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What does ‘User Not Found’ on Instagram mean? 7 talking points

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Instagram boasts north of a billion active users, which dwarfs most of the other social media networks, and this growth doesn’t seem to stop. However, as is true for any growing online platform, you might find some issue or the other every now or then.

One of the many errors that Instagram shows is “user not found”. Now there could be several reasons you see this error on Instagram, and here we’re going to talk about what the ‘user not found’ error on Instagram means and what you can do to solve the issue.

The person you’re searching for might’ve changed their username

Usernames are the identity of a person on Instagram, but more often than not, you’ll find people changing their usernames to appear more quirky and funny on the platform; and why not? The platform works on quirks and memes after all.

If the person has changed their username, you can still find them through old tagged pictures, which will reflect the new and changed username. Or you can go the old fashioned way and ask a mutual friend.

If you still can’t find the new username in their old tagged photos, the chances are that’s because of one of the reasons listed below.

Also read: Can you see who viewed your profile on Instagram?

The user might’ve deactivated their account

Instagram users can also disable or deactivate their account temporarily. When they do so, Instagram makes their profile private and removes all the content and links from their public database.

If someone has deactivated their account, you’ll see the “user not found” error on Instagram, until they restore and unlock their account.

The user might’ve deleted their account

Similar to the case above, sometimes people go a step further and delete their account permanently, in which case again you’ll be served the “user not found” error on Instagram.

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Once someone deletes their account permanently, all of their content and data is made private immediately and deleted after some time from Instagram servers too; and naturally, you won’t be able to find their profile on the platform.

Also read: How to fix Instagram not posting photos?

The user might’ve blocked you

Now, this one is a bit tricky, but it’s also entirely possible that the person you’re searching for has blocked you on Instagram. Now, this could be a mistake too, but if someone has blocked you on the platform, you won’t be able to find their profile, and even if you do, it’ll return an empty page.

To know if someone has blocked you on Instagram, check out our article here.

Instagram might’ve suspended the user account

Another, entirely plausible, explanation is that Instagram has suspended (either temporarily or permanently) the user’s account and their profile has again been taken offline, in which case you’ll again see the “user not found” error on Instagram.

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User accounts are generally suspended on Instagram if they’ve been reported heavily, are spamming the platform or have done anything that the platform’s community guidelines and terms of service restrict.

Also read: How to know if you’re Shadowbanned on Instagram?

You might’ve blocked the user by mistake

While this might not seem possible, it entirely is — all it takes is a few screen taps — pocket touch is a real thing, believe it or not. If you’ve blocked someone on Instagram, you may be seeing the “user not found” error too.

If you want to know what happens when you block someone on Instagram, check out our article here.

You might’ve mistyped the username

Last but not least, and a very elementary mistake — one that you might’ve already checked — but we recommend you do so again. Re-check the username you’ve typed. Sometimes the difference between a zero and an O or similar seeming text can cause the error. Also, double-checking doesn’t hurt anyone.

Also read: How to recover your deleted Instagram messages?

Yatharth Singh

Yatharth Singh

Yatharth is the Marketing Head at Candid.Technology. He sometimes writes about Apple, Gaming and Social Platforms and also indulges in offbeat tech stuff from time to time. Contact Yatharth via email: