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  • How to Hide Likes on Instagram: The Definitive Guide (with Video Tutorials!)

In May 2021, Instagram started allowing people to hide like counts on their own accounts as a way to give them more control over their experience on the app.

how to hide likes on instagram - example from post where like count is hidden

Hiding like counts on your own posts and those of other accounts is simple and reversible. You have full control over which posts show likes and the ability to turn them back on at any point.

But how exactly do you go about doing that?

We’ve created a step-by-step guide on how to hide likes on Instagram posts and Instagram Reels as well as your future content. We’ll also cover how to hide like counts on other people’s accounts (plus how to see likes on posts where the like counts are hidden).

How hiding likes affects your account performance

Let’s start off by saying this: Hiding likes won’t affect your overall account performance. People will still be able to hit the heart emoji, you just won’t be able to see how many (on the front end, at least).

Hiding likes also won’t make your account more likely to be shadow banned–and Instagram will let you know if your account has been shadow banned.

Regardless of whether you hide likes or not, you should never buy likes. Purchasing likes or followers can cause Instagram to disable or delete your account.

However, hiding likes could potentially hinder your ability to land advertising deals and influencer partnerships. Instagram recommends that businesses and creators looking for brand partnerships leave their post likes turned on.

Why you may want to disable Instagram likes

There are many reasons why you may consider turning off Instagram likes. If you’re unsure whether it’s the right decision for you, view disabling Instagram likes as an experiment.

Prioritize mental health

The number of likes adolescents receive on their posts has a tangible impact on their emotions. One 2021 study found that adolescents imagining a post with few likes had negative feelings. Another found that teenagers and adults who use Instagram are susceptible to social comparison. People of any age using the social app can experience social anxiety, negative self-esteem, and body image issues.

instagram post with likes hidden with positive mental health quote

So since social media has been proven to affect real-world emotions, you may want to stop your social media team and your audience from seeing the number of likes on your posts.

Likes are a vanity metric

Likes may feel important, but they’re not the most important social media metric. They may make you feel good or bad, but they aren’t the same as making a sale or growing your audience. Plus, likes aren’t as important as shares or comments.

Encourage real engagement

While users can hit the like button and keep scrolling, commenting and sharing takes an extra step of effort. By hiding the number of likes you get, you’ll encourage your audience to interact with your page through comments and shares.

instagram post encouraging sharing

Help refocus your posting strategy

It’s easy to pay attention to what people like and use it to inform your future actions. By removing likes from the equation, you must focus on other important metrics like comments and shares. Paying attention to important social media metrics and devaluing likes will help your posting strategy focus on what really matters instead of vanity metrics.

Your online presence is way more important than likes

When your audience is learning more about you and your services, do you think they’re really looking at your likes?

No. People want to see what you have to offer–and they’ll find that information through your website, social media posts, newsletter, and reviews. The amount of likes you receive isn’t nearly as important as your overall online presence. So make sure you have that Instagram bio optimized.

instagram bio example for shipstation


You can still see your likes–secretly

Even though hiding likes is a smart idea, you may still be curious about what posts people are liking. You can use Instagram Insights to view your hidden Instagram likes. We’ll discuss that later.

How to hide likes on Instagram

Here, we’ll walk through all the different ways and places you can hide likes on Instagram.

How to hide likes on all future Instagram posts

If you’re ready to stop seeing likes on all your Instagram posts, you need to go to your account. You can do this on your desktop or your smartphone.

On your smartphone:

  1. Go to your profile by clicking the icon of your photo. Hit the three lines in the top right corner.
  2. Click “Settings and privacy.”
  3. Under “What you see” click “Hide likes.”

On your desktop:

  1. Go to your profile by clicking the icon of your photo. Hit the three lines in the top right corner.
  2. Click “Settings.”
  3. Select “What you see.”
  4. Click “Hide likes.”

how to hide likes on instagram for all future posts - desktop view

If you want to unhide your likes, just go through the steps and click “Unhide likes.”

How to hide likes on an Instagram post as you create it

It’s easy to hide like counts on an Instagram post before you ever publicly release it:

  1. Create a new post. When you get to the step where you can write a caption, scroll down.
  2. Click “Advanced settings”
  3. Under “Like and view counts” click “Hide like and view counts on this post.”

how to hide likes on instagram for new posts

How to hide Instagram likes on a published post

If you want to hide likes on all previously published posts, you’ll have to go post-by-post to hide likes. That can be super time-consuming, so it may be better to just hide Instagram likes on future posts instead.

  1. Go to an individual post and click the three dots in the top right-hand corner
  2. Click “Hide like count” to turn the setting on.
  3. If you want to undo this action, just click “Unhide like count.”

how to hide likes on instagram for published posts

How to hide likes on Instagram Reels

Instagram does allow you to turn off likes on your Instagram Reels. The process is very similar to posts:

  1. On your phone, create a new Reel.
  2. Before you share the Reel, scroll to the bottom. Hit “Advanced settings.”
  3. Toggle the button for “Hide like count on this reel.”

If you’re on your laptop or desktop, you can’t post a Reel, but you can turn off likes on existing Reels:

  1. Click on the three dots on the top right of an existing Reel.
  2. Click “Hide like count.”

how to hide likes on instagram reels on desktop

How to hide likes on other people’s posts

Keep from comparing yourself to your competitors by hiding likes on other accounts. While they will still be able to see their own likes, they will be completely hidden from you.

You can do this on your desktop or on your smartphone. On your desktop:

  1. Click “Settings” on your desktop.
  2. Click “Privacy and security.”
  3. Under “Likes and views,” click “Hide likes.”

how to hide likes on instagram for other users on desktop

Now you’ll see “Username and others” have liked this post instead of specific numbers.

On your smartphone:

  1. Click on your profile and go to the three lines in the top right corner and then click “Settings.”
  2. Hit “Privacy.”
  3. Click “Posts.”
  4. Then tap “Hide likes.”

how to hide likes for others users on instagram for your smartphone

Frequently asked questions about hiding Instagram likes

Here are some frequently asked questions when it comes to how to hide likes on Instagram.

Why am I unable to hide Instagram likes?

Generally speaking, if you’re unable to hide Instagram likes, it’s probably because your app needs updating. You’ll need to open the Instagram app on your phone and update the app or your phone itself.

How do I use Instagram Insights to view my hidden Instagram likes?

Even when you’ve disabled your Instagram likes, you may want to take a peek behind the curtain. Use Instagram Insights to look at your post interactions:

  1. Click the three lines in the top corner.
  2. Click “Insights.”
  3. Chose what date range you want to see.
  4. Click on “Accounts engaged.”
  5. Look at your likes!

screens showing where to find hidden instagram likes in instagram insights for your account

How do I see likes on accounts with hidden like counts?

If another Instagram account has hidden its likes, you will be unable to see how many likes it receives. But if you’re curious, you can click to see the usernames of people who have liked a post.

  1. Click on the post you’re interested in.
  2. Click on the usernames who have liked the post. You’ll typically see something that says “username and others.”
  3. Look through the list of usernames who have liked the post.

instagram screenshot that shows post with likes hidden and list of accounts that liked the post

Deliberate and experiment with Instagram likes

So, should you hide your Instagram likes? There’s honestly no right answer here. You may want to take down Instagram likes for a time and then turn them on again later. You may find that not seeing Instagram likes is beneficial for your mental health and decide to ignore the vanity metric forever.

Regardless of your call, hiding Instagram likes isn’t going to harm your brand in the long- or short-term. Refocus your energy and attention on important Instagram metrics, like engagement and shares, and work on gaining new followers.

Want more Instagram how-tos? We’ve got you covered!

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