How to Block Adult Content on Instagram in 2024

Instagram is one of the more visual social media apps. It prioritizes photos, reels, stories, videos and other media to engage users.

That makes it susceptible to housing inappropriate content such as nudity and porn.

I wanted to clean up my instagram feed for myself and for my family. So I went and tested several methods that block and filter adult content on the site.

Here’s the three that performed best:

  • Best Method Overall: Canopy (a Parental Control App and Porn Blocker)
  • Method 2: Instagram’s Settings (Free)
  • Method 3: Browser Extension (Limited to specific browsers)

Read on for step-by-step instructions and details of each so that you can apply these methods to your family’s Instagram accounts.

Best Method Overall: How to Block Adult Content on Instagram Using Canopy (a Parental Control App and Porn Blocker)

Here’s the method, the benefits and step-by-step for blocking adult content on Instagram with Canopy.


Canopy is a parental control app and porn blocker designed to filter out (in real-time) and block inappropriate content on the web. This includes Instagram, other social media sites, other websites, and browsers.

Find out more about Canopy and its unique features by watching the video below:


Canopy’s real-time filtering ability ensures you or your child never encounter inappropriate content. This allows you to freely enjoy Instagram, safe in the knowledge that explicit material is screened out.

Canopy also has features that build better tech habits and keep them safe such as their location alerts, sexting prevention, screen time limits, and removal prevention.

Why Canopy is number one:

With Canopy, you can block sites and filter out explicit content before it ever appears on the page.

Canopy’s protection is effective across different devices and browsers.

Watch the video below to hear why parents use and trust Canopy to protect their family.

Why the Canopy Parental App? A Parent and Tech Analyst Explains

Canopy has a free trial and you can get a 20% discount using the code #CANBLOCK (make sure to use the code when you sign up).

How to Block Adult Content on Instagram Using Canopy

Here’s how I block inappropriate content on Instagram using Canopy.

1. Set Up Your account on Canopy: Sign up for a free trial of Canopy to get started.

2Download the Canopy app: You need to install the app on any device you want to restrict content for. It can be used for kids and adults, as needed.

3. Head to Advanced Filtering, click Applications and find Instagram Use these instructions for extra clarity here.

This step-by-step will block the Instagram app altogether, which is the safest way. 

From there, we recommend only allowing access to Instagram via a browser (see our guides on blocking adult content in Safari or Google Chrome) where you can filter 100% of adult content safely and securely while allowing access to Instagram.


There are additional steps you can follow to block specific websites if you want to completely get rid of Instagram access.

→ Get started with Canopy and protect your family from harmful adult content. ←

Method 2: How to Block Adult Content on Instagram Using Instagram’s Built-In Settings

Instagram, aware of its platform’s potential for hosting adult content, has its own built-in content and privacy controls.

Here’s the method, its benefits, and the step-by-step instructions you can follow to get it started.


Instagram offers its own safety and privacy settings that can help block or limit the display of adult content.


Utilizing Instagram’s built-in settings gives you direct control over your personal privacy and the kind of content you encounter.

These settings let you curate your own Instagram experience, down to the people you interact with and the content you see. And the settings will work in your browser and your app.

Why it’s second best:

While Instagram’s settings can provide a degree of control and security, they fall short in offering comprehensive protection from adult content.

Instagram’s algorithm isn’t foolproof, and inappropriate content can still seep through its filters, which is why coupling these steps with a robust content filtering tool like Canopy is highly recommended for comprehensive protection.

How to Block Inappropriate Content in Instagram Using Built-In Settings (From Browser)

Here are the exact steps I took to block adult content on Instagram using its own settings on a desktop.

1. Open Instagram settings: On your profile page, tap on the hamburger menu icon (three lines) in the bottom left corner of your browser window. Select ‘Settings’.

2. Adjust Interactions: In the ‘How others can interact with you’ section, you can control who can comment on your posts, who can mention or tag you, and even filter out offensive comments and messages.

3. Modify Account Privacy: Set your account to private. By doing so, only the people you approve can see your posts and your stories. This also lets you manually approve follow requests.

4. Block and Report Inappropriate Content: If you encounter inappropriate content or accounts, you can block and report them directly from the post or the account’s profile.

5. Turn on ‘Supervision’: With this feature on, parents can have greater control and oversight over their child’s Instagram activity, including approving follower requests and monitoring messages.

How to Block Inappropriate Content in Instagram Using Built-In Settings (From Phone App)

Here are the exact steps I took to block adult content and create a safer experience on Instagram using its own settings on my phone.

1. Go to your home profile page: Open your Instagram app and click on your profile photo in the bottom right corner.

2. Open the ‘hamburger’ menu: Click the three lines in the top right, then click ‘Settings and privacy’.

3. Adjust Your Interactions: In the ‘How others can interact with you’ section, you can control who can comment on your posts, who can mention or tag you, and even filter out offensive comments and messages.

4. Enable Sensitive Content Controls: Click on ‘Sensitive content’ in the settings menu. This setting lets you control how much sensitive content you will see on Instagram. You can choose from three levels of control.


5. Make Your Account Private: When your account is private, only the people you approve can see your posts and your stories.

Remember, while these steps provide a level of control and security, they may not be sufficient to prevent all inappropriate content from reaching your child’s account.

Combining Instagram’s built-in features with Canopy’s real-time content filtering can provide a much stronger barrier against adult content.

Why Instagram’s Controls Aren’t Enough to Block Adult Content

While Instagram’s built-in content controls offer some level of protection against inappropriate content, it’s far from a perfect solution.

Two big problems come up:

  • It relies on user reporting
  • Its definition of harmful content might not be strict enough for children

It Relies on User Reporting

A large portion of Instagram’s content monitoring relies on user reporting. This means that offensive or inappropriate material must first be seen and recognized by users, and then reported before it can be removed.

Not only does this expose individuals to potentially harmful content, but it also creates a lag time during which these explicit posts remain accessible to all users, including children.

Its Filtering Might Not Be Strict Enough

Instagram’s definition of ‘inappropriate’ content might not align with yours.

Instagram’s controls are designed to catch explicit nudity or sexual content, but there’s a lot that falls into a gray area.

For example, a photo of someone in minimal clothing might not technically violate Instagram’s guidelines but may still be something you’d rather not have your child see.

Compare that to Canopy.

Canopy’s filter doesn’t rely on pre-existing labels or user reports, it actively scans and analyzes content in real-time. With Canopy, content that may be questionable, or even just pushing the boundaries of appropriateness, can be blocked before it ever appears on the screen.

Plus you can tailor the content controls to your family’s specific values and standards.

This way, you get peace of mind knowing your child’s Instagram experience aligns with your own definition of appropriateness, not just Instagram’s.

Method 3: How to Block Adult Content on Instagram with a Browser Extension

Here’s the method, the benefits, and step-by-step instructions to help you block adult content on Instagram using a browser extension.


Browser extensions can offer another layer of protection by blocking specific websites or types of content. Many extensions allow you to set custom filters or use pre-defined ones to block adult content, and some even work on social media sites like Instagram.


These extensions can be customized to meet your needs and are easy to install.

Why it’s third best:

These extensions only work in the browser they’re installed in. So, if you use multiple browsers or devices, like I do, you would need to install and configure the extension in each.

Also, they may not be as effective in blocking adult content within social media feeds and if you use the Instagram app on your phone or tablet, this method won’t work.

How to Block Inappropriate Content on Instagram Using Browser Extensions

1. Choose a browser extension: Search for browser extensions that have content filtering. “BlockSite” for Chrome and Firefox is an example.

2. Install the extension: Go to your browser’s extension store, find the extension, and install it.

3. Set up the extension: Most extensions have a ‘Settings’ menu where you can customize the content you want to block.

4. Add Instagram content filters: If the extension allows, add custom filters for Instagram but this shouldn’t be necessary. The general blocking features should work when using the Instagram website (but not the app!).

If you want to block content on specific browsers like Safari, Chrome, and Firefox, you can read our ‘how to block adult content’ guides for each. There you’ll find specific step-by-step instructions for methods related to that browser (including browser extensions).

Here they are:

Or you can get Canopy and be covered no matter where you’re browsing or what device you’re browsing on.

How Does Inappropriate Content End Up on Instagram?

Despite Instagram’s “no nudity” rule, you’ll find a surprising amount of suggestive content there.


It’s all about the gray area. Certain content creators are skilled at toeing the line between what’s allowed and what’s not.

Their posts, while not explicit, may still be considered inappropriate by many standards. These “risque” posts exploit Instagram’s policies, making it hard for the platform’s automated systems to flag them.

But just because the content toes the line doesn’t mean it doesn’t have real-world consequences for those who see it.

Studies from Psychology Today reveal that teens exposed to pornographic material are more likely to engage in sexual activity at a younger age. This early exposure to explicit content can be a risk factor for intimacy disorders and even sex addictions.

What Can You Do About It?

First, you’ll want to equip yourself with the knowledge of what this content can do to your and your child’s brain.

We also have an article on the effects of quitting porn as well as a guide for how to quit porn so that you can use it or pass it on to someone in your life who needs these resources.

Next, you’ll want to install a tool that goes beyond Instagram’s content controls and filters out nudity in real time. That’s exactly what Canopy can do.

With Canopy, the blurry line of what is and isn’t appropriate becomes crystal clear, shielding us and our children from explicit material.

Download it today and protect your family from adult content on social media and the broader internet.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How to Block Inappropriate Pictures on Instagram?

Blocking inappropriate pictures on Instagram can be achieved through a combination of Instagram’s own content settings and the use of Canopy, a robust parental control and content filtering app.

Canopy’s AI-driven technology works to prevent inappropriate images from ever appearing on the screen, providing a layer of protection beyond Instagram’s in-app capabilities.

How Do You Use Sensitive Content Filter on Instagram?

Instagram’s Sensitive Content Filter can be enabled in the app’s privacy settings. This feature aims to limit the visibility of potentially objectionable photos and videos.

However, it’s not foolproof and some explicit content might still get through.

For a more comprehensive solution, using Canopy’s intelligent filtering system can provide real-time blocking of explicit content across platforms and devices.

Is There a Way to Control Content Within Instagram?

Yes, Instagram provides some built-in tools for content control, such as the Sensitive Content Filter, comment controls, and the ability to report or block users.

However, these features may not catch everything.

Using Canopy as a comprehensive content control tool can help to ensure a safer Instagram experience as it filters and blocks inappropriate content before it appears on the screen.

Other step-by-step guides for blocking content on different software and devices

If you’re blocking adult content on Instagram you may also be interested in guides for blocking content across devices and softwares.

Check out the below and create a safer digital space for you and your family:

Or skip the hassle and get Canopy. Canopy will block and filter out inappropriate content across browsers and devices for the entire family, with the option to create different levels of control for different children based on their needs and age.

Ready to get started?

We built Canopy to empower families to enjoy a safer digital experience.

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Ready to get started?

We built Canopy to empower families to enjoy a safer digital experience.

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