Published at 10/12/2020

One of the, if not the, most frequently asked questions among Instagram users is the following: How are you able to view private profiles? Not everyone actually wants to follow a person in order to see their content, their pictures, videos, and stories.
In this article this question will be answered, and we will show you different ways to see private profiles without having to follow anyone.
Imagine this: you just met someone new and you want to know more about this person. You already found out that they, in fact, own an Instagram profile. After just a short search you are successful, you found their page but, oh pity, it is set to private.
If this is the case, you are only able to see their profile picture and their personal description. Anything else, including posts and stories, is hidden from your view. Because you only met this person once you don’t want to send a follow request already. You don’t want to seem like an instastalker, do you? Depending on the person this could easily backfire.

Instastalker – what was that again?

In our age of social media and networking it is super easy to gather information about a certain person. For some even, the so-called instastalkers, it is almost an event to regularly collect info and news from a variety of Instagram profiles. Because this phenomenon becomes more and more popular, many Instagram users now choose to set their profiles to private mode in order to evade this. Their content is then only visible to their followers.

How do I set my profile to private?

You are one of the people that have not yet set the profile to private, but you want the security and protection of your data privacy that private mode gives you? Instastalkers will stand a far lesser chance to see your content and do with it whatever they want.
This advice is primarily catered to private persons. If you own a business or work as an influencer your job is to present and represent yourself, your company, your products. In this case you need to show your account to the general public to guarantee a far wider coverage and publicity.
Follow these steps to set your profile to private:
  1. Open the Instagram app.
  2. Tap the symbol at the bottom right, which shows your profile picture
  3. Tap the three dots at the top right, which will open a new menu
  4. Choose “settings”
  5. Choose “privacy”
  6. Tap the button next to “private profile”. The button will now turn blue, which means that private mode is activated.
Tip: Depending on your phone software (iOS, Android, …) the menu may appear slightly different. The general approach is the same though.

How to view private profiles:

Instagram users are always on the lookout for new ways to view private profiles without actually following the person. In theory it is not possible to do so and you will have to pull out some tricks. If these methods are morally acceptable is a whole other story. We encourage you to make up your own opinion about this.
Now, following methods will help you see the content of private profiles.


This is an almost foolproof but very stalker-like way. You simply create a new Instagram profile that very closely resembles that of a friend or relative of your target account. This includes similar first and last name, similar or even the exact same profile picture, and information on their place of residence, interests and more. You will need to put some effort into your research for this to get a good result and to not blow your cover. Otherwise it will have been in vain.

Search on other platforms

Apart from Instagram there are several other platforms and search engines that burst with information on millions of topics. This includes personal info and pictures that will help you reach your goal of getting to know as much as possible about someone.
Do the following: put the Instagram username into google 1:1. Many won’t make the effort to choose a new username every time they register somewhere new. You can also try and put their full name and place of residence into google and see what comes up.
Another way is to use google picture search. Type the username into the search field on our page to show and enlarge the corresponding profile picture. Right click on the picture and choose “google search by image”. On Google Chrome you will be led directly to google picture search and its results.

Fake Profile

If you want to stay unknown and not simply send a follow request from your profile, you can do so with a fake one. Just put in random information when you register and choose a random profile picture. Make sure to keep it believable and make the effort to write a detailed description which will make others believe there is a real person behind it. Now gather some followers and follow others. Close to no one will accept a follow request from an account that has a follower count of 0.

Instagram profile of a friend

Maybe you have a friend or someone else who is willing to send your desired account a follow request? Certainly, the two won’t know each other in real life. This of course also works with colleagues, relatives or other acquaintances. If you ask nicely one of them will definitely do you the favour, though they will certainly be curious about it and you should be prepared to give them an explanation.

Other tools

On the internet there exist a whole lot of other tools that promise to uncover private Instagram profiles. They won´t only let you see, enlarge and download profile pictures, but also show you the complete profile with all its content. These services are better used with caution, since it is not fully known who´s behind them or how they operate. Use at own risk.


To be honest, there is a little instastalker in each and every one of us. Social media is full of profiles and people of every kind. Why not have a look at what others are doing? While some methods are generally acceptable, others seem to be rather morally injustifiable. Which ones you choose to use, and which not is a decision to make for your own. This article is simply written as information on the topic, it is not to encourage anyone to use one or all of them. In the end everyone needs to decide for themselves if they want to be an instastalker and how far they will go.

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