User Not Found on Instagram: Causes and Solutions

Mobile Apps

You have a friend or influencer you are always excited to keep up with, but “User Not Found” appears once you check their profile on the Instagram app. So, you are now worried about what might have happened to the person, which is not surprising. Even out of social media, people wonder about their connections — especially when they haven’t heard of them for a while or notice they’re out of the circle suddenly.

If that is your problem right now, we are here to help. In this quick guide, we will share the possible reasons why the user is not found on Instagram and if there are ways to find the person or fix the error.


Inside This Article

  1. Why a User is Not Found on Instagram
  2. How to Find a User Not Found by Instagram
    1. Wait if You Still Can or Move On
    2. Check Username and Retry Search
    3. Find Out if You’re Blocked and Request to Be Unblocked
    4. Fix Your Instagram App
      1. Exit Then Return to the Instagram App
      2. Free Up Instagram App Cache
      3. Get the Latest Version of Instagram or Reinstall It
    5. Let Instagram Know About the Problem


Why a User is Not Found on Instagram

When a user is not found on Instagram, there are many possible reasons for it.
Photo by u/Rent-An-Aqua on Reddit

When you see “User Not Found” on an Instagram profile, you would not immediately know why that message appears. You will only find out why the user is missing on the platform once you try finding them through other means. Nonetheless, let’s discuss the possible causes first. Here they are:

1. The person has a new username.
2. You got the username wrong.
3. The user is temporarily out of Instagram (account deactivation).
4. The person left Instagram for good (account deletion).
5. Instagram blocked the account.
6. You are in the user’s blocked accounts list.
7. The app has bugs affecting the visibility of accounts.


How to Find a User Not Found by Instagram

A user labeled as not found on Instagram may or may no longer be found using your account and other methods. It depends on why the person is out of Instagram.

1. Wait if You Still Can or Move On

Waiting is the best course of action for some problems
Photo by Semyon Borisov on Unsplash

If the user deactivates or deletes their profile, only they can decide whether they will return to the platform or not. If Instagram bans them, it is up to the platform whether it will allow the person to recover the account or not.

In these scenarios, you may wait if you can. For all we know, the user not found on Instagram might return after the deactivation or successful reversal of suspension or decide to create a replacement Instagram profile soon. You will be able to see them again on Instagram if they do.

But if you cannot afford to wait, that is fine. Simply move on because leaving social media is typical. Users have reasons for doing so — taking a break from their busy online life, prioritizing other important things, and more. Also, you might still be friends with the person in real life, so you still have other means to get in touch with them if you want to.


2. Check Username and Retry Search

Get the Instagram username right to see the correct profile
Photo by Ben Kolde on Unsplash

Typing in a person’s unique username is one of the best ways to search for someone on Instagram. That is why when there is a username mistake on the searcher’s end, “User Not Found” is the Instagram result.

So, what you should do in this scenario is make sure you got the username right. If you are sure that you have not misspelled it during the search, then the username got changed.

How can you find out someone’s new username on Instagram, then? Fortunately, even without being informed of the change, you can check it yourself. Search for the profile photo of the user you want to find from your followers or following list. If the image has not changed, you are lucky. You can then check the new username near the photo and click the entry to jump to their profile. If that did not work, you can try to see the username and access the profile from your chat box — provided that you have previously messaged the user on Instagram.


3. Find Out if You’re Blocked and Request to Be Unblocked

If the user blocked you, his or her profile will not be found using your account on Instagram
Photo by Markus Winkler on Unsplash

If you got blocked by someone on Instagram, you are denied access to the person’s profile. Thus, it is commonly thought of by users as the reason why they see the “User Not Found” message.

Although making the same assumption is easy, it is better to confirm if you were indeed blocked first. Here are some signs:

1. You can no longer view, like, comment, and share the profile’s posts.
2. The profile’s followers and following lists are not visible, too.
3. It is only you (among your friends connected to the person) who can see the “User Not Found” or “No Posts Yet” on the Instagram profile on the app.
4. You keep seeing “Sorry, this page isn’t available” when searching for the profile via Instagram’s web version.
5. You can still see the likes and comments of the user on accounts you both follow.
6. You tried using a different account, then saw that the user not found using your other Instagram profile is now searchable or visible.

Your blocked status is irreversible on your own. Also, you cannot change a person’s mind if they have already decided to disconnect from you on social media. However, if you are sure you are still good friends with the person and not a violator of Instagram’s rules, you might still be able to ask your friend to unblock you. You can contact them through other means if you think being blocked was only a mistake.


4. Fix Your Instagram App

If you talked to the user not found on Instagram and confirmed you were not blocked or they have not left social media, the problem is more likely the Instagram app. In this case, the “User Not Found” message is only a bug or error.

You can avoid experiencing it again through the generic solutions for fixing errant apps. Try any of these:

Exit Then Return to the Instagram app

Exit the app to let it rest a bit. This is an effective fix for temporary glitches. After a while, return to Instagram, and you might find it working smoothly again. You may opt to restart your gadget before accessing the app to clear any device-related hiccups, too.


Free Up Instagram App Cache

Like other apps, Instagram might be having trouble managing its data, so the user you are searching for cannot be found. A fix for this is to reset the app’s cache to free it up from data overload. However, the clear cache option is only visible on Android gadgets. To find and use it, follow these steps:

1. From your gadget’s home dashboard, press the Settings app.
2. Select Apps from the clickable options.
3. Scroll down until you see Instagram, then press it.
4. On the Instagram app details page, press Storage.
5. Hit the Clear cache option you see down the interface.

Clearing cache can help fix app issues
© Cellular News


Get the Latest Version of Instagram or Reinstall It

Erring apps are usually outdated. The aftermaths of an outdated Instagram are endless, ranging from Instagram not refreshing your feed to not being able to show you a user you want to find.

Thus, it is imperative to upgrade Instagram to its newest version. Here’s how:

1. Access the official mobile store on your gadget.
2. Be it the Play Store or App Store, search for the Instagram app on it.
3. Once you see Instagram, hit its update button.

Update Instagram if it keeps showing you the "User Not Found" error
© Cellular News

4. Wait for the update to finish.

Alternatively, you can erase and then reinstall Instagram. Here is the quickest way to do so:

1. Long-press the Instagram icon, then press Uninstall (Android) or the minus sign (iOS).

There is an uninstall shortcut accessible when long-pressing the app
© Cellular News

2. Click Ok (Android) or Delete App, Delete, then Done (iOS).
3. Wait for the gadget to finish removing the app.
4. Go back to the app store where you got Instagram before.
5. Search for Instagram on the store.
6. Hit the Install or Get button.

If you do not prefer the abovementioned steps, you can delete the app from your phone’s app list within the Settings menu. Afterward, head back to the Play Store or App Store to re-obtain Instagram.


5. Let Instagram Know About the Problem

Does the “User Not Found” app error persists, and is it happening to other users you know too? If yes, you can tell Instagram about the problem and wait for its team to fix the error or give advice. Here’s how:

1. Log in to your account via the Instagram app.
2. Once on your profile, hit the horizontal-line icon.
3. Hit Settings, then Help.

Instagram's help center is useful for various concerns
© Cellular News

4. On the Help interface, pick Report a Problem to let Instagram know that there is a problem.
5. Do what the onscreen instructions tell you.

There is no certainty on when the Instagram team will act upon the error. Nonetheless, it is good you have alerted them about the problem, especially if you think the error is affecting many users at the moment.


User Not Found? Don’t Worry

Searching for a user and checking a profile on Instagram seems easy, but with the tweaking of usernames, deactivation, deletion, and blocking possible, a user may suddenly not be found on the platform. Sometimes, the app’s hiccups even add to the problem. Fortunately, you already know what to do to find your friend or favorite influencer on Instagram again.

If this guide was useful, feel free to bookmark this or share this with your Instagram friends!