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