Can Instagram Reels Be Private Or Hidden? (Updated 2022)

Can Instagram Reels Be Private Or Hidden? (Updated 2022)

Reels is one of the most trendy new features of Instagram and it is definitely considered to be Meta’s answer to the surging popularity of TikTok. In fact, Reels is actually seen as a huge deal for the Instagram brand, which wants to stay further away from being ‘just’ a photosharing app.

Can Instagram Reels Be Private Or Hidden? (Updated 2022)

Can your Instagram Reels Be Private Or Hidden?

Because Reels are definitely seen as a new way to post on Instagram and should be considered a TikTok competitor, people have been wondering if your Reels can also be private or hidden and if it’s the same setting as with regular posts or videos.

It turns out that you can set your reels to private and hide them from the public, but the process is actually quite similar to other posts on Instagram.

Can Instagram Reels Be Private Or Hidden? (Updated 2022)

Your Instagram Reels are hidden when you have a private account, meaning that only your accepted followers will be able to view all the Reels you’ve posted.

When you have a public Instagram account, anyone who stumbles upon your profile can watch all your content, including the Reels you’ve uploaded.

How are Instagram Reels treated in the app?

In the application, Reels are immediately visible on the profile page of an account and they’re visible in between the regular posts. However, just a single swipe to the right and you can see a tab with the Reels icon. Meta, the company behind Instagram, is certainly treating Reels as a big deal – in fact, it’s one of the strategies to make sure that Instagram doesn’t die out.

All the reels you’ve ever made have their separate tab on a profile page, meaning they’re very easy to find and discover.

Can Instagram Reels Be Private Or Hidden? (Updated 2022)
Source: Netflix on Instagram

In fact, you could argue that the way Reels are presented is actually very similar to the way stories work on Instagram. There’s a separate section on the profile (the glowing profile picture and the adjustable headlights) and if your account is set to public, anyone can view your stories too.

Can anyone use my original Instagram Reel audio for their own Reels?

Yes! In order to promote spreading Reels and inspiring users to create new ones, the audio of any publically shared Reel on your Instagram account can be used by other users in their own videos.

Who knows, perhaps you’ll even go viral with your Reel and gain thousands of views and followers!

Of course, if your Instagram account is set to private, no one will be able to take your original audio and record a new reel.

Only your accepted followers will be able to view the Reel in the first place.

Can Instagram Reels Be Private Or Hidden? (Updated 2022)

Will my public Reels show up in the Discover, effect, hashtag, and audio pages on Instagram?

Yes! If you’re posting your reels publically for everyone to see, that also means that people who aren’t following you can see your Reel showing up in their Discover, effect, hashtag, or audio pages.

They’ll be able to use your audio, as mentioned above or recreate the effect you might have used on your Reel.

And just like with regular posts, if your Reel gets popular it might even show up on people’s Discovery page – you can pretty much compare this to TikTok’s massively popular ‘For You’ page.

Can Instagram Reels Be Private Or Hidden? (Updated 2022)

Can private or hidden Instagram Reels be shared by my followers?

The answer here is a little bit more tricky.

Yes, your followers can actually share your Instagram Reel with other people – but there’s a catch.

It will only be shared with people who are already following you – meaning that the Reel can not be viewed by people outside of your own following list, even if it’s shared by someone else.

Confusing, right? We know – but rest assured, if your Instagram account is set to private, no one will be able to see your Instagram Reel in their feed that wasn’t already approved by you. No need to worry about any Instagram stalkers viewing your Reels.

Can Instagram Reels Be Private Or Hidden? (Updated 2022)

Are there separate privacy settings for Reels?

As of this time, there are no separate privacy settings for your Instagram Reels. With stories, you can block certain users from viewing them or only allow people in your ‘Good Friends’ list to watch them, but that is not possible with Reels.

Perhaps that future will be introduced in the future, but judging by the way Meta/Facebook has been massively promoting Reels for a large audience, we think it’s rather unlikely.

Here’s how you can switch to a private Instagram account

Can Instagram Reels Be Private Or Hidden? (Updated 2022)
  • Head over to your profile page on the Instagram app.
  • Click the ‘hamburger’ menu icon in the top right corner.
  • A pop-up will show up from the bottom. Click on ‘Settings’.
  • Another press on Privacy.
  • Under ‘Account privacy’, you’ll be able to set your account to hidden.


Can Instagram Reels be hidden or private? Absolutely, as Reels simply follows the existing privacy settings of your Instagram account. If your account is set to private, only your followers will be able to see your short clip videos and sharing is limited. If it’s set to public, everyone on Instagram can view your Reels, but also share them, use your audio or use your effects.

Further reading

If you’re looking for the best video export settings for your Reels, check out our in-depth video export to Instagram guide.

Happy reeling!

Paul Alexander

About the author

Paul Alexander has a Master of Science degree in Communication Studies and is a licensed teacher in Flanders, Belgium. He's been passionate about writing and technology ever since he was little and has more than ten years of experience in the vastly interesting world of consumer electronics and social media. He is also the founder of

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