If you use Instagram frequently, you must have encountered the “user not found” technical error while visiting some profiles.

“User not found” on Instagram is a common error that every Instagram user often faces.

But the question is: what does user not found on Instagram mean?

If you’re also confused about what this error actually means, you have landed in the right place.

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In this post, we’ll discuss what does “user not found” on Instagram mean, why it happens, and what you should do when you notice this error.

So, without wasting any further time, let’s dive right in.

What Does “User Not Found” on Instagram Mean?

The user not found error on Instagram could occur due to several reasons. 

If you want to find the real cause of this issue, you have to check each of these possible reasons.

User not found on Instagram

1. You Might Be Typing Out The Username Wrong

You might not believe this.

One of the common reasons why you’re seeing the “user not found” message on some Instagram profiles is because you’re typing out the wrong username.

A username works as a unique identifier for each profile that helps people find any profile easily on the platform.

While your display name can be similar to other accounts, the username should be unique at any cost.

Some users also use weird and strange combinations of special characters, numbers, and words, making the username difficult for other users to remember.

And due to this, people type out the wrong usernames, which in turn shows them the “user not found” error on Instagram.

When you want to search someone’s profile, ensure you have entered the correct username without mistyping.

Or, if you don’t know their username correctly, you can also find their profile by their display name.

2. The User Has Blocked You on Instagram

Another reason why you’re seeing the user not found message might be because the person has blocked you on the platform.

You might be able to access the messages you have exchanged previously, or you might see their profile in recent search history, but if you can’t see any of their posts and the “user not found” error is popping up, it might indicate the person has blocked you.

That being said, you should not be too much worried if someone has blocked you. At the end of the day, it’s their personal choice, and they have the right to do what they want. 

3. The User Has Temporarily Disabled Their Account

When people get overwhelmed by social media platforms like Instagram, they try to escape it.

To ensure an uninterrupted break, they temporarily deactivate their Instagram account.

If the person you’re trying to find on Instagram has temporarily deactivated their account for a while, you might get the “user not found” error.

When someone deactivates their account, their profile becomes invisible on the platform and one can view their profile until they reactivate it.

4. The Instagram Account Has Been Deleted

When someone deletes their Instagram account, all their data, pictures, videos, and messages get whipped out of Instagram’s database.

The username associated with the account also becomes available for others to use.

However, until someone takes the username, you’ll get the “user not found” error if you search for the username on Instagram.

So, if you’re getting the error, it might indicate that the person is no longer available on Instagram and permanently deleted their account.

However, remember that it’s impossible to determine whether the account was disabled temporarily or deleted permanently.

So, you can wait or ask the person directly if you have a personal connection with them.

5. Instagram Has Banned The Account

If you’re violating Instagram’s terms and conditions or policies, Instagram holds the right to terminate your account immediately without giving you any prior notification.

When someone engages in spammy or abusive behavior, posts inappropriate content, or promotes fraudulent activities, Instagram can ban their account immediately.

In such cases where the profile is banned, users attempting to access that account could get the “user not found on Instagram” message.

6. Internal Glitch On The Platform

The last and another possible culprit for the “user not found” on Instagram error could be because of an internal glitch on the platform.

Even though Instagram has an excellent infrastructure and a hard-working team working around the clock to ensure the platform operates smoothly, a few minor glitches can still occur.

When the glitches occur, they can have various effects on the overall user experience, and sometimes, a few profiles also become temporarily inaccessible.

Due to this, when you visit some profiles, you get the “user not found” message.

FAQs Related to “User Not Found” Confusion on Instagram

What does it mean when it says user not found on Instagram but can see profile picture?

When you can see someone’s profile picture and bio while you’re getting the “user not found” error, it is likely that the other person has blocked, temporarily disabled their profile, or is banned by Instagram for violating its policies.

Does user not found mean you’re blocked on Instagram?

No, user not found on Instagram does not always mean the other person has blocked you. You can get the message due to various reasons such as a misspelled username, technical glitch, banned profile, or temporary deactivation of profile.


Coming across the “user not found” error while browsing Instagram can temporarily raise your blood pressure, especially when the person you’re trying to find has a personal connection to you.

However, you don’t have to worry because these kinds of technical errors happen quite often on Instagram.

For better clarity, we have mentioned all the potential reasons that trigger the user not found on Instagram error.

Jenna Marwood
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Jenna Marwood, a UC Berkeley alumna, is a celebrated author known for her insightful analysis of social media trends 📱 and their societal impact. Her bestselling book, "Digital Echoes," and her engaging writing style make her a prominent voice in the world of online communication 🌐.