How to see how long you’ve been following a person on Instagram

You and your best friend found yourself talking about the latest content posted on Instagram by your favorite influencer. You both love everything this character posts on his account on a daily basis. Your friend is convinced that it was he who introduced you to the influencer in question and therefore believes that you should give him credit for this “discovery”.

For your part, however, you are absolutely certain that, in reality, it was you who first noticed the aforementioned user on this social network and not the other way around. To check which of you two is actually right, you then started browsing the various Instagram menus in vain in search of a detail that would prove irrefutably when you started following this character.

Not having found a solution, you opened the search engine by typing “how to see how long you have been following a person on Instagram” and here you are, on one of my tutorials, looking for a solution. If this is really the case, the least I can do is help you by answering this question of yours. You need to know that the information you are looking for can be obtained with a gimmick. Which? Read on and you will find out.


  • See how long you’ve been following a person on Instagram
    • Download your data
    • Check the file with your data

See how long you’ve been following a person on Instagram

Are you wondering how to see how long you’ve been following a person on Instagram ? So I would immediately point out that – at least at the time of writing – neither the social network app (available for Android , iPhone and Windows PC ), nor its website provide for this possibility directly.

However, you can find this information in the activity data relating to your account, available for download at any time. You must know, in fact, that Instagram servers “keep track” of everything you do with your account on the platform (the comments and likes you leave on posts, the accounts that follow your profile, those you have blocked , your searches and so on) and that it is possible to download this data for consultation: to find out how, read on.

Download your data

The first step you need to take to find out how long you have been following a user on Instagram is to download your usage data from the aforementioned social network. You can do this both from the Instagram app for mobile and PC devices, and from the platform’s website .

If you want to proceed using the mobile application, start it, press the icon with your profile photo located at the bottom right and then tap the ☰ button located at the top right. From the menu that is shown to you, select the Settings item and proceed by pressing on the word Security .

At this point, tap on the item Download data and then type an e-mail address to which you can have access in the single field on the next screen. Then, press the Request download button , enter your account password (if you don’t remember it, read this tutorial of mine ) and, finally, tap the Finish button .

Now all you have to do is wait for the data of your activity on Instagram to be processed automatically and, as soon as the process is completed (you may have to wait up to 48 hours ), you will receive a download link to the email address you have specified.

If you are unable to find the email from Instagram containing the link in question in your inbox, also check the Spam and Junk folders . Please note that you will be able to download your data within a maximum of 4 days from the moment you received the link.

If you want to repeat the steps I just showed you on your computer , connect to the home page of the Instagram site with any web browser or from its application for Windows. In both cases, once you have logged into your account, the steps to follow are the same.

So, click on the icon of your profile photo at the top right and select the Settings item from the menu that is proposed to you. Then continue by clicking on the item Privacy and security located in the list on the left and, from here, scroll down the page and click on the word Request download .

Now indicate the email address on which you wish to receive the download link in the appropriate field and specify in which format ( HTML or JSON ) you want your business data to be made available. Finally, click on the Next button and type your profile password to confirm.

Also in this case you will have to wait for the message from Instagram which contains the link you requested. Proceed, therefore, with the reading of the next chapter of the guide for instructions on how to open the file you just obtained.

Check the file with your data

Did you find the email from Instagram containing the link to your usage data? Well, then (both from smartphones and tablets and computers ) open it, then press the Download information button and you will be redirected to the Instagram login page via browser. You will then have to enter your profile password in the appropriate field and log in. To proceed, click on Download information and wait for the download to be completed.

At this point, you will need an application to explore the contents of the compressed folder that contains the data you downloaded earlier. If you are using a smartphone, my advice is to use WinZip .

This is the app version of the famous and “historic” file and folder compression and decompression program available for Windows and acOS . The aforementioned application is free but offers the possibility of making in-app purchases (starting from 80 cents ) to unlock additional features and access to cloud storage services.

To install WinZip on an Android device, just visit this page of the Play Store (or search for it on the alternative stores , if your smartphone or tablet does not have access to Google services) and press the Install button . If you want, instead, to install the application on iPhone or iPad , open this section of the App Store, press the Get / Install button and, if necessary, verify your identity with Face ID , Touch ID or Apple ID password .

I would also like to point out that to open compressed folders you can also use the file manager Files from Google (on Android) and Files (on iOS and iPadOS). Both tools are “standard” on their respective operating systems; in case you do not find them on your smartphone or tablet, you can still download them again by visiting the links I have just proposed and repeating the steps in the previous paragraph.

Regarding Google Files , however, the application will necessarily invite you to extract the entire contents of the compressed folder with your files (without the possibility of exploring it “in advance”) and, since the latter could be very numerous, I invite you to be careful in this case and evaluate, therefore, whether or not it can create “confusion” in the memory of your device.

If, rather, you want to open the file with Instagram usage data on a computer , you can safely use WinZip that I have already recommended or the tools already included in your operating system: the compressed archive manager on Windows and the Compression Utility on macOS. For all the details about it (and for other alternatives and solutions) I refer you to my tutorial on how to open ZIP files for free .

Once you have chosen the app or program to use, open the compressed file [username] _ [numeric code] .zip : if you are working as a smartphone and use WinZip , you can find the aforementioned file in the download folder and for open it, just select it by tapping on its preview .

Inside the newly opened compressed folder, look for the folder called followers_and_following and open it by clicking on its preview . The file containing the information you are looking for is the one called following.html (or following.json , depending on your previous choice).

By accessing the latter (you can open it directly from WinZip by tapping on its name ) you will be able to find listed the names of the accounts you currently follow and, under them, the date and time when it started following them.

If you have chosen to perform the procedure from a computer and the file with the aforementioned data is in HTML format , by opening it you should be automatically redirected to a window of your default browser. For more details on how to view content in this format, I refer you to my tutorial on how to open HTML files .

How do you say? Is the file with your usage information in JSON format ? Then take a look at my in- depth study on the best solutions to open this file format.

Before leaving you, I would like to point out that by opening the blocked_accounts , followers and recent_follow_requests files contained within the followers_and_following folder mentioned above, you will be able to check respectively the profiles you have blocked, your followers and your requests to follow other users’ accounts (for each single item it will also be possible to view its date, similarly to what is shown regarding the accounts followed).

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