How to Make Someone Unfollow You on Instagram Without Blocking Them: The Diplomatic Approach

By: Ellen Bartolino

In the ever-evolving world of social media, particularly on Instagram, managing your followers list has become a nuanced art. Whether you’re dealing with a bot, a stalker, or simply someone you no longer wish to have peering into your digital life, there are times when you might want to remove someone as a follower. But what if you don’t want to go to the extent of blocking someone on Instagram? Maybe you’re seeking a less confrontational method, one that allows you to discreetly make someone unfollow your account without them knowing. In 2023, as Instagram continues to update its features, understanding how to manage your followers, restrict access, or even make your Instagram account private, has become more crucial than ever. This guide dives into the delicate process of how to get someone to unfollow you on Instagram without resorting to blocking. We’ll explore various methods, from tweaking your profile settings to using Instagram’s restrict feature, ensuring you can maintain your online space just the way you want it.

How to Make Someone Unfollow You on Instagram Without Blocking Them

Understanding Follower Dynamics on Instagram

The Psychology Behind Gaining and Losing Followers

In 2023, the dynamics of Instagram follower relationships have evolved. Understanding why someone chooses to follow or unfollow your account is crucial in managing your digital presence. For many, a follower on Instagram isn’t just a number; it’s a reflection of social engagement and interest. When someone decides to no longer follow your profile, it could be due to various reasons – lack of engaging content, a change in their interests, or even due to the nature of the content you post. It’s important to remember that each follower has their unique preferences, and it’s impossible to please everyone.

According to We Are Social data, only 0.1% of Instagram users are unique to the platform, highlighting the importance of a cross-platform marketing strategy.

Current Trends in Instagram Follower Management (2023)

In 2023, Instagram users are becoming more selective about who they follow and what kind of content populates their timeline. The trend is shifting towards a more authentic and personalized experience. Users are now more inclined to remove followers who don’t add value to their social media experience. Instagram’s algorithm also plays a significant role in this, as it curates content based on user engagement. This means if a follower isn’t actively engaging with your posts, they might automatically see less of your content, which could eventually lead to them unfollowing you.

Moreover, privacy concerns have led to a rise in users opting to make their Instagram account private. This decision not only controls who can see your posts but also adds a layer of control over who can become a follower. For those concerned about privacy or unwanted attention, this is a viable option to consider.

As Instagram continues to update and evolve, understanding these dynamics is essential for anyone looking to effectively manage their followers list and create a satisfying Instagram experience.

A fashion influencer shifted their content from street fashion to sustainable fashion, leading to a natural change in their follower base. Some followers who were initially interested in street fashion unfollowed, aligning the follower base with the influencer’s current interests.

Strategies to Encourage a Follower to Unfollow

Subtle Content Changes to Influence Unfollowing

One effective way to encourage a follower on Instagram to unfollow you without direct confrontation is through subtle changes in your content. If you’re looking to get rid of certain followers, consider altering the theme or tone of your posts. This method doesn’t guarantee immediate results, but over time, followers who don’t resonate with your new content direction may choose to unfollow. It’s important, however, to remain true to your interests and not compromise your online identity for the sake of follower management.

Adjusting Visibility and Engagement to Deter Followers

Another strategy is to adjust the visibility of your content. Instagram’s features like hiding your stories or selectively posting content can impact who chooses to stay as a follower. If you want to get rid of a specific follower, you can hide your stories from them. This reduces their engagement with your profile, potentially leading them to unfollow.

A case study revealed how an individual increased their Instagram following by 58% and engagement by 14% in just 60 days. This was achieved through focused content themes for each month, valuable and engaging posts, lead generation, and strategic stories. Notably, tagging clients in stories for resharing and sending welcome messages to potential clients were effective strategies used. This approach led to acquiring new clients and growing an email list, demonstrating the impact of well-planned content and engagement strategies on follower growth.

Furthermore, you can limit your interactions with certain followers. By not responding to their likes and comments, you subtly signal a lack of mutual engagement. For some followers, especially those seeking interaction, this might encourage them to unfollow.

These strategies require patience and a degree of tact. It’s about subtly shifting the dynamics of your Instagram account in a way that naturally encourages certain followers to unfollow you.

You can limit your interactions with certain followers.

Technical Steps to Remove Followers Without Blocking

How to Remove Them as a Follower Discreetly

There are several technical steps you can take on Instagram to remove someone as a follower without having to block them. The most straightforward method is to navigate to your followers list, find the person you wish to remove, tap on the three dots in the corner of their profile, and select the option to remove them as a follower. This action is discreet as it doesn’t notify the person that they have been removed.

A regular Instagram user used the restrict feature to manage a persistent follower. This allowed them to maintain comfort on the platform without the harshness of blocking. Eventually, the follower unfollowed due to the lack of interaction.

Using the ‘Restrict’ Feature Effectively

Another subtle yet effective method is to use Instagram’s restrict feature. When you restrict someone, they can still see your posts and send you direct messages, but their comments on your posts will only be visible to them. Additionally, you won’t receive notifications from their messages. To restrict a follower, go to their profile, tap on the three dots at the top-right corner, and select ‘Restrict.’ Note that restricting someone does not remove them as a follower, but it limits their interaction with your account, which might eventually lead them to unfollow.

Both of these methods offer a non-confrontational way to manage your followers list on Instagram. They empower you to control your digital space without resorting to outright blocking.

Alternatives to Blocking: Unblocking and Deleting

Pros and Cons of Blocking and Unblocking on Instagram

Blocking someone on Instagram is often seen as a definitive action, signaling a clear end to that digital relationship. However, there are scenarios where you might consider unblocking them later. Unblocking a former follower allows them the option to follow you again, should they choose to. It’s a more flexible approach compared to permanently blocking them. However, it’s important to remember that once you block and unblock someone, they will not be automatically added back to your followers list; they would need to choose to follow you again.

When to Consider Deleting a Follower

Deleting a follower is a less drastic option than blocking. If you want to prevent someone from seeing your posts but don’t necessarily want to block them, deleting them from your followers list is a viable option. This method is particularly useful when dealing with fake or inactive accounts. Deleting a follower won’t notify them, and it’s a quick way to curate your audience without creating potential social awkwardness. To delete a follower, simply visit your profile, go to your followers list, find the person, and select the option to remove them.

These alternatives offer nuanced ways to manage your Instagram account, giving you the power to tailor your online experience without resorting to the finality of blocking.

Deleting a follower is a less drastic option than blocking


In the intricate social landscape of Instagram in 2023, managing your followers list is more than just a matter of numbers; it’s about curating a space that reflects your personal or brand identity. Whether you choose to remove someone as a follower, restrict their access, or even make your Instagram account private, each action should align with your goals for your digital presence. It’s important to remember that your Instagram account is your domain, and you have every right to decide who can view and interact with your content.

As we’ve explored, there are various ways to subtly influence a follower to unfollow you without them knowing, or to remove them from your list without resorting to blocking. From making nuanced changes in your content to utilizing Instagram’s technical features like restrict or delete, each method offers a different level of control over your follower dynamics.

Ultimately, the decision of how to manage your followers on Instagram is a personal one, and it’s vital to approach it thoughtfully. By employing these strategies, you can ensure that your Instagram experience is both enjoyable and reflective of your personal values and preferences.

DataReportal notes that 69.7% of users use Instagram to post or share photos and videos, indicating a strong desire for creativity and self-expression.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I make someone unfollow me on Instagram without them noticing?

Absolutely! You can subtly force them to unfollow you without their awareness. This can be achieved by changing your content strategy to something less appealing to them, or by using the icon in your app to remove them as a follower from your list of followers. This action is silent; they won’t even realize they’ve been removed. Alternatively, making your profile private and selectively removing followers offers a discreet way to manage who sees your posts and stories.

Is it possible to restrict someone on Instagram without unfollowing them?

Yes, the Instagram app provides a restrict feature allowing you to limit someone’s interaction with your account without having to unfollow or block them. You can hide their comments from others and their messages will be directed to your DMs, yet they still remain a follower. To use this feature, simply visit your profile, tap on the desired follower, and choose the restrict option from the tab.

What happens when I remove a follower on Instagram?

When you remove a follower on Instagram, they’ll no longer be able to view your private content. They are not notified about being removed, but may notice if they suddenly stop seeing your posts. This method is a non-confrontational way to manage your list of followers and is especially useful if you want someone to unfollow you but don’t wish to block the person.

How can changing my content strategy influence my followers?

Altering your content strategy is an effective way to influence your follower dynamics. If your new content significantly deviates from your followers’ interests, it may subtly encourage them to unfollow. This is a strategic approach to reshaping your list of followers without direct confrontation, and it allows you to continue creating content that aligns with your current objectives.

Are there any privacy settings that can help manage my followers on Instagram?

Instagram’s privacy settings are instrumental in managing followers. By making your account private, you gain the ability to approve or deny new follower requests, offering control over your list of followers. Additional features like blocking, removing followers, and restricting users provide varying levels of privacy, helping you manage who interacts with your posts and stories. These settings are the easiest way to manage your online presence, especially if you have thousands of followers.

Author Bio

Ellen Bartolino

Ellen is a seasoned author and communication expert, with a particular focus on Instagram. Her extensive knowledge of the platform has allowed her to create engaging and effective content for businesses and individuals alike. Ellen has a proven track record of crafting compelling Instagram captions and influencer marketing.