What Does Restrict Mean on Instagram? A Guide to Manage IG Interactions

| Updated on July 9, 2024 |
Fact checked by Manpreet Kaur Sandhu

It is very likely to encounter negative people while surfing on social messaging apps such as Instagram and the best way to limit interaction with such people is through using the restricted features on Instagram. 

Instagram, recognizing the need for users to maintain a positive experience, introduced the ‘Restrict’ feature as a solution to limit interactions with such individuals without alerting them.

So, what does restrict mean on Instagram? Well, this feature is particularly useful for managing online harassment, spam, or simply minimizing interactions with specific users without resorting to blocking. In this article, we will explain what it means to restrict someone on Instagram and how it differs from blocking. 

So without further ado let’s get into it!

What Does Restricting Someone on Instagram Do?

The purpose of this function is to assist users with regulating unwanted interactions without completely blocking the person. Restricting someone on Instagram is a subtle way to control what certain users can see and how they interact with your content. Here’s how it works: 

  • Once restricted, their comments are not visible in your posts, and you are not notified of them.
  • Rather than appearing in your inbox, messages from individuals who are restricted will be available in your DMs under the ‘Requests’ tab. You will not receive a notification of the sender’s message from the Requests inbox, and the sender will not receive a read receipt.
  • Users who are restricted can still view your posts and stories, but they will not be able to find out whether you are online or have seen their messages. 
  • Instead of showing up in your direct message box, their responses to your stories will show up in your message request box. 

This also won’t lose you a follower if you are a creator and value your follower count. Restricting can help maintain your follower base while managing unwanted interactions discreetly. Moving forward, let’s discover how to restrict someone on Instagram. 


How to Restrict Someone on Instagram?

There are three ways through which you can restrict someone on Instagram. Here’s how you can do it:

Method 1 – Directly Visit Their Profile

  • Step 1: Select the three-dot menu sign located in the upper right corner of the screen while you are on the user’s profile page. 
    Instagram profile
  • Step 2: Click on ‘Restrict‘. Afterward limitation function may be explained to first-time users. If you agree, tap on Restrict Account.
    Restrict Accountss
  • Step 3: The user is now restricted. To get more information, you can tap on Learn More, and to return to their profile, tap on Dismiss
    Tap on Dismiss or Learn mores

So this is how you can directly restrict someone. Let us now discuss an alternative approach, which involves accessing the settings.

Method 2 – Via Settings

In this method, the steps are the same for both iOS and Android. Here’s how you can do it:

  • Step 1: Go to your profile and in the upper-right corner, tap the three-bar menu. 
  • Step 2: Navigate to Settings and Privacy then click on Restricted
    Click on Restricted
  • Step 3: Type in the account name that you want to restrict and Restrict them by tapping on the account name.
    Account restricted on Instagram

Later, you can just click on the Unrestrict button to remove the limitations for that user.

Method 3 – Through Comments

This particular method is very useful for Instagram influencers and creators. They usually face a lot of criticism and negative comments, and they can directly restrict users through the comments section. 

  • Step 1: Go to your comment section, and if you have an iOS device, swipe left on the comment you want to restrict.  If you are using Android, press and hold the comment. 
  • Step 2: Tap the exclamation point symbol and click on Restrict

By following these steps you can easily restrict someone on Instagram, ensuring a more controlled and positive social media experience. I

How to Know if Someone Has Restricted You on Instagram?

Just as you will not be notified if you are blocked on Instagram, you will not be notified if someone restricts your account. However, just as you can find out if someone has blocked you on Instagram, there are several methods for determining if someone has restricted you. 

First and foremost see whether the user’s profile image has a green ‘Active Now‘ dot on it, or if their messages have a status like ‘Active 15 minutes ago‘ below them.

Another option is to try to leave a comment on their most recent post and ask a friend to check to see if it’s visible. If it’s not visible then surely you have been restricted. Lastly, when you send a DM, and it stays unseen forever, you might be restricted. 

Nevertheless, there are no guaranteed methods to find out if your account has been restricted. Instagram users have the option to hide their activity status from other users, and comments on posts may take a while to show up.

Blocking Someone vs. Restricting Someone on Instagram

So, by now, you should understand, what does restrict mean on Instagram. However, if you do not want to interact with someone or do not want them to even see your profile, blocking them may help.  

Both terms are similar in that they allow you to control who can see and interact with your content, but they serve different purposes and offer varying degrees of restriction. The comparison table below may help you understand the differences. 

Restricting Someone on InstagramBlocking Someone on Instagram
When you restrict someone, they can still see your posts and stories.They won’t be able to search you or see any of your content.
Restricted users can still send you direct messages.Blocked users cannot send you messages.
Use this option if you want to limit interactions with someone.Use this option if you want to completely prevent someone from seeing your content or interacting with you.

Blocking and restricting someone on Instagram depends on your specific needs and the level of interaction you want to maintain. If you choose to restrict someone, you can avoid potential conflicts without taking the more drastic step of blocking them, which can often escalate situations or cause unwanted drama.

Apart from both of these features, you can also opt for the Mute option which allows you to avoid seeing their posts. These features are valuable tools for creating a safer and more comfortable social media environment. 

Final Words

Restricting someone on Instagram prevents them from interacting with what you post. You can also hide your Instagram Stories from someone, prevent them from accessing your entire account, or set your account to private. Furthermore, if you want to keep someone from seeing your activity, block them.

The use and experience of social media should be peaceful and positive, free of unwanted interactions. By using the restrict feature, you can manage your online presence and interactions more effectively. This ensures a safer and more comfortable environment for you to share and connect with others.


Can restricted accounts see my story?

Yes, restricted accounts can see your stories and posts.

Do restricted users appear online to me?

No, you will not see the online status of users you have restricted, and they will not see yours.

What is the difference between restricted and blocked on Instagram?

Restricted users will still be able to search your username, see your posts, and watch your reels. On the other hand, blocked users won’t be able to see your profile, posts, or stories at all, and they cannot send you messages.

Can I prevent someone from commenting on my post?

Yes, you can restrict someone from commenting on your post by going to your profile and tapping in the top-right corner. Then go to comments and choose the people you want to block.

How to Unrestrict Someone on IG?

The process to remove the restriction is quite easy. One easy option is to access the user’s profile, click the three-dot menu icon, and select ‘Unrestrict’.


How do I restrict someone on Instagram – Instagram Help Centre

Janvi Panthri

Senior Writer, Editor

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