What Does “User not found” Mean on Instagram

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Written by: Alex Popa

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What Does “User not found” Mean on Instagram

Did you ever stumble upon the “User not found” message on Instagram?

It appears when you try to access someone’s profile page or when you try to search for a username.

Perhaps it’s someone you know, and you messaged them recently on Instagram.

But now, when you go to their profile, it says, “User not found.”

This error message can appear for several reasons, and we’ll explore all of them below.

The “User not found” error on Instagram has 6 probable causes:

  1. You mistyped their username
  2. The user’s account is suspended
  3. The user’s account is disabled
  4. The user’s account has been deleted
  5. The user blocked you
  6. The user changed their username

Read further to find out what this error means!

Related guide: How to Fix “Your Account Has Been Temporarily Locked” on Instagram
Related guide: How to Fix “Couldn’t Refresh Feed” on Instagram
Related guide: How to Fix “Confirm Your Info on the App” on Instagram

What Does “User not found” Mean on Instagram

6 Reasons Why You Get the “User not found” Error

The “User not found” error on Instagram has 6 probable causes:

  1. You mistyped their username
  2. The user’s account is suspended
  3. The user’s account is disabled
  4. The user’s account has been deleted
  5. The user blocked you
  6. The user changed their username

All 6 of these reasons can lead to the error mentioned before.

Let’s talk about each case and see how you can figure out why you get the error.

1. Mistyping their username

Finding a simple and unique username on Instagram is no easy job.

More than a billion users are using the app, each with a unique username.

Chances are everyone you know has a slightly more complicated username on Instagram.

Many resort to unusual letters or character combinations that aren’t easy to remember or spell.

Omit a letter or bold another one unintentionally, and the “User not found” error can appear.

To fix this, use another social media account to ask that person for their Instagram username.

Alternatively, you can go to other Instagram accounts that follow the account you’re trying to find.

Look for their full username in the other person’s follower or following list.

2. User account is suspended

Maybe the account you’re trying to access is suspended.

Instagram account disabled
Instagram account disabled

As you can see, a suspended account may be disabled.

This means other people can’t access it or visit its profile. No one can until the account is reinstated.

Instagram suspends accounts that have broken community guidelines and rules.

The suspended accounts are permanently banned until the user appeals.

Inappropriate posts containing nude, discriminatory, violent, unlawful, hateful, infringing, pornographic, or sexually suggestive content will be banned on Instagram.

Normal bans are lifted within 24 hours, but permanent bans are trickier to solve. The user has to contact Instagram and negotiate with them.

Instagram sometimes suspends accounts by mistake, as well.

Therefore, you can bypass the “User not found” error by waiting for a day or two.

3. User account is disabled

The “User not found” Instagram error may appear if the user has disabled their account.

They may do this for various reasons, but mainly, they want to take a break from the app.

While it’s simpler to log off and uninstall Instagram, some people prefer to disable their accounts.

It gives them that extra peace of mind they need.

A disabled account can’t be found on an Instagram search. Accessing that account will result in the “User not found” error.

Likewise, followers of that account won’t find a disabled account in their Following list.

A disabled account keeps its personal information, uploaded content, likes, and comments intact.

When the other person re-enables their account, everything is back to normal.

There’s nothing you can do to access a disabled account’s profile.

Please wait for the other person to re-enable their account!

4. User account has been deleted

Another possible cause for the “User not found” error on Instagram is a deleted account.

The user deleted their account, which means all content of that account is removed too.

This includes posts and comments as well.

Users delete their Instagram accounts when they no longer want to use the app. They may have found another app that they like more.

Or they got bored on Instagram and didn’t want to use it anymore.

Either way, you can’t find a deleted account on Instagram unless you have their profile in your “recents.”

Or if you previously sent them a message.

If that’s the case, you can visit their profile, but the “User not found” error will still appear.

To be sure if the account is deleted, ask that user on another social media account if you know them.

5. The user blocked you

The other user may have blocked you if you get the “User not found” error on Instagram.

Blocking a user on Instagram
Blocking a user on Instagram

If you’re blocked, you can’t find that person’s profile on Instagram. If you access it from your “recents,” you’ll still see the same error.

Many celebrities or content creators block some followers because of rude comments.

If you try to access the profile of the user who blocked you from a web browser, the following error will appear:

(Source – https://growfollowing.com/instagram-user-not-found/)

You won’t be able to access their profile unless they delist you from their blocking list.

If you have a chat history together, you also won’t be able to send them messages in private.

6. The user changed their username

This is the most common cause of Instagram’s “User not found” error.

Instagram users can change their usernames (handles) at any time.

Once that happens, Instagram delists their old username from their databases.

This means you won’t be able to find the other person’s account with the old username. The error still occurs even if there’s a small difference between the two usernames.

Popular profiles aren’t likely to change their usernames, but regular users do so often.

If you get the “User not found” error on Instagram because of this, the solution is simple.

If you have a chat history together, visit their updated profile from there. The app will redirect you to the new profile automatically.

Alternatively, if you have followers in common, go to their profile, and search for the other person’s updated profile.

You should be able to recognize the updated name or profile photo.

You could also contact the person on another social media account or by phone and ask them for the updated Instagram username.

Conclusion

The “User not found” Instagram error is pretty common, and to summarize, there are six main reasons for it:

  1. You mistyped their username
  2. The user deleted their account
  3. The user disabled their account
  4. The user account is suspended
  5. The user blocked you
  6. The user changed their username

Even if you assume the other person has blocked you, that may not be the actual cause.

Instagram may have suspended its account for posting inappropriate content.

Or they changed their username and forgot to tell you about it.

Contact that person on another social media account and see what’s happening!

FAQ

How can you check if someone blocked you on Instagram?

You won’t be able to see the posts of a person who blocked you on Instagram.

If the other person sets their account to “Private,” you’ll get a notification saying, “This Account is Private.”

If the Instagram search doesn’t provide any results either, that’s another sign that the other person has blocked you.

Similarly, you can’t comment on their posts or send direct messages to them.

But previous conversations and comments you posted won’t disappear. You’ll still be able to see them.

If you have a chat history together, open it up, go to their profile, and see if they have any recent posts.

If they don’t, you’re most likely blocked.

You can also use the unique Instagram profile link to check if someone has blocked you.

Replace the username in your profile link with the other person’s username.

This should take you to their account. If the “Sorry, this page isn’t available” error appears, they may have blocked you.

To confirm this, log out of Instagram and search the same URL in another internet tab. If the same message appears, it means the account has been deactivated.

If you can find the user profile, it means they have blocked you.

What can get your Instagram account suspended?

There are three types of Instagram bans – normal bans, shadow bans, and action blocks.

Action blocks are given when users perform certain actions too quickly.

Shadow bans are given when you use tags that have been banned, or you post too frequently.

Regular bans are given when you violate Instagram’s terms of service and other regulations.

There are several causes for account suspension, such as:

– Use aggressive automation settings for likes, comments, follows, and unfollows
– Use automation without a proxy
– Buy fake likes and followers
– Buy another user’s account
– Create duplicate accounts
– Spam comments and direct messages
– Promote and sell illegal services and products

Action blocks get lifted within 24 hours, but a permanent ban is harder to solve. You need to contact Instagram and fix it.

Does Instagram keep deleted accounts?

If you delete your Instagram account, you’ll have 30 days to change your mind.

After that, Instagram will delete your account and all associated information permanently.

However, during those 30 days, no one will be able to access your account.

Even after 90 days, Instagram may keep backups of your data in storage.

They can use the backup to recover the data in case of a software error or data loss event.

They also keep this information for legal issues, harm prevention efforts, or term violations.

After your account is deleted, you can create another account with that same username, as long as it hasn’t been taken by someone else.

However, if Instagram removes your account for violating the community guidelines, you won’t be able to sign up with the same username.

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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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