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How To Hide Who You Follow on Instagram in 2023

Do you wish you could keep your Instagram following list private? With over 1 billion monthly active users, Instagram has become a mainstay in our digital lives. But the platform is lacking when it comes to controlling privacy settings.

Unlike Facebook and Twitter, Instagram doesn‘t allow you to hide your list of followers or accounts you follow. This can open you up to scrutiny from friends, family members, partners, employers, and even online strangers.

In this detailed guide, I‘ll demonstrate proven techniques to conceal who you follow on Instagram this year. Whether you want to avoid relationship drama, keep your interests private, or shield your account from creeps, these tips will help you maximize your privacy.

Why Hide Your Instagram Following List?

Let‘s first look at some stats around Instagram users and privacy:

  • 80% of Instagram users feel concerned about their privacy according to a 2022 survey by Hubbub.
  • 68% of users say they‘ve been contacted by someone they didn‘t know due to lax Instagram privacy settings based on a OnePulse survey.
  • Over 50% of Instagram users hide their stories from specific people according to Socialinsider. This suggests users do value privacy controls.

In addition to general privacy concerns, here are some common reasons you may want to hide your Instagram following list specifically:

Avoid Unnecessary Drama in Relationships

  • According to a 2021 survey by CompareCamp, over 56% of Instagram users admitted to spying on the activity of their romantic partners.
  • Snooping on your following list can lead partners to make false assumptions about your loyalty or interests. This breeds distrust and arguments.
  • Hiding accounts you follow related to exes, attractive people, or opposing views prevents pointless fights based on following habits.

Keep Your Interests and Habits Private

  • You may follow accounts related to mental health, niche hobbies, political views, adult content or other sensitive topics you don‘t want public.
  • Peers, colleagues and family members judging your interests based on following activity leads to stress and inhibition.
  • 54% of people hide social media posts from certain friends/family according to a 2022 Statista survey. The same concept applies to your following list.

Avoid Online Harassment or Stalking

  • People with bad intentions can leverage your public following list to gather intel and target harassment.
  • According to a 2022 report by Plan International UK, 44% of girls aged 12-18 have experienced harassment on social media.
  • Stalkers and bullies can easily spy on who you interact with on Instagram if your following list is public.

As you can see, there are many valid reasons for wanting to keep your Instagram following activities private. Next I‘ll break down several methods to do just that.

Can You Hide Your Instagram Following List?

Unfortunately Instagram does not have a native feature to conceal your following list from specific people. The platform was built around public photo sharing and discovery.

However, through some clever workarounds, you can take back control over who can see the accounts you follow. Let‘s look at the main options to hide your Instagram following list in 2023.

How to Hide Who You Follow on Instagram

Make Your Account Private

Making your Instagram profile private is the best all-around option to hide your following list. Private accounts on Instagram have the following benefits:

  • Only users you approve can see your posts or following list.
  • Your existing followers will be unaffected. But new followers requests must be approved.
  • You can manually remove followers anytime to revoke viewing access.
  • Your photos, videos, stories and likes remain hidden from the public.
  • Users you block are completely restricted from accessing your account.

Here are the simple steps to make your Instagram account private:

  1. Tap your profile picture in the bottom right.
  2. Tap the menu icon (3 horizontal lines) in the top-right corner.
  3. Scroll down and tap Settings.
  4. Under Privacy, tap Account Privacy.
  5. Toggle Private Account on.

And that‘s it! Now strangers will no longer be able to snoop on your posts or following list.

The one catch is your follower count will remain visible to the public. But hiding the specific users you follow has major privacy benefits in most cases.


  • Restricts full account access from strangers, acquaintances and those you don‘t want spying.
  • Completely hides your posts and stories, not just your following list.


  • Reduced account discoverability for influencers or business accounts.
  • Follower requests must be manually approved before access granted.

Making your account private is quick, easy, and excellent for personal privacy. But it‘s not suitable for social media managers, brands and influencers trying to grow follower count.

Next let‘s look at ways to hide your following list from specific people without locking down your whole account.

Block Other Users

The block feature is the most straight-forward way to hide your Instagram account from specific people. Here‘s an overview:

  • Blocking someone makes your entire account invisible to that user.
  • They won‘t be able to view your profile, posts, stories or following list.
  • You also won‘t be able to see their account or activity when blocked.
  • You can unblock users anytime to restore mutual access.

Use these steps to block a user:

  1. Navigate to their Instagram profile page.
  2. Tap the 3-dot menu button in the top right.
  3. Select Block from the menu.

Blocking is a surgical way to prevent specific individuals from accessing your account without limiting public visibility. It‘s great for:

  • Exes and former friends you want zero account access.
  • Harassers and bullies you want to stop viewing your account.
  • Controlling family members who judge your following habits.


  • Targeted approach to hiding your account from individual users.
  • You remain discoverable to the public.
  • Absolute privacy from those blocked.


  • You also lose access to their account while blocked.
  • Some find it too confrontational for people they still interact with.

Overall, blocking is ideal for completely eliminating account access from toxic people while maintaining your public presence.

Remove Followers

What if you want to hide your following list from specific followers, but don‘t want to fully block them? You can remove them as a follower while still allowing mutual access to each other‘s accounts.

Here‘s how it works:

  1. Tap your profile picture in the bottom right.
  2. Tap Followers below your bio.
  3. Locate the username(s) you want to remove as followers.
  4. Tap the Remove button next to their name.

Now they will no longer appear in your followers list. But you can still view each other‘s profiles and activity.

Important: For this to hide your following list, your account must also be set to private. With a public account, removing followers does nothing to limit visibility.


  • Allows mutual access without having them as a follower.
  • Non-confrontational way to reduce access of certain connections.


  • Only works if your account is private.
  • They can always re-request to follow you.

Overall this is a subtle way to curate who can see your activities and interests if you aren‘t ready to block someone entirely.

Leverage Third-Party Instagram Tools

There are also dedicated Instagram management and analytics tools you can use to enhance privacy:

  • – Removes all third-party connections to your Instagram account for increased anonymity.
  • Insta Agent – Monitoring software with features like tracking unfollowers and ghost followers.
  • Social Insider – Provides metrics on followers and helps identify potential creeps.
  • Ingramer – Analyze followers, auto-block trolls, see who unfollowed you.
  • Privatize – Browser extension that instantly hides your public Instagram activity.

Some paid services even offer private Instagram viewing to see profiles and content without leaving a trace. These tools add powerful functionality, but be cautious granting third-party apps access to your account. Only use reputable companies that prioritize security.


  • Take your Instagram privacy to the next level.
  • View private profiles anonymously.
  • Identify potential stalkers and online bullies.


  • Third-party services often cost money.
  • Security risks granting outside apps access to your account.
  • Against Instagram terms of service if abused.

If you need maximum Instagram privacy, specialized tools are worth looking into. But stick to legitimate services and carefully consider permissions requested.

What About Instagram Business Profiles?

Instagram business profiles are specifically intended for brands, creators, influencers and professionals. These accounts must remain public to help drive follower growth and engagement.

Unfortunately, there is no way to hide your business profile‘s following list from specific people. The entire account is designed to be visible to all of Instagram.

For business accounts, the only option to gain privacy from a particular user is blocking them. But keep in mind this also makes you invisible to that person.

Some social media management tools like HootSuite and Iconosquare offer analytics on creepy followers and spam accounts. Proactively blocking suspicious profiles can help maintain privacy for your business presence.

Beyond Your Following List – Optimize Instagram Privacy

Hiding your Instagram following list is a great start. But there are other ways to lock down privacy:

  • Review tagged posts: Untag yourself from any revealing photos.
  • Hide your story: Customize who can view daily story posts.
  • Limit past posts visibility: Archive or delete old photos as your life changes.
  • Enable two-factor authentication: Adds login protection via SMS code verification.
  • Watch out for spy apps: Monitor software lets others view your DMs or track location.
  • Make reports private: Opt out of data sharing with advertisers.
  • Prune friend list: Unfollow acquaintances and irrelevant connections.

Treat your Instagram account like Fort Knox and leverage every available setting to take control of your privacy.

Final Thoughts

While Instagram still has a ways to go in providing privacy controls, you‘re not powerless when it comes to hiding your following list. The solutions covered in this guide include:

  • Making your personal account private
  • Blocking specific concerning individuals
  • Removing followers while being private
  • Using advanced third-party Instagram tools

Each approach has pros and cons based on your specific needs. But used proactively, these methods let you keep your Instagram activity private on your own terms.

What do you think? Have you tried any of these tactics for hiding your Instagram following list? I‘d love to hear which solutions worked best for maximizing your privacy as a user.



Michael Reddy is a tech enthusiast, entertainment buff, and avid traveler who loves exploring Linux and sharing unique insights with readers.