How To Hide Who You Follow On Instagram

We get it, you’re on Instagram but you’d rather people didn’t see who you follow, or even how many people are in your followers and following lists. It’s well within your rights to personal privacy… right? Well, according to Instagram… wrong.

Unfortunately, there simply is no way to hide who you follow on Instagram from your followers. Thankfully, however, there is a way to hide who you follow from everyone else, and we’ll cover just how to do this (in a few different ways) below.

For any additional information, or if you have any other questions, please direct your attention to our FAQs at the end of this article.

How to hide who you follow from everyone except your followers on Instagram (all platforms)

  1. Open up the Instagram app (or website) and sign into your profile if prompted
  2. Head to your Profile by hitting the profile icon in the bottom-right (mobile/tablet) or top-right (and then selecting ‘Profile’ – desktop online)
  3. Tap the hamburger menu in the top-right and then select ‘Settings’ (mobile/tablet), or click the Settings cog-icon next to ‘Edit Profile’ (desktop online)

  4. Next, select ‘Privacy’ or ‘Privacy and Security’ from the list
  5. Lastly, toggle ‘Private account’ ON by tapping the greyed out toggle (mobile/tablet), or checking/ticking the empty box next to the option (desktop online)
    1. Note: Only personal accounts can be made private, business accounts cannot
  6. If asked to confirm your decision to make your account private, do so now
  7. You have successfully made your account private, meaning that only your approved followers can now see the list of people you follow

Note: Even this method will not hide the number of people following you and who you follow from your profile – these figures are unfortunately permanently featured

How to hide who you follow from specific followers (all platforms)

If you’ve got a specific person in mind for whom you wish to restrict access to your following/follower lists, then this is what you need to do:

  1. Open up the Instagram app (or website) and sign into your profile if prompted
  2. Head to your Profile by hitting the profile icon in the bottom-right (mobile/tablet) or top-right (and then selecting ‘Profile’ – desktop online)
  3. Tap or click ‘Followers’ to bring up a list of all those who follow you
  4. Next, locate the follower whose permissions you wish to restrict by searching for them via the search bar, or scrolling until you locate them in the list
  5. Now, tap on the account in question
  6. Next, tap the three vertical dots in the top right of their profile page (mobile/tablet), or click the three horizontal dots to the right of their name (desktop online)
  7. From the pop-up options, select ‘Restrict’
  8. Confirm that you wish to restrict this individual by hitting ‘Restrict Account’
  9. You have successfully restricted a follower’s account, limiting the interactions they can take with your profile, and hiding certain aspects (such as your following list) from them

Note: If more serious, you can also ‘Block’ any users by following steps 1-6 above, and then at step 7 selecting ‘Block’ instead of ‘Restrict’, and following the on-screen instructions.

And there you have it! Whilst you can’t do exactly what you came here to do, we’ve walked you through the next best thing.

If you still have any queries or are looking for a little more information, we recommend checking out our FAQs below.

Frequently asked questions

Why would I want to hide who I follow on Instagram?

Social media has become something of an ever-present part of our lives. Whilst there was a time when it was used exclusively by the younger generations, now almost everyone has access to and uses some form of social media, from children to grandparents. 

The notion that our private lives have been made so public may not be something which concerns you in the slightest… or it might be something which concerns you greatly. Still, just because you don’t want to share every little detail about yourself doesn’t mean you shouldn’t also have access to social media apps like Instagram if you want it.

Thankfully, there are ways to make your account more private. You may for example wish to hide the list of who you follow on Instagram from the public eye – either to protect those people themselves or just as an additional privacy measure. After all, the accounts you follow do tend to say quite a lot about you as a person.

Why does Instagram not allow me to hide my followers and following?

Unfortunately, as you’ll have worked out if you’ve spent any time trying to hide these elements on your profile, you simply cannot hide who you follow on Instagram. Annoying, we know. Unfortunately, like all social media, Instagram (owned by Facebook) likes to present us with merely the illusion of choice. Whilst it seems that we have great freedom over how we present ourselves on the platform, in reality, the final decision is up to the software developers at Facebook.

Since the number of followers you have, and the number of accounts you follow have pretty direct implications as to the popularity of your social media account(s) and presence, and thus the popularity of you yourself, it does of course make sense that Instagram should prohibit you from hiding these figures. After all, is an influencer really an influencer without an evidently large number of followers made visible on their profile?

Thankfully, there are still some measures you can take to increase your privacy on Instagram.

What measures can I take to ensure my followers and following lists are made more private?

Whilst you can’t hide them from your profile, you can ensure that only those people who are actually following you get to see who you, in turn, follow. To do so, you’ll have to make your account private (which we walk you through in the tutorials above). 

Additionally, if there is a specific account (or specific accounts) whom you wish to prohibit from seeing who you follow, you can actually remove them from your followers, block them, or restrict them as necessary, ensuring that they’ll no longer be able to see who you follow. Again, we’ve covered this in our step-by-step guides above.