Decided to take a break from social media by deleting your account but still want to view the occasional post? You might have noticed a problem. Popular apps like Instagram, Facebook, and Reddit now prevent non-account holders from freely accessing content on their networks. Luckily, there are a few workarounds that can help you bypass the restriction. In this turorial, we show you how to view posts and more without signing up.
Can You View Instagram Without Logging In?
While it used to be possible to view Instagram posts and profiles without an account, now things aren’t so straightforward. You do get limited access, although your experience quickly gets tainted by the repeated prompts to sign up with your username and password.
When trying to view an Instagram profile in a browser, either on desktop or mobile, you’ll be able to view a few posts, but if you scroll too far, you’ll be restricted. This happens if you’re using Firefox or Safari. In Chrome, you’ll be asked to log in from the get-go without even so much as a sneak peek of the profile you’re trying to view. The good news is that you can open posts; if you’re on PC you’ll need to open them in a new tab.
How to View Instagram Profiles and Stories Without an Account
Fortunately, there’s an easy way to get around this restriction and view Instagram profiles and stories. You’ll have to use an online service such as IGAnony, but there are many other options. You can access it in your browser. One thing to keep in mind is that this works only for public accounts.
- Go to IGAnony and input the username of the account you want to view. (If you don’t know the exact account username, try performing a Google search like this: “name/nickname Instagram.”)
- The profile you’re looking for should show up below.
- Use the tabs at the top to select the type of content you want to view: Stories, Posts, or Highlights.
- If you opt for posts, you can scroll through their profile in full. If you want to download a post, right-click (or long-press) on the image in question.
Tip: make your Instagram content stand out with camera filters and effects.
Search for Hashtags and Interests
You can’t access the Instagram’s search function without an account. Luckily, Google can help you do some basic searches. For instance, you can look for posts tagged with a certain hashtag – simply type into search something like “#technology hashtag instagram.” When I tried this I got the following results.
When I clicked on the third option, I was taken to a page that contained more than 23,565,050 entries.
Alternatively, you can click on hashtags when viewing posts on profiles. You’ll be redirected to the hashtag page where you can browse all posts that contain it.
Furthermore, It’s possible to use a web tool such as Toolzu to search for profiles under a certain category. For instance, you can look for accounts associated with “Aquarium.”
How to View Twitter Content Without an Account
Twitter grants a more generous degree of access for those who don’t have an account. On PC and mobile, you can scroll through an account’s feed and view their tweets. It’s even possible to read associated comments by opening a post in a new window.
You can’t, however, see comments via the feed. If you click the “Comments” icon underneath a tweet, you will be prompted to log in instead. Also, you won’t be allowed to view likes or see who retweeted or quoted if you don’t log in.
As with Instagram, to have access to content on Twitter without an account, you’ll have to use a browser – either on your PC or mobile. If you have the Twitter app on your phone, tapping on a Twitter link will automatically open the app, which will prompt you to log in.
For those who do have an account, here’s how to search Twitter like a pro.
Read Tweets From a Particular User
If you’re looking to read a post from a particular user, follow the steps below to find the user – even without an account.
- Go to https://twitter.com in your browser and to access Twitter’s Explorer tab. Use the bar at the top to search for a name or keyword.
- Alternatively, you can search for the account directly in Google using “name/keyword twitter” to see the account (if they have one), as well as thumbnails, which shows their latest posts.
Note: you can’t see posts from private accounts, just like on Instagram.
Keep Up With What’s Trending
Now, maybe you were using Twitter to keep up with the latest trends. You can still do so by going to the #Explore tab and checking out the “Trends for you” section.
However, if you want to go beyond what Twitter is offering, third-party services like Trends24 offer a comprehensive view of what’s trending on Twitter. The website shows you the hottest hashtags over the last 24 hours, and you can even filter by country. The charts are upgraded every hour, so you can be sure you won’t miss anything.
Once you click a particular hashtag, you can opt to view it directly on Twitter. You can see the associated tweets in the form of a list featuring people and individual tweets.
Tip: had enough of Twitter? Here’s how you can delete your Twitter account.
Searching Twitter without having an account is possible through the #Explore tab. Use the search bar at the top to look for usernames, topics, or any other keywords.
Once you press Enter, the search will show the top tab. You can switch to other tabs, including “Latest,” “People,” “Photos,” “and Videos” if you want to view more targeted search results.
What’s interesting is that Twitter’s Advanced search option doesn’t require an account to work. You can access it by tapping the three dots next to the search bar. Next, you can start searching using a string of words, an exact phrase, hashtags, filter by languageor time, and use many other options.
How to View Facebook Content Without an Account
Once upon a time, Facebook used to allow you to browse and search its network without many restrictions. Those days are gone now, so without an account, your experience is destined to be quite limited. Even so, there are still a few things you can do even without signing in.
View Facebook Posts
Before we proceed, keep in mind that many Facebook profiles are restricted (via Privacy settings, such as hiding their friends list) and therefore display only limited content. You won’t be able to view anything these people choose to share only with their friends on the network.
In the case of public profiles, however, you can view some posts even without an account. Therefore, if a friend sends you a link to a picture that was posted on their Facebook page, you can view it. Interestingly, you can also download the media by pressing on the three dots next to their name.
On mobile, account holders can share images with outside users via the “Share external” option. It can be accessed by opening the image in question and pressing on the three dots in the upper-right corner.
For posts with text and links, press on the three dots to the right of the postcard and select “Copy link.”
It’s possible to view Facebook content without an account on your desktop or mobile device using a browser. On mobile, you’ll get more intrusive requests to sign in with your account that can severely hamper your experience, so it may be better to use a PC instead.
Need more privacy on Facebook? Create a restricted list and share your posts and other content without worry.
Search for Accounts
Without logging in, you won’t have access to Facebook’s search, which lets you search for people. The good news is that you can still find who you’re looking for, but the results are a bit of a mixed bag – especially if the person you need to find has a pretty common name. If you’re looking for a celebrity or an institution, then it should be easy.
The first method is to use Google and perform a search among these lines “name facebook.” Once you press Enter, the search engine will list the accounts that match your query.
Social search engines like Social Searcher are also an option, although they tend to yield mixed results. On top of that, some of them require you to pay to gain full access to the data they can generate.
How to View Reddit Content Without an Account
Accessing Reddit without an account can be done, although if you want the better experience, we recommend you do so on your PC or use the mobile app. On your phone, you can also browse from the mobile browser, but you’ll be bombarded constantly by suggestions to use the app instead – unless you use a neat trick which we discuss below.
View Threads and Posts
Reddit links often pop up when doing searches, so being able to access threads and posts can prove quite useful. On desktop or the mobile app, you won’t even be bothered by any annoying pop-ups asking you to sign in.
You can easily browse the posts under a thread, see photos, videos and links and also have access to user comments. What you can’t do is follow threads, access a personalized feed, comment or interact with other users. But if your goal is to simply read content, then you should be able to use Reddit on desktop or the Reddit mobile app.
In your mobile browser, the experience is a bit annoying. You’ll constantly get asked if you want to view content using the Reddit app. The good news is that the Reddit app lets you view and browse content without issue. Just get it on your phone.
On the other hand, if, for whatever reason, you don’t want to download the app, you can use this trick to make browsing Reddit in your mobile browser bearable.
- Tap on a Reddit link and open it in your mobile browser.
- Replace the “www” of that link with “old.”
- Now you can enjoy browsing Reddit for mobile without the constant interruptions.
Reddit currently maintains two versions of the website: the old one and the newer one, which actively invites mobile users to move to the app. The old one does not enforce any app-use restrictions, so if you don’t mind the outdated interface, this is the better way to browse Reddit in your mobile browser.
Tip: learn how to bring back deleted comments and posts on Reddit. It’s easy!
Search Reddit Without an Account
It’s possible to search Reddit like you normally would – even with an account. Just use the search bar at the top when browsing on your desktop by using keywords. On mobile, you’ll have to tap on the hamburger menu on the right to reveal the search bar.
Clicking on the Search bar will reveal Trending topics, so if you want to browse the hottest topics, you can do so even without an account.
How to View TikTok Content Without an Account
Surprisingly, TikTok is one of the friendlier social media apps that lets non-users easily browse. It’s possible to do so on desktop or mobile using your browser of choice.
View Clips and Search
The easiest way to access TikTok is via a link. Tap on it and let your default browser open it. Whether you’re on mobile or PC, it should work just fine, and you should be able to see the video. If, on the other hand, you’re targeting a particular user and wish to be able to browse their content, follow the path below.
- Go to TikTok’s official page on desktop or mobile.
- Search for the username using the bar at the top.
- Click on their profile.
- Check out the videos they posted.
As you’d expect, you can’t follow users, like posts, comment, post your own content or watch live TikToks unless you’re willing to make an account.
If you don’t want to see any particular TikToks and are just curious to see what the platform is all about, you can just browse. TikTok will automatically show you what’s trending in your region.
How to View LinkedIn Content Without an Account
If you’ve received a LinkedIn profile link, you can view it in the browser on your PC or mobile device even without an account. Most information, such as the introduction, work experience, and education, will be available. LinkedIn has various privacy options available, so you can’t see their profile picture or additional information if it has been hidden.
Note: you can only access a limited number of profiles per day before LinkedIn will revoke your access, asking you to create an account.
Searching for People
You can’t use LinkedIn’s search function and easily identify people on the network without an account. You can try using Google, but this method has yielded mixed results in testing. I personally couldn’t identify my LinkedIn account, although the results included some links that might have eventually lead to my page. On the other hand, I managed to find some acquaintances quite easily by searching for “name LinkedIn.”
An alternative would be to use the Social Searcher website, which searches for LinkedIn connections and not just Facebook contacts. It proved useful in testing.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I view the Facebook Marketplace without logging in to Facebook?
No. The Facebook Marketplace is an integrated part of Facebook, so you won’t be able to access it without an account. You may want to enlist the help of a friend who has a Facebook account. The only other option is a marketplace alternative such as Craigslist.
What can I do to limit social media exposure?
If you’re not ready to call it quits yet, you can start limiting the time you spend on social media. Google has implemented something called Digital Wellbeing into Android, which can help you curb your social media habit. You can read more about this set of features and learn how to take advantage of Bedtime mode.
Can I deactivate my social media account as opposed to deleting it altogether?
In most cases, yes. All the apps we included on our list allow you to deactivate your account. If you’re not sure you want to leave social media for good, you can put your account on hold and return when you’re ready.
Image credit: Unsplash. All screenshots by Alexandra Arici.
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