How to view a private Instagram profile

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Craig Zacker
@craigzacker
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A common question is how to view a private profile from instagram, as some users prefer to accept follow-up requests individually, to control who can see their photos, videos and stories.

First of all it must be clarified that there are some tricks to access a private profile, but they have limitations. Instagram security in this aspect is taken care of, so we cannot assume success.

While viewing Stories without an Instagram account is easy and the company doesn't take steps to prevent it, the issue of private profiles is taken more seriously.



Therefore, we will see a list of possible solutions to help us see the profile that interests us, although being private will not be easy.

Make a standard request

The easiest way is to send one follow request to private profile owner, if he accepts it, we will be able to see all his contents: photos, videos, stories, reels and IGTV clips. Maybe the problem is that they didn't accept us, but at least we have to try.

Let's see the steps of the application:

  1. Using the Instagram search engine, we enter the username (starting with @), we can also use the person's first and last name, because if they have indicated it in their profile, it is possible that Instagram will find it:

  1. The profile will show the photo and the «bio» (the descriptive text that person wrote), where we should see the publications is indicated "This account is private". We have to click on "Keep it going" to request access:


  1. Until the request is accepted, the button will display «Waiting», as in the picture:


Although it may be tempting, we advise not to ask for access to the account with a fake profile, as it would be unethical and is one of the reasons why an account can be blocked on Instagram. The social network does not require us to indicate our true identity, but its rules prohibit impersonating others.

The success of a fake Instagram can vary depending on its credibility (profile photo, number of followers/following, posts, etc.), but in no case is it guaranteed, as some people simply don't accept strangers.

Without forgetting the possible legal consequences, since if the owner of the private profile we want to see believes he is being harassed, he could report us, with uncertain results. There is not much jurisprudence regarding social networks, although prison sentences have been imposed for reading the couple's WhatsApp.

Try a private message

Although it is not a known fact, on Instagram you can send direct messages to a private profile, even if you have not accepted us. Therefore, we can accompany the request with a short text introducing ourselves and explaining why we want to see your account.

Here's how we should do it:

  1. From the private profile that we are interested in seeing, click on three-point menu which appears at the top right:


  1. In the menu that opens below we choose the option "Send Message":

  1. Now we will write a message, not too long, but not too short either, that explains why we want to access the profile, which will generate trust in the other person:

This system it will work well if the request is for professional reasons or if there is another good cause. Sometimes we need to reach out to someone we find on Instagram, and while you use a private profile, you'll have no problem talking to us if you find the reason interesting.


Ask an acquaintance for help

Perhaps the simplest trick, the least complicated and, many times, the most effective. We can ask another person to show us the profile that interests us, both because it has access in advance, and after being accepted.

It's the usual resource for seeing the Instagram of old friends, ex-partners and, in general, people with whom we no longer have a good relationship, and who have probably made their profile private to keep us out of their lives.

The system of asking for help from a mutual friend or acquaintance is quite effective, on an ethical level it is less reprehensible than opening a fake account and many fall into temptation. But, in the end, it is a very questionable idea, so we have to ask ourselves if that profile is worth seeing, or leave it aside.


Messages on Facebook or Twitter

When we publish on Instagram we have the possibility of automatically send it to Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr. Perhaps the private profile we want to see has no restrictions on any of those social networks, so that all or part of the content is public.

It's not an entirely reliable trick, since many people don't post to multiple networks at the same time, and even if they did, they might have a private profile on them as well, but it's worth a try.

Beware of spyware

On the Internet they can be found websites that promise to spy on private Instagram profiles, which are basically one fraud, since they don't work, and they can also cost us a considerable amount.

The system is almost always the same, they show us public profile data, some fake blurry photos and offer us the possibility to see their content:


At one point he asks us to "verify that we are human", but in reality the links lead us to advertising, which in many cases try to subscribe to paid services, either charged via premium SMS to your mobile phone bill or by credit card.

Naturally we do not have to provide any data and, if we have done it by mistake, it is important to contact your bank or telecom operator so that they block the charges.

The only program that allowed private profiles to be viewed at the time was Ghostly, which is no longer available. It was abusing Instagram's API to access data that shouldn't be visible, so the company took action as soon as it was discovered.

Instagram has requested that the Ghosty app be banned from the Google Play (Android) and App Store (iPhone) stores, as well as sending legal threats to its developers, so Ghosty is no longer an option.

Are you sure you want to see it?

As a final thought, we should ask us if we really want to see that private profile. If your owner has restricted it, it's for a reason, although you're probably aware that privacy is by no means guaranteed once a photo, video or message is uploaded to the Internet.

In addition, we have seen that spying on the couple's WhatsApp has very serious consequences and, although the case is not the same, many times the motivation for accessing a hidden profile on Instagram is sentimental.

Indeed, if we want to contact you for other reasons, it is likely that this person has other public networks, such as Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn, and means of contact such as e-mail or a website. It would be rude to go on a private Instagram without reviewing these alternatives first.

So, there they are some possibilities to view a private Instagram profile, but not guaranteed. If some app or service promises it to us, it will surely deceive us, such as those who claim they can know who is looking at our Instagram profile, which is not technically feasible.


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