So, you’ve just clicked on someone’s Instagram profile and it says ‘user not found’ at the top. People automatically think that they’ve been blocked when they see this message, but this isn’t the case.
There are actually a few meanings behind the user not found error – down below are 3 things that the user not found means.
What Does User Not Found Mean on Instagram
On Instagram, User not found or the term Instagram User means that the account doesn’t exist on Instagram’s database so you’re unable to view profile. When Instagram accounts are deleted or suspended, the account is removed from Instagram’s database which is why it says User not found.
Instagram User Not Found But You Can See Profile Picture
If you visit a profile and it says user not found, but their profile picture shows, then it means that their account has been disabled/suspended.
If you’re checking out a suspended account soon after it was suspended, then chances are their profile picture will show along with User not found. If you visit the suspended account a few days after it was suspended, then it’s unlikely you’ll see this.
User Not Found on Instagram But Picture Shows
If you’ve found an account that says user not found but for some reason, you’re still able to find pictures, this usually indicates that they’re either blocked you, they’ve recently deactivated their account or it’s recently been banned, or a glitch.
Usually, when this happens, it’s down to a glitch causing their account not to fully disappear which is why you’re still able to see pictures.
After a while, the glitch should clear up and you should no longer be able to see any pictures on their account. Usually, once you’ve closed the Instagram app and opened it again, it should just say user not found when you visit the account.
Instagram User Not Found But Can See Bio
User Not Found Instagram But Can Message
If you’ve found yourself messaging an account that says user not found this may be confusing.
Although it may look like you’re able to send messages to an account that says user not found, you should know that they don’t actually receive this message. When someone’s account is unavailable and people send them messages, those messages will never actually deliver to them so you’re wasting your time.
What Does Instagram User Mean
Along with the term user not found, you’ll also see Instagram User when you visit the non-existent profile.
The term Instagram User is a term used for people who use Instagram but their account no longer exists on Instagram’s database so you won’t be able to visit it. If you have DM’d someone in the past and their account has been disabled, you’re going to see the name Instagram User instead of their name.
Also, you might be in a group chat and someone’s name may have changed to Instagram User; all this means is that their account no longer exists.
If you visit an account in general that no longer exists on Instagram, then you’ll see the name Instagram User at the top, along with the notification User Not Found.
This lets you know that the account doesn’t exist but Instagram will change its name to Instagram User to show you that it was an active Instagram account.
Why Does It Say User Not Found on Instagram
When it says user not found on Instagram or you see the term Instagram User when you check your DMs or visit the profile, it means that the account has either been temporarily disabled, the user has changed their username, or their account has been suspended by Instagram.
1. They Have Changed Their Username
The first reason why you’ll see the User not Found message on someone’s profile picture is when they have changed their username. The only occasion you could see this message if they did change their username, is when you click their old username on a tagged picture and land on their account.
If their username isn’t the same anymore, you’ll see the User not found message at the top of their Instagram profile. You can try and find their new username by searching for their real name – their new username should appear in the search results if they added their name to their account.
2. They Have Temporarily Disabled Their Account
Another reason why the User not found error will appear is when the owner of the account has temporarily disabled their account.
When an account has been disabled, it’s taken off Instagram’s database temporarily, so others won’t be able to view the account and unfollow it.
Since the account is no longer in their database, you won’t be able to find the user which is why you’ll see the User not Found notification.
Tip: If you want to know if someone deactivated their account, I’ve done an article on everything you need to know about it.
3. Their Account Has been Banned/Suspended
The third meaning behind the user not found error is that their account has been deleted or banned by Instagram.
On very rare occasions, Instagram bans people’s accounts when they haven’t been following their guidelines – they’ve been posting content that’s explicit for example.
If you do come across an account that has been banned, then you’ll see the User not Found message at the top of their account because Instagram has removed it.
If they do manage to get their account back, then you’ll be able to see their account normally again without the message at the top.
4. They Have Deleted Their Account
Similar to them disabling their account, they could have also deleted their account. If you try and visit a deleted account, Instagram will let you know that the user isn’t found. Once someone deleted their Instagram account, it’s taken off Instagram’s database which means that the profile no longer exists.
The problem with concluding the problem down to this is that you don’t know whether they temporarily disabled their account, or if they’ve been suspended by Instagram, it’s pretty much a guessing game.
5. You Have Clicked the Wrong Tag
When someone tags someone on Instagram, sometimes they tag them in the caption rather than using the tag feature on the actual post.
If the person’s account name has changed and you go to click the tag in the caption, you’ll either be taken to another person’s Instagram, or you’ll be taken to an account that doesn’t exist which is why you’ll see User not found.
If you want to find the person’s account, you can go to the search bar and search their name in an attempt to find out their account.
6. You’ve Mistyped Their Name
If you’ve mistyped someone’s name on Instagram, then you might come across an account that doesn’t exist which can cause the user not found error to show up.
There are over a billion accounts on Instagram and if you’ve typed in someone’s name wrong by accident, then you should expect to come across the wrong account.
You should go to your DMs with this person or scroll through a mutual friend’s account if you want to find their actual Instagram account.
7. Instagram Account Has Been Hacked
Another reason why you’ll see the User not found error on someone’s account is if it was hacked. When your account is hacked, it means that it could’ve been taken down by the hacker until further notice.
If this is the case, then the account is no longer going to exist and you won’t be able to see anything on there apart from User not found, and Instagram user.
8. Instagram Is Down
Another popular reason why you’ll see User not found when you visit an account is that Instagram is down due to routine maintenance. Instagram does this regularly when they’re trying to work on Instagram and the servers go down due to it.
Once the servers are down, the Instagram app is going to have all sorts of issues and problems when it comes to loading accounts is one of them. When the servers are down, everyone will be talking about it on another social media platform such as Snapchat.
This is a good way to find out if servers are down because it’s going to affect a large variety of people, not just you. It’s very easy to find out when servers are down. Go to Google search and type in ‘is Instagram down’.
You’ll then see some information regarding this. If this is the case, you’ll need to wait for the app to go back on the server and this is usually when they’re finished with the maintenance.
9. There’s A Glitch
Another reason why you might see the User Not Found error when you come across an account is that there is a bug or glitch that’s causing the account not to show up.
When theirs a bug in the app, this can cause all sorts of problems, and in this case, the bug has failed to load up the Instagram account that you’re looking for. A bug is a failure in the system that causes unexpected results.
10. Does User Not Found Mean Blocked?
When you see ‘user not found’, it doesn’t mean that the owner of the account blocked you. It means that their account was suspended, deleted, or they changed their username. When someone blocks you, it says ‘No Posts Yet’, not ‘User not found’.
When someone blocks you, it’s pretty hard to find their account again – the only way you can do this is by looking under a post they commented on and you should be able to see their name.
How to Know If Someone Blocked You On Instagram
If someone blocked you on Instagram and you click on their name to visit their profile, you won’t see the term user not found, you’ll see the term ‘No Posts Yet’ because Instagram won’t allow you to see their pictures and videos.
Sometimes you won’t be able to find the account that blocked you once they’ve blocked you. It’s only possible to find the account again if they were tagged in a post, or you still have their name in your search history. Finding them once they’ve blocked you is tricky.
The best thing to do in this situation is to view their profile without an account or, you can even create a fake account. Either works because you haven’t been blocked.
1. Search for Their Username on Instagram
The first and most reliable way to find out if you’ve been blocked on Instagram is by checking if you can find their name in the search results.
When you search for someone’s Instagram username, their account usually comes up after typing the first few letters. This only works if you have any history with the account.
If you search up every part of their username on Instagram and they don’t show up, you’ve been blocked – this only happens if their account is on private.
If you search for their name and you find their account, but you see a message on their profile saying, ‘No Posts Yet’, you’ve been blocked.
2. Find Them in a Tagged Photo
The next thing you can do to find out if you’ve been blocked is by looking for their tagged username in a picture. You can do this by going on their best friends’ Instagram account and looking for a photo that includes both of them.
If they have tagged the person you think may have blocked you, you need to click on their tag and check if you can see their pictures.
If you see the term No Post Yet, they’ve unfortunately blocked you.
3. Look for Them in a Comment Section
If you can’t find a tagged picture of them, you can try and look for their profile in a comment section. If you know that they follow someone, or you know a post that they’ve commented on, you can go back to that post and look for their username.
If you’ve found their username underneath a picture, you can click on their name and check if they’ve blocked you.
If they did block you, you’re going to see the message ‘user not found’ when you click on their profile.
How to Find Someone’s Account If You Keep Seeing User Not Found
To find the user, there are many things that you can do. This is only possible if they have multiple accounts and their account wasn’t suspended, banned, deleted, or deactivated.
If they’ve done any of these things to their account and they don’t have any other profiles that you can reach them through, finding their account is going to be virtually impossible.
If you know for sure that they have one account, and you’ve managed to find that account through a DM conversation you’ve had, then there’s no point trying to find them.
1. Search For Their Name Properly
If you want to give yourself the best possible chance to find out what their account actually is, then you need to make sure that you’re searching for their name properly.
If you don’t search for their name properly, then you’re going to come across an account that could potentially not be there’s and this is why you’re going to see that error.
To search for their name properly, you need to know the actual spelling of it. If you don’t look at other sources to find out, or ask someone that you know will follow them.
2. Ask Them Directly What Their Username Is
One thing you can do if you’re coming across accounts that isn’t the person you’re looking for is to ask the person what their Instagram account is.
Sometimes you might be trying to find someone’s account but you’re not having any luck. The best thing that you could do in this situation is to ask them what their Instagram handle is.
This might be a little more awkward if you don’t know them personally, but if they’re a close friend of yours, it’s one of the first things that you should do if you’re trying to find their account.
3. Ask Them If They Deactivated Their Account
Along with asking them what their Instagram username is, you could also find out if they deactivated their account.
It’s as simple as asking them did you deactivate your ig account. If they say yes, then you’ll finally know why you’ve been coming across accounts that aren’t there’s and seeing the User Not Found error.
If they tell you that their account is still active, then you can ask for their handle and find the account.
4. Go on The Company Website To Find The Instagram Account
If you’re looking for a brands account and you accidentally visit an Instagram handle of theirs that leads you to an old account or an account that doesn’t exist anymore, then you can go on their website to look for their current Instagram account.
In rare situations, they may not have updated the Instagram details on their website when they changed their Instagram username but if you find yourself in this situation, then you’ll need to go to the Instagram search bar and simply search for their name.
In most cases, you should find it. But if you don’t then you need to go to their old Instagram and look in their bio. Usually, in their bio, it should lead you to their new Instagram account.
5. Wait For Instagram to Unbanned The Account
If their account has been banned or suspended on Instagram, then you should simply wait for their account to be unbanned.
Usually, when an account is suspended, it’s because it violated Instagram’s terms of service. Because of this, Instagram can keep their account suspended for however long they see fit.
Sometimes this can take a few days, sometimes it can take up to a year. This also depends on if they appeal for them to have their account back.
6. Look For Them In Tagged Pictures
If you can’t find someone’s account or you’re coming across an account you think is there’s you’re seeing user not found, then the best thing you can do is to look in their friend’s pictures.
If their friend has a picture with them on their account, you can check to see if there’s a tag. If there is, this can lead you straight to their account.
If you do visit their account and you see the user not found error at the bottom, then it’s safe to say that they probably deactivated their account.
7. Go on Their Facebook And Look For Their IG There
As a last resort, you could go to their Facebook account and check to see if they attached an Instagram account or put it in their bio. This is a sure-fire way to find someone’s account if it still exists.
Why Can’t I Find An Instagram User?
If you can’t find someone on Instagram, then it’s probably because their account no longer exists on Instagram anymore and you’re visiting a non-existent profile.
This is only the case when their account has been taken down or they’ve decided to take it down themselves. Another reason why you may not be able to find an Instagram user is if you’re simply unable to find their account.
Sometimes people create new accounts and you may be visiting an old one from a previous DM you’ve had with them and you find yourself visiting an account that says user not found. In this case, you simply need to find the account that they’re currently using and this can be done using many ways.
Why Can’t I Find Someone on Instagram If I’m Not blocked?
If you’re not blocked and you’re unable to find someone’s account, it’s usually down to the fact that their account has been deactivated, suspended, banned, or you simply can’t find the right account.
Usually, when you can’t find someone on Instagram and you see the term User Not Found, you instantly think blocked because that’s possibly the worst thing someone can do to you on social media. However, there are more common reasons why you’d be unable to find someone’s account rather than them blocking you.
Can You Unfollow a ‘User Not Found’ Account?
There’s no way that you can unfollow the account that comes up with User not found. These accounts don’t exist on Instagram so there’s no way that you can unfollow them.
If the account was suspended or disabled, but you know that you’re on the right account, then you’ll need to wait until their account is no longer suspended or disabled so you can visit their profile again. Once their profile is back up, then you’ll be able to unfollow them.