What Does ‘User Not Found’ Means on Instagram, Why It Occurs & How to Resolve It?
Instagram, despite being one of the most popular social media of the current era, sometimes gets a little complicated with its flaws that users have no idea from where they appear!
So, if you’re active on Instagram, you’ve probably encountered a ‘User Not Found’ error on your screen while trying to access somebody’s profile page or looking up for their Instagram posts, right?
Well, if it makes you think why you are seeing the ‘User Not Found’ error on Instagram, unfortunately this frustrating message often appears on Instagram, and there can be many reasons behind it.
Therefore, you should read here to know the top reasons why this might happen, and we bet that by the end of the article, you will have a clear understanding of this error.
Also, don’t forget reading: Instagram Feed Not Refreshing? Try These Workarounds!
What Does ‘User Not Found’ Mean on Instagram?
Generally speaking, Instagram usually helps users to easily find another friend by the account in their name but, there are also times when you can’t find a particular Instagram user.
So, if you’ve had a similar experience recently and wondered “what does a user not find mean on Instagram” then, let us tell you that this is a kind of error that occurs when a particular Instagram profile seems unavailable to you.
It can be the result of different cases such as either the user has changed his username, blocked you or deleted his account. Other than this, it might be possible that the user’s account is disabled or suspended by Instagram itself.
Note: Where on the one hand, if someone has blocked you, a ‘User not Found’ error will appear when you try to go to their profile. On the other hand, if the user has changed their username, their account will be deleted, or if their account has been suspended / disabled, their profile will no longer exist on Instagram.
However, to be precise ‘User not Found’ on Instagram means different things in different scenarios. Here are all possible scenarios for you to clearly understand what it means for your situation—
- User Not Found On Instagram But The Profile Picture Is Visible.
If you are not able to find the user on Instagram, but the profile picture of the user is visible to you, then chances are you have visited the user profile when it has just been disabled / suspended.
So, let us tell you that if you visit the same profile after a few days then you will also not be able to see the profile picture with the user not found on Instagram error.
- User Not Found On Instagram But The Posts Are Visible.
This probably happened as a result of a technical glitch by Instagram when you were actually blocked by the other person, and it’s nothing! When you restart your Instagram app after a while, the glitch will go away automatically.
- User Not Found On Instagram But You Can DM The User.
If you are experiencing the ‘user not found’ issue on Instagram and are still able to DM the user, know that the messages are not delivered and received by the user. In fact, those sent messages will never reflect even if the user’s account is found someday. So, it is suggested not to waste time in sending DMs, as it is like watering a dead plant and nothing else.
- User Not Found On Instagram But The Bio Is Visible To You.
This could be the result of a technical fault that should go away in no time. However, even if the bio is visible to you, don’t consider it a sign of the user’s existence in your friends list.
Now that you know what ‘User not found’ error means; it’s time to walk you through the reasons why Instagram says ‘User not found’ when you visit someone’s profile page or look for their posts on the Instagram app.
Why Does the ‘User Not Found’ Error Appear on Instagram?
Instagram does not provide a detailed explanation when it displays the ‘User Not Found’ error message, but since there are many scenarios why users can get this error on Instagram, below we have listed the most likely reasons why it says user not found on Instagram—
- Reason 1: The User Has Blocked You
Blocking someone isn’t always personal. Usually people block someone when they do not want to see their content or simply to prevent them from accessing or viewing their accounts. For example, many celebrities block followers to prevent negative comments.
So, if you suspect that a user has blocked you on Instagram, and that’s why you’re seeing the ‘user not found’ message, Note that when someone blocks you on Instagram, their username will not appear in Instagram’s search results. Also, you may be able to see their profile in your recent searches, when you click on it, it will change to default, and you get the ‘user not found’ error message.
Similarly, if you have a chat history with a user you suspect has blocked you, you can send him/her messages, but they won’t be delivered.
Aside from not being able to access their profile or send messages, you can neither see their comments nor see their likes.
Nevertheless, we suggest that you do not jump to any conclusions and be sure whether it is so or not.
The best way to confirm this would be to ask a mutual friend if they can access the profile or not. If they can, then most likely you have been blocked.
Though, this is one of the most common reasons why you received the discussed error but, contrary to popular belief, receiving a ‘user not found’ message does not necessarily mean that the person in question has blocked you.
So, if you are sure that the target account has not blocked you, but still you see that the user is not found on Instagram, then there are other 6 reasons that could be the reason for this message.
- Reason 2: Error in Typing the Username
Since there are over 1 billion registered accounts on Instagram, it makes it harder to get a unique, easy to read and easier to spell username—you all will agree on this. Because of this, there are many users who are left with no choice to get a unique username but to resort to strange character combinations whose spelling is unclear, can be easily misspelled, or easily forgotten.
That’s why, believe it or not, one possible cause would be the scenario of mistyping the username.
So, while trying to access any such user’s profile if you’ve missed a letter or character in their username, it may lead to a ‘User not found’ message.
Hence, it is suggested that you better check the spelling or ask the administrator to see if the username is spelled correctly. Or, you can also search for other user accounts; basically those that interact with the user you can’t find and simply look for his username into their “followers” or “following” list.
- Reason 3: The User Has Changed Their Username
To avoid any silly typo-error, if you prefer clicking on the written username only, and still you see the user not found IG error, it is possible that the account holder may have changed his/her username.
Although it is less common for popular social media platforms as they do not allow users to change their Instagram handle as often, unlike other social media, Instagram makes it very easy to change username.
So, you never know, maybe a user has changed their Instagram username to keep their privacy intact.
If that’s the case, you won’t be able to find them using their old username. This is because when someone changes their username, their old username is of no use, and you can find that person on Instagram through their new username only.
So, while the changed username of the account holder can make you encounter this error, you should check out their other social media accounts as there are chances that they may have updated their username on other platforms as well. If not, you can still contact them there (if possible) to ask whether they have changed their Instagram account’s username.
Other than this, if you have chat history with that user, you can access their profile from there and find out their updated profile and username this way.
Conversely, even after visiting the user profile through the chat history, if you get the same message, it means that you still need to find out the exact reason.
- Reason 4: The User Has Temporarily Disabled Their Account
Needless to say, Instagram is a fun app to use, but at the same time, it has become very common nowadays among users to temporarily disable their profiles.
Well yes, Instagram enables users to ‘close’ their accounts temporarily and this is basically they do to take a short break from Instagram for detoxifying their routine.
Note: This is a convenient option for all those users who want to take a break from social media as they can return whenever they want.
However, where some people are fine with logging off or uninstalling the Instagram app from their device, others prefer to disable their accounts because for those people, temporarily deactivating their accounts helps to take their mind off the platform completely until they feel they are ready to follow the routine back.
Anyway, the point here is when a user temporarily deactivates their account, it will stop showing both in search results and in the followers’ list of your mutual friends.
To simply put, disabling an account is temporary; unlike deleting it which is permanent. However, note that the consequences, in this case also, are similar to when the user permanently deletes their account. It means when someone disabled their account, their profile along with their interaction with posts will be hidden from Instagram until they re-activate it.
So, if you visit someone’s profile, and they have temporarily disabled their account, you will see the ‘User not found’ error because Instagram considers temporarily inactive accounts to be non-existent until they are activated again.
Unfortunately, regarding this, Instagram doesn’t provide details on whether a particular account has been disabled. So, the only way to confirm whether this is the reason you’re seeing the ‘user not found’ message is by asking one of your mutual followers to look for the profile you’re trying to access or, to wait for the person to reactivate their account.
Unfortunately, regarding this, Instagram does not provide details whether a particular account has been disabled or not. Therefore, the only way to confirm if this is the reason why you are seeing the ‘User not found’ message is to ask one of your mutual followers to view the profile you are trying to access.
If deactivated, you can just wait for that person to reactivate their account. However, if not, move on to find another possible cause.
- Reason 5: The User Has Permanently Deleted Their Account
Next, it’s likely that the user may have deleted his Instagram account and this could be because the user has had enough of Instagram, found another app better to use instead, or they just no longer feel like using it.
Whatever the reason, note that when someone deletes their profile, content, and all likes and comments are gone along with all of their accounts. This means, they get deleted.
Not only that, it also means that the account will not appear in search results or under “followers” or “following” lists. In such a scenario, if you were to visit their profile, you’ll get the ‘User not found’ message because their username no longer exists on Instagram.
But, as we’ve already said, you need to be double-sure, so the best way to check this is to ask one of your Instagram friends to see the person whose profile you’re trying to find. If they can find it then you know that’s not why you encountered the ‘user not found’ error message. Conversely, if they can’t find it, the person may have disabled their account.
However, since you cannot determine anyhow whether this is permanent or temporary, there is another way to confirm if a person has permanently disabled their account.
Though, it doesn’t always work, still you can try it. According to this, when a user deletes their account, their username becomes available to everyone else.
So, if you managed to find the username, but the profile doesn’t belong to the user you’re looking for, you most likely know it’s because they deleted their account or changed their username.
- Reason 6: The User Account Is Suspended
You need to understand that not everyone decides to quit Instagram on their own—some even get banned from the platform.
Like, we told you above that Instagram has over one billion monthly active users. Therefore, it is quite natural that the platform has to maintain great community standards.
For this, Instagram has listed out a number of rules and guidelines for users to follow and if a user is “spreading hate speech, abusing other users, posting inappropriate content, or indulging in illegal behavior” on Instagram’s service, it is considered a violation. As a result of which their account gets suspended permanently.
[Note: Instagram first restricts the accounts of users that have been reported by others. Then, if an account receives multiple reports for violating Instagram guidelines, or the AI detects it, the account will be suspended. This means, the ban by Instagram is for a limited time, but can be permanent depending on the violation.]
So, no matter what, if the account you’re trying to visit was recently banned or suspended by Instagram, it will show a ‘user not found’ error because the profile will no longer exist on Instagram.
Essentially, the experience is no different than when the account in question has been temporarily disabled. In other words, if the profile you’re trying to find on Instagram has been suspended, you won’t see an indicator like you might see on other social media like Twitter.
Therefore, to confirm, you can try to remember if the person in question has violated Instagram guidelines in the past, other than that, there is nothing you can do until the ban is lifted by Instagram.
- Reason 7: Glitch in the Instagram App
Last but not least, the ‘User not found’ message can appear even when Instagram is experiencing a temporary glitch. So, if you are sure that any of the above reasons cause you to face the ‘User not found’ error, then it is quite possible that something is wrong with the Instagram app. However, even if that’s the case, you don’t have to worry; there are several steps you can take to fix this problem—
- Quit the app – You can close Instagram, wait a few seconds and then open it again to see if that helps.
- Restart your phone – It has been seen that turning your phone off and on again can solve a variety of problems, so you never know if it even helps in this case.
- Check your internet connection – If your internet is not working properly, you may face many problems including ‘User not found’ message on Instagram. S, you need to double-check the connection and if your Wi-Fi is causing the problem, try using mobile data or vice versa.
- Update the app – Another reason why you can’t find a user is that you’re not using the latest version of the app. If your IG is not updated with the latest you happen to face this kind of problem. So, check whether you’re using the outdated version of Instagram and if so, make sure you update your Instagram first and then, search for the user’s profile and as this method has been quite useful for a good number of people, hopefully it works for you too.
- Reinstall the app – If nothing works, you can uninstall and reinstall the app. However, keep in mind that you’ll need to log in again with your username and password before doing this, so make sure you have those ready.
So, now that you know what is meant by ‘user not found’ on Instagram and some of the most common reasons why you face Instagram ‘User not found’ error; it is likely that you would like to know about the solution for this particular error.
Are There Solutions To Fix ‘User Not Found’ Error on Instagram?
Unfortunately, there is no direct solution, but it all depends on you. If you can find the exact cause, it means you have a higher chance of finding a solution. Nevertheless, you can continue reading further to know about some possible solutions to the ‘User Not Found’ error.
Possible Solutions to Not Receive ‘User Not Found’ Error on Instagram
Like the reasons why you see no user found Instagram vary, so are the solutions. That said, these below-listed are some of the possible solutions, which might help you fix the ‘User Not Found’ error on Instagram—
- First of all, you can close and reopen the app to refresh its functions and see if this solves ‘User not found’ error on Instagram error.
- You should also consider updating the Instagram app to its latest version, if it’s running an older version.
- If the user has changed their username, you can check other social media accounts of that particular person, as they may have mentioned their updated bio on other social media as well.
- Sometimes users actually delete their account, but you never know if it could be a result of a bad internet connection, so we suggest trying it again or changing your internet source.
- If a user account is suspended by Instagram for any reason, you cannot do anything other than wait for that particular account to be recovered.
- In case, someone has deactivated his/her account, unfortunately, you cannot do anything rather than to accept their decision.
- Last but not least, if the user has blocked you and his/her account is not deactivated or deleted, the only way is to access their Instagram account from other profiles.
That’s all! User not found on Instagram is quite a common scenario that can occur due to various different reasons but since Instagram doesn’t give you a clear reason why you got the message, we’ve discussed all the probable reasons why you may encounter this “user not found” error on Instagram.
Read This To Know: What To Do If You Can’t Share Posts to Instagram Story?
- Outdated Instagram version.
- Error in typing the username.
- The user changed their username.
- You have been blocked by the respective user.
- The user has permanently deleted their account.
- The user has temporarily disabled their account.
- The user’s account is suspended.
- Check Other Social Media Platforms –Visit the user’s other social media accounts such as Facebook or Snapchat profiles and see whether they’ve updated their information there or not.
- Check the Following or Followers Lists – If you’re trying to find someone you share followers with, you can go to the profile of one of the mutual followers and search for their name. This is to check whether you’ll be able to find the profile photo or the username in someone else’s list or not.
- Check Chat History – If you’ve exchanged messages with the person in question, try to find the chat in your Instagram inbox, and you can also visit their profile from there.
- First you have to visit your main account.
- There, search for the username of the user (whom you suspect has blocked you).
- Now, you need to note that if you are blocked, their account will be hidden from you.
- In this case, to confirm the same, you can use an alternate account to find the user’s profile.
- Doing so, if you can find it, then it simply means your main account has been blocked.