Threads accounts are impossible to delete without erasing your Instagram presence

The cover screen for the Instagram Threads social app on a Motorola Edge+ (2023)
(Image credit: Nicholas Sutrich / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Meta's supplementary privacy policy for Threads includes a fine print that may annoy those who decide the new Twitter killer is not for them.
  • If you want to delete your Threads profile, the company says you must first delete your Instagram account.
  • In any case, you can temporarily deactivate your Threads account without removing your Instagram presence.

It turns out that Meta will take your Instagram account hostage once you sign up for Threads, so if you decide that the new Twitter killer isn't for you and want to delete your account, your Instagram presence will also be erased, at least for the time being.

Threads' supplementary privacy policy includes an easy-to-miss note that states (via TechCrunch): "You may deactivate your Threads profile at any time, but your Threads profile can only be deleted by deleting your Instagram account."

Meta's latest social networking platform went live on July 5 and has already gained 30 million new users in just a matter of hours. However, it appears that many people did not read the fine print before signing up for the new Twitter competitor.

This intrinsic tie between the two apps is hardly surprising. As it stands, creating a Threads account can only be done using your Instagram profile, and the new app is built on the same platform as Instagram. To nobody's surprise, Meta used its popular photo and video sharing service to advertise Threads.

Those who jumped the gun and joined the platform haphazardly with no intention of staying now find themselves unable to leave without wiping out their Instagram presence.

That said, Instagram chief Adam Mosseri took to their new platform to address this concern. In a post, he stated that the service is "looking into a way to delete your Threads account separately."

It's not clear when this option will be added, though you can deactivate your Threads account without losing access to your Instagram profile. This will hide your posts and interactions with other users' posts until you reactivate your account, which can be done simply by logging back in to the app.

So, if you find yourself suddenly tired of Threads' random feed of posts from people you don't follow, you can head over to the Profile tab and go to the Settings menu in the top right. After that, tap "Account" and then "Deactivate profile."

Jay Bonggolto
News Writer & Reviewer

Jay Bonggolto always keeps a nose for news. He has been writing about consumer tech and apps for as long as he can remember, and he has used a variety of Android phones since falling in love with Jelly Bean. Send him a direct message via Twitter or LinkedIn.