How to Archive Photos in Instagram

Instagram has a new feature to archive posts. It makes them private, so only you can see them, without deleting the post and losing the comments and likes.

Instagram Archive Posts
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Instagram has introduced a way to archive photos in your Instagram account. This takes them off your public profile feed and switches them to a private state so that only can see them. But it stops short of deleting them. That means the comments and ratings are preserved, and you can also restore it back to your public feed with a single click.

It was initially rolled out only for some users, but as of mid-June 2017, it should be available on all user accounts.

Here’s a rundown of how it works.

A Word of Caution

First, though, a word of caution if you plan to temporarily disable your Instagram account at some point. Some users have reported that after archiving posts, then temporarily disabling their account, then re-enabling their account, that their archived posts have disappeared.

I’ve tried it myself and I couldn’t reproduce this issue–my archived posts were still showing up in the archive section when I re-enabled the account. But if you’re in this position, something to try is to remove the app from your phone and then re-install it. Some users have reported that that restores the archived posts.

How Instagram’s Archive Feature Works

You should see a new small icon at the top right of the screen in the Instagram app. It looks like a clock with an arrow going counterclockwise. Like this:

Instagram Archive Posts

It’ll then open the post archive page. If you haven’t archived any images before, it’ll obviously be blank, and you’ll see this message.

Instagram Archive Posts

To actually archive a post is very simple. Open the individual post in the app and click on the three dots (…) at the top right.

You should then see the option to archive it.

Instagram Archive Posts

It’ll then be added to your archive page and removed from your public profile. Only you have access to it now.

Instagram Archive Posts

To restore it, click on the post and choose Show on Profile.

Instagram Archive Posts

And that’s about it. Instagram is rolling this out to accounts gradually and I have no idea what determines the order of the rollout. But if you don’t have it already you should have it soon.

David Coleman / Photographer
by David Coleman

I'm a professional freelance travel photographer based in Washington DC. Seven continents, up mountains, underwater, and a bunch of places in between. My images have appeared in numerous publications, and you can check out some of my travel photography here. More »