Instagram offers its users the option of making their accounts private, and many people jump at the opportunity to protect their photos from unwanted eyes. Some do that to hide from their exes or future employers, or simply because they think that it’s safer. Even though you don’t have anything incriminating or scandalous on your account, you might feel more comfortable knowing exactly who has access to the pictures that you post.
The fact that you personally keep your Instagram account private doesn’t mean that you can’t feel annoyed when other people do the same thing. There are a million reasons why someone would want to hide their pictures but there also are a million reasons why you would want to see them. Whatever the case is, the matter of how to view a private Instagram account probably doesn’t keep you up at night but your life would get slightly easier if you knew how to do that.
How is it done?
So, how to view a private Instagram account? The most polite and also the easiest thing to do is to request to follow the person. Many people make their accounts private because they don’t want strangers to see them and, if you’re friends with the other person, there’s no reason why they wouldn’t let you follow them. It may take them a few hours to approve the request but, as soon as they do, you’ll be able to see all of their stories, pictures, and videos.
The main drawback of this method is that it only works either if the other person approves anyone’s requests (but then there’s no reason for them to keep the account private, is there?), or if you already know them really well. Chances are that if you’ve only met once at a party and talked for two minutes, the person you want to follow won’t remember you and think that you’re a complete stranger. It might be helpful to send them a private message once you request to follow them, to explain your intentions. You don’t need to say anything special or go into details: most of the time a simple “We’ve met at John’s birthday party” will be more than enough.
Yet once again, sending a private message will only be helpful if you’ve met the other person and you don’t have a history that would stop them from letting you follow them. There’s no way that this polite technique will work with your ex or, what’s even more unlikely, with his new girlfriend. Thankfully, there are some other things you can try and even see their pictures without letting them know that you did that.
Google is your friend!
So, the first thing you can do is search for the username of the person you want to but can’t follow on Google. There’s a big possibility that, even though Instagram hides their pictures, Google images managed to get access to them and have them open for the whole internet to see. That’s a very likely thing to happen, especially if the account has been made private recently. In addition, a lot of people share their Instagram pictures on other social media as well, and they often aren’t as protected. For instance, when a photo from a private Instagram is shared on an open Facebook account, everyone can see it, and Google will help you make sure that you find it. So, if your goal is only to see the person’s pictures and you don’t necessarily want to follow them on Instagram, this method might provide you with some useful information.
Still, there are times when you desperately need to see someone’s account but stay anonymous in the process. How to view a private Instagram account if this is the case, and is there really a way to do that? If you search the net, you’ll definitely find a number of websites that will promise you the ability to view all the pictures and videos hidden with privacy settings without any requirements or payments. This sounds like a tempting option but it’s very likely that you won’t get anything except disappointment if you try it. Despite the fact that these websites claim to be completely free, they’ll ask for your credit card and for money. They also generally look rather fishy because their origin is unclear, so they definitely aren’t the solution you’re looking for.
Fake Account? (not recommended)
If everything else fails, you can turn to the option that’s not so polite and requires you to lie about your identity. It’s not recommended because it goes against Instagram’s terms of service and it’s unethical; if you have a private account itself, you wouldn’t want your ex to follow you from a fake account. However, it’s something you can try when you’re sure that, if the other person knew who is trying to follow them they wouldn’t approve the request. In fact, there are tricks that will increase the chances of your fake account getting the approval. For instance, if you have a woman on your profile picture, many people will find your account more safe and friendly. It will also be helpful to add some real pictures onto your fake account, follow a few people and get a few followers. If the other person still doesn’t let you see their private account, you can send them a private message and give a convincing (obviously, it can be real but it doesn’t have to be) reason for why you want to follow them.
Ask a friend
Finally, you can get assistance from your friends. If someone you know really well follows the private account of your interest, ask them to send you screenshots and keep you updated on everything that’s happening. This method will help you stay anonymous and still receive all the information about the other person. The only problem is that, in order for this method to work, you’ll need a really good friend whom you can trust and who won’t judge you. If you have one in your mind, don’t even try anything else: your friend will be your Instagram eyes and ears.
Generally, Instagram takes good care of its users and, if someone doesn’t want their pictures to be seen by other people, the platform won’t let this happen. Therefore, if you want to view a private account, it’s best if you’re honest and explain your intentions. And if you don’t get the approval, you should respect the other person’s reasoning and point of view. They probably have a perfectly good explanation for why they aren’t letting you view their pictures. In fact, nothing will change in your life if you don’t see their photos, so, even though it’s easier said than done, you should just let go.