We’ve all been there, brief moments of panic when you post a comment on Instagram that you didn’t mean to post. You look back and realize you said something dumb or made a simple spelling mistake.
It’s normal to make mistakes and when you do, you want to know how to delete a comment on Instagram. After all, as the adage goes, that’s why pencils have erasers. But if you’re like me, you’ve seen countless foot in mouth posts where the first post is something incredibly embarrassing, and the next three posts (at least, the author’s next three, as this doesn’t count any of the number of horrified or mocking posts written in reaction to it) are a series of variations on the single question: “HOW DO I DELETE THAT!?!?”
Unfortunately, social media sites like Facebook and Instagram go through so many edits and redesigns that the way to achieve basic functions (like managing your privacy settings or deleting posts) sometimes changes from what you were used to. As a result, it’s not readily apparent how to delete or modify comments when you’re rushed to get it down as soon as possible. And most of the time, it’s not always clear whom you should even ask, for a couple of reasons: First, there’s this idea that everybody should already know how to do everything on their social media, so if you ask, you might look like an idiot. Second, this is likely a comment you don’t want to call any attention to — even that of the friends you would get to help you.
In this article, I’ll not only walk you through how to delete a comment, but also how to modify an existing one. Furthermore, I’ll also provide input on preventing future comment mistakes and tips to commenting.
“Mistakes are a part of being human. Appreciate your mistakes for what they are: precious life lessons that can only be learned the hard way. Unless it’s a fatal mistake, which, at least, others can learn from.” – Al Franken
If you browse through Instagram you’ll notice there are a ton of people commenting on photos. Instagram is one of those apps that focuses on a small set of features and does them extremely well. The main things you can do on the app are post a photo and comment on other people’s photos. Therefore, it’s essential to know how to comment, modify comments, and even delete comments if necessary.
To post a comment on Instagram you will want to tap on the comment button below the image you wish to comment on. This will bring up a little text dialogue that will allow you to say whatever you want to say about that image. You’ll notice from the example above that you can not only post text, but also emoji. For a handy guide on how to embed emoji into your text on Instagram, look here. (This link is primarily for managing your bio, but the process should be the same for posts and comments. When you’re done, hit post or press enter if you’re on a computer.
Instagram Comment FAQ
Below are some questions that people commonly ask and that will help you guide your way through some technical difficulties with commenting.
- I’ve tried to delete a message, but I keep getting an error message which says it can’t be deleted. Am I stuck with this?
- If you find yourself getting a message that says a certain comment can’t be deleted. This is because the comment likely was already deleted in the system but is still appearing. Of course you cannot delete someone else’s comment but if it is your comment you can always delete it. You may find that the comment is still appearing because there is an issue with caching. This may mean that it’s only appearing for you, but not for anyone else. (Of course, depending on how embarrassing the comment is, asking someone else to look at your Instagram page to see if it’s still rendering may not be an option.) Try to empty your cache or close completely out of the app and open it again to see if it still appears.
- I’m using [name of app] as a downloaded emoji keyboard, but it’s not letting me put emojis into Instagram.
- You can certainly use emojis that are built into iPhone or Android devices to insert into comments. However, if you have a 3rd party app you may need to test whether the emoji app actually allows you to comment on Instagram. Some will let you and some won’t. Given the sheer number of emoji keyboard apps out there, I can’t speak to what should and shouldn’t work beyond that. I’m always happy to learn, though, so if you have an emoji keyboard which does / doesn’t let you post to Instagram, let me know in the comments, and we can get some kind of running list going.
- I’m trying the most basic thing here: commenting, and it doesn’t seem to work.
- This is a more common problem on mobile platforms than it is on the website itself, which tells us something: If you get an error message when you try to comment on Instagram your app may be out of date and you want to update to the most recent version in order to successfully be able to comment.
Instagram Commenting Guidelines
Next, I’ll provide some guidelines to commenting so you can make sure whatever you have to say is within all of the guidelines. The app will give you an error message if you fail to follow the guidelines below and you will have to modify the comment until it’s within the guidelines.
- The maximum number of @ tags you can use in one comment is 5 so if you’re using the @ to tag your friends keep in mind that only 5 are available. Choose your friends wisely!
- Ever seen someone with a ton of hashtags on every single post? Well Instagram has put a limit on those people, keeping the #hashtags under 30 for a given photo. Of course you can always just comment with more hashtags if necessary but hopefully you won’t need more than 30 to make your point.
- You are limited to only unique comments. Therefore, if you comment multiple times the same thing you will be blocked. Sometimes you can get away with multiple duplicate comments if you enter them both in really quickly but it should catch the 3rd duplicate comment and block it.
- Lastly, you’ll notice that a lot of hate words, discrimination, profanity, etc. will be blocked on Instagram. That is not something that they want on their platform and will do their best to ban inappropriate behavior. On top of that, people can report comments if they feel they’re in violation of the guidelines.
How to Report Instagram Comment
If you find a comment on Instagram that is less than appealing you may want to report it for abuse or violation of the Instagram guidelines. If that’s the case, you can easily delete and report abuse of any comment. It does not have to be your own comment to do this action. However, if you just want to delete it, you will be limited to only what you wrote.
- Head over to the IG app on your iPhone or Android.
- Scroll to the photo that contains the comment you want to report.
- You should see a little comment button at the bottom of the photo, tap on it.
- From there, scroll up until you can see the comment you want to report.
- Swipe left on the comment and tap the more arrow
- From there, choose that you want to report the comment.
When you report a comment you can choose whether it is “Spam or Scam” or “Abusive Content” to give IG a better understanding of why you believe it to be in violation.
How to Delete Instagram Comment
Now, I’ll walk you through steps to delete that IG comment you regret posting. Keep in mind that you can only do this to comments that you’ve written and posted yourself. You are not able to delete someone else’s comment beyond reporting it as abuse.
There are several different ways to delete a comment depending on if you’re on a smartphone or on a PC or Mac. If you’re on an iPhone or Android, follow these steps.
- Open the Instagram app
- Scroll to the comment you made and want to delete
- Tap on the little comment bubble below the image
- Scroll to your comment and swipe left
- Now, you’ll see a little trash can at the right
- Tap the trash can to delete the comment
TIP: You’ll notice a small callout at the top that asks if you deleted the comment by mistake you can tap to undo. If you mistakenly deleted a comment you didn’t mean to, simply tap undo.
If you’re on a PC or Mac and you want to remove that message you left on a picture you can follow a different set of steps but just as simple and easy as the method used above.
- Head over to Instagram.com to view your feed.
- Find the comment you made that you want to remove permanently
- Hover over the comment and you’ll notice a small “X” to the right of the message.
- Tap the “X” and you’ll be asked if you want to delete the comment.
- Tap to delete and the comment will be removed from the picture.
Edit Instagram Comments
You may decide that it’s not worth deleting the entire comment, you just want to modify something or edit the wording. Say, for instance, you misspell a word and just want to correct it. The funny thing is that Instagram is one of the few social media platforms that doesn’t allow you to edit your comments after you’ve already made them.
You can edit a post after you publish it if you want to change the wording but you’re not able to edit a comment left on a post. Therefore, you will have to go through the process above to delete the comment and go back to comment again with the updated version. This can be a pain if you want to change something that has responses because afterward it won’t flow in the same order as the original conversation. This is a limitation to the app and unfortunately something that I don’t see being changed any time soon.
Start Conversations with Comments
Lastly, I’ll leave you with a bit of advice on how to start a conversation on Instagram with your comments. The link above does not exactly pertain to conversations on Instagram and won’t directly translate to creating a comment thread. However, it will give you a good sense of creating an opening for a conversation.
Here are a few tips to get you started and hopefully you can come away having a great conversation back and forth.
- Be open and honest in your comment, make sure it’s what you truly believe and people will respect your point of view. This is, of course, as long as it’s not offensive or abusive in any way.
- Use a lot of hashtags so that people will stumble across your post and join in the conversation. This is a simple way to expand your audience.
- Make sure it’s not a super long comment, no one wants to read a long essay and most people will just scroll through and ignore what you have to say.
- Ask an open ended question that leaves people a chance to respond with their own opinion on what’s going on. You can ask if there are any opinions or thoughts on the photo above.
- People love to hear stories, leave a message that tells a story and lets people know a bit more about yourself and your past experiences. Story telling is a great way to build a connection with your audience.
That wraps up this guide and hopefully gave you a good sense of everything you can do with Instagram comments, from deleting comments, editing, etc. Please leave a message below with any other tips and be sure to share this with all of your friends on Facebook and Twitter! Best of all, enjoy the conversation!