The Instagram platform allows you to search for users that you may want to find for reasons best known to you.
Well, sometimes your search may not be successful. If your user search came back with a ‘user not found’ error, or possibly a ‘no results’ message, it could be one or more of several reasons.
Could be because of a typing error, because the account owner changed their username, or disabled or deleted their account. But it could also be that you have been blocked by that user.
We shall be exploring these possibilities in this article, and see if you can do something about these to get the person you are searching for.
First, a quick look at other Instagram responses related to ‘user not found’.
Similar Instagram search responses or error messages
1. ‘This account is private’
This response does give you a profile of the account but you can’t see more than that.
This means that;
- You are not logged in, so you have no access to the details,
- You do not follow this person,
- Or if you already followed them, they must have turned their account private and removed you as a follower.
2. ‘No posts yet’
With the ‘no posts yet’ response, the account exists and Instagram will show you a brief bio, and display the ‘no posts’ in a flash.
This could mean that the account holder blocked you.
3. ‘No results for (username)’
When you type a username in the search bar and search then get this response, there are many explanations for this. This is pretty much the same as the ‘user not found’ response.
It could be a misspelled username or could mean that the account holder disabled their account, deleted it, or blocked you.
In short, all the possibilities explained I’ll explain in the “Why your Instagram says ‘user not found’ ” section apply to this Instagram response. Check them out for answers to this error response.
4. ‘Sorry, this page isn’t available’
This is a response you will get when you try to search for the user on the Instagram web page instead of the application.
This error could be explained by various reasons including internet connection, typing errors or wrong usernames, or could be that you were blocked by the user and therefore can not access their account.
This also can relate to the possibilities explored in the next section.
Okay, now we know Instagram responses or error messages that relate to the ‘user not found’ error. So what exactly does it mean when your Instagram displays this and related errors?
Why your Instagram says ‘user not found’
The ‘user not found’ error can be explained by various reasons. Some of these can be because of Instagram’s functions and actions, the account holder’s actions, or your (searcher’s) actions.
Here are some common and possible reasons you are getting the user not found error when you try to search for a username on Instagram:
1. Typing error
It is possible that you made an error especially if you are searching the username for the first time, or have manually input the name.
Some people have usernames that are a mix of numbers and letters and some of these can be confusing, leading to typos.
To get to the user you are looking for, check to make sure that you have not made a typo. Make sure you have not skipped any letter or number, or that you have not written numbers instead of letters, for example, 0 instead of o.
Then try the search again. If this does not take away the error, then maybe Instagram is glitching…
2. Instagram glitches
The ‘user not found’ error could be just a glitch. You can know if it is a glitch when you can see the profile picture or the bio of the account but you are still getting the error message.
If it is a glitch, you can try a few things to fix it;
- Check your internet connection and make sure you are connected. You can try to toggle between wifi and mobile data.
- Refresh the page or restart the Instagram app.
- You can also update the application and get the latest version.
- You may need to uninstall and reinstall the app.
- But above all, you may need to wait a little as Instagram fixes the glitch, and then things will work out okay after a while.
If you try the above but still are getting the ‘user not found’ error, the account holder may have done something on their side. Let’s see the following possibilities.
3. Change of username
Instagram allows users to easily change their username either on the app or the website.
The username is pretty much a URL that helps people find you on Instagram. When a username changes then it’s like an address has changed.
With a change in the username, someone may not find your account. It is therefore possible that the user you are searching for changed their username, so you might have outdated information about the target user.
Still, you can’t stop someone from changing a username, and many people sure do this without alerting anyone.
So to solve the issue, you could start by checking your DM with the user (if you had any) and see if there is any update to the username.
Or you can check with other friends following and followed by your target to see if you can get to them.
Also, you can try searching for your target user by real name instead of Instagram username. The real name might bring out better results, as the new username will be attached to it.
4. Account disabled
Instagram allows you to take a break from social media and return when you want to. To take this break, users can temporarily disable their accounts.
A disabled account will not be found on Instagram, the search will return with a ‘user not found’ message.
Instagram though does not provide you with details of a disabled account, or when it will be reactivated.
So, if you are getting the ‘user not found’ error then it is possible that the user you are searching for disabled their account.
Unfortunately, you will not be able to do much about someone’s decision to disable their account, all you can do is have a little patience and see when the account comes back on again. It is important to respect other people’s privacy.
5. Account deleted
Instead of temporarily disabling accounts, some users choose to permanently end their accounts by deleting them for various reasons. The user you are trying to reach might have deleted their account.
Deleting an account gets it removed from Instagram, leaving the username belonging to no account.
So if you are getting the ‘user not found’ error, it is possible that the account previously attached to that particular username has been deleted.
6. You have been blocked
Instagram gives users the liberty to block accounts they do not want to interact with. When someone blocks you, you will not be able to access their account. So this is probably why you are getting the ‘user not found’ error.
To check if you have been blocked, you can have someone else look the target account up; a friend can search that same account, if they can find the account but you can not, then you have most likely been blocked.
If you have been blocked, it is better to respect someone’s decision and privacy. It is not always for negative reasons that users block other users.
If you’ve checked through possible things that an account holder could have done to restrict your access to their account but you still can’t put your finger on it. Then there’s one more thing that Instagram might have done.
Could be that the account has been suspended…
7. Account banned or suspended
Instagram suspends or bans accounts that violate Instagram’s terms of service.
If someone promotes hate speech, for example, abuses other users is suspected to be a bot account, or uses bots, they can be banned by Instagram.
The ban may be temporary – like 48 hours or can be permanent depending on the violation or accrual of violations.
If an account is suspended, you will not be able to find it on Instagram. This therefore is another possibility as to why you are getting the ‘user not found’ or ‘no result’ error.
You can’t do much with suspended accounts apart from waiting to see if and when the account will be back again.
Is it possible to send a message to an account with the ‘user not found’ error?
When you get the ‘user not found’ error or ‘No results for (username)’ message on Instagram, you have the option to still send a message to the user.
However, the person on the other end will not receive or see your message. Even when they reactivate – take for example if they had temporarily disabled their account, the message will not get to them, they may even never know that you sent a message.
So, no need to waste your valuable time or energy.
How do I know if someone restricted/blocked me on Instagram?
Because of security and privacy reasons, Instagram does not give notifications when someone disables or blocks a user from accessing their account. Blocking users is an Instagram function that people use for various reasons.
If you suspect that a person blocked you, or you want to block someone and you are wondering if they will find out, there won’t be any alert from Instagram about a blocking action, but there are other ways you can find out if you have been blocked.
First, you can log into Instagram and try to search for the username. You can do this by tapping the search icon at the bottom of your explore page. Then type the username into the search bar and search.
If you get a ‘user not found’ error, or ‘no results’ then maybe you have been blocked. But you can go ahead and log out and try the search again to confirm.
If you are still unable to see the user account when logged out, then there could be other reasons, but if you can access the account when logged out, then certainly the user has blocked you.
You can try to find the account using the web page.
Go to Instagram’s official website or type ‘www.instagram.com/(username)’ in the search bar to find the target profile. If you get a ‘this page isn’t available’ response then you have been blocked.
Secondly, you can simply ask another user – maybe a friend to search for the person you suspect blocked you. If they can access that person, then you know that the reason you are not getting your target user is because you have been blocked.
The ‘user not found’ error can be pretty annoying and frustrating, and what makes it worse is not knowing what exactly it means.
If you take the time to check through the possibilities given in this article and figure out the real reason for the error message, you can get to the bottom of this.