How to Use and Remove Instagram Photo Tags

Attention seekers on Instagram, listen up. STOP using Instagram photo tags to get my attention! You got my attention alright…but it’s not good attention. You’re annoying me. This unwanted advance makes me want to bury your quite legitimate efforts rather than repost them, or call you to work with us. There is a right way, and a VERY wrong way to use Instagram photo tags. If you’re new to the platform, here’s a breakdown for you:

How to Tag a Photo in Instagram

When you upload a photo to Instagram you have two options for indicating who is actually in the photo.

  1. You can @tag them in the photo description. Something like “Thanks to @AnitaKirkbride for the tutorial today.” This will ping them to let them know they’ve been mentioned in a comment and they can come check it out.
  2. You can tag them in the photo. As you’re uploading the photo, you will see the option to “Tag People” below your photo. Simply click on a spot in the photo where the tag is most appropriate and add the person’s/brand’s handle. This is regularly used to tag people’s faces, or in the influencer marketing sphere, to tag brand’s with whom you have a partnership. It’s also commonly used simply to point out brands you are wearing/using in your pictures, with no presumed relationship. Here’s one I did tagging Tom’s Shoes…I have no relationship with Tom’s shoes except I like them. Brands that like to repost user generated content appreciate this type of tagging…it’s brand awareness for them.

photo tags on Instagram


How to view photo tags in Instagram

To see who is tagged in a photo on Instagram, simply click on the photo and the black tags will appear. This works on both desktop (screen cap above) and mobile.

When Should I Tag Someone in a Photo on Instagram?

There are very few legitimate reasons to add a tag to a photo on Instagram.

  1. The person/brand being tagged is *IN* the photo.
  2. The post is about the person/brand even though they are not explicitly in the photo.
  3. The brand has specifically asked for submissions to a campaign or contest via Instagram uploads that include a specific hashtag/tag. Often these invitations to provide photos will appear in their bios, with a hashtag you need to use.

When Should I NOT Tag Someone in a Photo on Instagram?

This is really quite simple. I’m sure there are Insta-gurus out there telling you to do this as part of your Insta-strategy, but you need to know and understand your audience.

Do not tag a brand/person on Instagram just to

  1. Get their attention
  2. Be found in the pictures of them

That’s it. I promise, repeatedly tagging a brand, person or publication you want to notice you, when they’re not involved in the photo to begin with, will hurt you more than it will help you. It annoys the social media manager of the account, who very likely has absolutely nothing to do with choosing you as an influencer for their next campaign. That person will simply remove your tags, which wastes their time and annoys them even more.

Wait… you didn’t know you could remove a photo tag on Instagram?

How to Remove a Photo Tag on Instagram

If you should find yourself the target of a scammer selling Instagram followers, or an influencer who tags you in absolutely everything to get your attention, or people who simply want to be in pictures of your brand, it’s a simple process to remove the tag. Getting them to stop tagging you might require an uncomfortable conversation.

  1. Open the photo in question in the mobile app. You cannot remove a tag from the desktop version of Instagram.
  2. Tap on the photo to see the tags.
  3. Tap on your tag.
  4. Click on Remove Tag.
  5. You can also remove this photo from the list of photos you are in. This is separate from the black tag. So you can leave one or the other, or remove both.

Where do I see photos in which I’ve been tagged?

Instagram photos screenshot

This is another feature one can only see on the mobile version, so don’t go looking for this on your desktop. To see the photos you’ve been tagged in, go to your Instagram profile

If you have further questions on tagging people in Instagram photos, check out the Instagram help forum, or post your question in the comments.

If you liked this post, please subscribe to get my new posts by email or Messenger.


2 thoughts on “How to Use and Remove Instagram Photo Tags”

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Privacy Preference Center


Navigate the website, navigate the store

WordPress, Woocommerce, Jetpack



Facebook, Twitter
Facebook pixel
Twitter personalization


To track traffic and usage data



opt-in, emails