How to mass unfollow on Instagram

Instagram users are only able to follow a maximum of 7,500 accounts, which can prove to be a problem for busy compers!

This is a strict limit regardless of how many followers you have, or how famous you are. I’ve reached my 7,500 limit several times, so I wanted to share a few tips on how to mass unfollow Instagram accounts.

First of all, I should warn you that Instagram do not like you doing this! So even though I use the term ‘mass unfollow’, you should limit your unfollows to around 25 – 50 accounts at a time – just to ensure Instagram doesn’t restrict or ban your account. Find out more about bans in my post How to avoid an Instagram ban.

Unfollow from a list of accounts

Go to your profile, and tap the ‘following’ number next to your profile pic. You’ll be taken to a screen showing a list of the accounts and hashtags you follow.

Unfortunately some users might not be able to view their following list at all on mobile – this is a form of Instagram ban! You may be able to view the list at www.instagram.com but you won’t be able to sort it.

Sort the list by tapping the double arrows, and change Default to Date Followed: Earliest (there’s no option to do this if you’re using www.instagram.com).

The accounts at the top are the ones I followed years and years ago, so are more likely to be accounts I’m no longer interested in, or that are no longer active.

Finding inactive accounts to unfollow

As you scroll through your list, you can see at a glance which accounts you follow are definitely active by seeing who has shared to their story. The coloured ring around their profile pic shows that they have posted in the last 24 hours.

I don’t tend to unfollow active accounts, unless I’m really not interested in the brand or person any more. Brands that share to their stories usually run Instagram giveaways, so it’s a good idea to stick with them.

Tap Following on the list to unfollow accounts you definitely aren’t interested in. The button will change from Following to Follow

For accounts on the list you don’t recognise, tap the photo to visit their profile.

  • First, glance at the bio – some closed accounts will state at the top that they’re no longer active
  • Look for giveaway posts on their grid to see if they’re running comps
  • Tap to view the latest post on their grid (NOT any pinned posts) to see the date it was posted. If it was more than a few months ago, it’s likely the account is no longer active, and you should unfollow
  • Finally, tap the back arrow to return the list and then tap Following on the list to unfollow them – this is quicker than unfollowing from a profile page. The button will change from Following to Follow

I’ll do this for around 50 accounts at a time, and take a screenshot of where I get to as my reference for next time. When you return for your next clear out (in a few hours or a few weeks!) remember to sort the list by earliest followed, then you’ll have to swipe through the list for a while to get back to where you left off. It’s safest not to unfollow more than 200 accounts in a day – but be careful, if Instagram has been hitting you with recent activity bans, you should limit it to just a handful a time.

You can also filter accounts you follow by typing words or letters into the search bar. For example, I want to unfollow food & drink accounts as I want to enter those giveaways from my @discohat account. I searched for GIN, TEQUILA and RUM in my follows, and went through the list unfollowing them all (I then re-followed my favourites from @discohat). I no longer drink coffee, so unfollowed all results from a ‘coffee’ search!

Sometimes Instagram takes a few days to actually update the numbers on your profile after your unfollow spree, so it may still show 7500 for a while, preventing you from following any more accounts. Rest assured your following count will eventually update though, so be patient!

A lot of my unfollows are parent/mum/baby related accounts that I followed many years ago! It’s amazing how many Instagram brand accounts haven’t been used since 2016!

Unfollow from your Following feed

By default Instagram shows you a curated feed (like ‘For You’ on Twitter or TikTok). But if you tap the word Instagram at the top of your home screen you can switch this to show only content from accounts you are Following. Swipe through and you’ll see posts from users you follow, who you may no longer be interested in. Just unfollow directly from the feed by tapping … at the top then Unfollow.

Using an app to mass unfollow

There are several apps which will help you mass unfollow on Instagram, by identifying inactive accounts and showing you a list of them. You then unfollow via the app. However, Instagram does not like users logging in to third party apps and you could risk a ban, or even your account being taken down if you use apps aggressively to follow or unfollow! I checked out a recent thread on Reddit and it sounds like most of these apps no longer work, anyway.

Set up a second Instagram account

As it’s time consuming and frustrating to unfollow, consider setting up a second Instagram account that you can add new follows to. I did this in 2023 with @discohat and have been moving across my likes from @superluckydi, focusing on food, drink and beauty giveaways on my new account. If I see a giveaway I’d like to enter on my @superluckydi feed, I just send the post via DM to @discohat then unfollow from @superluckydi. It’s easy to switch between the two accounts by double tapping your profile photo in the corner of the screen on mobile. Just make sure you don’t accidentally enter the same competition from both accounts – but it’s easy to see when your other account follows a profile or likes a post!


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6 Responses

  1. Marzan says:

    I’ve been trying to do this today and when I unfollow some accounts and go out of that part my followings amount has not changed

    • Di says:

      As I mention in the post, it can tale a few days for the numbers to update. They don’t go down immediately.

  2. Marzan says:

    I want to remove 7,500 following people

  3. Hayley Cooper says:

    Hiya!! I’ve been tryng to do this today and when i unfollow some accounts and then go out of that part my following amount has not changed!!

  4. Michelle McGuckian says:

    Great advice, thank you

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