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What Does "User Not Found" on Instagram Mean? There Are a Handful of Possibilities

Stephanie Harper - Author
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Mar. 1 2022, Published 10:03 p.m. ET

Instagram allows people to connect with their friends, family, and even strangers by posting memorable highlights of their lives. But what about when you’re trying to make those connections and you come across a new feature that you don’t know how to use, or you get a message that seems confusing.

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Want to learn how to create an Instagram avatar of yourself? We’ve got the deets!

Need to know what’s up with the new "Take a Break" feature? Here’s what you need to know.

Wondering what it means when you see “user not found” on an Instagram page? Well… the answer to that is a tad trickier because there happen to be a few reasons why you might see this message. Let's break 'em down.

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What does "user not found" on Instagram mean?

One of the first reasons why you might see “user not found" on Instagram is that the account in question could have been disabled, deleted, or banned. If the account was disabled, it usually means the user is choosing to take a temporary break from Instagram but plans to enable their account again at some point in the future.

If the account was deleted, the user has permanently removed and unpublished all content they created. Their feed of photos can never be recovered if they’ve chosen to do this.

If the account has been banned, it means the user broke one of the community guidelines, therefore forcing Instagram to prohibit the profile from being used. Some of the community guidelines to avoid breaking include posting nudity, violence, and spam. If an account has been banned, there’s a chance it can be recovered, though the chance is quite slim.

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Here's the other reason you might see "user not found" on Instagram.

The other reason you might see "user not found" on Instagram might feel like a bummer to hear, but it’s a very real possibility. Sorry to say it, friend, but you might have been blocked. (It's OK, it happens to thousands of people each day!) If you’ve been blocked by someone on Instagram, there’s no way you’ll be able to access their feed from your main account.

You could add a second account and try to follow them from there, but doing so usually isn't helpful. When a user blocks you, they typically choose the option to also block any other accounts you might create that are linked to your main account. Sadly, the easiest way you’ll be able to access an account you’ve been blocked from is if the user chooses to unblock you at some point. Or, you know, you can just stalk them from a friend's phone like the rest of us. :)

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