How to Stop Instagram Photos From Automatically Posting to Facebook

Facebook and Instagram app icons on phone screen.
Facebook and Instagram app icons on phone screen. / Chesnot/GettyImages

If you have Instagram photos you don’t mind sharing with your aunts, exes, and former high school classmates, Facebook is the perfect place to post them. But some pictures are better suited to more intimate audiences: For those scenarios, you’ll want to unlink your Facebook from your Instagram account. Fortunately, the social media app makes it easy to do so.

To keep your Instagram photos from automatically showing up on your Facebook profile, head to the Instagram app. Go to your profile, tap the three bars in the upper-right corner, and then scroll down to the Account option under Settings. From there, select Sharing to Other Apps to see if your Instagram profile is linked to your Facebook account.

One way to prevent automatic cross-sharing is by unlinking your profiles entirely. To do this, tap Facebook under Sharing to Other Apps, and then select Unlink Account. This makes it impossible for Stories, Reels, or grid posts to show up on your Facebook page unless you go out of your way to relink the two profiles.

If you’d like to keep the option to share certain posts to Facebook, you can deactivate automatic cross-sharing without unlinking the accounts. Follow the same instructions above to get to Facebook under Sharing to Other Apps. Now instead of hitting Unlink, look at the section titled Automatically Share. Here you can toggle off the types of posts you’d like to restrict to your Instagram profile.

Once that’s taken care of, any new posts you share through Instagram will only be seen by your Instagram followers (unless your account is linked to Twitter or some other social media site, in which case you can follow the same steps above). To cross-share content manually, simply toggle on the sharing option for Facebook or another linked account when preparing to post an individual photo or video.

This is a smart way to limit your social media presence or curb potential damage if hackers ever access your Instagram. But if you’re looking to distance yourself from Facebook because of issues you have with the site itself, simply unlinking it from Instagram won’t cut it. Meta, formerly known as Facebook, owns Instagram, so any information you post to either profile goes to the same place. There are better ways to control how Meta handles your personal data. Read this to learn more about how the social media giant has been known to use ad targeting.

A version of this story originally ran in 2017; it has been updated for 2023.