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The Complete Guide to Unfollowing Everyone on Instagram

Tempted to completely nuke your Instagram following list? Got an account where you went follow-crazy years ago and now need a clean slate? Thanks to a relatively new Instagram feature, you can easily unfollow tons of users all at once.

In this 2,000+ word guide, I‘ll provide an in-depth look at how to leverage Instagram‘s "Least Interacted With" tool to intelligently prune your following list while avoiding excess actions blocks. You‘ll learn:

  • Exact steps for finding and using the unfollow feature
  • Ideal unfollow strategies to boost engagement
  • Who you should (and shouldn‘t) remove
  • Limits, risks and mitigation tactics
  • Scheduled unfollow templates for ongoing growth
  • Complementary tools beyond Instagram‘s own
  • Plus expert insights into current algorithm impacts

Let‘s dive into the complete guide to strategically unfollowing en masse on Instagram!

Why You May Want to Mass Unfollow

Before we get into the how, let‘s explore a few reasons why you‘d want to radically prune your following list in the first place:

Inactive Accounts

That friend you followed from high school who stopped posting in 2015? The brands you loved 3 years ago that have gone inactive? Time for a purge! Removing inactive accounts declutters your feed and helps relevance algorithms show you more engaging recent content.

Plus, reducing inactives can improve your overall engagement rate:

Followers         1000
Inactive Followers  500 
Active Followers    500

If you have 100 likes on recent posts:  

Current engagement rate = 100/1000 = 10% 

After removing inactives:

Followers         500
Engagement       100
Rate              100/500 = 20%

Follower/Following Ratio Optimization

Do you follow 5,000 accounts but have just 800 followers? Having significantly more follows than followers screams "I spam followed you but don‘t actually care about your content!"

Getting your ratio closer to 1:1 shows you‘re judicious about who you really engage with. This builds confidence in potential new mutual followers. You seem more legitimate.

Ideally shoot for:

  • Followers within 1000 of Following
  • 1:1 ratio as the gold standard

Start Fresh

Maybe you hit follow frenzy when you first joined Instagram. Or purchased followers that weren‘t real people. Time to Marie Kondo your account with a deep clean! Starting fresh by removing low-value accounts helps you identify and attract real followers who actually care about your niche.

Understanding Instagram‘s "Least Interacted With" Feature

Okay, so you‘re convinced a mass unfollow would benefit your account. But how to do it without getting banned or blocked?

That‘s where Instagram‘s own built-in "Least Interacted With" tool comes to the rescue!

What It Is

Buried in your Instagram following list is the incredibly useful but little-known "Least Interacted With" sorting option. This displays up to 50 users you‘ve interacted with the least over the last 90 days.

Essentially it surfaces accounts you probably want to remove anyway. Genius!

Least Interacted With Feature

The "Least Interacted With" feature revealed

Why It‘s Great for Mass Unfollowing

The beauty of this feature lies in its batch functionality. The list refreshes every time you return to it.

So you can easily prune up to 50 followers at once, come back hours later for 50 more, and keep slowly powering through.

I suggest spacing out batches of 50 per session. Trying to take on more than that seems to increase the risk of Instagram‘s infamous action blocks. We obviously want to avoid getting blocked!

Most importantly – this isn‘t some workaround hack. Using the built-in Least Interacted With tool as intended by Instagram is a fully allowed way to intelligently prune your following list.

So let‘s see it action…

Step-by-Step Guide to Batch Unfollows

Implementing Instagram‘s newest mass remove power tool is simple. Just follow these steps:

1. Tap Your Profile Pic

Open your account and head to your profile page:

Open Instagram Profile

2. Select "Following"

Tap the Following tab to reveal your full list of current follows:

Following List

3. Choose "Least Interacted With"

Scroll up and select the "Least Interacted With" sort option at the very top:

Least Interacted With Sort

This surfaces the first 50 accounts you‘ve engaged with the least over the past 3 months.

4. Unfollow Users

Tap the Following button next to each user to unfollow them. Simple right?

I suggest spacing it out – give yourself breaks between batches of 10 or 15.

5. Refresh Your Profile

Once done with first 50…return to your profile and pull downward to refresh the feed. Then repeat steps 3 and 4.

The Least Interacted With list will repopulate with fresh accounts. Rinse and repeat!

Limits and Risks of Mass Unfollowing

Before you get unfollow happy, some necessary words of warning.

Daily Action Blocks

According to Instagram, you can only unfollow around 200 accounts per day before you risk getting slapped with one of their infamous Action Blocks.

What‘s an action block? Essentially Instagram temporarily bans you from commenting, liking, and…you guessed it unfollowing more accounts. They can last hours or days. Brutal!

So keep an eye on that unfollow pace and limit batches to around 50 twice per day max. I cannot stress this enough – absolutely do not try to remove 1000+ people rapidly. Instagram‘s systems will catch that quickly and you‘ll be blocked faster than you can say "My account is frozen!"

Losing Mutual Followers

Aggressively pruning follows does run the risk of followers noticing and removing you as well. Especially if you mass unfollow actual friends and contacts!

Before you nuke your whole list, scroll back through and note connections you have an ongoing relationship with. Leave your core supporter base intact!

Reduce Engagement

Similarly, removing all 2,000 of your follows could leave only 800 real followers behind. And now you have no one to engage with!

Leaving some reciprocal, mutual connections in place maintains critical engagement power. Like their content and stories regularly! Comment back and forth. Thriving engagement is what the Instagram algorithm wants to see.

Who You Should Unfollow in Batches

Instead of arbitrarily unfollowing every account connected to you, implement more…strategic purging.

Targeted Unfollowing Strategy

Focus on these specific cohorts:

The Inactive

  • Haven‘t posted in 6+ months
  • Zero recent story shares
  • No comments on your content

The Overposters

  • 20+ posts per day
  • Hundreds of story slides daily

The Spammers

  • No relevant content or engagement
  • Constant follow/unfollow behavior

Systematically removing these groups minimizes damage to your active engagement metrics.

Ideal Follower / Following Ratios

Let‘s talk about target account ratios to maintain after your purge. Studies show engagement peaks with:

Ideal Ratios

You‘ll note truly high, influencer-level figures tend towards a lower follower percentage. They cultivate intimacy and trust with a core tribe vs accumulating masses with negligible interaction.

Use the above ranges as a North Star, not gospel. Gauge what seems authentic for your niche.

Alternate Unfollow Methods

Unfortunately Instagram is still slowly enabling the "Least Interacted With" feature globally. If it hasn‘t reached your app yet, options exist:

Manual Unfollowing

Still an option – though more tedious and risky. Manually search through your following list pruning inactives, spammers, or irrelevant connections.

Key Caution: Rapid serial unfollowing WILL likely trigger action blocks. So only remove a few manual follows per hour, taking long breaks between unfollow sessions.

Alternative Sorting

Instagram does allow sorting your full following list oldest to newest. Scan for accounts you added long ago that may no longer be relevant. Then manually unfollow selectively.

Again, pacing here is mandatory or say bye-bye to your account for the next 24 hours!

Maximizing Your Unfollow Powers

Equipped with this exclusive Least Interacted With capability, let‘s discuss how to implement it with the finesse of a true social media guru.

Quarterly Purges

Maintaining a trimmed, engaged following list shouldn‘t be a one-time event. Schedule this as regular digital spring cleaning!

I suggest a full unfollow purge quarterly to keep your account lean. For 2023, slot 45 min on:

  • March 15
  • June 15
  • September 15
  • December 15

Pop those dates directly into your calendar so you don‘t forget!

Account Health Check Shortcuts

No need to manually dig through your following list hoping inactive accounts jump out. Lean on data-driven shortcuts!

Regularly run account audits with tools like InBeat, HypeAuditor, and Sprout Social to automatically surface:

  • Inactive users
  • Low ER followers
  • Follow/unfollow violators
  • And more key metrics

These will build custom lists of exactly who to purge next. Much easier than guessing!

Social Media Audit Tools

Creative Unfollow-Follow Loops

Here‘s an influencer tactic gaining recent traction – the unfollow/follow loop. This uses both Instagram‘s data and your human touch:

1. Unfollow Low ER Accounts

Use your connected analytics tool to automatically identify and remove followers with low ER scores not benefiting your account. opening up slots for…

2. Tactical Follows

Manually follow a set number of accounts in your niche, ideal targets you WANT as engaged followers. Show them value.

3. Repeat

Give the new adds 3 days to follow back and interact. Track ER levels. Rinse and repeat the above regularly!

This leverage both algorithmic efficiency AND your strategic human targeting. Masterful growth pairing man and machine 😉

Additional Tools to Seamlessly Prune Follows

While native Instagram capabilities should be your first stop for unfollowing en masse, third-party apps do provide additional help:


This web-based tool provides advanced analytics on all your followers, letting you prune based on specific metrics:

Clean My Followers Tool

  • Find ghosts accounts
  • Unfollow those who don‘t follow back
  • Remove based on low ER, etc

Works seamlessly alongside Instagram without hacks or workarounds. Nice additional flexibility!


Newer app InsightScope focuses just on stories, highlighting followers who haven‘t viewed your last 3 stories. One-click remove non-engagers!


Veteran YouTube tracker SocialBlade expanded into Instagram analytics. Killer for tracking daily follower growth as you test strategies. Does require paid subscription for some data views.

Key Takeaways: Follow THEN Unfollow

We‘ve covered a host tactics for effectively clearing non-ideal follows from your list. But follower removals should be balanced with consistent adds!

Your goal is bringing relevant accounts into your tribe and community – not simply racking up a big number. Quality over quantity.

So let‘s discuss best practices around strategically following others:

Follow Niche Influencers

Connect with category influencers, experts, rising stars related to your content style and topic. But…

Vet Carefully

Don‘t just spam-add every big account you want to emulate! Check their content and engagement first ensure there‘s true relevance.

Space Things Out

Consistency matters here. Set a goal like Follow 5-10 ideal targets within your niche per week. Enough to steadily grow connections without appearing botty.

Actually Engage

I can‘t stress this enough. Just adding an account without ever commenting, liking posts, or interacting makes you appear fake. Put in the effort with new follows!

Repeat Quarterly

Pair seasonal unfollows from above with fresh batch follows. Keep that community vibrant and active!

Rinse and repeat across 2023. This balances smart elimination with strategic adds. Thoughtfully tend your garden 🧑‍🌾

Risk Mitigation: Protecting Business Accounts

Thus far we‘ve focused on consumer accounts looking for refreshed follows and engagement. But what about protecting your professional brand presence?

Businesses building influencer personas on Instagram have extra vulnerability when it comes to maintaining perceived integrity. Nothing tanks expertise like an obvious botted account with fake engagement!

If you represent a company, limit unfollow actions further:

Data-Driven Rules

Set firm rules on maximum accounts removed per month based on current follow volumes. Example policies:

Business Followers Max Monthly Unfollows

  • < 1,000 20
  • 1,000-5,000 50
  • 5,000-10,000 80
  • 10,000-25,000 100
  • 25,000+ 150

Determine business impact levels accordingly. Your CEO doesn‘t want PR backlash due to sloppy social media management 😉 Own the numbers!

Ban Ghost Follow Tools

Digital marketing vendors may promise to "remove fake followers" detected through sketchy signals as not being real, active users. Avoid these.

Often the signals used wrongly flag loyal community members as "fake", damaging real connections. Vet tools extremely carefully before using.

Focus on Inactives

Rather than attempting follower quality scoring, stick firmly to obvious inactive accounts for unfollowing:

  • 6+ months since last post
  • 3+ months since interacting with you
  • Empty or bot-like bios

Activity remains the #1 indicator of authenticity and value. Leverage it wisely.

Summarizing Key Unfollow Takeaways

Let‘s circle back and summarize core lessons for strategically pruning your Instagram follow list:

💎 Leverage Instagram‘s own "Least Interacted With" tool to safely batch unfollow in groups of 50
💎 Build quarterly unfollow/refresh cycles into your content calendar
💎 Remove clear inactive accounts, spammers, and overposters first
💎 Maintain reciprocal follower connections for engagement fuel
💎 Balance unfollows with consistent relevant follows
💎 Monitor actions daily to avoid Instagram‘s action blocks
💎 Limit business account removals based on data-driven policy

Stick to these guidelines from a true social media expert and you‘ll maintain an Instagram following list both lean and engaging! 😎

Have your own tricks for managing Instagram connections? Share in the comments – I‘d love to hear what works for your niche!