How To Set Up Instagram Parental Controls

With more than 400 million users, Instagram is one of the most popular social media platforms in the world. In addition to its regular users, countless brands, celebrities, and retail giants all maintain presences on this photo- and video-sharing app. Users can follow, view, comment, and like posts by others in a scrollable stream called a "feed." According to Instagram’s Terms of Service, a user must be 13 or older to create an account.

Privacy Settings

How to set your child’s account to private

A private account enables users to select who can access and follow what they post. Public accounts can be seen and followed by anyone, approved or not.

  1. Open the Instagram app.
  2. Click your child’s profile picture in the bottom right corner.
  3. At the top right of the screen, click “...”.
  4. A screen will slide open from the left. At the bottom, click Settings.
  5. Scroll down and tap Account Privacy.
  6. Tap to toggle and enable Private Account.

How to block accounts

  1. Tap the offending user's username or profile photo. This will take you to their profile.
  2. Tap the “...” in the top right corner.
  3. Tap Block.

How to report content that is abusive or inappropriate

  1. Tap "..." in the top right corner of the offending user profile or specific post.
  2. Or, if it’s a comment, swipe left on the comment itself and tap the exclamation mark.
  3. If it’s a message, tap and hold on the message and then tap Report.

How to turn comments off by post

Instagram ensures that users can control and manage all comments on their pages. You can turn off commenting to prevent people from commenting on an individual post. When you turn off commenting, any comments that are currently on your post will be hidden. If you turn commenting back on for a post, previous comments will be restored and people will be able to comment again.

To turn commenting off or on for a post you've shared on your iOS device:

  1. Tap “...” above your post.
  2. Select Turn Off Commenting or Turn On Commenting.

You can also turn off commenting for a post before you share it. On the screen where you add a caption or location to your post, tap Advanced Settings, then tap Turn Off Commenting.

How to bulk-manage comments

  1. Open the Instagram app.
  2. Click your child’s profile picture in the bottom right corner.
  3. At the top right of the screen, click “...”.
  4. A screen will slide open from the left. At the bottom, click Settings.
  5. Scroll down and tap Comment Controls.
  6. Here, you can manage different aspects of comment control. Explore which ones are appropriate for your child.

Direct Messages

Instagram Direct lets you send messages to one or more people. These often function as chats. You can send the following as a message on Instagram Direct:

To see messages sent with Instagram Direct, tap the arrow in the top right of your feed. From there, you can manage the messages that have been sent and received.

Understanding disappearing photos and videos

Instagram now incorporates the ability to send disappearing photos and videos, a feature inspired by Snapchat. This functionality is found in the Direct Message section. You can send a disappearing photo or video either as a group or individual message. After someone opens a disappearing photo or video you've sent them, the message is no longer visible in their inbox unless you've allowed a replay of your message.

Want to learn more?

Check out What Parents Need to Know About Instagram Monitoring.

How to Monitor Content

In addition to setting parental controls on your child's device, the next safety layer parents and caregivers should strongly consider is a monitoring solution to assess the content their kids encounter (and produce) across text messages, social media, and email. Bark can do this for you. On Instagram, Bark monitors the images/videos your child posts and comments on those posts. Bark can also monitor Instagram direct messages and searches on connected Android and Amazon devices. Instagram does not allow external access to private messages on iOS. If you'd like to see a detailed list of everything Bark can monitor, click here.

Bark - The Internet Safety Solution

Bark is dedicated to helping keep kids safe online and in real life. In 2018, we helped protect nearly 3 million kids with our groundbreaking products for families and schools. 

By monitoring text messages, YouTube, emails, and 24+ different social networks for potential safety concerns like cyberbullying, self-harm, violence, sexual predators, and more, Bark allows busy parents to rest easier knowing their kids are better protected from digital dangers. Sign up today to start your free, one-week trial or visit to learn more.