How To Report a Stolen Photo On Instagram

By | August 19, 2013

Today I’m going to show you how to properly report a stolen photo on Instagram, something that we have all seen. As flattering as it is to have someone love your photo so much, it’s still illegal to steal it and repost without credit!

Most people just click “Report as Spam” on the photo and go on with their day, and nothing ever happens with the photo. But with this method, the photo will ALWAYS be removed within 48 hours and you will receive notification from Instagram letting you know that it has been taken care of. (Imagine, if every artist or supporter reports stolen photos, those silly theft accounts will have nothing left to post!).

Here is an example of a photo that was stolen from me. (Nobody ever steals my “cool” nail art. They always steal the dumb ones, like this manicure!) You’ll need to use a computer to access the information necessary to report a photo. To go to someone’s profile, just go to For example, mine is Then, if you click on a photo, you will get the URL. You will need this URL for reporting!

Let’s get started. Reporting a photo is easy to do, but it certainly takes some navigating, so excuse the amount of screen shots! You will need to go to the Instagram Help Center.

You will see on the left sidebar an option for the Privacy and Safety Center. Click that option, and then choose Report Something.

Once you get to this point, you will have a lot of options. Here you can report hacked accounts, impersonated accounts, spam, and more. But we are going to focus on reporting a stolen photo, which falls under Intellectual Property. Click that option, and choose “Copyright” under the Report a Violation headline.

This will open a large paragraph that explains copyright. At the end of that blurb, you will have the option to Report Copyright Infringement.

Choose “How do I report a claim of copyright infringement?” (See, I told you this would take some navigation!) and find the link in the paragraph that says “online form“. (Or, you can just click here if you want to skip all the nonsense!)

Select the options highlighted above to continue with your report. Then you will (finally!) be taken to the copyright form. There are a few steps to this part, so read below the photo:

1:  Post a link or links to the photos that were stolen. If you are unsure how to do this, read the paragraph above the form! You can fill out the form multiple times, but you can post more than one stolen photo if the same account has stolen multiple photos from you.

2:  Post the original photo from your account and describe the incident (eg, “This is the photo of my nails that I posted last week that was stolen.”)

3. You can also report photos on someone’s behalf, so if you are adamant about photos getting deleted, you may do so for other people as well!

4. Fill out your personal information. Although there is a warning from Instagram that your information may be given, it is important to fill it out fully! I have done this multiple times and I have never heard that the thief got my information (or even knew who got the photo removed!) I think this is just a precaution for Instagram in case of disputes.

Click Send and you are done! Instagram will email you that they received your report, and shortly after, you will get an email saying that the photo has been removed!

I hope this is helpful for all of you! Let’s get this information to every nail artist on Instagram so we can get rid of thieves once and for all!

Kelli is a graphic designer, filmographer, and the “nails” behind The Nail Polish Challenge. She enjoys painting her nails and taking extremely long naps. You can find her on Instagram at @thenailpolishchallenge, or “like” her blog on Facebook.

3 thoughts on “How To Report a Stolen Photo On Instagram

  1. Mary

    What happens when your entire account is hacked and you can no longer get in? Then the new owner changes th4e name of the account, keeps your photos and adds sexy girl photos to the account?

  2. Anna

    Is there a way I can report someone for reposting other artists work without crediting them? I can’t seem to find an option for that.


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