Whether you’re digging up cringey old comments from years ago or racking your brain to remember the joke you made under someone’s post last week, searching for Instagram comments can be a useful way to remember and keep track of connections with others.
For Nadya Okamoto, an Instagram creator dedicated to destigmatizing menstruation, searching for comments can “aid in building bridges between social media creators and their followers.” Since she sees Instagram comment sections as a place for followers to share and embrace their unique experiences, she believes searching for them can help users better cultivate online communities and friendships. “When I write about mental health and anxiety, I often get a lot of people asking about different coping mechanisms that work for me, and I never want to miss one of those,” she says. That’s why it’s crucial to know how to search for Instagram comments, whether on your posts or comments you made on others’ feed pics.
How To Find Comments On Your Own Instagram Posts
Instagram doesn’t offer a feature that lets you search all comments on your own posts, but there are still quite a few ways you can find the standouts. The simplest is to open one of your own posts on a computer, where comments are automatically displayed to the right of the post, and use the Ctrl+F or command+F keyboard shortcut to search text within the browser. Hold down the “Ctrl” key (on a PC) or the “command” key (on a Mac) and then press the “F” key to search the page for usernames or other keywords. Any direct matches with your search will light up.
Instagram displays a limited number of comments at a time, so if you want to search a broader selection, you’ll have to click the plus sign button to load more. With this method, you’ll also need to switch between posts if you want to search across multiple comments sections.
If you’re not sure which post someone commented a hilarious reference to the latest Bachelorette plot twist on, a simple Google search may be enough to do the trick. Entering keywords and search terms into the search engine along with “site:Instagram.com” can unearth the comment you’re looking for if your account is high-profile enough. However, this generally doesn’t work for smaller accounts, especially if they’re private.
A way to work around these pitfalls is to use third-party apps like Picodash or Hootsuite, which allow you to search and track a variety of metrics across different social media platforms. However, many features on apps like these are often pricey and may be better suited for businesses than individuals.
How To Find Instagram Comments You’ve Made
Many of these methods can also work to find Instagram comments that you’ve made before, but the Instagram app offers an easier solution.
Go to your Instagram Settings by visiting your profile page and tapping the three lines in the upper-right. If you select the “Security” tab, you’ll see a “Download Data” option near the bottom of your screen. Tap this option, enter the email address you want your data sent to, and hit “Request Download.” After you enter your password, Instagram will send you a file with all your account data. Don’t worry if you don’t get this email immediately — it can take up to 48 hours to send and sometimes ends up in your spam folder, as a pop-up will tell you when you request this data.
Once you receive the email and download the .zip file to your computer, open it to see loads of information about your Instagram history — likes, messages, past usernames, and more. The “comments” folder will lead to a file that shows every comment you’ve ever left on Instagram, along with the date and the user whose post you commented on. However, this list doesn't include deleted comments, so if you can't find the subtle hints you tried to drop under your old crush's post, you may have already deleted them.
To find certain keywords or usernames within the list, you can use the Ctrl+F or command+F keyboard shortcut and dig up everything from embarrassing confessions to old inside jokes.