Make Instagram work for you

Addressing the pressure to be perfect toolkit

Use these tips and Instagram tools to customise your experience and keep things positive.

What’s on the page

Managing privacy on Instagram

screenshot of instagram private account settings on iPhone

Choose your audience

Being public on Instagram is public in the true sense of the word. Anyone can see what you post—and once something is out there, it’s pretty much impossible to get it back. You might want to make your account private so the only people who see your posts are the people that you want to see your posts.

How to make an account private

  • From your account, tap
  • Tap “Settings”
  • Tap “Privacy” and then “Account privacy”
  • Swipe to toggle the feature on

Resources light-bulb

Need help with your privacy settings on Instagram? See our step-by-step how to guide for support.

Instagram gradient logo

See guide

Making interactions safer

Managing comments

Sometimes the comments on a post can get out of hand and even go places that have nothing to do with what you put up. If you’re uneasy with a conversation going on in your comments, you can try letting people know by saying something like “Hey, I think this has run its course. Let’s move on.” If that doesn’t work, you can also delete comments or change your commenting settings.

You can control who can comment on your posts. In the “Comments” section of the app settings, choose to:

  • allow comments from everyone,
  • allow comments from people you follow and those people’s followers,
  • allow comments just the people you follow, or your followers.

You can also hide offensive comments and add a filter to hide specific words or phrases from your posts and stories.

How to block or allow comments on post

  • Go to your profile and tap
  • Tap“Settings”
  • Tap “Privacy” > “Comments”
  • Next to Block Comments from, tap “People”
  • Enter the name of the person you want to block, then tap “Block” next to their name
  • To unblock someone from commenting on your photos and videos, tap “Unblock” next to their name and then tap “Unblock” again to confirm

Visit Instagram help for more support

How to delete and turn comments on or off

  • To delete a comment, swipe left and tap “Delete”
  • To turn off comments on a post, tap  (iPhone) or  (Android) at the top right, then choose “Turn of Commenting”
  • You can also turn off commenting for a post before you share it. On the screen where you add a caption or location to your post, tap “Advanced Settings”, then tap “Turn Off Commenting”

Visit Instagram help for more support

screenshot of instagram restricted account settings on iPhone

Protect yourself from unwanted interactions

Restrict is a new way to protect your account from unwanted interactions. If someone is being aggressive or negative in your comment section, you can put them on a “Restricted” list.

Comments from people you restrict will only be visible to them unless you approve them. Restricted people also won’t be able to see when you’re online or when you’ve read their messages. If you aren’t ready to unfollow or block someone, you could try starting with “Restrict.”

You may feel more comfortable using “Restrict” or “Mute” as an initial response, and then blocking or unfollowing if the problem persists.

How to 'Restrict' an account

To Restrict a user:

  • Access Restrict by swiping left on a comment
  • Through the Privacy tab in Settings , or directly on the profile of the account you intend to restrict
  • Tap “Restrict” to add the account to your restricted list

Visit Instagram help for more support

Block when necessary

If someone’s behaviour is impacting you negatively and muting isn’t enough, block them. It’s the best way to stop drama in its tracks. They won’t be able to view your posts or find you in search, and they won’t be notified that you did it.

How to block an account

To block or unblock someone:

  • Tap their username to go to their profile
  • Tap (iPhone/iPad/computer) or  (Android) in the top right
  • Tap “Block” or “Unblock”
  • Tap “Block” or “Unblock” again to confirm

For more support visit Blocking people help Instagram page 

Report bullying

If someone is being aggressive online, consider if and how you want to respond. You can mute, unfollow, or block them using the tools on this page, or set your account to private. You can also report posts and profiles that are engaging in abusive or harassing behaviour. If bullying is affecting your wellbeing, try reaching out to a friend or family member to talk about it

How to report comments and profiles

  • Tap on the top right corner of a post or profile
  • Swipe left on a comment, or tapping and holding a message
  • Then tapping “Report.”

Reporting is totally anonymous. You can also use this Instagram form to make a report about posts or people on the platform.

When you report on Instagram, it will be reviewed by moderators and they will take action if it breaks community guidelines.

Building strong connections

smiley face icon

Make connections, not comparisons

You want to get inspired to make changes and explore new things, but not get into a space where you feel like you can’t win because you are lacking something someone else has.

It’s not unusual for people to post only the most positive aspects of their lives and to manipulate their images to look perfect.

Try to keep in mind that you’re just seeing one part of their life, one that they’ve perfected and polished.

Avoid extreme stans

It’s cool to link up with the people in your fandom—it’s how many great friendships are made. It’s probably best, though, to stay clear of the toxic side of fan culture, where people gang up on others and bully or harass them. Who wants to be a part of that?

Follow your feelings and stay positive

Check in with yourself after you’ve been online for a bit. If you‘re thinking about all the things you need to change—your hair, your body, the way you dress—maybe you need to adjust the way you are experiencing Instagram. Look for people and accounts that connect you to new and existing interests, and make you feel good about yourself.

How to use the Close Friends setting

Remember that—even if you have a private account—there are ways to post that are even more selective. You can use the “Close Friends” setting on stories so that only certain people see them. People who are unable to see the story won’t know that they are missing something.
To create your close friends list using the Instagram app:

  • Tap  in the bottom right
  • Tap  in the top right
  • Tap “Close Friends”, then tap “Suggestions” at the top
  • Tap “Add” next to the people who you want to add to your close friends list. You can also tap “Search” to search for a friend
  • Tap “Done” when you’ve finished adding people to your list

Visit Instagram help for more support

How to send messages directly

Sometimes you really just want to share with a few people. That’s smart!
When things are really personal, you can feel really vulnerable. Instagram Direct is the most private way to share on Instagram, so consider using it in these situations.

To send a direct message (text, image, or video):

  • Tap  in the top right of feed and choose who to share it with (up to 15 people). You can also message someone by clicking that same icon from their profile

Visit Instagram help for more support

Instagram Help Centre

Got a question on how to any Instagram features? Visit the help centre for more support.

Free to be Me Top Tips

See these Safer Internet Day tips to help you explore and express your online identity safely.