‘We Limit How Often’ Instagram Message: What it Means and How to Fix it

In a move which emanates a 2024 version of the classic “blue screen of death”, Instagram’s ‘we limit how often’…

In a move which emanates a 2024 version of the classic “blue screen of death”, Instagram’s ‘we limit how often’ error message is a real pain for users.

What’s more, while it was designed to stop bots and spam accounts from taking over the app and posting uncontrollably, it often affects normal users who are simply trying to share and interact via the app.

This error message appears as an automatic warning direct from Instagram when it believes an account has taken too much action in a set period of time. An account which receives this message is then locked for between 24 and 48 hours, upon which you can post as normal again.

Here’s a short guide to how and why you might accidentally wake the ‘we limit’ beast – and what to do if the error message appears on your screen.

What Ignites the ‘We Limit’ Error Message on Instagram?

It’s difficult to divulge exactly what it takes to ignite the error message, primarily because the answer is so varied.

Instagram tells users in its community guidelines that actions are limited in an effort to prevent robot accounts and spam accounts from exerting too much control. Which implies that any activity which is considered overzealous for a single user could be mistaken for a robot account.

This can include (but is not limited to):

  • Commenting too many times
  • Liking too many posts in quick succession
  • Following too many accounts
  • Posting too much

Interestingly, the exact rates which are deemed “acceptable” by Instagram tend to vary depending on the size of your account and your general daily activity on the app. If you manage a larger account, you might find that you can post and comment more.

It’s also worth noting that this same (or a slightly different) error message may appear if you violate any other guidelines laid out by Instagram. These include:

  • Sending inappropriate messages
  • Sharing forbidden content
  • Using banned hashtags

What Does the Error Message Look Like – & What Happens When You See it?

The exact wording on the error message reads like this…

Try Again Later.

We limit how often you can do certain things on Instagram to protect our community.

Tell us if you think we made a mistake.

The two options below this pop up message invite you to accept the limit or report a potential mistake to Instagram.

If you decide to report a mistake, Instagram will check your activity and conclude whether the ban should remain in place or be lifted. If you exit the app and find that you want to report the ban a little later on, you can still do this via the Help button in your profile settings.

  • On your profile, click on the three lines in top right hand corner of the screen
  • Click on ‘Settings and Privacy’
  • Select ‘Help’
  • Select ‘Report a Problem’ and briefly outline the issue in the box provided

What to Do if Your Account is Blocked by Instagram

After having reported a mistake (or indeed accepting that you pushed the app just a little too far), there are a few things you can do while waiting for your account to be unlocked again.

  1. Try opening the app using mobile data rather than WiFi, or on a different device. Sometimes the ban is restricted to a specific IP address or device, and accessing Instagram via a different network or device can be a way around the ban.
  2. Make a new account! When in doubt, having a back up account can be a good way to remain engaged with your community.
  3. Make a plan to avoid this happening again. With Instagram using your existing data, followers, and average activity to determine how much is “too much” activity for one day, gradually increasing the amount of time you interact with the app can help to avoid this happening again. This is especially important if you are looking to grow an influencer or business account, and want to be able to consistently do more through the app.

The truth is that Instagram, like so many other social apps and platforms out there, has a backend algorithm that we can never 100% understand. Having said that, arming yourself with the above information – and knowing what can cause the overactive ban on your account – can help you to minimise the chance of being locked out of your community for 24 hours or more.

We hope this helps – and if you have any more tips to add to our list, do let us know!