Have you ever started typing a search in the Instagram app, only to have some potentially embarrassing suggestions pop up? We’ve all been there. Those search suggestions are based on your previous searches within the app. While this feature can be helpful at times, there may be certain suggested searches you want to delete for privacy or just to keep the clutter down. Fortunately, Instagram provides a couple quick and easy ways to clear those search suggestions out when typing on your iPhone.
- You can clear search suggestions individually or all at once
- Clearing search history impacts suggestions on your iPhone Instagram app only
- Consider clearing search history regularly for privacy and a decluttered search experience
Why Do Search Suggestions Appear?
When you start typing a search term in the Instagram app, you’ll notice suggested terms popping up below. These are based on previous searches you’ve done within Instagram on that device.
The app is trying to help by predicting what you might be searching for in that moment based on past behavior. However, sometimes those suggestions showcase searches you’d rather keep private or simply clutter up the search bar.
Instagram search suggestions appear on iPhone and Android devices. The suggestions that appear are unique to each device, based on past searches done from that device.
So clearing suggestions on your iPhone Instagram app, for example, won’t impact the suggestions that show up when searching on Instagram on your Android. The search history is tied specifically to the device.
Clear Individual Search Suggestions
If there’s just one embarrassing or irrelevant search suggestion you want to remove, you can delete it easily right from the search screen:
- Tap the search icon at the bottom of the Instagram app to open search.
- Begin typing a search term. You’ll see suggested searches pop up below the search bar.
- Tap and hold your finger on the suggestion you want to delete.
- Tap “Delete” when the option pops up.
This will immediately remove that specific search term from your search suggestions. It’s quick and easy to prune just a few unwanted suggested terms this way.
Clear All Search Suggestions
If you want a completely clean slate when it comes to search suggestions, you can completely clear your Instagram search history in just a few taps:
- Tap the search icon at the bottom to open search.
- Tap on the word “Search” at the top of the screen.
- Scroll all the way down and tap “Clear All”.
This will wipe your search history, removing all terms that would appear as suggestions. Your search bar will appear completely empty moving forward.
Clearing the entire search history gives you a blank slate and ensures no unwanted suggestions will show up in the future. It’s a good idea to clear it out occasionally for privacy.
Considerations When Clearing Search History
Here are a few things to keep in mind when deciding whether to clear your Instagram search suggestions:
- Impact on your device only: Clearing the search history only impacts the suggestions on the specific device you clear it from. So clearing on your iPhone won’t change suggestions on Instagram on your iPad, for example.
- Search history vs. usage data: Clearing search suggestions doesn’t delete all usage data Instagram collects. So they may still draw usage insights even after you clear the history.
- Future suggestions: New searches you do after clearing will begin populating suggestions again. So it’s something you may want to clear regularly.
- Privacy: For many, the primary reason for clearing is privacy. Wiping the search history removes potentially revealing or embarrassing suggestions from popping up.
Overall, keeping your Instagram search suggestions cleared out can provide a fresh, uncluttered search experience while also enhancing privacy. Do it as often as needed to keep your search bar tidy and personalized suggestions to a minimum.
How Search Suggestions Work on Instagram
Now that you know how to remove search suggestions, you may be wondering exactly how those suggested searches get populated in the first place when you open up the Instagram search bar.
It’s helpful to understand the backend logic powering search if you want to be more purposeful about what appears there moving forward.
Personalized Based on Your Searches
The suggested searches that appear are unique to you, personalized based on your own Instagram search history and patterns. Suggestions won’t look the same for you as another user, because what you see is based on the types of content you view and engage with in the app.
When you first tap into search, you may notice just generic, popular searches suggested initially. But as you actively search for specific accounts, hashtags, places and more, Instagram begins tailoring suggestions to you.
Instagram uses a complex machine learning algorithm to predict searches you may want to do again based on previous searches. So if you’ve looked for
#sunset in the past, you’ll probably see it suggested again when you start typing
The algorithm looks for patterns in your searches to provide personalized predictions it calculates you’re most likely to look for again.
Local Search History
It’s important to note suggestions are based only on searches conducted directly on that device. So search history on your iPhone Instagram app informs iPhone suggestions, while search history on Android tailors Android suggestions uniquely.
Clearing suggestions on one device doesn’t impact any others. The algorithm looks specifically at local search history to provide personalized results.
Updates Over Time
Instagram’s search algorithms evolve constantly to try and serve up better, more relevant predictions. So you may notice suggestions change format or type over time as the technology improves.
Particularly if you clear your search history, you may see suggestions eventually get more personalized again based on new patterns it detects in your searches. The tech is always updating to get smarter.
Now that you understand the basics of how Instagram search suggestions work, you can better decide when to clear your search history for maximum benefit.
Clearing Search History Regularly
Because Instagram search suggestions aim to provide the most relevant, personalized results based on your past searches, you may want to make regularly clearing your history a habit.
Here are some reasons to consider clearing your search suggestions often:
Many people’s primary motivation for erasing search history is privacy. When you clear the history entirely, it removes any potentially embarrassing or revealing searches from populating as you search. For many, this peace of mind is reason enough to clear regularly.
Over time, your search history can grow cluttered with one-off searches, typos, old interests and more. Clearing it routinely declutters your search bar so you always see only the most relevant suggestions.
If your interests have evolved, old search history may surface irrelevant suggestions. Starting fresh helps Instagram provide only suggestions tailored to your current interests and needs.
By proactively wiping your search history, you take control over what appears in your search suggestions, rather than just letting them build up indefinitely. It allows you to manually “reset” them.
Making it a habit means you don’t even have to think about it. Choose a frequency for clearing search history that works for you, whether that’s daily, weekly, monthly or beyond.
Developing a routine of clearing your search suggestions periodically ensures you always have a tidy, personalized search experience on Instagram. It’s one of the easiest ways to enhance privacy and declutter your app interface.
Clearing Search History on Instagram Website
The Instagram app isn’t the only place you can search on Instagram from your iPhone. You can also access Instagram from the web browser on your iPhone if you head to www.instagram.com.
On the Instagram website, you can still search for profiles, locations, hashtags and more. And you’ll also notice personalized search suggestions popping up from your history.
Luckily, clearing your search history works nearly the same on the Instagram website as it does in the Instagram app:
- Go to www.instagram.com on your iPhone browser.
- Tap the search icon to open search.
- Tap your profile picture in the top right corner.
- Select “Settings” from the menu.
- Tap “Security” under the Settings menu.
- Choose “Clear Search History” on the Security page.
This will instantly wipe your search history from the Instagram website on that device, removing all personalized suggestions. It won’t impact the app or other devices.
Whenever you want a fresh slate for search on the Instagram website from your iPhone, just pop into your settings and clear the entire history in a few taps.
Should You Permanently Delete Search History?
Instagram offers the option to temporarily clear your search history, wiping your search suggestions clean. But some may wonder – is there a way to permanently delete search history from Instagram’s servers?
Unfortunately, there is no permanent deletion option when it comes to search history. Clearing it simply removes the data from your current search suggestions locally.
But some history likely still exists on Instagram’s servers for analytics, even after you manually clear it from your app or phone browser. There’s no way to delete it from their systems entirely.
Some reasons you may want permanent deletion include:
- Stronger privacy if you don’t want searches saved anywhere
- Concerns over data breaches exposing search history
- Removing all personalized influence on suggestions
But ultimately permanent deletion isn’t an option. The best you can do is diligently clear search history manually, regularly.
For most users, this should provide adequate privacy and control over what appears in suggestions. But permanent deletion may be worth considering if offered in the future.
Being able to control Instagram search suggestions is an important way to enhance your privacy and curate a more tailored experience in the app. Thankfully Instagram makes it easy to clear those suggestions right from your iPhone, either individually or all at once.
Keep your search history fresh by clearing it regularly so you always see only the most relevant recommendations when searching on Instagram. Consider making it a weekly or monthly habit.
Clearing just takes a few seconds, but can provide much more control over this personalized element of your Instagram feed. With a better understanding of how suggestions work and how to remove them, you can keep embarrassing or unnecessary recommendations from cluttering up your search bar.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How do I clear Instagram search suggestions on my iPhone?
A: Tap and hold the search suggestion you want to remove, then tap “Delete.” Repeat for any other search suggestions you want to remove. To clear all search suggestions, tap “Search,” then tap “Clear All.”
Q: Can I disable Instagram search suggestions?
A: No, there is no way to disable all search suggestions. Instagram will still suggest content you might be interested in when you start typing into the search bar.
Q: Will clearing Instagram search suggestions affect my search history?
A: No, clearing search suggestions will not delete your search history. To delete your entire search history, tap “Search,” then tap “Clear All.”
Q: How do I delete my entire Instagram search history?
A: Tap “Search,” then tap “Clear All” at the bottom of the screen. Tap “Clear All” again to confirm.
Q: Can I delete Instagram search suggestions on my computer?
A: Yes, you can delete Instagram search suggestions on your computer by going to the Instagram website and following the same steps as on your iPhone.
Q: Will clearing Instagram search suggestions affect my suggested accounts?
A: No, clearing search suggestions will not affect your suggested accounts. Instagram will still suggest accounts based on your activity and interactions on the app.
Q: How do I remove Instagram search suggestions through the Accounts Center?
A: Tap on your profile picture, then tap “Settings.” Tap “Security,” then “Clear Search History.”
Q: How do I clear Instagram search suggestions through desktop?
A: Go to the Instagram website and click “Search” on the left side of the screen. Click “Clear All” above your search suggestions.
Q: Can I delete the Instagram app to clear my search history?
A: Yes, deleting the Instagram app and reinstalling it will delete your cache and give you a clean slate.
Q: How do I clear Instagram search suggestions on my iPhone without deleting my search history?
A: Tap and hold the search suggestion you want to remove, then tap “Delete.” Repeat for any other search suggestions you want to remove.