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How to hide your Instagram activity or online status, and check if someone is active

Doing anything via social media these days is close to impossible without using a Meta-owned platform. If you want to check out some social media, Facebook and Instagram are two of the most popular choices. If you just want to text some of your friends – there is WhatsApp, the most popular messaging app in the world. All of them are owned by Meta.


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These platforms have at least one more thing in common aside from their owner – the possibility to check who is online, when they were active, and how long since they last logged in. It’s a small but extremely useful feature and can help you in various ways. It lets you see if you can expect someone to write back immediately if you need an urgent answer. It’s also just nice to know who’s still online if you just want to chat with someone – you can quickly take a look and text your friends who are still hanging out online.


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However, sometimes this feature might be annoying. If you want to hide that you’re browsing social media, this little green activity dot might give you away and inform others that you are, in fact, still online. If you said you’re going to go to sleep just to get out of an unwanted conversation, it might get a little awkward when Facebook shows you’re still on half an hour later!

Fortunately, as with all the Meta’s social media platforms, Instagram also offers you a way to turn off your activity status, effectively hiding whether you’re online or not. It’s a relatively easy process, so you can do it in just a few minutes.

How to hide your Instagram activity or online status

Hiding your activity status on Instagram might be extremely easy, but it does come with some consequences. Do not fret, though; even if you don’t like it, you can easily follow the steps below in reverse to turn your activity status back on.


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So, what do you lose out on if you turn off your activity status? It’s easy – if people are not able to see whether you’re online, you also lose that possibility. This means that if you want to check out if your friends are still on, but you turn off your activity status, you won’t be able to do that – everyone’s activity dots will simply disappear from your UI. If you wanted to do a little bit of sneaky stalking, unfortunately, you cannot do that without revealing you’re online.

If you’ve decided that hiding your activity status is something you’d like to do, here’s how you can turn that feature off:

How to change the visibility of your activity status:

  1. Open the Instagram app on iOS or Android.
  2. Next, tap on your Profile icon in the bottom right corner.
  3. While on your profile page, tap the three lines in the top right of the screen.
  4. Tap on Settings and privacy.
  5. Now, you’ll have to scroll down a bit. Once you see it, click on Messages and story replies.
  6. Next, tap on Show activity status.
  7. Finally, you can tap on the toggle next to Activity Status to turn off your activity status.

Just like in Facebook Messenger, there’s no option to disable read receipts on Instagram. Direct messages (DMs) always show as “seen” once recipients have opened them. However, if you’re using WhatsApp on your desktop, there is a cool way to read messages without them appearing as “seen” to other members of the chat. Check out our WhatsApp Desktop tips and tricks to see how to do that.

Who can see when you’re active on Instagram?

If you’re worried about people knowing that you’re online on Instagram but choose not to turn your activity status off, you should know that this information is not as easily accessible as it might appear at first glance.


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You might be surprised to know that your activity status is not shown to many people on Instagram. People just searching for your profile or stumbling upon it in a random comment section will not be able to see if you’re online or not.


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It’s a little different for the people that follow you. They also cannot see when you’ve been last online, as they do not have access to your activity status. However, they can see a green activity dot showing that you’re online right now, letting them know if you’re using the app now.

Your activity status on Instagram is only shown to the people you’ve interacted with – that is, the people whom you’ve sent DMs to or received DMs from. That means you have to interact with someone first before the app lets them know that you’re still active, making the feature a bit more privacy-conscious.

How to tell if someone is online on Instagram

You need to know one more thing about activity statuses on Instagram. The platform tells you about your friends’ activity in two distinct ways. Pocket-lint uses their online status and activity status. The online status is simple information about whether someone is currently online on Instagram or not, and it’s indicated by a green dot in the lower right corner of their profile picture in certain places. Activity status, on the other hand, is a bit more detailed. It tells you what the last activity of the person was, and it’s visible in your direct messages with that user. These can give you a few different messages, such as:

  • Active now – meaning that the user is online
  • Active X time ago – when they were last online
  • Sent X – they sent you a reel/post
  • “Text of a message” – they sent you a DM
  • Liked a message – they liked your DM

There are many more activity statuses, but in general, they just tell you what the last interaction with your content was or show you when they were last online.

Activity Status


There are a few ways to see when someone’s online or active:

  1. You’ll see a green dot near their username and photo in your Direct inbox.
  2. On Instagram, you’ll see a green dot near their username and photo.
  3. In your direct inbox, you’ll see their most recent activity status.

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