Does Instagram have parental controls?

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Yes! Instagram parental controls are built right into the app—and there are additional features available through the Meta Family Center, too. 

Here’s a quick rundown of the top settings you can configure to help keep your kids safe on Instagram.

In-app privacy settings.

Within your child's Instagram account privacy settings, you can:

  • Turn on the private account setting
  • Create a select group of close friends who can see their Instagram Stories
  • Restrict who may comment on your teen's posts 
  • Block certain hashtags from appearing in the Instagram feed
  • Set preferences for the kinds of content you do (and don't) want your kids to see
  • Block certain users from seeing your kids' accounts or stories
  • Block certain users from being able to leave offensive comments on your kids' posts (great for dealing with cyberbullying!) 
  • Restrict how your kids' Instagram Reels can be remixed, or used by others
  • Limit who can tag your teen in content
  • Change their profile picture to something less personally identifying 

You can access these, and other Instagram settings, by visiting your child's user profile page in the iOS or Android app. From there, tap the menu in the top right corner to bring up the full list of customizable controls. 

(You might even want to turn on some of the same privacy settings for your own account, too! Wouldn't it be nice to keep your particularly nosy coworker from knowing exactly what you got up to last weekend?) 

Family Center controls.

Within the Meta Family Center, you can activate additional parental supervision tools. These let you:

  • Directly supervise your teen's Instagram use, including monitoring their app-based screen time
  • Set time limits for family members' Instagram app use (including restricting access by day of the week)
  • Discover when and why your child reported a post to Instagram
  • See which accounts your family members follow—and who follows them in turn

It’s easy to set up these features. All you need to do is create your Meta Family Center account and then invite your children to accept your supervision request.

This means, though, that you can't supervise your family on Instagram without their consent. Requiring your children's approval to start the supervision feature means that they're an active part of staying safe on Instagram—and it's a great way to start a discussion about social media safety. 

Other Instagram safety features.

Instagram also has a default private message setting meant to protect minors on the app. People over 18 can't send a direct message (DM) to a minor on Instagram unless one of the following is true:

  • The younger person follows them
  • There's less than a two-year age gap between the users

This means that your 16-year-old high school sophomore could get a direct message from the 18-year-old senior on their sports team—but other unknown adults can't start unwanted chats or send inappropriate content. (Similar features are available for Facebook Messenger, too!)

Talking to your kids about staying safe on Instagram.

If it feels weird being on this side of parent and child discussions about what they can and can't do, we get it. Sometimes it really feels like it was just yesterday that you were the one asking your parents for permission to go spend the night at Julie's or swearing up and down that you wouldn’t sneak into an R-rated movie when they dropped you off at the cineplex … and then promptly doing just that (don't worry, your secret's safe with us 😉). 


There can be various benefits to socializing with peers on social media platforms, but your kids may also encounter content or people who make them uncomfortable. 

By making sure that your kids know you're on their team and that you want to be there for them, not spy on them, you can help them feel safe and happy with their time spent on Instagram.

But for as weird or as awkward as it might feel sometimes, it's important to have these conversations. A typical teenager in the U.S. spends hours a day on YouTube, TikTok, and Instagram—sometimes as much as five hours or more.

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