Instagram is adding a new “Recently deleted” folder to the app’s menu that temporarily stores posts after you remove them from your profile or archive, giving you the ability to restore deleted posts if you change your mind.
The folder includes sections for photos, IGTV, Reels, and Stories posts. No one else can see your recently deleted posts, but as long as a photo or video is still in the folder, it can be restored. Regular photos, IGTV videos, and Reels remain in the folder for up to 30 days, after which they’re gone forever. Stories stick around for up to 24 hours before they’re permanently removed, but you can still access them in your Stories archive.
Instagram says it added the feature to help users restore their posts if their accounts are ever hacked and their content is deleted, but you can restore your posts for any reason once the functionality is available for you.
The Recently deleted folder and the ability to restore posts are rolling out in the latest app update, but may not be available to everyone yet. Look for Recently Deleted folder under Settings > Account > Recently Deleted. Make sure it’s there before tentatively deleting a post.
How to restore (or permanently remove) recently deleted Instagram posts
- Go to Settings > Account > Recently Deleted.
- Tap the Photo, IGTV video, Reels, or Stories tab to view all recently deleted content of that type.
- Select a post.
- Tap the “…” icon.
- Select “Restore” to undo the removal and send it back to your profile or archive, or “Delete” to permanently delete it (note: Instagram Support says it could take up to 90 days to scrub for some content from its database.)
It’s great that Instagram users can now resurrect prematurely-excised content, but make sure you take the extra steps to fully delete content you don’t want. Instagram and other social media companies have a bad habit of keeping “deleted” data longer than they’re supposed to. Luckily, there are ways to check your social media databases to see what personal data these companies are storing. Even if you don’t mind these platforms holding onto your information, leaks and data breaches are still a risk.