Want to know how to remove ghost followers on Instagram? This is the exact way I did it!
If you want to remove ghost followers on Instagram, you can’t use those glitchy apps in the Apple Store. Seriously, don’t use a ghost followers app because it might block you from certain actions (or worse get your account banned).
This is because Instagram does not like third-party apps that are not authenticated by Instagram, and as it goes, most, if not all of these ghost follower apps are not approved by Instagram.
In this post, you’ll learn the exact steps on how to remove ghost followers on your account without flagging Instagram’s algorithm. If you’re going to go through the efforts of increasing your engagement by removing ghost followers, you have to do it safely!
Too lazy to read the whole post? This section has the safest method on identifying your ghost followers to remove.
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What are ghost followers on Instagram?
The ghost followers meaning in terms of Instagram are basically followers that are inactive or fake accounts (bought and/or from giveaways) that don’t engage with your content. They boost your follower count without actually adding any value to your content.
You can get ghost followers from:
- buying fake followers,
- participating in giveaways
- or if you’ve been on the app for a long time.
For example, if you’ve had Instagram for five+ years (like me), then most likely there have been some followers who followed you at first but then just left the app for good. Also, if you’ve changed your niche/content, then some of your followers might not be interested in your content anymore and haven’t engaged in a long time.
Come say hi on my ig: @sarchetrit.
Best Benefit of Removing Inactive Followers on Instagram
The biggest benefit of removing inactive followers is that your engagement goes up. When your engagement goes up, your content actually gets seen.
As an influencer, with more engagement, you can get better brand deals, and as a business, with more engagement, you can get more relevant customers.
As I’ve personally removed ghost followers, I’ve noticed a big difference in my story views. In removing about 1000 followers, my story views have gone up about 300-400 views!
What Ghost Follower Apps and Services to Avoid
You pretty much want to avoid all ghost follower apps you find in the Apple and Google Play Store. Instagram is getting smarter and smarter by the day and can detect unusual bot activity. I’ve heard horror stories of people getting their accounts deactivated by using these unauthorized third-party apps so avoid them at all costs.
I personally tried to use a couple of these ghost follower apps and was sketched out when they needed to get into my account after I removed two-factor authentication– no thank you.
Also, their analysis of ghost followers is not that good. They only check the recent x number of followers you got who naturally may have not liked your content as much as old followers have.
Avoid ghost follower apps at all cost!
As for services you might find on Fiverr, avoid any who want to build a bot for you. Removing ghost followers has to be done manually on your own phone.
How to Get Rid of Ghost Followers the Right Way
1. Do It Yourself Method #1
The best way to get rid of ghost followers is to see which of your followers have NOT liked or commented on your photos.
If you have a scraping program, you would take a list of all your followers and compare it to the list of everyone liking and commenting on your pictures. Those who have not liked or commented on your last 60 photos but follow you are most likely ghost followers.
Then you’d take that list and manually force unfollow everyone slowly in the app. See below how to force unfollow.
Yes, manually unfollowing is very important, and it’s best not to do more than 30 force unfollows per hour (to not alarm that sensitive algorithm).
2. Do It Yourself Method #2
This method is a little less calculated but still effective (as shown by @creativeimpactco who cleared out 20,000 ghost followers).
Basically, you go through your followers list one by one and remove people who look “suspicious” as they said.
When they said “suspicious”, they probably meant accounts with no profile pictures and no posts or old accounts without any activity on it for awhile.
See below how to force unfollow.
3. Hire Someone for a List and Do it Strategically
The majority of us do not have scraping programs or even know how to do this. It can also be time consuming and tedious if you have a large number of followers.
As a result, I recommend hiring this guy on Fiverr. Here’s why.
After checking out a few peoples’ profiles and messaging back and forth with them, I chose to work with Tom because he offered me a pure list for me to go off of. Everyone else I talked to recommended bots or some type of automation, which is a clear no, not only in my book but in Instagram’s book.
I grabbed the largest package of his, got a list full of details in a few days then started force unfollowing inactive followers manually. See below how to force unfollow.
I haven’t been consistent with it and force unfollowing people is making me lose followers overall, but within a couple of weeks, I’ve already started seeing my story views go up.
I’d rather lose followers and have higher engagement, then get more followers and lower engagement because I want people to see my content!
Check out Tom’s service on Fiverr.
How to Force an Inactive Follower to Unfollow You
Before you start force unfollowing people, you need to know that:
- You shouldn’t force unfollow more than 30 per hour. This is to stay safe within Instagram’s algorithm and it does not think you are botting in any way.
- If you do a huge batch, then take a 20-minute break before you start another one.
- I can’t stress this enough but it has to be done within the app on your phone manually.
Now that you know the rules for force unfollowing, here’s how to actually do it (screenshots below).
- Go to the profile of the inactive ghost follower that you want to force unfollow you.
- Tap on the three dots in the top right corner.
- Tap Remove Follower.
- Tap Remove.
Pro Tip for Mac Users: This process can be quite tedious when doing a batch at a time so I like to:
- have the Excel sheet of ghost followers that Tom gave me open on my Mac,
- copy a user’s name on my Mac
- and paste it* into the Instagram app.
This only works if your Mac and iPhone are synced to copy and paste between each other, but if yours are, then use this method. It really saves a ton of time from tediously typing in each follower’s username.
Hope you found this post to be helpful. If you liked this post, you might like this post on learning how to become an Instagram influencer.
If you need more help with Instagram, feel free to ask me anything in my free Facebook group or check out my TikTok.
Thursday 2nd of February 2023
hi sarah I have sports page for my business in instagram .In that 4.5 followers are inactive/bot .How can i remove that followers .kindly help me to remove this
Saturday 7th of January 2023
hey Sarah, Thankyou so so much for your blog on story views and this particular one helped me a lot .I was worried from last two years about how to access ghost followers on my business account and all credit goes to you for directing me to Tom.He gave me a list of ghost followers today and i was surprised to see it.It took away all my worries about my account. Please keep sharing such knowledgeable content.
Tuesday 17th of May 2022
I stupidly deleted 1,400 ghost accounts in 2 hours instead of in small batches as you wrote here (I read this after I had done it) and now IG has looted my reach even more as it didn’t show my reel to many people…. Should I repost it? And if so, how long should I wait as IG thinks I was using bots!
Monday 20th of December 2021
Finding your blog super helpful overall. Thanks Sarah!!
Wednesday 5th of January 2022
happy to hear! thanks for taking time out of your day to let me know.
Wednesday 16th of June 2021
I got around 2000 bot followers on instagram recently and they won't stop so I temporarily disabled my account however, I want to get back to my account ASAP but teh bots won't stop following me. What do I do?
Wednesday 16th of June 2021
Ah that's so annoying! Would you want to change your username? Or keep your account private for now?