How To View Instagram Browser History?

When you click a link on Instagram, it opens inside the app’s built-in web browser. It is a convenient feature that allows you to check out links without having to open your main browser.

The downside is this session is not stored in your main browser’s history. If you needed to revisit the link or share it with others, you wouldn’t find it on your regular browser.

Thankfully, Instagram’s in-built browser stores your browsing history, and you can view all the links you’ve opened.

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to view Instagram browser history on Android and iOS devices.

Note: This solution does not work on the Instagram web app.

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How to View Instagram Browser History

STEP 1 – Go to Profile on your Instagram

Open the Instagram app on your iPhone or Android device and tap the display profile picture in the bottom-right corner.

Next, tap the hamburger menu icon (three-line button) in the top-right corner. You should see a list of options that include Archive, Your Activity, and QR Code.

Tap “Your Activity.”

STEP 2 – View the Links You’ve Opened

Tapping Your Activity takes you directly to the “Links” tab.

Here, you will find every single link you’ve clicked on Instagram. It is in reverse chronological order, i.e., the most recent link first.

Each entry contains the website’s name, the URL, and the last time you opened it.

The link tab should contain every link you’ve ever opened on Instagram.

Unfortunately, there is no search button here. To find a specific link, you have to scroll down the list until you find it.

However, there is no concrete information on how far back the history goes. Instagram stores the data for a similar feature for six months, but there are no specifics for saved links.

To revisit any link, tab the link to reopen the web page in Instagram’s in-app browser. When you do, the link becomes the most recent and goes to the top of your links list.

If you wish to open the link in your main browser, you must first open the link, then tap the kebab menu (three-dots icon) and select “Copy Link.”

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The second tab is the “Time” tab. It tells you how much time you’ve spent mindlessly scrolling Instagram. I strongly advise you not to open this. The result might shock you.

That’s it. You now know how to view your Instagram browser history.

Having found it, what if you wanted to clear it?

How to Delete Instagram Browser History

Technically, you can’t.

Yes, you can hide it from your profile and keep your browsing history hidden from snooping eyes, but Instagram still keeps it on their servers.

Instagram and Meta’s group of social apps (Facebook, WhatsApp) can still use your history to show you personalized ads and relevant content.

Now that you understand how it works, this is how to “delete” your Instagram browser history.

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To ‘Delete’ Individual Links – Long Press on Each Link and Select Hide

On Android, long-press on the link you want to delete. You will get a pop-up message explaining how the hide feature works.

Select “Hide.”

For iOS users, swipe left on the link and tap “Hide.” The message will show up. Then tap Hide again.

Remember, the link will permanently disappear from this list. Make sure that’s what you want because you won’t see it again unless you visit the same link from another part of Instagram.

To ‘Delete’ Entire Link History – Tap’ Hide History’

Want everything gone? Again, don’t forget that you can’t unhide the links. Once you do this, only Instagram can see the data, and it is permanently hidden from your view.

If you’re sure it is what you want, tap the ‘Hide History’ option at the top of the list.

Then, tap ‘Hide’ again in the pop-up message that appears.

This will clear the entire list, and your entire Instagram browser history will be removed. A fresh list will start when you visit another webpage within Instagram.

As mentioned earlier, hiding your browsing history doesn’t erase your browsing data from Instagram. Thus, you will still see posts from web pages you visited on the ‘Your Activity’ page.

This is because of something called cache. Every device temporarily stores some data. This data increases how quickly an app or website opens on your phone.

Plus, it helps reduce the amount of data consumed when using your device. In other words, Instagram stores cache to ensure you get served relevant content based on your previous searches.

But this is not always a good thing. Asides from wanting to keep your secrets, the bigger the cache, the slower the app. So it can be beneficial to your phone’s performance to delete it.

To enjoy either benefit, you have to delete the cookies and cache from the Instagram browser. Here’s how.

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How to Clear Instagram Cache

Tap the hamburger menu again on your profile page and choose ‘Settings.’

Then select ‘Account’ and tap ‘Browser Settings’

Finally, tap the blue ‘Clear’ button besides Browsing Data to remove cookies and cache from the websites you’ve visited via Instagram.

That said, while this action is irreversible within this page, you can still find the hidden links by downloading a copy of your Instagram data.

Here’s a quick breakdown of how to access it.

How to Download a Copy of your Instagram Browsing Data

Whether you are cleaning house because you are leaving Instagram for good or finding links you mistakenly deleted, downloading your data is always a useful move.

Plus, the more you use Instagram, or any social network for that matter, the more information they collect on you.

Not only can you see your browsing data, but you can also see additional information like: bio text history, login and logout history, hashtags you follow, your ad interests, and many more.

You can download this data via the mobile app or through the website. Since we’ve been talking about the mobile app, let’s start with that.

  1. Go to your profile page and tap the hamburger menu (three-line icon)
  2. Then, tap ‘Settings’ and select ‘Security’
  3. Under ‘Data and History’ category, tap ‘Download Data’
  4. Enter your email address and select ‘Request Download’
  5. Enter your password and tap ‘Next’

To do the same thing through the website, visit the Instagram website and log in to your account. Then:

  1. Click the profile icon in the upper-right corner of the screen and choose ‘Settings’
  2. Click ‘Privacy and Security’ in the sidebar
  3. Find ‘Data Download’ in the list of options, then click ‘Request Download’
  4. Enter your email and choose your preferred information format. Then click ‘Next’
  5. Enter your Instagram password and click ‘Request Download’

That’s it. You should receive an email with your Instagram data within 48 hours.

So far, we’ve discussed how to view and delete your Instagram browser history. But much of the snooping you don’t want people to see occurs in your search history.

Even if you delete your browsing history, without clearing your search history, someone could still check your phone and see the profiles you’ve been stalking in the search bar.

The absolute horror.

Thankfully, there is a way to hide your shame and destroy the evidence.

Here’s how to view and clear your Instagram search history in a few steps via the app and website.

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How to Clear your Instagram Search History

STEP 1 – Go to your profile page

Just like viewing your browser history, everything starts on your profile page.

First, hit your profile icon, then tap the hamburger menu (three clustered dashes) in the right-hand corner.

STEP 2 – Find Settings and open the Security tab

Tapping that menu button will open a list with options like Archive, Your Activity, Close Friends, and Settings.

Tap’ Settings.’

Another list of options will appear. Find and tap ‘Security.’

STEP 3 – Clear your Instagram search history

Under ‘Security,’ there are multiple options under two categories: Login Security and Data and History.

Under Data and History, tap ‘Clear Search History.’

This will open all your recent searches. You can scroll through the entire list to see every profile you’ve searched for in the past.

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To clear the entire list, tap ‘Clear All’ in the right-hand corner.

If the idea of an empty search history feels a bit suspicious, Instagram allows you to remove individual profiles.

That way, you can remove the searches you do not want others to see.

To do this, scroll to the profile you want to remove and tap the ‘x’ next to their Instagram handle.

You’re done. This process works for iOS and Android devices.

Alternative Way to Clear Instagram Search History

The above method is straightforward, but the Search tool on the app is shorter if the account data route is too long for you.

All you have to do is press the Explore button (magnifying glass icon) at the bottom of the app to open the search page.

There is a’ Recent’ section at the bottom of the search tool with all your latest searches.

Hit the ‘x’ button next to each handle to remove individual profiles.

If your search history is long and you want to remove the entire history, tap the ‘See All’ button.

Then select ‘Clear All’ in the main search history page to remove all your searches.

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This feature is especially handy when you have a few seconds to delete the profiles before someone can see your search history.

How to Clear your Instagram Search History on Desktop

Maybe you occasionally use an official account for your Instagram sleuthing. Or you prefer using Instagram on a computer, clearing your Instagram search history is not that different from the app.

First, click your profile icon in the upper-right corner, and select ‘Settings.’

Then, click Privacy and Security in the left sidebar and scroll to Account Data. Next, click ‘View Account Data.’

Inside Account Data and under ‘Account Activity,’ click ‘View All’ under Search history.

Voila! You will find all searches for accounts, locations, and hashtags.

You should note that you can’t delete individual searches via desktop, but you can remove them all at once.

Simply click the blue ‘Clear Search History’ at the top of the page, then ‘Clear All’ on the pop-up message to complete the process.

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That’s how to clear your Instagram search history on a desktop.

You should also know clearing your search history is not a one-and-done. Suppose you search for the same accounts, hashtags, or locations again. In that case, they will reappear in your history, and you will have to go over the same process to delete them again.

Deleting browser and search history are only two of several ways you can make your Instagram use private.

There are additional ways, such as making your entire account private, hiding your online status, and stopping specific people from viewing your stories.

Sound like something you are interested in? Here is how to implement each of them.

How to Make Your Instagram Account Private

Not everyone wants the social part of social networks. Some people prefer to keep to themselves and only want interaction from people they want.

Or, if you want to lurk but don’t want others to do the same to you, turning your account private will keep your posts secret.

To make your Instagram account private, go to your profile page and select the three-centered lines icon (hamburger menu).

Next, select ‘Settings’ and tap ‘Privacy.’

Finally, toggle on ‘Private Account’ and tap ‘Switch to Private’ in the pop-up message.

Once it’s on, users have to request to follow you, and only those you approve of can see your posts.

Plus, you can review your followers and remove followers whom you don’t want to see your posts.

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How to Hide Your Activity Status on Instagram

Suppose you want to browse Instagram without alerting anyone to your activities or want to browse without being disturbed. In that case, you can hide your online status.

It essentially works as an incognito mode for Instagram, keeping you hidden while doing what you need to do.

To set it up, open Instagram and go to your profile page. Then select the menu icon at the upper-right corner and tap Settings.

Under ‘Settings,’ choose ‘Privacy from the options and select ‘Activity Status.’

The Show Activity Status is on by default. Toggle it off by pressing the blue button.

Your activity status doesn’t just hide your activities; you also won’t see the activity status of other users.

There is also no timer. If you want to view others’ status or want to show up online again, toggle the Activity Status back on.

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How to Stop Specific People from Viewing your Stories

Say you don’t want to go private but want to keep certain people from seeing your Stories. You can also filter them out.

You don’t have to unfollow them, stop them from following you, or block them. By applying a filter within Stories, you can control who gets to see your posts.

To do this, tap your profile icon and hit the menu button.

Then tap on ‘Settings’ and select Privacy from the options. Next, choose ‘Story’ under Interactions.

Look for ‘Hide Story’ and tap ‘People’, then select the accounts you want to hide your Stories from.

That seals it. The selected accounts will no longer be able to see your Stories.

You can replicate the same thing with comments on your posts. Within Privacy, tap Comments.

Then search for the accounts you want to block from commenting and select ‘Block.’

Alternatively, you could block users from your account entirely. They won’t see your Stories or comment on your posts.

You can use this option to prevent someone from accessing your account without going private. Or keep out uncomfortable interactions.

To do this, within Privacy, tap ‘Blocked accounts’ and hit ‘Block’ in front of the usernames you want to block.

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Their interactions before the block will still be on your page unless you manually delete them. But after the block, they can no longer comment or view future posts.

Can you delete Instagram browser history on desktop?

Unfortunately, you can’t delete your Instagram browser history via a computer. You can only do it via the mobile app.

Instagram hasn’t given an official reason why. Still, a good guess is that the Instagram web version does not have an in-built browser.

Can I see a history of the profiles I’ve clicked on Instagram?

No, you can’t. While Instagram might have access to the data, there is no public-facing feature that allows you to see recent accounts you’ve viewed.

The only thing you can do so far is to view your search history via the Explore page or Account Data in Settings.

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Your Instagram account is yours, and your secrets should only be between you and Instagram.

Now that you know how to view and delete your Instagram browser and search history, you can control who sees what and maintain your dignity.

If you want tighter control over who has access to your activities and account, use any of the Comment, Stories Block, and Account Privacy features.

I know setting this up for the first time might seem confusing and exhausting, but once you figure it out, you will become the master over your Instagram.

About Author

Tom loves to write on technology, e-commerce & internet marketing. I started my first e-commerce company in college, designing and selling t-shirts for my campus bar crawl using print-on-demand. Having successfully established multiple 6 & 7-figure e-commerce businesses (in women’s fashion and hiking gear), I think I can share a tip or 2 to help you succeed.