What Does ‘User Not Found’ Mean on Instagram?

If you search for a username that you know to be connected to a specific account, only to be faced…

If you search for a username that you know to be connected to a specific account, only to be faced with the ‘User Not Found’ message, then one of three main things may have occurred.

In short, this note tells you that the username as you have searched it can no longer be found on the app.

It’s worth noting that even accounts which are private can still be searched for and found via the Instagram search function – meaning that something else is at play if the username can’t be found at all.

1. They have changed their username

The most innocent explanation is that the user who you are searching for has changed their username.

One way around this is to search for their personal or business name rather than the username specifically, to see if this brings up their profile. Alternatively, if you have a DM history with the individual or profile then you can find them in your DM inbox.

If your DM interaction with them is labelled “Instagram User” rather than a username, then one of the following two options is likely…

2. They have banned / blocked you

If you are unable to find a user, then the chances are that they may have blocked or banned you from viewing their profile.

The only way that you can be sure of this is to try searching for their profile from another user’s account or via another login. If you can find the user profile on a different account, then you know that they have blocked the original account that you searched from.

3. They have deleted or deactivated their account

Being unable to find a specific profile or account or Instagram doesn’t have to be anything personal – it could simply be that they have deleted or deactivated their account completely.

If this is the case, then their profile is removed from the system – with complete deactivation meaning that the username becomes available for another account to use.

If in doubt or you are concerned, you can always reach out to them directly and ask where their account has gone or what their new username is.