How to Fix “Your Account Has Been Temporarily Locked” on Instagram

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Written by: Alex Popa

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How to Fix “Your Account Has Been Temporarily Locked” on Instagram

Did you try to access Instagram, and instead, you were welcomed by the “Your Account Has Been Temporarily Locked” error?

You’re not alone.

Thousands of users complain about this error and demand a way to bypass it.

The full error message says, “We’ve detected suspicious activity on your Instagram account and have temporarily locked it as a security precaution.”

The suspicious activity refers to bot actions like spamming likes, comments, and following/unfollowing users.

The error also mentions the possibility of phishing, which we’ll talk about in a minute.

Follow Instagram’s notification, and they’ll send you a 6-digit code on your email to verify you’re a real person.

If that doesn’t work, you must complete an online form and follow the instructions to recover your account.

How to fix “Your Account Has Been Temporarily Locked” on Instagram

  1. Find the correct form
  2. Fill out the form
  3. Submit the form and wait for A reply
  4. Wait for confirmation

This article will explain how to unlock your Instagram account, why this error occurs, and how to avoid it!

Related guide: How to Fix “Couldn’t Refresh Feed” on Instagram
Related guide: How to Fix “Confirm Your Info on the App” on Instagram
Related guide: How to Find Live Videos on Instagram

How to Fix "Your Account Has Been Temporarily Locked" on Instagram

Why Would Instagram Lock Your Account?

Instagram can lock your account for the following reasons:

  1. Commenting on Instagram posts too fast
  2. Liking/unliking posts too fast
  3. Following and unfollowing users in bulk
  4. Using third-party apps
  5. Your Instagram account has been hacked

Instagram will have you agree to its Terms of Services and several other regulations when creating an account on their platform.

You agree to not engaging in bot-like activity, using third-party apps, and not falling prey to phishing attempts.

If you do any of that, Instagram can freely lock your account.

Most times, Instagram doesn’t lock innocent accounts because its algorithms are quite precise.

They know that you did something wrong.

But if you didn’t, or you’re feeling remorseful, there’s a way to recover your Instagram account.

Getting locked out of Instagram isn’t a dead end!

Before that, though, we’ll talk about the reasons why Instagram locks your account.

Starting with:

1. Commenting On Instagram Posts Too Fast

Commenting too fast or posting identical comments on different posts in a short period is not allowed on Instagram.

It reflects dishonest behavior and shows you’re not interested in a genuine discussion.

That’s how Instagram views the situation, at least.

This behavior is seen as unnatural and associated with the action of a bot app.

If you do that, Instagram might red-flag your account and lock it on suspicion of using a bot.

2. Liking/Unliking Posts Too Fast

Instagram won’t like it when you want and dislike an Instagram post too fast.

But they’re not unreasonable either. It’s one thing to like 15 posts in a minute and another to like 150 posts in 5 minutes.

Even if you’re not using a bot, it’s unnatural and looks suspicious.

Instagram will believe you’re using a bot because otherwise, why would you do it?

Don’t engage in this behavior to avoid the “Your Account Has Been Temporarily Locked” error.

3. Following and Unfollowing Users in Bulk

Instagram works on the premise that if you follow someone, chances are they’ll follow you back in return.

This happens with regular people as it does with celebrities.

There’s no difference in that regard.

Users may want to quickly exploit this behavior to build a larger follower base.

When you follow someone, you receive a notification.

But when that same person unfollows you, there’s no notification.

If you follow someone, they follow you back, and you unfollow them afterward, it doesn’t mean they’ll unfollow you.

So, you may feel tempted to follow and unfollow many users in a short time to get many followers.

Instagram doesn’t condone this bot-like behavior, though.

They may lock your account as a countermeasure.

4. Using Third-Party Apps

Third-party apps that automatize certain processes like liking, disliking, commenting, following, and unfollowing are not allowed on Instagram.

These bots go against the Terms of Service you agreed to when creating an account.

Instagram can easily detect the use of these bots and penalize you immediately.

Some third-party apps are allowed on Instagram, though.

Apps that access the Instagram app API include Later, Buffer, Hootsuite, Iconosquare, Planoly, and Simply Measured.

Instagram’s policy on using bots is not unreasonable since some of these apps are also used to mine user data on Instagram.

5. Your Instagram Account Has Been Hacked

Maybe the suspicious behavior Instagram has red-flagged isn’t coming from you.

Perhaps someone has hacked your account and is doing shady stuff without you noticing.

Instagram has a way of identifying that.

This happens when you fall prey to a phishing attack, where someone steals your credentials.

The most common phishing method is through a fraudulent website that looks nearly identical to the real one.

In this case, you may have tried to log in to a copy of Instagram.

Once you entered the credentials on their login page, the hackers accessed them.

Then, they could have engaged in suspicious behavior that triggered the Instagram security algorithms.

So, you were locked out of Instagram.

Recover Your Instagram Account in 6 Simple Steps

Follow these steps to recover your Instagram account:

1. Find the Correct Form

Instagram has several “My Instagram Account Was Deactivated” forms that you can complete.

Each form addresses a specific cause of deactivation, so you’ll need to choose the one that fits you.

The forms are:

https://help.instagram.com/contact/437908793443074

https://help.instagram.com/contact/396169787183059

https://www.facebook.com/help/contact/606967319425038

https://help.instagram.com/contact/1652567838289083

You can watch this video for additional help – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KbczOm_hGH8&t

2. Fill Out the Form

Put in your full name, then fill out the email address connected to your deactivated Instagram account.

You need the actual email address that’s tied to your Instagram account.

That’s how customer support will identify your account and reactivate it.

If you enter another email address, this won’t work.

Then, enter your Instagram username and phone number.

Finally, explain your situation and why you think your account was deactivated and locked by mistake.

Instagram - My Account Was Deactivated appeal process
Instagram – My Account Was Deactivated appeal process

3. Submit the Form and Wait for A Reply

After you’ve completed the form, click “Send.”

After some time, Instagram will send you an email to the email address you used to complete the form.

They’ll require you to take a photo of yourself holding a paper with a code written.

The code will be provided in the email.

The photo must be clear, the code is intelligible, and your entire face is visible and clear.

Many users have had to reupload their photos multiple times because their photos were rejected for lack of clarity.

Editing the photo in Photoshop won’t do because Instagram will deny it outright.

If you send an unclear photo and Instagram rejects it, they won’t give you a heads-up so that you could be waiting for nothing.

That’s why you must do it right from the start.

4. Wait For Confirmation

After 1-3 days, at best, and a few weeks at worst, Instagram will send you an email.

In it, they’ll announce to you that they’ve reinstated your locked-out Instagram account.

Instagram's reply to account deactivation appeal
Instagram’s reply to account deactivation appeal

Send the picture with the code again if you don’t receive a follow-up email after a few weeks.

You can try taking a new picture if you think the previous one was unclear.

Conclusion

The “Your Account Has Been Temporarily Locked” error on Instagram is easy to fix.

By filling out the online form and following the instructions, you can have your social media account back in a few days or weeks.

It depends on how busy the customer service is.

During the pandemic, the response times may be longer.

As a reminder, ensure the photo you send to Instagram with your face and code is crystal-clear.

This way, you’ll improve your chances of getting your temporarily locked Instagram account reinstated sooner.

FAQ

How long is a temporary lock on your Instagram account?

Theoretically, the temporary lock is indefinite until you take the necessary steps to unlock your account.

If you don’t do that, the account will remain locked until you do so.

Depending on the reason for the lock, the period may be shortened to 24-48 hours or more.

The period may be adjusted accordingly if you’ve received bans in the past.

Can you prevent having your Instagram account temporarily locked?

Yes, you can.

Don’t use any 3rd party app that Instagram does not condone.

And not many apps are officially allowed by Instagram.

As a rule of thumb, any 3rd app that automatizes a function (like/dislike, follow/unfollow) is against Instagram’s Terms of Services and user guidelines.
They’ll ban any user who uses these apps.

Even if you’re not using an app, stop engaging in spammy behavior.’

Don’t send the same comment over and over again to multiple posts.

Don’t follow and unfollow many users in a short period; the same goes for likes and dislikes.

There’s a reasonable limit to “how quick” you should perform these actions to be flagged as a bot.

Regular users should never worry about being perceived as bots by the Instagram Algorithm.

Lastly, don’t get yourself in situations where you may be phished. There are plenty of phishing traps on the internet.

Please don’t fall for them so hackers can’t steal your credentials and use your Instagram account for bad things.

How many violations does it take to get banned from Instagram?

There are three bans on Instagram – blocked action ban, shadow ban, and regular ban.

A regular ban means you won’t be able to use your email address, username, and IP address to access Instagram.

Regular bans are given for repeated violations of the user guidelines.

Blocked action bans are given if you go beyond a certain number of daily actions (likes, dislikes, follow, unfollow).

The daily limit for performed actions is 500.

The hourly limit is only 60.

If you go above these numbers, the Instagram algorithm will red-flag you as a bot, and you’ll be banned.

Instagram has assessed that a human behaving naturally and organically can’t exceed these numbers.

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Alex Popa

My name is Alex and I have a knack for social media in all its shapes and forms. I’ve dealt with such things for quite some time and I noticed that many people have issues with social media and technicalities.

Unforeseen errors, bugs, and other problems make their use of social media problematic. These things will be discussed amply in the guides on Whizcase.

I'll present the facts as they are, and offer quick and easy solutions for them.

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