How to Hide Who You Follow on Instagram: Create Your Best Social Experience

Profile photo of Heidi Lang, author

Heidi Lang

Instagram Tips | Jan 06, 2023

Want More Real Instagram Followers?

With the explosion of social media in recent years, it seems like everything is online these days. From vacation photos to daily means, people are sharing it all – and making it public. In fact, privacy can sometimes feel like a thing of the past. But what if you don’t want to share everything with your followers? Or even share your list of followers with everyone else? Is there a way to learn how to hide who you follow on Instagram? Yes. 

Turns out, you can have a prominent presence on social media – and still keep a few things under wraps. And we don’t just mean making your Instagram profile private to avoid those random profile viewers. There are other ways to monitor what you see on the social media app, in addition to what others see from you. This can apply to both your actual followers’ lists, as well as the content they are sharing. Ready to learn more? Keep reading as we cover it all, including utilizing Instagram’s mute, block and restrict features.

Women hiding by covering her face

Can You Hide Who You Follow on Instagram?

Before we dive right into the how, let’s address if this is even possible. By that we mean – can you hide who you follow on Instagram? The answer is yes. But there are a few different methods to approaching this, with a few different outcomes. For example, you can hide your content from certain people in your friend list. This is helpful if you don’t want to let certain people know what you are doing – or who you are with.

Additionally, you can do the opposite – hide certain people’s content from appearing in your Instagram feed. This is a great option if you feel certain followers are posting too much but aren’t quite ready to unfollow them. They might even be posting content that you simply don’t agree with. This method can be applied to both feed posts as well as Instagram stories.


You also have the option of completely hiding Instagram users by unfollowing them or blocking them. This is a more permanent solution but can sometimes be necessary. Now that you’re all caught up, let’s get right to learning how to hide who you follow up on Instagram. Keep reading below as we cover it all, with options to go with any method we mentioned above.

Smartphone opened to Instagram app.

How to Hide Who You Follow on Instagram From Friends

Let’s get started. First, we’ll cover how to hide who you follow on Instagram from friends. Wondering what exactly this means? Sometimes, you may not want your other friends on Instagram to know exactly who you follow. Maybe there’s a bit of conflict between your friends or perhaps you’re just a private person. Either way, you may want to keep who you follow on Instagram hidden. 


Currently, there is no way through the app to do this. However, there are a few workarounds to learn how to hide who you follow on Instagram. One option? Setting your profile to private mode. If you are private, people who do not follow you will not be able to see who you are following. Nothing will appear on the “followers” list on your profile. Keep in mind that this will only prove effective if the person you wish to hide your followers from is not currently following you. To make your Instagram profile private, simply follow the below steps.

  1. Open your Instagram app and tap on your profile tab at the bottom right hand corner of your home screen.
  2. Next, tap on the three horizontal lines icon at the top right corner then select settings
  3. From here, tab on privacy.
  4. Toggle on the private account option. You’ll need to confirm the switch to private with another tap.

Women using her phone and smiling because she figured out how to hide who you follow on Instagram.

How to Hide Who You Follow on Instagram Activity

Sometimes, your need for hiding someone might be because of the content they share. You may find that certain people post too often or are sharing things that you don’t agree with or appreciate. But perhaps you aren’t ready to completely cut ties with them just yet and need a more temporary solution. 

Are you looking for a way to learn how to hide who you follow on Instagram activity? If so, you’ll want to make use of the app’s mute feature. This will hide the users’ posts in your feed as well as their stories and incoming messages. People who you mute will remain that way until you manually reverse the process and unmute them through the Instagram app.


Perhaps the best part? Instagram will not notify the user that you’ve muted them. We promise. This allows you to take a break from any user before deciding if you want to take a more permanent approach. Now, keep in mind that muting someone is different than unfollowing, restricting or blocking them. We’ll dive into those options further down below so be sure to keep reading. For now, let’s cover the multiple ways you can use the mute feature as a solution for how to hide who you follow on Instagram.

Person using Instagram to capture content

How to Hide Who You Follow on Instagram Feed

Muting someone on Instagram is an easy method when it comes to how to hide who you follow on Instagram feed. Like we mentioned above, this will remove another user’s content from showing up in your Instagram feed. You have the option to do this for both feed posts and for stories. The person will stay muted until you manually go in and unmute them. First up, let’s review the steps for how to hide who you follow on Instagram feed posts. 

  1. Open your Instagram app and go to the profile of the user you wish to mute. You can access this by searching for their handle or by tapping on their name from their posts or stories.
  2. Just under their profile picture and bio, tap on the shaded box that says following.
  3. Now, you’ll see a few options including mute
  4. Select mute and then toggle on posts.
  5. To unmute someone, simply toggle off posts.

You’ve successfully muted that user’s posts and they will not show up in your feed. Now, let’s dive into how to hide who you follow on Instagram stories.

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How to Hide Who You Follow on Instagram Stories

Instagram stories are a great way to quickly share snippets of your daily life with others. Sometimes, though, it can be a little too much. We all have those followers who seem to overshare certain aspects of their life. Luckily, you also have the option to mute people’s stories. This is in addition to their feed posts. To learn how to hide who you follow on Instagram stories, simply follow the easy steps we’ve outlined below. The best part? They are almost exactly the same as the steps we just learned above for feed posts. So, this will be a quick lesson.

  1. Open your Instagram app and go to the profile of the user you wish to mute. You can access this by searching for their handle or by tapping on their name from their posts or stories.
  2. From here, tap on the shaded box that says following. This is located just below their profile photo and bio.
  3. Next, you’ll want to select the mute option.
  4. Select mute and then toggle on stories.
  5. To unmute someone, simply toggle off stories.

You can opt to mute both stories and posts from a user. Remember, you’ll need to manually unmute them if you wish to have their content shown in your feed again.

Smartphone opened to Instagram app

How to Hide Who You Follow on Instagram by Blocking Them

There are some people who you may prefer to never see or hear from again. And that’s okay – the internet has plenty of other people for you to engage with. If this is the case, you’ll want to go ahead and block the user on Instagram. We know this may sound like a drastic measure to take when it comes to how to hide who you follow on Instagram. However, sometimes it is necessary. There are a couple different ways to go about this. Below, we’ll outline the steps you need to take. First up? Learning how to block someone from their profile.

  1. Access the user’s Instagram profile. You can do this by clicking on their username from a post in your feed or stories. Alternatively, tap the search bar icon and enter in their Instagram handle.
  2. From here, tap the three dots icon from the upper righthand corner of the screen. Select block.

Instagram also gives you the option to block someone through direct messages. This is a quick and easy way to remove any potentially disturbing users that you hear from.

  1. Access your direct messages by clicking the message icon at the top right corner of the screen. You can also simply swipe to the left from anywhere in your home screen.
  2. Select the chat of the person you wish to block.
  3. Next, tap their name at the top of the screen.
  4. Scroll down and select block. You’ll need to confirm your choice before the process is complete.

Change your mind and want to unblock the user? No problem. You’ll want to simply go through the exact steps outlined above. However, instead of selecting block, you’ll now want to select unblock. Just like that, the process of how to hide who you follow on Instagram has been reversed.

 Man learning how to hide who you follow on Instagram.

How to Hide Who You Follow Without Blocking Them on Instagram

Perhaps blocking followers seems a little extreme for you. Or perhaps you don’t want to run the risk of a person figuring out that you’ve blocked them. Either way, maybe you’re not quite ready to take that step and are looking for a different option. Are you wondering how to hide who you follow without blocking them on Instagram? If so, you are in the right place. We’ve got the answers and, as it turns out, there are a few options. The two most popular options? Restricting them with Instagram’s restrict mode as well as simply unfollowing them. 

Read on below, where we’ve outlined the easy steps you can follow to try out both of these options. Make sure you have your phone handy as you scroll through. This way, you can give these methods a try in real time – and to your real followers. Let’s get right into it. Up first? Using Instagram’s restrict feature.

Man figuring out how to hide who you follow on Instagram

How to Use the Restrict Feature on Instagram

One option for learning how to hide who you follow on Instagram? Pacing the user in restrict mode. By doing this, you are essentially restricting their access to you as well as your content on Instagram. An added bonus? Restrict mode gives your social experience enhanced safety and privacy. You have better control of many things, including what comments appear on your posts and who can see that you are online.

Women using phone to learn how to hide who you follow on Instagram.

Placing someone in restrict mode will automatically turn their direct messages into message requests. This will let you view them before accepting them, a great way to read your Instagram messages without being seen. Additionally, any comments they leave on your feed posts will only be visible to them – and not your other followers. You can manually approve others to have visibility on the comment if you so choose. When you place someone in restrict mode, you also won’t receive any notifications from that person.

Below, you’ll find a step-by-step guide for how to hide who you follow on Instagram using restrict mode. These steps apply to both iPhone and Android users.

  1. First, open your Instagram account and go to the profile feed of the user in question.
  2. Next, tap the three dots icon from the upper righthand corner. This will be just opposite their profile picture.
  3. From here, select the restrict option.
  4. You’ll need to confirm your desire to resist this Instagram user with an additional button tap.
  5. The user has officially been placed on your restricted list.

You’ll want to be sure to remember that you’ve placed this user in restrict mode. It can affect other functions available between the two of you in the app. To remove restrict mode, simply follow the above steps again. However, you’ll select unrestrict to move them back to a regular follower.

Person holding phone while opened to Instagram login page

How to Unfollow Users on Instagram

Of course, you can always unfollow a user – perhaps the most permanent way to learn how to hide who you follow on Instagram. This means that you will no longer be following them in any way. They will not show up on your follower list and their content will not appear in your feed. However, unfollowing a user as a follower does not remove you as their follower. Keep in mind that if you choose to follow them again in the future, a notification will be sent. If they keep their profile set to private mode, they will need to approve your new follow request.

Ready to learn how to unfollow someone on Instagram? The easy steps are outlined below. These apply to both Android and iPhone devices.

  1. Open your Instagram app and go to the profile feed of the person you wish to unfollow.
  2. Look just below their profile photo and bio to the box that says following.
  3. Tap following then tap unfollow to confirm. Now, the box on their profile will say follow instead of following.

See? We told you it was easy. Now their shared content and activity status will not show up on your feed. As a reminder, rest assured that Instagram will not notify them that you’ve unfollowed them.

Women trying to figure out how to hide who you follow on Instagram.

At Path Social we’ve built up an in-house platform of Instagram influencers and an AI targeting algorithm over the past decade. That’s how we reach organic users who are targeted, interested, and engaged. And that’s why no one can replicate our results, which means you’ll build an Instagram community that lasts! Start growing and gaining Instagram followers today.