Why have my Instagram posts disappeared?!

Have your Instagram posts disappeared?

Mine too. About 150 of my @cat_on_the_mat_yoga Instagram posts disappeared recently, after I was asked to verify my phone number on the app. And looking at these recent comments posted on an old Preview App article, I’m not alone:

To say I was gutted would be an understatement. Yeah, yeah, I practice yoga and I should know all about the impermanence of everything and end my own suffering by practising non-attachment… But I spent over a YEAR building up my account (starting with a chronological backstory on my yoga teaching career – it was painstaking!). So yes, I was really quite narked. Perhaps not as narked as this yoga teacher had reason to be, however:

Why have our Instagram posts disappeared?

There’s a lot of speculation on why this might be happening again (there were mass incidents of disappearing Instagram posts in 2015, Feb 2017 and Sept 2017). According to the Preview App article I mentioned earlier, which was posted way back in September 2017, it could be down to any of the following:

  • Instagram is ‘cleaning up’ and shutting down apps and websites which automatically like, comment, follow or post on your behalf. If you’re using them, you could be suffering from a glitch caused by the clean-up. Or you might being punished (given what’s known as a ‘shadow ban‘) under Instagram’s policy of not allowing anyone to use such tools.
  • New features that have been added to the app are ‘shaking up’ your account. This seems feasible, given the huge number of Instagram updates happening right now.
  • Instagram could be transferring its database, causing photos and accounts to disappear and reappear.

Another site has more recently reported occurrences of hacking (by Russian bots!), which have lead to all sorts of issues. Perhaps this is also the reason why our Instagram posts disappeared…

“Since the beginning of August, Instagram users have reported a bizarre hack: users will be ‘logged out’ of their account, and once they go to log back in, their username will no longer exist. Their handle will be changed, along with their profile picture, as well as the email and phone number that’s connected to the account, making it impossible to access their information.” – iMore

Instagram itself seems to be in a state of complete denial:

What can I do to get my missing Instagram posts back?

Well for some people (myself included), it’s just a matter of being patient. A few people on the Preview App thread I referred to earlier, which was resurrected following this new wave of Instagram posts disappearing, soon had good news to share:

Like them, I got most of my posts back – but not all. Weirdly, people can still ‘like’ and comment on some of them, such as the one below, but they don’t show up on my account.

For others less fortunate, there doesn’t seem to be a solution. It’s a case of just sucking it up – a bit like Instagram did with your posts.

The silver lining…

There is ONE thing you can do to get your photos back – but let me say now that this won’t result in them magically reappearing on your Instagram account.

The ones that got away…

It’s very likely that Instagram does still have all your posts stored in its database – and if that’s the case, you can get a zip file full of them sent to your inbox, and then download it onto your computer / storage device. You just need to go to your account settings and request a ‘data download’.

This will no doubt come as a relief to anyone who uses their account to document their personal life. It’s perhaps not such a consolation if you’ve been painstakingly curating an account for business purposes, however.

Stick it to the man!

I did eventually accept that I wasn’t going to get those last few posts back on my account, reminding myself that real life counts for a whole lot more than ‘Instalife’. And I was relieved to have been able to download even the missing ones and store them in a safe place. But there was still a bit of me that was determined to redress the balance somehow. So I simply re-posted my favourites in a new post (see below). It wasn’t a huge act of defiance, but it seemed to close the wound… I hope you find peace, too!


View this post on Instagram


Light comes and light goes… and so, it would seem, do Instagram posts! ? . I lost about 150 photos the other day, after verifying my phone number (be careful, it’s a digital jungle out there! ???). . I admit, I was gutted – I’ve spent a long time creating this account, and more recently, tracking my pregnancy. Felt really quite narked! ? . But after a couple of days, I decided I had to let it go – they’re only photos, after all – I still lived all these moments… . Of course, as soon as I got past my initial fury and started to be reasonable, quite a lot of pics magically reappeared! ? . Not all of them though – I think the cosmos knew I was still harbouring some resentment and felt its job wasn’t entirely done! . So anyway, this social media lesson in non-attachment (cheers for that, @Instagram! ?) is why I’m posting this little album of seemingly random pics – these are the ones I didn’t get back. . The first one is new, however. I just like how the sun shines in this room, and usually spend a moment absorbing a few beams of light when I catch it like this, before the opportunity passes. ⛅ . . . #itsajungleoutthere #digitaldisaster #instagramfail #lostphotos #gutted #turnitaround #lessoninlife #nonattachment #aparigraha #yamasandniyamas #nothinglastsforever #impermanence #easycomeeasygo #lightanddark #soakitup #repost #justdoit #again #yogapics #yogagirl #yogainspiration #pregnancypics #pregnantyogi #pregnancyjourney #goodlife #healthylife #healthyfood #instagood #picoftheday #allthehashtags

A post shared by Katy Wright (@cat_on_the_mat_yoga) on

If you’ve experienced this too, and know why my Instagram posts disappeared, along with lots of other people’s, do share! Better still, tell us how to get them back!

21 Comments on “Why have my Instagram posts disappeared?!

  1. Over the past couple days every morning I wake up in like 30 of my new posts will be completely disappeared from my account also they deleted all of my reels and have shadow band all of my stories. It’s so weird!

  2. I just lost about 150 or so photos yesterday. Left mw with 5 random stuff that was not my watercolor work. Im very irritated and thinking of getting rid of Instagram.

  3. I have started to get my instagram POSTS disappear.
    I load them onto thevditeva and message comes up ” finalising” , the post appears on Instagram OK then after 3 or 4 minutes the post goes missing
    Why are they appearing as a post and then after several minutes they disappear ?

    Any remedies would be gratefully received

  4. Hi

    I see these are old posts but nearly half my old Instagram posts have simply gone. These are on a business page and it is really annoying because although I can find most of the photos elsewhere, I have lost all the descriptions and prices. I find it useless to contact IG – they never reply to me

  5. I been working on my Instagram and all my followers and pictures are gone but I can still able to log in it’s just block out and it’s asking for a phone number code but if put my phone number I don’t receive it at all.. but I asked all my friends my Instagram pictures still there only my problem of log in I can’t see my pictures and followers. Does anyone experience this and also I’m not sure if get hacked ?please I need help

  6. Hi, I thought I had lost many of my posts aswell. I was using the mobile app. I then logged in via my laptop and all my lost posts appeared again. Then I logged back in on my mobile and they had all reappeared. I hope this helps.

  7. All but the last few of mine disappeared just today. Thank you for your very useful and reassuring post which helped. I used Planology for a while when it suddenly lost connection with my Instagram/Facebook account. Asking for verification I ignored it as am a bit wary and my posts disappeared. I uninstalled Planology, contacted Instagram and posted “Instagram where have all my posts gone”.
    Thankfully they instantly appeared.

  8. All but a few photos and posts have vanished

  9. Just happened to me. 111 posts, of which I can now only see 20.

    Someone else looked at my account, and they can see all my posts, yet I cannot. 95% of what I post is food. It serves as my inspiration/cookbook, so it all being gone is quite frustrating!

  10. I just lost 2000+ of my posts!! I’ve been on Instagram since 2013, and I’m not a business or anything, just a wife, mom, and farmer! I don’t use any kind of “tools” mentioned in this article ( to tell the truth, if it isn’t a take or shovel, I wouldn’t know what to do with them!), and I haven’t deleted anything. So I have no idea why all my post disappeared! In only have 18 random posts, from various times of the years! Please help if you can!

  11. Hi there Sandi, sorry to hear about your problems with Instagram. If you’ve not already got your photos back, I suggest reading some of the other recent comments on this post, as a few people seem to have found ways of remedying the problem – Hilary’s comment might be particularly helpful. Good luck!

  12. Hi there Jason, did you ever get your posts back? This seems to be an ongoing problem with Instagram, as I’m still getting comments on this post years after it was first published! Hope you found a solution.

  13. Hi Trish, thanks for your helpful comment – hopefully, other Planology users who are experiencing the same problem will be able to remedy the situation as you have!

  14. Hi Hilary, thanks for sharing your solution to the problem – this sounds like a nice, simple way of getting lost photos back – let’s hope it works for everyone experiencing this problem!

  15. 9 of my oldest posts weren’t showing up and I was googling for a solution where I stumbled upon this. I followed Hilary’s suggestion (logged on to my account from my laptop and found out that the posts that were missing showed up there. Then restarted the IG app on my phone) and they all appeared! I definitely encourage others having this problem to try this — hopefully it works for everyone too!

  16. Hi Megan, Thanks for your comment – great to know that Hilary’s solution worked for you too, and encouraging for anyone else who finds themselves reading this article, looking for ways to get their missing Instagram posts back! Have a lovely week! Katy

  17. Today I only have 12posts on my account. Decided to wait a couple of days in case it’s a glitch and then I’ll try the solution above.
    Super frustrated like you all

  18. Hi! Hilary’s fix worked for me, too! Thank you, Hilary! (And of course, thank you Katy!)

  19. I just lost all my Instagram posts today. When I went to look at Instagram, I saw that I’d been logged out. I logged back in. I can’t access any of the Settings or make a post. Weirdly, all my posts returned for a short time and then disappeared again but two friends couldn’t see them when I could. I’m hoping that tomorrow that they reappear, fingers crossed. It’s reassuring to read your article.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.