Instagram Hacked? Here’s How to Recover Your Account

Instagram is crucial for designers, serving as a marketing and networking tool that’s key to landing new clients. So what should you do if you’ve had your Instagram hacked? First, don’t panic—you’re not alone. “I’d say it’s common for the average user to get hacked to some degree in their life,” says Matthew Krull, a social media strategist at design-focused communications agency Novità. “I hear more often than not from my friends and colleagues that they’ve experienced some suspicious activity on their account.” But if you’ve had your Instagram account hacked, it’s important to act fast. The quicker you move to recover your Instagram profile, the more likely you’ll be successful. Here are the steps for how to get your Instagram account back, as well as measures you can take to bolster your cybersecurity.

How do I know if my Instagram account has been hacked?

There are some clear signs you may be dealing with a hacked Instagram account. Most hackers immediately change your account’s personal data as a means of kicking you out and preventing you from regaining access to your Instagram. Any time your email, phone number, or password has been changed, Instagram will send you an email alert from If you didn’t change anything yourself, that’s a sign that a hacker may have gained access to your account. Instagram will also alert you to “suspicious login attempts,” which might be another sign a hacker is attempting to access your account.

Yet another sign that your Instagram account has been hacked is seeing unusual activity on your feed, such as images, reels, or stories that you didn’t post yourself. Other suspicious activity includes your account sending followers direct messages (DMs) from your profile that you didn’t send. (On that note, if you notice some off-kilter activity on a friend’s page, tell them! You may catch it before they do.)

Can I get my Instagram account back after it’s been hacked?

The short answer: It depends.

It is possible to get a hacked Instagram account back, but you need to move fast so that the hacker can’t compromise your account further. If you act quickly, you might be able to kick out the hacker while they’re in your account—and, more crucially, before they’ve changed your personal data, deleted your photos, or posted to your profile.

But if the hacker has already gone beyond logging in and has changed your account details like your password, email, and phone number, profile recovery becomes a lot more difficult. Depending on how much damage they’ve done, Instagram may be able to help you recover your account. But brace yourself: If your account has been deleted by a hacker, it’s likely gone for good.

How do you regain access to a hacked Instagram account?

The answer depends on whether the hacker has changed only your Instagram password or your Instagram password and contact info. In either case, here’s how you can attempt to recover your Instagram account.

My password doesn’t work—what do I do?

Hitting a brick wall at the login screen? Simply follow the steps for setting a new one, as prompted by the login page on the Instagram app. Hopefully, the login link will be sent to your email account or phone number, and you can use a security code to log back in to your account and change your password. This would be the best case scenario, as you can solve the problem yourself without having to contact Instagram support. (That said, it’s not a bad idea to let them know that your Instagram account might have been hacked—the company may point out some helpful security tips to keep your account safe in the future.)

I didn’t get a password reset email to change my login credentials. Now what?

Whew, prepare yourself. If you’re locked out of your social media account and you don’t receive a password reset link when you request one, a hacker might have changed your email and phone number to their own. Most hackers do this immediately so they can keep control of your account. If that’s the case, you’ll need to report the activity to Instagram by following the step-by-step instructions here. Instagram will ask you to verify your identity in various ways, such as taking a video selfie to prove you are who you say you are. This process likely won’t give you immediate access; it could take days or even weeks to recover your Instagram account—all the while the hacker may be holding your Instagram account for ransom and requesting bitcoin or other plunder for you to get it back.

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