For the same reasons you might want to tidy up your browser history from time-to-time — to nix outdated search suggestions, or sweep away the evidence of your curiosity about to an ex's marital status — you might want to learn how to clear your Instagram search history, too.
Instagram pays attention to what you look up to help curate suggestions for you, like accounts you might want to follow, interests you're likely to engage with, or ads that might be relevant for you. This feature can yield Instagram search suggestions that are useful and introduce you to accounts you actually want to connect with. But it can also influence your in-app experience in a way that's not so useful — like when you search for guinea pig videos one day, and then see them in your Explore feed every day for the rest of your life. If you're being constantly reminded of something you searched a while ago, like banana bread recipes or your ex's dog's account, it's helpful to get in the habit of clearing your Instagram search history.
To be clear, wiping your search history won’t immediately clear your Instagram search suggestions. The suggested accounts in the search tab aren't solely generated by who you've sought out in the past. According to PSafe, a software company focused on mobile security on apps, Instagram's suggested search accounts are also impacted by your other activity on the platform. For example, the social media platform might factor in the posts you've liked or commented on, hashtags you've used or searched, and even accounts that have commented on or liked your own posts.
What's more, clearing your searches on Instagram doesn't mean that accounts you've searched in the past won't ever show up as suggested results. Even if you clear your history, you still might see your most searched accounts offered up as suggested searches when you go to the search option on Instagram. These suggested accounts will likely change over time, though, if you begin searching for other accounts on the platform.
Here’s how to clear your Instagram search history and search suggestions:
Clear Instagram Search History On Your Phone
If you want to clear your Instagram search history, or even just to see what you've been searching to begin with, go to your profile. From there, you can tap the menu icon at the top right of your profile, then select "Settings," then "Security," then "Clear Search History." Once you do that, you'll be able to see a list of accounts you've searched over time. You have the option of removing individual searches, or your entire search history.
Clear Instagram Search History On Your Desktop
Go to your Instagram profile, then click on the "Settings" icon, which looks like a gear. From there, you can click "Privacy and Security," then "View Account Data." Then, you can click "Search History," then click "View All." There, you'll have the option to clear your Instagram search history.
Clear Instagram Search Suggestions On Your Phone
If you just straight up don't want to see the suggestions Instagram's surfacing for you, you can simply get rid of them by clicking the x to the right of the account name when these suggestions surface on the search homepage.
Note that once you clear your search history, you won't be able to undo it. So if you're currently vibing with the algorithm right now, you might want to leave your history alone.
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