If you have come across this article, you may be wondering how to view private Instagram. Many of the people you know who are on Instagram have set their profiles as private, so that they carefully select the people to whom they show the content they share on the social network.
Although you are dying to ‘poke around in their accounts, you do not want to give them the ‘satisfaction’ of starting to follow them on Instagram and so you are probably wondering to know how to view private Instagram profiles without the user realizing it.
Fascinated by this possibility, you googled how to view private Instagram accounts without following them and ended up on this tutorial. I am delighted that you have found yourself here, but I have got some bad news: as is obvious, there is no way to access the content of an Instagram profile if it has been set as private by its owner.
However, there are a few tricks that, if put in place, can give you at least partial access to the content of the accounts in question.
In this article, I will also explain how to view someone’s private Instagram photos. If you are curious to learn more, sit back, concentrate on reading the next few paragraphs and, most importantly, try to implement the advice I am going to give you. There is nothing left for me to do but wish you a good read and good luck with everything!
How to view private Instagram: preliminary information
Before getting down to business and analyzing in detail some possible solutions on how to view private Instagram accounts without following them, I think I should provide you with some information that will help you to better understand some of the procedures explained in the following paragraphs.
First of all, you should know that private profiles on Instagram have, for obvious reasons, a very high level of privacy, which makes it quite difficult to identify the content posted on them since these are only shared with followers that the owner of the profile has personally approved.
This means that if a user publishes a post on which he has inserted a hashtag or a geotag, it will not be possible to locate him even by searching by hashtag or location, as the post will only be viewed by users who are already part of his list of followers.
Having said that, it is possible to try to exploit some tricks and attempt to view some of the content shared by private Instagram profiles without following them.
Bear in mind, however, that these operations do not have an extremely high rate of success, so I am not able to promise you that, at the end of reading this, you will certainly have succeeded in your ‘feat’. In any case, it does not cost anything to try, so let us get started!
Tracking other social networks
Monitoring other social networks is a good way of trying to see content posted on Instagram by private profiles that you do not follow.
As stated on this page of the Instagram Help Centre, “If a person with a private profile shares a photo or video on a social network (such as Twitter, Facebook, etc.) using Instagram, the image will be visible on that social network and the link to the content will be active. In other words, anyone who has access to the direct link/URL of the image will be able to see the photo”.
I know that it could be rather complicated to view private content that interests you by searching for it on other social networks, but it is an option that should not be discarded.
Keep in mind, however, that in order to do this, two fundamental conditions must be met: the first is that the content has actually been published on other platforms (e.g., Facebook); the second is that the content in question has been posted with privacy settings such as to be visible (if therefore, even on Facebook the content has been posted in private form, you will not be able to view them anyway).
Is that clear? Good. Then, if you want to try to find the contents of a private Instagram profile on other social networks, access the platform on which you want to search (e.g., Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest) and search for the account of the user of interest: you could try with his first and last name or with the username also used on Instagram.
How to view private Instagram accounts using other accounts
Another trick that can be used to know how to view private Instagram profiles is to use other accounts. Perhaps you could ask a friend or family member who follows the private profile you are interested in to let you see the content shared by that account on their device.
If you want, you can also create a fake account and send the private profile a request to follow him/her using this account.
To create a new Instagram account, launch the social photo network app on your Android or iOS device, tap on the (≡) button, select Settings from the menu that appears at the side on the right and select Add account from this menu.
Then tap on the Sign-up link at the bottom of the screen and click on the Sign up with phone or email link, so you do not have to go through the creation process via your Facebook profile to be anonymous.
Now, tap on the Email or Phone tab, provide the information requested, click on the Next button and follow the procedure shown on the screen to complete the creation of the fake account.
Once you have created the account, go to the private profile you want to ‘spy’ on, tap the Follow button and wait for your request to be accepted. Once the user agrees to let you follow their account, you can freely view the content they have posted without revealing your real identity.
How to view private Instagram profiles
It is possible to follow someone whose profile is set as private on Instagram, and the procedure is the same as explained above. What is different is that, since the profile is private, after clicking on Follow, you will only be able to see the content posted by the user if the follow request is accepted by the user.
If your goal is to secretly follow someone on Instagram, you cannot do that, at least not in the strict sense of the word.
By starting to follow a person on Instagram via the Follow button, the latter will be notified. That said, the only way to follow someone without being seen is to look at their profile, manually searching for them using the social network’s search engine.
I would remind you, however, that if you look at a user’s history on Instagram, your name will be shown in the list of people who have seen it. So, either you only look at the photos they publish in the feed, or, if you want to remain completely anonymous, you have to employ tools that are used to view stories without being seen.
For example, these include the Chrome extension IG Story Plus and the Story Saver for Instagram app.
How to view private Instagram profiles through the apps (for Android)
If you would you like to know how to view private Instagram using some apps, read more.
If you have an Android device, I suggest you try Save Stories (if you have a device without Google services, see if it is available in some alternative store): app that, as you can easily guess from its name, allows you to view and save stories from public Instagram accounts.
How do I use it? I will explain in a moment. First, however, let me remind you that the app is free to use, but to remove the advertising banners you need to buy the paid version, which costs €2.39.
Once you have logged in, tap on the magnifying glass icon (top right), type the username of the person you are interested in (without the @) in the appropriate text field and tap on the account whose stories you want to see, if any, created.
Otherwise, if it is someone you already follow, if they have created new stories, you will see their username appear on the main screen of the app: just tap on it to open their story.
To view the story, select the Story tab (top), tap on the preview of the content you are interested in and you are done. From the newly opened screen, you can even download the content by pressing the Download button.
How to view private Instagram profiles through the apps (for iOS)
If you have an iPhone or iPad, you can turn to Storized for Instagram. This semi-free app offers the possibility to anonymously watch stories made by public Instagram accounts in a quite simple and intuitive way. I call this a semi-free solution, because in order to eliminate the advertising (which I think is a bit too invasive), you have to subscribe for €1.49/week.
After installing and launching Storized for Instagram, search for the username (including @) of the account whose stories you want to see anonymously, using the text field at the top and, in the menu that opens, select the profile of your interest.
At this point, make sure the Stories tab is selected (if not, do it yourself) and check if there is content available in this section. If so, you can view them in their entirety by clicking on their thumbnails and, if necessary, save them: to do the latter, after opening one of the contents in the stories, click on the button (…) (top right) and select Save from the menu.
To complete the operation, you may also be asked to allow the app to access the media files on your device.
How to view someone’s private Instagram photos from your smartphone
In this part of the article, we will see how to view someone’s private Instagram photos.
First, launch the Instagram app on your Android or iOS device, click on the little man icon (bottom right), tap on the (≡) button and go to the Settings > Add Account menu from the menu that opens. Now, tap on the Create new account heading, specify the username of your new account in the text field provided and press the Create new account button.
Decide whether you would like to sign up by phone or email, enter this information in the field provided, click on the Next button, enter the confirmation code you received by SMS or email in the field provided and click on the Next button.
Then enter the password you wish to use to protect your account in the text field provided, click on Next, click on the Complete registration button and finish the process by entering your date of birth. If you are asked to find people to follow via Facebook, you can skip the process and choose whether to set up a profile photo or to skip this step.
Now you need to send the user you are interested in a request to follow them on their private profile. To do this, click on the magnifying glass symbol (bottom left), search for their username and tap on the result that interests you.
Once you have reached the profile of the person in question, click on the Follow button and wait for your request to be accepted. If the person accepts your request, you will be able to see their profile photos and follow all their updates without revealing your real identity.
How to view someone’s private Instagram photos from your PC
The procedure for creating a secondary account on a PC and viewing photos from a private Instagram profile is the same as I described in the previous chapter, although there are obvious differences due to Instagram’s desktop interface.
To do this, go to the main page of Instagram Web or open the social network’s application for Windows 10 and, if necessary, log out of your main account: to do this, click on your profile photo (top right) and select Sign Out from the menu that opens.
Then click on the Sign-up link (bottom right, under the heading Don’t have an account?) and fill in the proposed form, specifying your mobile phone number or email address to sign up with, your first and last name, username and password to be used in the appropriate text fields.
Click on the Next button, enter your date of birth, click Next again, enter the verification code that was sent to you by SMS or email in the text field provided, and follow the on-screen instructions to complete the process.
Then search for the profile you wish to follow by entering the username associated with it in the text field at the top of the screen and click on the Follow button. If the person accepts your request to be followed, you will be able to see their photos.