How to Disable Online Activity Status on Instagram to Stop Showing When You’re Using the App

Jan 21, 2018 - 7 Comments

Instagram icon

Instagram now defaults to showing other peoples accounts when you were last active using the Instagram application. For example, if you’re using Instagram right now then other Instagram users will be able to see that you are using the app at that moment. If you used the app exactly 23 minutes ago, other users can see that too.

Some Instagram users may enjoy broadcasting to the world when exactly they are using that specific application. On the other hand, privacy advocates and more casual Instagram users may not appreciate the broadcasting of app usage to other Instagram users.

If you want to disable the Activity Status feature on Instagram so that nobody will be able to tell when you were last using the Instagram app, we’ll show you how to do it.

How to Disable Instagram Broadcasting Online Status Activity

You may need to update the Instagram app to the latest version to find the Activity Status setting available:

  1. Open the Instagram app and tap on your profile icon in the bottom corner
  2. Now tap on the Settings icon found on your profile page, it looks like a little gear
  3. Open Instagram settings

  4. Scroll down through Options to find “Show Activity Status” and toggle that setting OFF
  5. Disable Instagram activity status online status broadcasting

  6. Exit Settings and use Instagram as usual

With “Show Activity Status” disabled you will no longer broadcast when you were last using the Instagram app to anyone you follow or to anyone you communicate with in the Instagram app.

In case you’re not sure what this is referring to or you want a visual example, the following sort of “Active now” and “Active 27m ago” online status indicators as shown in the screen shot below will no longer appear:

How to disable Instagram online activity broadcasting

One side effect of disabling Show Activity Status in Instagram is that Instagram/Facebook has made it so that if you disable the feature you also won’t be able to see other peoples activity status on their accounts either, but that’s probably not much of a loss to most users unless you’re obsessed with knowing when other people are or aren’t using the social media image sharing app.

Note this setting is enabled per Instagram account, meaning if you use multiple Instagram accounts that you switch between you will need to disable the setting for each account individually.

Likely the case with many Instagram users, I was not aware of this ‘feature’ broadcasting my personal app usage and online history to other Instagram users, but once I discovered it I immediately turned the capability off since I value and prioritize privacy but don’t want to delete the account. But to each their own. Thanks to our friends at iPhoneInCanada for the tip.

Oh and by the way, this is obviously for iPhone but likely applies exactly the same to Android Instagram users too.

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Posted by: Paul Horowitz in iPhone, Tips & Tricks

7 Comments

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  1. Dun says:

    A much better method is to not use Instagram. Been doing that for years and it works very well on all versions of iOS.

  2. Dan Martin says:

    Unless there’s a way to update an app without uninstalling it and then reinstalling it, telling us this is of little help. I’m on a Samsung S8 using the newest update and I’m unable to find the things you’ve said should be there.

    • Pierre says:

      If you buy an iPhone instead, you’ll be able to see it.

    • Lincoln says:

      Everything on this page is about iOS and its apps, OSX, etc and nothing about Android. So I guess that is why cannot see it.

      • olad says:

        But it IS there in Androids… under Options. Same thing – Show Activity Status. Much like in iPhones.

      • Paul says:

        The setting exists on Android as well, as it is a feature of Instagram and not OS specific.

        But to answer the broader question, we generally only focus on Android when it directly relates to iOS, Mac OS, or some other Apple product. For example, transferring data between the platforms, or if there is a universal setting across the platforms as is here.

  3. olad says:

    First, Profile, then Options…

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