This scenario might sound familiar to you:
You want to follow a new friend on Instagram, and as soon as you press the follow button, it turns white as if you are following them.
Then it switches back to blue, and you receive a notification that says, “Action Blocked.”
This scenario keeps happening, and you’re left wondering why you can’t follow anyone on Instagram.
Read on to discover a few possible reasons.
Why You Can’t Follow Anyone on Instagram
Instagram doesn’t let you know the reason when you can’t follow people.
They won’t explain what you’ve done wrong or what you can do to fix it.
However, there are a few common reasons.
1. You’ve Lost Your Internet Connection
Although you may not notice it, your internet connection might drop for a bit and cause the Instagram app to stop working properly.
As a result, nothing happens when you hit the “follow” button.
Before you concern yourself with the Instagram algorithm, check your internet connection.
Make sure your Wi-Fi or mobile data is on and that the network signal is strong.
If the internet has stopped working, fix the issue and restart the app.
However, if everything seems to be fine, it’s time to move on to the next check.
2. You’ve Reached the Daily Limit
If you follow too many accounts too quickly, Instagram takes it as unusual behavior and prevents you from following other accounts.
It’s either because the algorithm has classified you as a robot or it considers you a spammer.
Whatever the reason, your account has been temporarily banned, and you’ll receive an “Action Blocked” message, telling you to retry later.
Depending on how suspicious you appear, you won’t be able to follow people, like their posts, send them messages, or leave comments for a certain amount of time.
This restriction usually ends after a few hours and up to 48 hours.
In the worst case, you’ll have to wait a whole week to regain your accessibility.
If you keep showing suspicious actions, the app may extend this period up to a month, or even terminate your account for good.
Try not to follow more than 200 accounts a day or over 10–20 Instagrammers within an hour.
Also, don’t post back-to-back comments or send the same direct messages using copy and paste.
All of these resemble a robot’s actions on Instagram.
3. Your Account Is New
Instagram’s daily limitations get stricter when it comes to new users.
If your account is less than a month old, you shouldn’t follow as many accounts as an established user does.
If you do, your “Action Blocked” period will be longer than an older user’s.
The safest following rate for you is 50 accounts on the first day of creating your account, but this number can gradually increase as you prove to be a reliable Instagrammer.
On the second day, you’ll be able to follow up to 75 accounts and then 90 on the day after that.
Just remember not to follow them all at once.
Spread it out throughout the hours of the day.
4. You’re Using Bots
Instagram bots are great assistants when it comes to gaining followers and promoting your account.
If you don’t want to lose your hard-earned reputation, avoid automated promoters.
If you do need automated assistance with your account, configure the bot to work at a slow pace so that the algorithm doesn’t detect it.
5. You’re Exceeding the Maximum Follow Limit
Besides daily and hourly restrictions, Instagram imposes limits on how many accounts one can follow in total.
Check your following numbers; if it’s reached 7500, you need to unfollow some pages to follow new friends.
6. Instagram Suspects You’re a Fake User
Instagram considers you a fake user and interrupts your account if one or more of the following conditions are true:
- It doesn’t have enough information about your identity: You don’t have a profile picture, your bio section is empty, and there’s no phone number, email, etc., to confirm your identity.
- You have no or few posts on your page: If you don’t share any posts or stories for a long period, Instagram mistrusts you as a genuine user and may block your actions. Fifteen posts are enough to make you an authentic operator.
- You post several photos with no delay: The Instagram algorithm doesn’t appreciate consecutive actions, no matter if it’s posting, following/unfollowing, liking, or commenting. Plus, try not to share more than five posts per hour. The result? You can’t follow anyone or take any other actions.
7. You Have Disabled the Following Option
While altering your account settings, you may accidentally mute some users, which means you can no longer follow them.
Unfortunately, Instagram doesn’t tell you when this happens.
The only way to check is to explore the “muted list” and ensure their name doesn’t appear there.
8. The App Has a Problem
Although not common, sometimes your application crashes, interfering with your actions.
It mostly happens because Instagram stores so much data and resolves with a simple restarting.
Other times, you need to update the application, and if the bug is global, you have no other choice but to wait until it gets fixed.
9. Other Possibilities
Here are other possibilities that can prevent you from following others:
- One or more users have reported you: If someone reports that you’re violating Instagram’s terms and conditions, the platform forbids you from certain activities such as following, liking, and posting.
- Your account has multiple operators: It’s getting increasingly popular for business owners to share their Instagram credentials with a friend, virtual assistant, or service provider.
They’re too busy to promote their page, engage with customers, and answer their questions, so they hire someone to bear the responsibility.
While running one account by two people is normal, Instagram might get suspicious if you exceed that number.
If you still want to give your account details to more than one person, ask them to always login using the same device and IP address.
How to Get Rid of the Situation
The solution depends on its root cause.
If it’s a result of the “Blocked Action” error, the first solution is to wait until your suspension period expires.
If the duration is too long, the app hasn’t specified how long you should wait, or you have no idea why this happened to you, you can try the following tricks to fix the problem.
1. Clear Cache and Data
This solution works when a local bug is causing your troubles.
If you’re on an Android device, follow these steps:
- Go to your phone’s settings.
- Scroll down to find the “App” section.
- Find Instagram among other apps and click on the icon.
- Hit “Force Stop.”
- Then open the “Storage” tab and press “Clear cache and data.”
If you’re an iOS user, this method won’t be an option, and you should uninstall/reinstall the app instead.
2. Log Out/In
Many users claim exiting and re-entering your account restores your action rights on Instagram.
- Open your account settings at the top right of your profile page.
- Log out of your account, but make sure you remember the password so you can sign back in.
- Enter your credentials and log in.
- Follow one or two pages to check if the issue is gone.
- If you still can’t follow anyone, repeat the process, but this time, log in on another device.
3. Uninstall and Reinstall the App
If the above trick didn’t work, log out of your account once more, and uninstall the app.
Download Instagram from the Play Store/App Store and sign in.
You can also check for Instagram updates before you fully uninstall the app.
4. Open Instagram through the Web
This is another useful technique in case none of the above methods worked.
- Search Instagram.com via your web browser.
- Log in.
- Try following a few accounts.
- If things are going well, log out and try once more with the app.
5. Change Your Password
If Instagram has blocked you because you signed in with different IPs or from various locations (maybe because you’re using a VPN), this technique is your best bet to recover your account:
- Open Settings from your Instagram app.
- Go to “Security,” and hit the Password button.
- Enter your current password to prove it’s you.
- Then, type the new password twice, and you’re good to go!
- You’ll probably be able to follow new people from now on.
The trick also does a good job when the platform hasn’t set an expiration date for the “Action Block” ban.
You can also merge it with one of the above methods to maximize the effect.
6. Change Your Internet Network
If you’re receiving the “Action Blocked” message while you haven’t shown any unusual behavior, chances are the problem is with your internet connection IP, not yourself.
To solve the issue, connect to your mobile network.
If you’re already using a mobile data service, switch to a wireless network.
Trying another Wi-Fi instead of yours can also help as a last resort.
7. Report the Problem to Instagram
If none of these tricks works, contact the Instagram team and report the problem.
Only use the method if you have no idea why they have blocked you.
Otherwise, the support staff will tell you to wait until the expiration date.
You have two ways to send a request to the platform:
1. When you receive the Blocked Action error, you’ll see an option that says, “Let us know if we’re making a mistake.”
Do the following:
- It’s also helpful to attach relevant screenshots to prove your claims.
- Wait two or three days for them to respond.
- If the problem is on their part, they’re likely to unlock your account.
2. You can also contact Instagram through your application settings.
- Find the Setting icon and open it up.
- Navigate the “Report a Problem” tab.
- Choose “Something isn’t working.”
- Explain the problem thoroughly and wait for the response.
8. Link Your Account with Your Facebook
This method is especially helpful if your Instagram account is brand new or if the platform thinks you’re a fake user.
When you link your Facebook account to your Instagram, the platform trusts you better and probably acts on your requests, especially if your Facebook page has a good reputation.
If you have a Facebook account, do the following:
- Go to your Instagram profile and click Settings at the top.
- Tap “Account,” and then select the “Share to Other Apps” option.
- Choose “Facebook” and enter your Facebook login information.
Once you link the two accounts, you can also follow your Facebook friends on Instagram:
- Open Settings once more, and go to the “Follow People” tab.
- Below, you’ll see an option indicating “Facebook Friends.”
- When you hit it, a list of your Facebook friends who are also on Instagram will appear.
- Follow one or two to see if things are on track.