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How to appear offline on Instagram

So you can browse the platform without anyone being nosy.

instagram how to unblock someone on instagram
Image: Instagram

Quick Answer: To appear offline on Instagram, go to your profile, tap the three-dot icon, then tap Settings>Account>Show Activity Status. Then turn off the “Show Activity Status” toggle. This prevents others from seeing when you were last active.

Did you know you can change your Activity Status and appear offline on Instagram? Well, yes, you can.

Using the ‘insta offline’ trick on Instagram lets you fly under the radar and avoid unwanted interactions with other users.

The platform includes an Activity Status feature that tracks how long it’s been since you were online and lets your friends know when you’re active on the platform.


As you can imagine, that has the potential to get a little invasive. Fortunately, Instagram only shows this to users you follow or message privately.

But it’s still nice to be able to hide that Activity Status, so you don’t have to worry about everyone knowing what you’re up to at all times.

Short on time? Jump ahead

What does appearing offline on Instagram do?

instagram logo with blurred phone background

As we mentioned briefly, appearing offline on Instagram does several different things. And it all revolves around the Activity Status.

First, turning off your Activity Status to appear offline on Instagram will hide your status from other users.

That means nobody can see when you actively browse images and videos on the platform.

READ MORE: Does Instagram notify people when you screenshot a story?

Additionally, toggling your Activity Status off will also hide the counter that tells people how long it has been since you were last offline.

So, you can essentially hide every aspect of Instagram’s Activity Status for your profile. However, doing it also means you can’t see anybody else’s Activity Status.

So if you want to know when others are online, you’ll have to continue to let them know you are online.

Why would you want to appear offline on Instagram?

There are several reasons why you might want to appear offline on Instagram.

Maybe you’ve got that annoying aunt who won’t leave you alone whenever they find out you’re online.

Or maybe there’s someone you’ve connected with in the past that takes advantage of your Activity Status.

instagram profile hamburger menu

Although, it might be a better idea to go ahead and block that person completely. Whatever your reason for wanting to appear offline on Instagram, the feature can be an incredibly useful tool.

And you can always go back and toggle the feature back on if you want to show your friends you’re online again.

How to look offline on Instagram’s app

instagram logo with blurred phone background
Image: KnowTechie

Since Instagram is primarily used on mobile devices, this will likely be the most useful section for most people.

First, we’ll look at how to toggle off your Activity Status on the Instagram mobile app for iOS or Android.

The menus might look a little different, depending on what kind of phone you have. But the processes are the same either way.

Open the app
Open Instagram and tap your profile picture.
Head to Settings
Select the hamburger menu (three-line menu) in the top right.
Tap on Settings.
Head to Privacy
Tap on Privacy.
Find the Activity Status menu
Scroll down and tap on Activity Status.
Toggle it off
Lastly, toggle Activity status off.

After toggling off this setting, you will begin to appear offline on Instagram.

And whenever you want to appear online again, just repeat the same steps and toggle Activity Status back on.

Here’s how to toggle Activity Status on Instagram for desktop

instagram website landing page
Screenshot: Instagram

Meta originally focused on developing Instagram as a mobile app.

Thankfully, that’s changed as the company has added features to Instagram’s desktop site to make it work more like an app.

And fortunately, you can at least use the website to toggle your Activity Status.

How to appear Invisible on Instagram’s desktop site

  1. Click your profile picture in the top right corner
instagram web profile picture
Image: KnowTechie
  1. Select Settings
instagram web settings button
Image: KnowTechie
  1. Click Privacy and security
instagram web privacy and security
Image: KnowTechie
  1. Toggle the Show activity status box off
instagram web activity status toggle
Image: KnowTechie

That’s all there is to that.

Once you toggle the Activity Status box off from that menu, your online status and history are essentially invisible to everyone.

Remember, you also can’t see other users’ Activity Status if you’ve toggled this option off.

And if you ever change your mind, you can follow the same steps to return and turn your Activity Status back on again.

Use Instagram’s Activity Status to your advantage

instagram social media logo and blurred background
Image: KnowTechie

Many people like to browse Instagram to keep up with friends or their favorite creators. But you don’t have to let everyone know that you’re online when you’re browsing the platform.

Instagram’s Activity Status lets you choose when you want people to see that you’re online.

It’s worth mentioning that you can’t appear offline for only one of your followers or friends. This toggle is an all-or-nothing switch that makes you appear offline to everyone.

Of course, it also means that you won’t be able to see other users’ Activity Status with yours turned off. But that’s a small price for extra privacy on the platform.

You can change your Activity Status on Instagram regularly. So get familiar with this process and start browsing Instagram on or offline. The choice is always yours.

Are you keeping this feature turned on? Carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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Amanda is a freelance journalist who enjoys naps way too much. I fell in love with video games when I bought my N64 and Goldeneye 007 with my birthday money... it's safe to say that birthday was epic. Let's chat!

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Herma Grosby

    May 26, 2024 at 11:41 pm

    I’m thoroughly captivated with your keen analysis and stellar ability to convey information. Your depth of knowledge is evident in every sentence. It’s evident that you invest a great deal of effort into researching your topics, and the results is well-appreciated. Thank you for sharing this valuable knowledge. Keep up the great work!

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