I think I speak for the vast majority of people with Instagram accounts when I say that there are few feelings worse than when someone unexpectedly sees your search history.
My stomach drops and my mind races as I try to remember the last people I sniffed out while searching the app.
Whether it’s someone leaning over your shoulder to watch you search for an Instagram account the two of you just talked about, or borrowing your phone to quickly look up a profile themselves, those first Instagram handles that pop up on the search bar are almost always embarrassing.
While I don’t have the answer to why we’re all (probably) like this, I do have the answer to how you can hide that you’re like this. All you have to do is destroy the evidence.
Here’s a written tutorial on how to clear your Instagram search history in a few simple steps on both the app and desktop:
1. Go to your Instagram profile
The first step is to click on your profile icon. Then, tap on the three lines grouped in the right corner of your Instagram account.
2. Access your settings
When the pop-up menu appears, tap on Settings. Next, find and tap on the Security tab.
3. Clear Instagram search history
Ah, the step you’ve been waiting for.
Once you are in the security section, tap “Clear search history” all the way down.
This takes you to all of your recent searches, at which point you can tap “Clear All” in the right corner.
It’s important to note that deleting your entire search history might look a bit suspicious.
Fortunately, you also have the option to delete specific parts of your browsing history, aka the most embarrassing searches, individually (your ex, your ex’s new partner, your ex’s partner’s best friends, etc. ) by tapping the “x” next to its handles instead.
If you only want to delete certain handholds, tap on the ‘x’.
You can also do this simply by entering the app’s search tool to avoid having to go through the steps mentioned above.
But, depending on how long your search history is, tapping the “Clear All” button may be quicker. Especially when you only have a few seconds before someone can see the evidence of your mortifying search history.
4. Don’t forget to delete your Instagram session from your browsing history
Of course, your search history is different if you’re using Instagram in a web browser.
To remove it on desktop, go to Settings and click on your profile picture in the top right corner.
Next, tap on the Settings icon and the “Privacy and Security” tab. Scroll down and click on Account Details and then ‘View Account Details’.
Under the “Account Activity” tab, you will see “Search History” and the “See All” option. Then click “Clear search history” and “Yes, I’m sure” to clear the Instagram drive list. (You might also want to clear your browser history while you’re at it.)
Although all of these steps may seem confusing at first, I promise (from experience) you’ll have them all down and memorized faster than a friend or family member can say, “Hey, I’m going to use your phone to find someone on Instagram.” .
Breathe a sigh of relief. They won’t find anything.