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 reached my 7,500 limit a few weeks ago, 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 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.
At the top of the screen, Instagram shows you the least interacted with accounts. I don’t find this very useful – it’s mainly accounts I’ve followed recently and just not liked or left any comments on their posts yet! But you might still want to check through it and unfollow any you’re not interested in.
I tend to move straight on to the main list – I’ll 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are the ones I followed years and years ago, so are more likely to be accounts I’m no longer interested in, or that are no longer active.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 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.
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.
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.
A lot of mass unfollow apps are focused on helping you to unfollow accounts who don’t follow you back, but this isn’t helpful for compers. It’s more important to identify and unfollow inactive accounts.
Warning! 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!
For the purpose of researching this blog post, I did download and attempt to use three of the apps which had been recommended online – but I didn’t succeed with any of them. I do wonder if they struggling to download details of the full 7500 accounts I follow!
- Mass Unfollow for Instagram – this app worked well for me a few years ago, and although it loads my followers relatively quickly, I can’t get it to load any of the accounts I follow at all. To use the unfollow tools, you need to use ‘coins’ which can be earned by watching ads in the app. If the app does work well for you, you might consider paying £1.75 to get unlimited coins.
- Follower track for Instagram – this app starts loading the accounts I follow, but freezes at 40% progress every time!
- Unfollowers for Instagram+ – this app gives me an error warning after I log into my account and I can’t progress any further.
After failing to get any of these apps to work, I’ll be sticking with the manual method for now! Please let me know in the comments if you’ve had any success with these three apps – or if you’ve found something similar that works on Android devices.
If you’re regularly reaching your limit, why not set up a new Instagram account? You could always focus on certain brands, hobbies and themes for your new account (adding an appropriate bio), and unfollow those related brands on your main account. For example I’m moving my vegan and vegetarian food related follows over to a second account.
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