Over the years, Instagram has introduced a few different privacy features.
These privacy features will limit or remove your access to a user’s content, messages, and comments.
Some of these privacy features, such as being blocked, are easy to determine or figure out if they are being used on your account.
Being restricted by a user is much more difficult to figure out as it does not completely remove your ability to see their content, send messages, or interact with their comments.
Let’s take a look at how you can figure out if you are restricted or blocked and what the differences are between restricted and blocked on Instagram.
What Does Restricted Mean?
Instagram designed this privacy feature to give users an option to limit rather than remove access to their accounts.
Understanding what the restricted feature does and does not do will allow you to determine if you are in a restricted mode.
Being restricted on Instagram is a lot more subtle and far more difficult to determine than being outright blocked.
This type of restriction doesn’t take away your ability to see that user’s content, including their posts, stories, and comments.
You can still like a post and that like will remain public for everyone to see.
The biggest changes come in the area of comments, messages, and their activity status.
1. Restrictions On Comments
When your account gets restricted, your comments become restricted as well.
You will still be able to see and make comments on posts.
On your end, it will look like nothing’s wrong, and you are commenting as usual.
When you view the comments in a post, you will still see your comments, but they may not be seen by anyone else.
To the user who restricted you, your comments get hidden behind a restricted comment button.
The user will then gain the ability to approve or deny your comment.
If the user doesn’t approve your comment, then it will only be viewable to the user you sent it to and yourself.
The comment will not become public and won’t be visible to others.
Comments made before your account became restricted will remain unaffected and untouched.
Check Your Comments
One method to determine whether your account has been restricted is to check your comments.
Because your comments will still show up as normal comments on your account, you will need access to a friend’s account or create a new account.
After you enter a comment, immediately check to see if you can see the comment from your friend’s account or your secondary account.
Make sure you don’t wait too long to check, as the user can approve the comment and have it show up as normal.
If you don’t see your comment from the alternate account, then your account was restricted.
2. Restrictions On Activity Status
If restricted, you won’t get any information about their recent activity status.
You will not be able to see the last time they were online.
You will also not be able to see the last time they were looking at their messages.
Check The Activity Status
This method is less effective than the first method, but it can help determine if you have become restricted or not.
First, make sure that you have Show Activity Status enabled in your settings.
To do this, Go to your Profile > Settings > Privacy > Activity Status.
From there, you can either enable or disable the feature.
Once you have enabled the feature, head back to the person’s profile.
If they recently posted something but they don’t show as being recently active, or you can’t see their last seen status, then you are restricted.
You can also use a secondary account or access a friend’s account to check the activity status.
If it is showing on the secondary account, but not your main account, that is further confirmation that you are restricted.
3. Restrictions On Messages
Your messages won’t disappear, but they will end up in a message request folder.
The user who restricted you will not get notified of your message, and they must manually see it to interact with it.
If a user does see your message, you won’t get any type of notification that they have read it.
If a restricted user is in a group chat, the user will get a warning, letting them know that a restricted user is present in that group.
Send A Message
You can try sending a DM to the person to see if you are restricted.
This method can take a while to confirm but is simple to use.
Simply send a DM to the user and wait.
If after an extended amount of time, the user hasn’t responded but has been active on their account, then you are probably restricted.
How To Tell If Someone Blocked You
1. Look At Your Messages
Being blocked will result in all the messages between you and that person disappearing.
If you think you have been blocked and have DMed each other in the past, go check your messages.
If you can’t see previous messages between you and that person, then you were most likely blocked.
They could have deactivated or deleted their account, so head to any group chat you were both in (if there were any).
If they are still present in the group chat, then you have been blocked.
2. Use Search
Search for the person you are trying to see on Instagram.
Check the content area, if it is empty, but they show posts on top, then you have been blocked.
If it says the account is private, then you need to request access to see their photos, but it does not mean that you were blocked.
If you are correctly typing in their username and their profile isn’t showing at all, then they either deactivated or deleted their account.
3. Check Your Profile
If you had an issue searching for their name, you can always check through your own profile.
When you are blocked, your previous comments don’t go away.
Go into one of your posts that they commented on.
Click their name to go to their profile page.
If there is nothing in the content area, but you can see the number of posts at the top, then you have been blocked.
4. Use Your Browser
You can get to every Instagram profile using your web browser.
Make sure you are logged in and go to Instagram.com/username but replace username with their actual username.
If you see, “Sorry, this page isn’t available,” then you either typed in the wrong username or you have been blocked.
5. Try To Follow Them
If you can see this person’s profile, try to follow them again.
When you press the Follow button but don’t see any change, then you have been blocked.
Being blocked will prevent you from requesting to follow them, and they will not receive any notifications that you are attempting to follow them.
6. Use A Different Account
Either use a secondary account or ask a friend to use their account to search for the profile in question.
If everything looks normal on the alternate account, then you have been blocked.
If you are getting the same result as your normal account, then that person has set their profile to private, deactivated their account, or outright deleted it.
The Difference Between Restricted And Blocked On Instagram
Being blocked on Instagram is different from getting restricted, and your access to their account is different as well.
When you go to a user’s profile, if they blocked you, you would only have access to the top information.
This information includes followers, following, and the number of posts.
A restricted user will still be able to see all your posts, stories, and any other content you may have.
A blocked user will not be able to comment on someone’s posts while a restricted user can comment, but it is only viewable by the sender and the recipient.
If blocked, you won’t be able to message that person.
A restricted user can still send messages, but it is hidden in a requests folder and may not be seen.
Neither a blocked user nor a restricted user will have access to the activity status.
Both blocked users and restricted users can tag and mention you, but you are only notified if a restricted user mentions you.
Being blocked removes all notifications from that user
Being restricted still notifies them of tags.
It does not notify them of messages or comments.
Best Practices To Avoid Banned Or Blocked By Instagram
1. Don’t Mass Follow And Like
If you attempt to follow too many people or give out too many likes, you may receive a temporary block by Instagram.
There are some general guidelines to follow to prevent receiving this temporary block.
If you have an established account, do not exceed 60 likes, 60 follows, or 60 messages in any given hour.
If you have a new account, do not exceed 30 likes, 30 follows, or 30 messages in an hour.
Violate these rules and you may receive a temporary block, which will result in certain restrictions being placed on your account.
Your ability to comment, like, follow, or send Direct Messages will be paused for anywhere from two hours to two weeks.
There could be other reasons you are having trouble following people, so make sure to find out why you are having issues.
2. Don’t Share Images Or Videos That Break The Rules
If you post content that breaks Instagram’s rules, you are likely to get banned from using the service.
Do not post photos or videos that contain naked people, sexual content, and violence.
Posting inappropriate content will get you banned, so don’t even attempt it.
3. User Complaints
User complaints can come for a variety of reasons.
If someone finds your account threatening, or they believe it violates Instagram’s rules, they can hit the report button.
If enough people report your account, you are going to get blocked.
Make sure you understand Instagram’s rules before you start posting content that may be offensive to some.
Another way to get banned from a user complaint is for copyright infringement.
Instagram takes copyright infringement very seriously.
Your content must contain pictures that belong to you or ones that were permitted by the original owner.
If you share someone else’s photo, make sure you tag that person to give them credit.
In addition, never use music that you don’t have the rights to.
Ignoring copyright rules will result in being blocked by Instagram.
4. Don’t Jump From Device To Device
If you log in to Instagram from a variety of devices, especially ones with different IP addresses, it may result in a temporary restriction on your account.
By doing this, you may trigger Instagram to think your account has been hacked and you are not the one who is using it.
In this situation, you will probably receive an email letting you know that there was suspicious activity on your account.
5. Don’t Be Spammy
Do not partake in actions that Instagram may deem spammy.
Do not repeat comments over and over as Instagram may think you are a bot and block you.
If you comment on too many posts in a short amount of time, it may result in Instagram blocking your account.
Do not like too many posts in a short amount of time, Instagram may restrict your account for being too spammy.
6. Best Judgment
If you are new to Instagram, don’t jump from profile to profile.
Don’t follow and like every piece of content you come across, hoping for people to follow you back.
Start slow and actually start putting content on your own account.
If you are active and genuinely use your account, Instagram will see this and will be less likely to restrict or block your account.
Keeping things in moderation is key when you are on Instagram.
If it feels excessive, then it probably is.
Best Instagram Practices You Should Follow
Make sure to follow some of the best practices on Instagram to give yourself the best chance of success.
Make sure you post consistently but try to leave it between one and three posts a day.
If you plan on doing more than that, try to roll them up into packages and make fewer posts with more content.
Make sure you are only posting quality content that makes sense for you or your brand.
Try to tell your story through your content because it’s far too easy to randomly post content.
Use your posts to tell your story or the story of your business.
Stay visually consistent, keep your content in a certain color palette, and make sure the feel remains consistent amongst your various posts.
Use Instagram Stories to share your lighter content as this is a great opportunity to share your personality with your followers.
Make sure you engage with your followers’ comments.
People are taking time to follow you and engage with your content, so the worst thing you can do is ignore them because they will eventually stop following you.
Determining if you are blocked on Instagram is easy, but determining if you are restricted is much more difficult.
Instagram designed the restrict mode to be difficult to determine.
The whole reason for it is to limit a user’s interaction with the restricted user without them knowing.
Checking the comments is the easiest and most reliable of the three methods.
Sending a DM or checking the activity status is not as reliable as checking the comments.
Use them as extra measures to figure out if you have become restricted or not.
Now that you know if you have been restricted or not, you can determine the best path forward.
If you have been restricted or blocked, keep calm and try to reflect on the events that led up to this situation.