What Does User Not Found Mean on Instagram How to Fix It?

| Updated on February 13, 2024 |
Fact checked by Manpreet Kaur Sandhu

Some users have been facing the “User not found IG” error appearing as they search for someone’s profile or an account on Instagram.

But, there is quite a decent amount of the population of users who often find themselves stuck in the fallacy of the app, like Instagram doesn’t refresh the feed

And no matter how big of an organization, we all make mistakes, right? One such is an error that the users are asking for solutions for – what does “user not found Instagram” mean? And we are here to answer that, along with the required solutions to this issue.

User not found IG

Quick Answer: If you see a user not found IG, the possible reasons can be, that the account may have been disabled, deleted, or have been banned. You have been blocked by the user can be one of the causes. 

What Does User Not Found Mean on Instagram?

Scrolling through the feed and coming across a pretty funny or interesting comment. So you decide to go to the person’s profile to explore them a bit more. But, to your excitement and curiosity, you see “Instagram user not found” instead. So what does this mean? Let’s find out.

It says that the account you’re trying to reach or visit is unavailable for some reason. So, below are some different possible scenarios that could mean different things:

You may encounter IG user not found, but

  • The Profile Picture is Still Visible

    “Instagram user not found but can see profile picture”, this could happen when the user you’re trying to reach has disabled his/her account, or it has been suspended recently. However, if you visit them after a few days, their display image won’t be there anymore, and you will see the “User not found” error.

  • You can DM the User

    If the user is not found on Instagram, but you can still message them, then it doesn’t mean that they are receiving your messages. And not only that, even if the account is found someday, those messages would still not reflect. Hence, it is better to stop texting as it is like watering a dead plant.

  • Their Posts are Still Visible

    You may brainstorm what to post on Instagram, and think about exploring different profiles to get ideas and face the user is not found error, but their pictures still show, then it is only for some time. However, once you refresh your Instagram app or restart it, this glitch will be gone.

  • The Bio is Still Appearing

    If the Instagram user is not found, but you can see their bio on their profile, don’t take it as a sign of that person’s availability in that person’s list. This is just a glitch that will be gone in a matter of time. 

So these were some possible scenarios that can happen when you see the “User not found IG” error. Now we will discuss the reasons below that can cause this error to occur.

Causes For “User Not Found” on Instagram

Now that you know what does user not found mean on Instagram, to help you better understand the error message, below is a list of some reasons that can lead to this issue.

Typo Error

If you are trying to look for someone’s username by searching manually, or for the first time, it is possible that you either made a typing mistake or have the wrong username. So consider rechecking the username you have entered.

Typing error on Instagram

Username Changed

Unlike other social media platforms, users can change their username on Instagram anytime they want to from the app or website. And this is one of the common reasons many people face the “User not found” error on the platform.  But, it is worth noting that the user can only change the username if it is available. So when you search for the username once it’s changed, it’s like it doesn’t exist anymore. 

So what is it all about? Instagram uses the person’s username as the basis of the URL for leading to the person’s profile. And so, due to this, their Instagram location changes as well. Even though Instagram directs to the new location if someone searches for the user or looks for them, this may not always be the case.

Instagram username change

Hence, if you try to look for the user by their old username, you might not find them. So below are some points that will help you in finding out or confirming whether they have changed their username.

  • You can go to the user’s other social media platforms and see if they have updated any information about their username there.
  • If that didn’t work, maybe go through the profiles of some mutual friends and see if they have their updated username added with them in their followers or following.
  • You can simply go to your messages and open the conversation with that person. This way you can go to their updated profile. However, if there is still the “User not found” error appearing in their account, this could most likely mean you’re blocked.

The User May Have Temporarily Disabled Their Account

Since a lot of people prefer taking a break from social media, Instagram has given users the option of temporarily deactivating their accounts. And once they are ready to be in the social media world again, they can make a comeback. Nowadays, it has become common for people to disable their accounts on Instagram.

During this temporary period, the user’s account won’t appear in the search results now it will appear in the mutual friends’ list of followers and following. So if you are trying to look for the person’s account while they have temporarily disabled it, you will see the “User not found” error message. 

Temporarily disabled account

Even though Instagram doesn’t provide the exact details about whether a person has disabled their account or has blocked you, you can ask a mutual friend to look up their account for confirmation. 

The Account is Permanently Deleted

There are times when people decide to give up on their social media life and hence decide to delete their accounts. And so, if the account they want to delete permanently is from Instagram, all their likes, comments, posts, content, and of course, their profile will be gone. 

This means that since the account has been deleted, it won’t appear in the search results or followers/following list either. So this is when you will get the “User not found” error message if you search for their account. 

Instagram Account Permanently Deleted

Since there is no way as of now to determine whether a user has permanently or temporarily disabled their account, you can ask a mutual friend for confirmation if they look up their profile. 

If you think this won’t work, there is one last resort left that you may as well try – searching their username. Now, if you’re wondering what this means, all you have to do is simply search for their username and if you see a different account instead, this will mean that they have deleted their account. Hence, this will confirm that you weren’t blocked by that person. 

Account Suspended

With over a billion monthly active followers, Instagram sure has a strong community and so are its standards for its users. And so, there are certain Community Guidelines set by Instagram that the users have to follow unless they want themselves banned or suspended from the platform. 

Account suspended from Instagram

So the person you are trying to reach may have violated one of the rules and regulations set by Instagram. The accounts of users who are banned or got their accounts suspended also appear with the “User not found” error message.

Outdated Version of Instagram

Another possible reason that can lead to the “User not found” error message is having an older version of the Instagram app. There is a possibility that if you have not updated to the latest version available of the app, then  Instagram is not working. This error message can simply appear due to a glitch or bug in the outdated version of the app.

Old Version of Instagram

Banned by Instagram

As discussed earlier, there are certain rules and regulations set by Instagram that the users have to follow. And so, those who don’t follow them and violate them by abusing others or using inappropriate language, etc. can get banned from Instagram. So if you think the person you are trying to reach has done this, it can be the reason for the “User not found” error message to appear. 

The Respective User has Blocked You

If you think that none of the reasons mentioned above is causing the error message “User not found” for you, consider checking if someone has blocked you on Instagram

However, if you suspect, the best way to find out is to ask your mutual friend to check if they can view their profile or not. 


Instagram may not provide you with a detailed explanation when it shows the “user not found”, but these are some reasons that can lead to the error message. In addition, this issue can occur due to some technical glitches when the app is under maintenance. So in that case, consider checking it after some time. 


Does user not found Instagram mean blocked?

If you get a user not found on IG, that doesn’t necessarily mean you are blocked. However, the profile may be disabled, deleted suspended, or banned.

How do you know if you have been blocked on Instagram?

If the profile is private and by typing the username you are not able to find it, that means you’ve probably been blocked.

Why can’t I find someone on Instagram?

If you are not able to find someone on Instagram, they have probably changed their settings to private.

What does Instagram user mean?

If you see an Instagram user in your inbox, that means the persona may have deleted or disabled their account.

Janvi Panthri

Senior Writer, Editor

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