What Does It Mean When Instagram Says User Not Found

With over 1 billion users worldwide, Instagram is the go-to platform for many to stay in touch with friends and family. At times, you may encounter errors like ‘user not found’ when searching for a specific person or account on Instagram. The web version shows a ‘Sorry, this page isn’t available’ error message indicating that the user isn’t available on Instagram.

That can be confusing when you are trying to get in touch with someone or looking for someone new to follow. At times, it can be frustrating when you don’t know the exact account. Before you move to another platform, understand why the ‘user not found’ message is popping up on Instagram in the first place.

1. Check for Typos

You’ll need to first check for spelling errors. If you have accidentally made a typo while searching for the person’s name, Instagram will showcase a ‘user not found’ error. At times, you may end up checking irrelevant accounts on the platform.

2. The Person Changed the Username

Instagram allows users to change usernames. If the person you’re looking for has changed the username, you can’t find the account using the old username. When you type the old username in the search bar, Instagram will continue to show ‘user not found.’

You’ll need to ask the person to share the correct username or you may request a profile link. That way, you don’t have to worry about finding the right Instagram account. You can open the profile link and check the account content.

3. The User Has Deactivated the Account

Instagram can be overwhelming at times. Some users may find it addictive too. Many may take a small break from the social platform by deactivating the account. So, if the person has deactivated their Instagram account, you will see a ‘user not found’ message.

You don’t have any option but to wait for the person to reactivate the Instagram account. You don’t get any alert when the person joins the social network again. You can simply try searching for the account after a week or two, and you won’t see the ‘user not found’ message.

4. Instagram Has Banned the Account

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Like most social media apps like Facebook, Snapchat, and Twitter, Instagram has strict community guidelines to follow. If someone is misusing the platform to spread hate, misinformation, fake news, or illegal activities, Instagram may ban the account.

When you try searching for such accounts, you will only see ‘user not found’ error. Instagram also bans user accounts when it finds abnormal usage or account automation from unverified third-party apps. When someone likes or adds comments on dozens of posts quickly, Instagram algorithms may detect it as a bot and ban the account.

If Instagram reverses the ban on such accounts, you can find the user on the platform. Meanwhile, you must use other platforms to reach the person.

5. The User Has Blocked You

It is one of the biggest reasons behind ‘user not found’ message in Instagram. When things go south with someone, the person may block you on Instagram and other social media apps to avoid any future conversations.

The ability to block someone on Instagram is a privacy feature. When the person blocks you on the platform, you don’t get any notification, message, or alert. You can only make an educated guess about getting blocked. When you try searching for such accounts, the app returns a ‘user not found’ error in return.

You have two options here. You can visit such accounts in incognito mode or use your friend’s Instagram account to find the user. If the user account shows up on your mutual friend’s Instagram account, that confirms your blocked status with the person on the platform. You can create a new account to send a follow request again or sort out indifferences with the person.

6. User Has Deleted the Account

Applications like Snapchat and TikTok are in trend these days. They have become the preferred apps for teenagers. Some users may have enough of Instagram and delete the account to end all the chaos. When you try searching for such accounts, you get ‘user not found’ in return. You’ll need to reach out to such users on other platforms.

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Errors like ‘user not found’ on Instagram may confuse you. One of the factors mentioned above might be the reason behind the ‘user not found’ message on Instagram. If not, the person might have blocked you on Instagram.

Last updated on 20 January, 2023

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