4 reasons for “Instagram user not found” error

Recently updated on October 31st, 2023 at 04:12 pm

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Are you trying to find a friend’s profile on Instagram but getting the “Instagram user not found” notification? This does not necessarily mean that your friend has blocked you. There are many reasons why a profile may appear as “user not found.” In this article, we explore the different reasons as to why you may see “Instagram user not found” on some profiles.

"Instagram user not found"

What Does “Instagram User Not Found” Mean? 4 Possible Reasons

Below are few reasons why you may encounter this error message “Instagram User Not Found”:

1     The user that you are looking for might have changed their username.

2     The user might have blocked you.

3     The user that you are looking for might have disabled or deleted their account.

4     The user you are looking for might have been banned from the platform or their Instagram account might have been suspended (permanent ban).

People often think that when they see the message “Instagram User Not Found,” they have been blocked. But as we have seen above, there can be other reasons too.

Know that when someone blocks you on Instagram, you will only see their old default image.

Now let’s go through each of the possible reasons mentioned above.

1.  Change in Instagram username

"Instagram user not found"

Like Twitter, the Instagram user name is also referred to as Instagram Handle (account holder name).

On Instagram, users can change their existing Instagram handle whenever they want to. Once they change their username, you can no longer look up a person’s profile using their old username.

When someone changes their username, their profile might appear as “user not found” if you do not know their new handle.

It is also why popular Instagram accounts, such as celebrities, do not change their Instagram username often.

If you are not sure why you are seeing the message “Instagram user not found”, you can check your “Following” or “Follower” list.

You can check if the user has updated their username or not.

Also, if you are seeing the “Instagram user not found” message for a friend’s account, you can search for the account from your inbox.

If you have exchanged messages with that friend, open the chatbox, and from there, you can visit their Instagram profile.

Make sure you have the correct username when searching for a user’s profile on Instagram

2.  Blocked by the user

"Instagram user not found"

The second reason you might see the message “Instagram user not found” is that the user blocks you.

When you get blocked by someone, you might still be able to see their user profile on your search box. But when you click on their profile, you will encounter the message “Instagram user not found.”

If you are blocked, you might still scroll up to past chat history. However, when you click on their profile, you will get the message “Instagram user not found.”

But don’t jump to the conclusion that your friend blocked you.

The best way to verify whether someone has blocked you on Instagram is by checking on their profile using another account.

Also, if their profile is set to public, you can check their Instagram account using Google Search.

Do not type the wrong username. Username mistyping can also lead to seeing the message “Instagram user not found.”

3.  User has disabled or deleted their account

"Instagram user not found"

The least possible reason you might encounter the “Instagram user not found” message is if the user permanently disables or deletes their account.

When an Instagram user deletes their account, all their posts, their comments on other Instagram posts, access their photo grids, read their comments, and all other activity on that profile gets deleted.

A deleted Instagram account will not appear in any Instagram recent search results, or any other user’s Following list, or Follower list.

How do you verify whether someone has permanently deleted their Instagram account? Well, you do that by checking up on that profile using another Instagram account.

Similar to deleted Instagram accounts, accounts of the users that were temporarily disabled will also not appear in any Instagram search results, or any other Instagram user’s Follower/Following list.

If you visit an Instagram account on temporary hold, you will encounter the same message saying, “Instagram user not found.”

4.  Suspended account

"Instagram user not found"

The last reason you might encounter the “Instagram user not found” message is if the account you are looking up has been suspended.

People might get suspended if they share inappropriate content on the app.

Instagram has a strict set of rules and does not tolerate violent or abusive content on its app.

If users violate Instagram policy and terms of use, then such accounts might get suspended.

An Instagram account might also be banned if the user leaves harmful and offensive comments.

On Twitter, if a user is suspended you will see a message stating that the account has been suspended. However, on Instagram, you will not see such a warning.

When you look up a user’s profile that is suspended on Instagram, you will see the message “Instagram user not found” or “User not Found.”

When Someone Block You on Instagram, Does It Say ‘User Not Found’?

Yes, it does. If someone blocks you on Instagram, you will get the message saying “User Not Found”. 

This message will be displayed if you use the Instagram app on your iOS, or Android phone.

If you try to visit the Instagram profile from a web browser, you will see the below message instead-

“Sorry, this page is not available. The link you followed may be broken, or the page may have been removed.”

To find a user’s account from the web, you must copy the user’s profile link into the website’s address bar.

What Does It Mean When Instagram User Not Found but Can See Their Profile Picture and Bio?

Even if you get the message “Instagram user not found”, you might be able to see their profile picture and bio.

Also, if that account belongs to a close friend with whom you have exchanged private chats earlier, you can access the chatbox and send the user messages.

When you click on their profile picture, you will no longer get access.

As mentioned above, there are a handful of possible reasons why it might happen.

·     The user changed their old username.

·     The user blocked you on Instagram.

·     The user permanently deleted their account.

·     User temporarily disabled their account.

·     The user’s account was suspended.

Related : How to access someone’s Instagram account?

What Does It Mean When Instagram User Not Found but You Can Message Them?

Unfortunately, after someone has blocked you on social media, you can no longer send them messages.

However, even after blocking someone on Instagram, you can still see previous messages exchanged between you and that user.

You might also see messages between you and a user even after the user has temporarily deactivated their account.

Hence, this is the reason why you might encounter a “user not found” error when finding a person’s profile but can still see messages exchanged between you and that user.

Why Can’t I Find Someone on Instagram If I Am Not Blocked?

Have you ever left an Instagram DM (Direct Messages) to a stranger on Instagram? The chance of getting a reply is grim, but if you do, you are lucky.

But what happens if you wake up the next only to find out that you are getting the message “Instagram user not found” when visiting their profile.

Do not make the rash decision that you might have been blocked.

There can be many reasons for this.

The first step, maybe your friend changed their Instagram username and forgot to tell you the new username she will be using.

If that is the case, you can still send her messages. Also, you will be able to visit their Instagram account and see all the pictures that they have posted there.

Currently, there is no algorithm on Instagram that lets users incorporate their old username with new ones. This is why when a user changes their name, and you might not be able to see their profile.

How To Know If Someone Blocked You on Instagram?

Currently, there are no tools that let you see who has blocked you on Instagram. Also, Instagram itself will not reveal this information, and you will get no messages or notifications.

Suppose you find any third-party tools that claim to show you all those IG accounts that have blocked you, know that they are pure scams. Please do not fall for their trap.

If you can’t find a friend’s Instagram account, do not jump to conclusions regarding they might have blocked you. Maybe they have taken a break from social media.

Also, on Instagram, users can choose who gets to see their posts and stories, and this feature was only recently added to the platform.

If your user posts something to just close friends and you have not been added to that list, you will not see that post. This applies to Instagram stories as well.

When you do not have the new username that a person is using on Instagram, you can look for their profile using the phone number or email address (Gmail account) they have used with that account.

Related : How to merge 2 Instagram account?

Merge two Instagram account

How Do You Fix the “User Not Found” Issue on Instagram?

If you see the message “User not found” when visiting an Instagram account, you can try to look up their profile page using their new username or their phone number. This will fix the issue.

Also, you can try to do a simple Google search. Type the Instagram handle on Google and conduct a search, and you will see their Instagram account appear on the search bar results.

However, this will only work if the Instagram profile is public. Google search will not work for private profiles or a private account.


So, there you go. We have reached the end of the article. This article covered what it means when you see the message “Instagram user not found.”

As we have seen above, there is no single reason why you might not be able to find a profile of a friend on Instagram.

If you have any further queries, please leave feedback in the comment section below.

Before we conclude, there might be another main reason why you might get the “Instagram user not found” message. And that is due to a poor internet connection.

After following all the above steps and you still get the message “Instagram user not found” reach out to the Instagram help center.

Related : How to hide followers on Instagram?

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Ayyoun is a veteran writer who posses almost 7+ years of experience in this field. You'll catch him writing on a diverse set of topics, from covering new games to writing technical troubleshooting guides. Due to his technical background, he also keeps a keen eye on the ever-changing Google search algorithm and changes up his writing strategy to keep his content healthy. Ayyoun is your expert in tackling social media app issues. With a knack for troubleshooting and enhancing the digital experience, Ayyoun is your trusted ally for resolving challenges in the social media realm.

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