I think I speak for many people with Instagram accounts when I say there are few feelings that gut you more than when someone unexpectedly sees your Instagram search history.
My stomach goes down and my mind starts racing as I try to remember the last few people I spied on while lurking on the app.
Whether it’s someone leaning over your shoulder to watch you search for an Instagram account you were both talking about or borrowing your phone to quickly search for a profile for themselves, those first Instagram handles that appear in the search bar are practically always embarassing.
While I don’t have the answer as to why we’re (probably) all like this, I do Do not we have the answer as to how you can hide that you are like this. All you have to do is destroy the evidence with a couple of clicks.
Here’s how to clear your Instagram search history with a few simple steps, both on the app and on your desktop:
1. Go to your Instagram profile
The first step is to click on your profile icon. Then, tap on the three dashes grouped in the right corner of your Instagram account.
2. Go to your Settings
When the pop-up menu appears, tap Settings. Next, find and tap on the Security tab.
3. Clear your Instagram search history
Ah, the step you’ve been waiting for to keep the silence lurking.
Once you’re in the Security section, tap “Clear Search History” all the way down.
This takes you to all your recent searches, at which point you can tap “Clear All” in the right corner.
It’s important to note that clearing your entire search history can seem a little suspicious.
Luckily, you also have the option to delete specific parts of your browsing history, i.e. the most embarrassing searches, individually (your ex, your ex’s new partner, your ex partner’s colleagues, etc.) by tapping the “x ”Next to their Instagram manages instead.
You can also do this by simply going into the search tool on the app to avoid having to follow the steps mentioned above. At the bottom of the search tool, you will see a section called “Recent”, where all your searches reside. You can press the “x” next to each search you wish to delete.
But, depending on the length of your search history, tapping the “Clear All” button might be faster. Especially when you only have seconds before someone can locate evidence of your mortifying search history.
4. Don’t forget to clear the search data on the Instagram web browser as well
Of course, Instagram’s search history is different if you use the app on a web browser.
To delete it in the desktop version, go to Settings and click on your profile photo in the upper right corner.
Then, tap the Settings icon and the “Privacy and Security” tab in the left menu. Scroll down and click on Account Information, then on “View Account Information”.
Under the “Account Activity” tab, you will see “Search History” and the “View All” option. Then, click “Clear Search History” and “Yes, I’m sure” to clear the Instagram handle list. (You may also want to delete your browser history while you’re at it.)
While all of these steps might seem confusing at first, I promise you (from experience) you’ll have them all down and memorized faster than a friend or family member would say: “Hey, I’ll use your phone to search for someone on Instagram” .
He breathes a sigh of relief. They won’t find anything.