If you’ve had an Instagram account for a while, you’re probably aware of how often you can end up on some random account, three years back into their feed, with no idea how you got there to begin with. That’s the fun of the app, sometimes — but it’s also super important to keep an eye on how you’re interacting with it, too. That’s why it’s helpful to know how to clear your Instagram search history, from time to time.
If you want to clear your Instagram search history, or even just to see what you’ve been searching to begin with, you can open your Instagram app on your phone and go to your own profile. From there, you can tap on the icon which looks like three horizontal bars at the top right of your profile, then select “Settings,” then “Security,” then “Clear Search History.” Once you do that, you’ll be able to see a (likely very long) list of accounts you’ve searched over time. You have the option of removing individual searches, or your entire search history.
Be warned: once you clear your search history, you won’t be able to undo it. With that said, though, this doesn’t mean that accounts you’ve searched in the past won’t ever show up as suggested results.
Even if you clear your history, you still might see your most searched accounts offered up as suggested searches when you go to the search option on Instagram. These suggested accounts will likely change over time, though, if you begin searching for other accounts on the platform.
This process is a little bit different if you want to do it on your computer or a mobile browser. In that case, you’ll still want to go to your Instagram profile, then click on the Settings icon, which looks like a gear. From there, you can click “Privacy and Security,” then “View Account Data.” Then, you can click “Search History,” then click “View All.” There, you’ll have the option to clear your search history — though, again, it doesn’t guarantee that Instagram won’t offer up your previous searches as suggestions when you use the search feature on the platform.
To be clear, your suggested accounts in the search tab aren’t generated sheerly by who you have searched for in the past. According to PSafe, a a software company focused on mobile privacy and security on apps, Instagram’s suggested search accounts are also impacted by your other activity on the platform. For example, the social media platform might factor in the posts you’ve liked or commented on, hashtags you’ve used or searched, and even accounts that have commented on or liked your own posts.
In other words, it’s important to stay mindful of your activity on the platform, or any social media platform. It can be easy to zone out and just start scrolling, but you should always be aware that your interactions with the platform (the words you search, the posts you like, and more) don’t automatically disappear.