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“User Not Found” On Instagram: The Real Truth Behind This Message

User not found on Instagram is one of the biggest issues faced by those who use the platform? It becomes an even bigger headache when you are looking to promote your account. When you suddenly come across a ‘user not found’, you might think that you are blocked. Fret not, that is a different issue altogether. So, what causes the ‘user not found’ to pop on your screen? Curious? Let’s check it out without much further ado.

“User Not Found” On Instagram: The Real Truth Behind This Message

What does user not found on Instagram mean?

Although, the initial thought to cross your mind would be that you have been blocked. In reality, it just means that they either changed their usernames or their accounts simply do not exist. You might come across this when you click on tagged names on some old images, and then suddenly you are greeted with a ‘user not found’ error. What causes it though? Let us find out.


Why does it say user not found on Instagram?

Since we have already established that it doesn’t always mean you are being blocked, we come to the next question. Now, why does it happen though? There are so many reasons, some obvious, some not. Nonetheless, we have picked a few top ones to help you understand better.


  • Wrong spelling

Sometimes, the error might be due to the dumbest mistake we make, like a misspelled username. So, the first thing you need to know when you see the error is if you got the spelling right. Or unbeknownst to you, they might have just added an extra ‘r’s or ‘a’ for some extra swag. All you need to do is check the spelling again.


  • Changed Usernames

As humans, we are all evolving beings. And so, the same applies to our usernames. The top, number one reason for the ‘user not found’ error is that we search for old usernames while they might have adopted new ones. 

So, how do we make sure that this is the issue? Simple, we do the exact search, this time, with their new usernames. Sometimes, we might not be aware of their usernames. The next thing you can do is to either search with their real names or check your mutual friends’ lists.

You can also check them with their username links. If at all you don’t have their username, it is also possible to find people with their phone numbers, if they have linked their account with one. Or you can sync your contacts to Instagram and see if they are on the list.

Hashtags are everywhere in this social media era. And what if I told you that you can make use of hashtags while searching for people? Everyone uses at least two to three hashtags regularly in their posts. After searching the hashtag, you can enable the people tab, which will give the list of people under that hashtag.

Using location is another way to find people. You can narrow people down according to the locations and areas of the person you are searching for. Since Facebook and Instagram come under the same umbrella, people have the option of linking both their accounts together. Therefore, you can search on Facebook and then link to Instagram.

But, mind you, if you click on the tags of your old posts, you will face the same issue. This is because they are tagged in their old usernames, while we are in search of their new ones. 


  • Disabled Accounts

You will also come across the error again if the person you are looking for has temporarily disabled their account. When we disable our account, Instagram deems our account as non-existent until the account is active again. That is why you are met with ‘user not found’ when you search for them. In addition to this error, you will also come across ‘Sorry, this page isn’t available.’

Please note that if the person has deleted their account, then there is no way that you can search for their account again. Although, the error message is the same for both deleted and disabled accounts. 


  • Banned Accounts

Recent changes in Instagram’s disable policy have led to quite many accounts getting limited or banned. This is because those accounts violated the terms and conditions of Instagram. If any account infringes the security terms, or spreads insensitive information, abuses other users, or engages in questionable behavior, then Instagram takes action against those accounts. In that case, the reason you are seeing the error might be because of Instagram’s ban on the accounts. 

The same happens for accounts that get reported by other users. Instagram immediately restricts their accounts. This will again result in the same error.

You might only find them once their accounts are unbanned. But, if their accounts are deleted by Instagram, then there is no chance at all to view their account.


Does user not found on instagram mean you are Blocked?

Everything said and done, we now know why we are met with user not found errors. We cannot, however, completely disregard the possibility of a block. What if we are blocked by them? How do we know that? Well, read on to find out.

First of all, if someone has blocked you, you may not even be able to search for them. The only way you can access their profiles is if you have directly messaged them before you got blocked. Or if you searched for them before they blocked you. Then their name will appear on recent searches. 

If their account is private, you will not be able to find their account at all if you are blocked. However, if their account is public and when you search for them, you see no image, no number of posts, an absolute nil number of followers or following, and the photo grid mentions ‘no posts yet’, the only possibility is of you being blocked.


How to find if someone blocked you on Instagram


  • No Posts Yet

Contrary to popular beliefs, when a person has blocked you, you will not come across with a ‘user not found’ error. Instead, you will be met with a ‘no posts yet’ error. This way you will not be able to see anything they might have posted or they post in the future. That is, till they unblock you.


  • Disappearing Likes and Comments

To be sure that the person has blocked you, you can check the previous likes and comments on your posts. Are you wondering what difference it would make? Now, if they have blocked you, their likes and comments would no longer exist. Therefore, if you don’t find before-existing likes and comments now, they may have blocked you.


  • Username

If you know their username, you can search for them through the webpage. But you do have to know their username for that. If you do, then voila! You can add it to the end of the Instagram URL – ‘’. If you see a ‘this page isn’t available’ display on the screen, it could mean two things. One, they might have blocked you. Two, need not necessarily mean block, they could have even deleted their page.


  • Another account

If none of the above-mentioned ways work, there is another easiest way and at the same time a far-fetched idea to check. You can always check from another account to make sure if you are blocked. If you can find the account without any problem, then I have bad news for you. Have no doubts about it, you are indeed blocked. 



We hope that we have brought you some clarity on the grounds of users not found and being blocked. Every user not found on Instagram might necessarily not mean you are blocked. Even if you are, it shouldn’t matter to you. If you find a ‘user not found’ error, go through the above-mentioned reasons before you jump to conclusions of you being blocked. But that also doesn’t mean that there isn’t a chance for you to be blocked. 

If you check using the details given above, you should be able to make out if you are being blocked or if it’s something else. If you cannot reach the account even through another account, then make sure if the username is correct or updated.

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