How to Remove Reels from Instagram Search Page

Since their launch, Instagram Reels have become an increasingly popular way for creators to share entertaining short-form video content. However, as more accounts produce reels, many users are finding their Instagram searches and Explore pages dominated by flows of reels instead of the photo content they seek. Fortunately, while Instagram’s priority and algorithm continues to showcase reels, how to remove reels from Instagram search page and rediscover more desired photo content.

In this guide, we’ll cover key techniques like:

  • Adjusting your account’s preferences and settings
  • Using hashtags and keywords to filter searches
  • Diversifying the accounts you follow
  • Allowing time for Instagram’s formulas to recalibrate

The goal is training searches and your Explore page to display more traditional visual Instagram content vs only the latest viral reels.

Understanding the Instagram Search Algorithm

To minimize reels appearances in searches, it helps to first understand some background on how Instagram populates results and the evolving role of preferences.

How Content Surfaces

Instagram dynamically surfaces posts in both general discovery and searches using an array of signals:

  • Who you follow and interact with
  • Your activity history
  • Ranking of content relevance and quality

It aims to showcase engaging, relevant posts but increasingly favors reels.

Role of Preferences

Your account preferences and watch history greatly inform results:

  • Video views train it to surface more reels
  • Photo activity skews away from reels
  • Followed accounts and hashtags contribute

The formula also dynamically evolves as new formats and partnerships emerge. Recent shifts decreased photos in the algorithm at the benefit of Instagram reels, for example.

Constant Evolution

Minor tweaks behind-the-scenes create ripple effects:

  • Short-lived experiments alter impacts
  • Gradual moves favor business objectives

So staying atop changes takes diligence as Instagram rarely publicly previews formula shifts.

Adjusting Account Preferences

The most direct way to decrease reels visibility in Instagram searches is modifying your account’s preferences and settings related to viewed content.

This trains and signals the algorithm to skew away from promoting additional Instagram reels by restricting its access to full watch history.

On Mobile

In the Instagram app:

  1. Go to your profile and open settings
  2. Select “Account” then “Account Privacy”
  3. Toggle “Watch History” off
  4. Also toggle “Search History” off

This prevents logging of your video views that inform results.

On Desktop

On a desktop web browser:

  1. Click the profile icon
  2. Go to “Settings” and select “Privacy”
  3. Toggle off “Watch and Search History”

Same concepts apply but menu order shifts slightly.

Restricting the ability for Instagram’s algorithms to access your consumption patterns limits reels relevance and promotion. For maximizing this effect:

  • Avoid watching full reels
  • Primarily like and engage with photo posts

Essentially “re-train” recommendations around your renewed behaviors.

Additional Ways to Minimize Instagram Reels

Along with adjusting account privacy settings related to watch history, a few other tactics can reduce seeing reels in Instagram searches and feeds:

Leverage Keywords and Hashtags

When executing searches, use descriptive words and tags pointing to non-video content:

  • Generic terms surface common formats like Instagram reels now
  • Include “photo” or other media types
  • Seek specific hashtags for imagery

This helps filter to more photo-centric posts.

Follow a Mix of Accounts

Who you follow contributes to results. Choose diversity:

  • Ensure a base of photo accounts to balance video creators
  • Offset reels algorithms impacts

Allow Time for Algorithm Adjustment

It takes time for impacts to take effect:

  • A week or two for changes
  • Continue desired behaviors
  • Disable/re-enable watch data after spacing

Check Back Periodically

Subtle shifts occur over time:

  • Temporary experiments alter impacts
  • Consumption patterns can trigger old suggestions

So revisit account data toggles monthly.

Conclusion| How to Remove Reels from Instagram Search Page

As Instagram continues to prioritize attention-grabbing reels in feeds and searches, users seeking more balance with photo-focused discovery can feel overwhelmed. But by toggling off watch history settings, intentionally engaging more with images, using precise text descriptors, and diversifying follows, you can retrain algorithms to de-emphasize reels over time.

Essentially restricting access to full usage data and signalling revised preferences through renewed activity patterns teaches Instagram what to showcase less of. It takes patience as machine learning formulas recalibrate from the inputs you control. But whether you temporarily disable watch data or simply be more selective by following more photo accounts, the network learns. So take back control from overly invasive reels and renewsearches to surface content you actually want to see through intentional adjustments. With diligence, your feed and Explore page can strike the engaging balance you desire by showing fewer suggested reels over time.


Do Instagram reels still appear for hashtags searches?

Yes, reels likely still appear in hashtag search results, especially for very popular hashtags. Trying more niche photo hashtags can help, as does including search terms like “photo” or the type of media you want to find.

Can I completely delete my Instagram watch/search history?

No, the privacy settings toggles just temporarily restrict Instagram’s access to your full history. Fully deleting previously logged activity is not possible. Restricting ongoing watch data is key.

Will turning my settings toggles back on bring back tons of suggested reels again?

Likely over time yes, as it re-permits Instagram to fully analyze your watching patterns and serves up relevant reels. Keep the toggles off consistently if wanting to sustain lower reels volume in suggested content.

Will turning my Watch History back on bring back tons of suggested reels?

Yes, likely enabling the Watch History setting again will reintroduce more suggested reels over time by letting the algorithms analyze your viewing patterns again. Keep it restricted consistently if you want to sustain lower reels volume.

Can I permanently and completely remove the ability to see Instagram reels at all?

Unfortunately there is no current setting allowing a complete disabling of Instagram reels visibility in your feeds or searches outside of the Watch History adjustments. Maximum control right now is temporarily restricting access to watch data.

Do Instagram reels still show up in hashtag search results?

Yes, reels likely still appear to some degree in hashtag searches, especially for very popular hashtags that align closely with viral video content. Trying more niche photo hashtags can help offset this. Being specific with media types like “photography” also helps filter.

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