Instagram is a popular social media app for sharing photo and video posts. People also share daily updates called stories, and use DMs for keeping in touch with friends and online connections. Sometimes, people can encounter the error "User Not Found" on the Instagram app. This error also appears as "This page isn't available" while viewing from the Instagram website. Now, this is a very vague error, and it is not clear to users what it exactly means. Often, people can conclude after seeing this error message that the given user has blocked them. But this is likely a wrong conclusion, as there are many possible reasons behind getting the "User Not Found" error message on Instagram. In this article, we will help you to sort through the different possibilities and clarify the true reason in your case.
Top 8 Reasons for Instagram Error "User Not Found"
Let's say the account belongs to your friend or online acquaintance. You followed each other on Insta, and have sent messages and comments. Now one day, when you are trying to get to their profile from the DMs or from the comments, you encounter the "User Not Found" message. You are also trying to search their username in the Instagram search bar and not finding their profile. We will look at the many alternative causes behind the Instagram error "User Not Found". Going through them logically will help you answer what the actual root cause is behind this error.
- Instagram servers are facing some glitch.
- You are using an outdated version of the Instagram app.
- You have made a typo in the username's spelling.
- The given Instagram account has been suspended.
- The user has changed their Instagram username.
- The user has temporarily deactivated their account.
- The user has permanently deleted their Instagram account.
- The user has blocked you on Instagram.
The first culprit is some server-side error from Instagram itself. Many users have randomly encountered this error without any action like blocking or suspension. The best solution is to try loading the profile again after some time. You will find that the account and its posts are intact, and it was just a temporary glitch at Instagram's end.
Instagram's iOS and Android apps are regularly updated by the Insta Developer Team. Most consecutive updates do not break any major functionality and you continue to use the app without updating. However, sometimes a major update to the codebase is made, and this causes older version of the app to malfunction. When this happens, you can experience unexpected errors that have nothing to do with your and your friends' Instagram accounts. Just make sure to update the Instagram app, and everything will resume working smoothly as expected.
When you misspell a username in the search box, it returns no results. Or, if you are using Instagram's website in a browser, it is possible that you typed the username in the link incorrectly. Typically, Instagram will return error in the form of "Sorry, this page isn't available". Now, seeing this message often leads people to incorrectly conclude that they have been blocked by that user. So first make sure that you have the correctly spelled link to the user's account. You can also search for the username on Google or Bing, to get the correct link and navigate successfully to the profile. Or, you can look in your DMs if you have previously messaged them, and go to their profile from there.
It is possible that Instagram has suspended their account for violating its guidelines. Sometimes it can happen if they post something that is prohibited by Instagram code of conduct. This happens if there is spammy behavior like posting too many comments or following too many accounts in a short time. Or, the account can be temporarily suspended for the safety of the owner, such as from hacking attempts or suspicious login.
In this case, you should try to contact them elsewhere (e.g. using Facebook, WhatsApp, Email or Phone Number) and find out what happened. If their account is really suspended, then they will have received an email from Instagram informing about the reason. They can follow up with the Instagram Support team, or follow the instructions in the email to login, restore, and enable their account again.
Instagram users can open their Profile Settings, and edit their username anytime they want. Because of this username change, their profile is no longer discoverable using their earlier username. So this is a potential reason why you are not able to find this user anymore. If you are following them, you can find them from your Following list. If you have messaged them on Instagram, you will find their account in your DMs. In case these solutions are not possible, you can always look for their account in the Followers or Following lists of other mutual connections.
Users can temporarily deactivate their Instagram account, if they are not going to use it for a substantial period. This gives them a break from the social media. It also keeps away some of the FOMO or fear of missing out regarding missed messages or comments. Because they are knowing that no one is able to message them there while their account is deactivated or disabled. Due to this, you will not be able to see their account or posts. Whenever they decide to login again and reactivate their profile, you can resume interacting with them on Instagram.
Instagram users can also opt to permanently delete their account altogether. They get a 30-day recovery period during which they can change their mind and revert their deletion request. But if they make no attempts to recover or reactivate their account, Instagram will permanently remove all their content. Once the user has set their account for permanent deletion, you cannot find their account searching their username. Their name in your past DMs will also appear to be "Instagram User" or something generic like that.
When a given user decides to block you on Instagram, you are unable to find their profile using search. Their name in your DMs also appears as "Instagram User". When you are logged into your Instagram account from the website, and they have blocked you, you will see the "Sorry, this page isn't available" error message. However, you can determine whether the cause of this behavior is blocking or account deactivation/deletion. If the user has blocked you, their profile is still visible to other accounts. You can also view it by using its link in a browser without logging in to Instagram.
How to Fix the "User Not Found" Error on Instagram?
We have seen the top 8 reasons for the "User Not Found" and "Sorry, this page isn't available" error. If you are encountering this and want to resolve the issue, here's the strategy you can execute logically. Eliminate the possible causes for this error step-by-step to determine the root cause, and therefore the correct way to solve it:
- Make sure your Internet connection is fine, by trying to navigate to other Instagram profiles, or even using other apps or websites.
- Look online to see if Instagram service is facing any downtime. You can search "Is Instagram Down?" or look on Twitter for tweets related to Instagram. If you discover that many other users are facing issues, wait till the outage is resolved.
- Go to the Google Play Store for Android or Apple App Store for iPhone/iPad, and update the Instagram app. This will eliminate any errors arising from outdated app versions.
- If you have messaged the person in the past, you will be able to navigate to their profile from your DMs. Even if they changed their username, their profile and posts with the new username will be visible.
- If you didn't message them, you can find their profile from the Following or Followers lists of your mutual connections.
- You can verify whether they have blocked you or not, by looking for their profile from another account, or by viewing their profile link as public (without logging in) using a browser. In case you have sent DMs in the past, the blocked account name will appear as "Instagram User" to you. But it will be visible from public and to other accounts.
- If you are sure they haven't blocked you, and you still cannot find their profile, it must be that they have temporarily deactivated or permanently deleted their account, or Instagram has suspended their account.
Thus, if their account is still active, you will be able to find it out and continue interacting with them. Or you will be able to determine that they have been suspended by Instagram or deactivated/deleted their account themselves.