media can cause you to feel a heightened sense of anxiety and loneliness, trigger your FOMO (fear of missing out), and take a serious toll on your mental health.

Image with TikTok, Twitter, and Instagram grayed out and turned "off" while Facebook is still on

Keep reading to discover how to temporarily disable your Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and TikTok accounts. We promise it’s easy.

How to Disable Your Instagram

Temporarily disabling your Instagram account means that your account will be hidden, and your followers won’t be able to find or message you. It may seem permanent, but don’t worry — Instagram will back up all your information and photos on their server.

  1. Log in to your account from your mobile or computer internet browser. You won’t be able to temporarily disable your account from the Instagram app, so be sure you’re logged in on the actual website.
  2. Once you’re logged in, click your profile picture on the top right of the page. Tap Profile and then Edit Profile.
  3. Scroll all the way down to the bottom of the page and click the bright blue button that says, Temporarily disable my account.
  4. In the drop-down menu, select the reason why you’re disabling your account. Some options include too busy/too distracting, too many ads, privacy concerns, and just need a break. (See, they get it, too.)
  5. Re-enter your password again.
  6. Finally, press the Temporarily Disable Account button.

You can disable your Instagram account for as long as you’d like. To reactivate it, simply log back in.

To note: you can only disable your Instagram account once every 7 days, meaning you can’t disable it twice in one week. Although Instagram doesn’t explicitly say why they impose this restriction, it’s most likely done to prevent spamming.

If you love the feeling of not having an Instagram, you can permanently delete your account.

How to Disable Your Facebook

Just like Instagram, Facebook also gives you the option of temporarily deactivating your profile. When you temporarily deactivate your account, other users won’t be able to find you. Your “about” info, posts, photos, and videos will seemingly disappear, but Facebook will save it for if (and when) you log back in. And just like Instagram, there’s no limit to how long you can stay deactivated.

  1. Log in to Facebook and click the upside-down triangle in the top right-hand corner of your main page. Select Settings & Privacy and click Settings.
  2. In the left column, tap Your Facebook Information.
  3. Click the final option in the menu: Deactivation and Deletion.
  4. Select Deactivate Account, follow the steps, and confirm. If you control a Facebook Page, your Page will also be deactivated, and other users won’t be able to find it.

Pro tip: even with a deactivated Facebook account, you can still use Facebook Messenger, view old messages, and send new ones.

If you’d like to permanently delete your account, follow the same steps, but select Delete Account in Step 4. Since it takes 90 days for Facebook to fully delete all your data, you’ll have 30 days to change your mind. If you’d like to restore your account, log in and click the Cancel Deletion button before those 30 days are up.

How to Deactivate Your Twitter

Unlike Facebook and Instagram, temporarily deactivating your Twitter account is the first step on your path to permanently deleting your account. In order words, once you decide to temporarily deactivate your account, you’ll have 30 days to log back in and restore your account before it’s deleted forever.

  1. From your Twitter account, click the three dots and then select Settings and Privacy.
  2. Click the Your Account tab and click Deactivate your account.
  3. Tap Deactivate.
  4. Enter your password and confirm.

If you decide you miss Twitter and it’s been more than 30 days since deactivating your account, you’ll need to start over with a fresh profile.

How to Deactivate Your TikTok

TikTok is the same as Twitter in that deactivation is the first step on the path to deletion. Once you choose to temporarily deactivate your account, you’ll have a 30-day window to decide whether you’d like to restore it or let TikTok delete it for you.

  1. Go to your profile tab and click the three horizontal lines in the top right-hand corner.
  2. Tap Manage account, then tap Delete account.
  3. Answer the question “Why are you leaving TikTok?” with the appropriate option, whether that’s I’m on TikTok too much, I’m leaving temporarily, or any of the other reasons.
  4. Press continue and confirm.

 

If you choose to disable (or remove) your social media accounts, it might take some adjusting at first, but you might be surprised that you like it! If you’re filling your newfound freetime with more streaming or virtual game nights with loved ones, make sure your internet can keep up.

Tess Hansen

Tess Hansen

Tess Hansen is a freelance copywriter based in Brooklyn. She graduated from the University of Washington with a BA in English Language and Literature. She writes about all things digital for EarthLink, including how to make your life easier (and safer) through tech.

See all posts from Tess Hansen.

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