It’s a disheartening feeling. You open your Instagram app, ready to make your next attention-grabbing, visually-engaging post—but you can’t. Instead, you get a message that reads: “Error. Your account has been disabled for violating our terms. Learn how you may be able to restore your account. Learn more.” In lieu of going into immediate panic, keep in mind that there are several potential reasons why your Instagram account is disabled—many of which you can do something about. This applies to both business accounts and personal accounts.
Step 1: Determine if your account was disabled or temporarily blocked.
First note that there is a difference in an account being disabled and an account being temporarily blocked. A temporarily blocked account is less severe. If blocked, you will get a message that says “Action blocked” with an indication that “This block will expire (on X day of the week).”
A block is often the result of following, liking, commenting, messaging or posting too many times within a specified time frame (either one hour or 30 minutes, depending on how new your account is). These types of action get flagged by Instagram as spam behavior. If you get temporarily blocked, the best course of action is to wait it out.
If your account is disabled, you will get the message outlined at the beginning of this article. Disabling is a bit more serious.
Step 2: Evaluate the potential reasons why your Instagram account is disabled.
- Copyright infringement. Your content must be yours or must be allowed by the owner of said content. Avoid copyright infringement by tagging the author of the photo if it is not yours.
- Spam reports. Instagram users have the option to report other accounts as spam. If you’ve been reported a certain number of times, Instagram will likely disable your account.
- Inappropriate content. Nudity, sexuality and violence are a no-no on Instagram.
- Multiple devices and IP addresses. A significant trigger for Instagram disabling involves logging into the same account from too many devices. Conversely, it can also mean logging into too many accounts from the same IP address. Instagram may see this as spam behavior.
It’s important to surmise what you may have done to cause the blocking or disabling to ensure that you are not a repeat offender.
Step 3: Accept the fact that you may not be told the real reason.
Step 4: Take steps to restore your account.
Again, if you’ve been temporarily blocked, just wait it out. However, if you receive the error message that your account has been disabled, then you have the ability to appeal the decision. Here’s how:
- Click the “Learn more” button on the error message.
- Scroll to the bottom of the next message and click “let us know,” where it says, “If you think this was a mistake, please let us know.”
- Answer the question on the next page, which will ask you whether or not yours is a business account.
- Fill out the requested information, including business name, username and email address.
- Attach a document that shows verification of the business. Instagram lists acceptable options.
- Send, and wait for a response! It typically takes a couple of business days.
Keep in mind that this method is not guaranteed to work in all instances. You can always attempt to reach out to Facebook support for further help.
Once back into your account, make sure to take steps make your account appear as “real” as possible. This includes making sure your profile is completed with a profile picture and bio that describes your business and includes a link to your website. Also, it helps to already have some content posted so that you appear less like a “bot” in the eyes of the platform.
If you’re an offender of spam or inappropriate Instagram behavior, then having your account suspended may teach you a lesson. However, if you’re flagged by mistake, it can be a huge headache. Unfortunately, Instagram’s human support arm is a bit lacking, so the best course of action is to be aware of any potential reasons that your account could be compromised on the front end. If it happens, review these steps to take if your Instagram account is disabled and proceed from there.
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