We get a peek into the lives of other people. If you don't follow those private accounts, you won't always have access to the photos and videos that people post.

It can make sense that you are wary of following an account without being able to see what they are posting. It is possible to look for examples of their posts to decide if you want to follow an account or not.

You need to know what to look for when viewing private posts on social media.

How to view a private Instagram account

If you follow the account, you will be able to view a private account at any time. The user needs to approve your follow request.

We don't recommend using third-party apps that violate the terms of use for a private account.

There are other ways to technically and ethically view a private account without following it directly.

How to view a private Instagram account without requesting to follow it

If you are not following the private account, there are two ways to do so.

Do a Google image search for the account name 

You can copy and paste the private account's name into your browser and then do an image search.

Screenshot showing a what appears when you view a private Instagram account without following it.
You can still see a private account’s name, post count and follower/following figures.
Devon Delfino

Some of their pictures will come up, having been tagged elsewhere on a public account.

Screenshot showing a Google image search for a private Instagram account.
A Google image search can sometimes show select photos from a private Instagram account.
Devon Delfino

If you're not seeing anything pop up when you search the handle on the images, you may want to add "Instagram" to your query.

Go through someone else's account 

If you know someone who follows the private account of someone you want to view, you could always access it through their account with their permission.

If you want to see a specific post, you can ask them to take a picture of the private post and send it to you.

You can request to follow a private account from another account.