Why Can’t I Block Someone on Instagram? Revealed

Instagram’s blocking feature lets you restrict specific accounts from interacting with you. But sometimes the option to block a user disappears or Instagram prevents you from blocking others.

There are a few key reasons why Instagram may not allow you to block an account and how to troubleshoot the issue.

Benefits of Blocking on Instagram

Blocking accounts on Instagram:

  • Stops a user from viewing your profile, posts, or stories.
  • Prevents them from messaging you or commenting.
  • Removes you from their followers and suggested users.
  • Provides control over your Instagram experience.

But Instagram does limit blocking in some circumstances.

You Already Have the User Blocked

The most common blocking error is trying to block an account you already blocked previously.

  • Instagram grays out the Block option if a user is already blocked.
  • Double check your blocked list to confirm they are already restricted.
  • Unblock first if you need to block again after unblocking.

Restrictions on New Accounts

Instagram imposes initial restrictions on new accounts:

  • Blocking may be limited when the account is very new.
  • This prevent abuse from fake spam accounts.
  • Limits lift automatically after using Instagram normally for a period of time.

Use reporting instead until restrictions are removed after establishing reputation.

Hitting Instagram’s Block Limit

Instagram limits how many accounts each user can block:

  • The block limit protects against bullying and harassment.
  • Around 5,000 accounts blocked is the approximate max.
  • Delete old blocks if nearing the restriction.

Prune your block list periodically to stay under the cap.

Trying to Block an Inactive Account

You cannot block accounts that are:

  • Already disabled or deleted by the owner.
  • Removed by Instagram for violations.
  • Inactive for an extended period of time.

The account must be currently active to apply blocks.

Blocking Problems Caused by Bugs

Like any app, Instagram has occasional software bugs that can disrupt features:

  • Bugs when new versions roll out can temporarily cause blocking issues.
  • Glitches that resolve on their own after a period of time.
  • Features can become inconsistently applied when unstable.
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Try again later or update app to resolve most bugs.

Can’t Locate User Profile to Block

You first need to access the user’s profile before tapping “Block”:

  • But if a user changed their username, their old profile may be inaccessible.
  • Check that the profile you want to block still exists.
  • Alternative ways to access profile include posts, tags, and contacts.

Find the account profile before attempting to block them.

Reporting Users You Can’t Block

If blocking fails, report users instead:

  • Reporting achieves similar restriction goals as blocking.
  • Report for harassment, bullying, impersonation etc based on behavior.
  • Instagram reviews and takes action on reported accounts.

Reporting removes content and can disable accounts in many cases.

Ensuring You’re Logged Into Correct Account

Double check you are logged into the proper Instagram account:

  • The one where you need to block the user.
  • Log out and back in to the correct profile if needed.
  • Use a connected Facebook or other social media account to login faster.

Attempting to block someone from the wrong account will fail.

When Blocking on Desktop Doesn’t Work

Blocking limitations are often stricter on Instagram’s desktop website:

  • Blocking may be entirely unavailable on the desktop site.
  • Restrict blocking to the Instagram mobile apps instead.
  • Report abusive desktop content using the flagging tool.

Stick to mobile if running into issues blocking from desktop browsers.

Using Alternative Restriction Options

While not as complete as blocking, you can also:

  • Mute someone’s posts and stories without blocking.
  • Restrict comments on your posts to friends only.
  • Make your account private so only approved followers see content.
  • Delete and ignore unwanted messages without replying.
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Pre-emptively Blocking Abusive Users

If you notice a pattern of harassment from certain accounts:

  • Block them at the first sign of abuse before it amplifies.
  • Build a custom ban list of repeat offenders.

Don’t wait for blocking limits if dealing with known harassers.

Troubleshooting Tips for Blocking Issues

Try these steps if blocking fails:

  • Restart the Instagram app.
  • Update the app to the latest version.
  • Log out and log back into the account.
  • Search for the user’s exact account name again.
  • Use the website if mobile blocking is problematic.
  • Delete old blocks if near the blocking limit.

Contacting Instagram Support for Help

If no troubleshooting allows you to block an abusive account, contact Instagram:

  • Request a block directly through the in-app support chat.
  • Report inability to block spiteful accounts appropriately.
  • Provide usernames, screenshots, and context.

Instagram can intervene when justified block failures occur.

Should Instagram Limit Blocking Ability?

Arguments around Instagram limiting blocks include:


  • Prevents endless blocking, bullying, and revenge blocks.
  • Moderates usage among billions of users.
  • Incentivizes addressing conflicts directly.


  • Hinders blocking persistent harassment.
  • Reduced tools to curate positive community.
  • More burden on Instagram support team.

There are merits on both sides of the debate around limiting blocks.

Ethical Usage of Instagram Blocking

Best practices for blocking ethically include:

  • Avoid reflexive blocking over minor disagreements.
  • Don’t spread block lists as retaliation.
  • Temporarily restrict if needed until conflict resolves.
  • Lean more on muting unless harassed.

Block judiciously, not impulsively based on knee-jerk reactions.

Frequently Asked Questions About Instagram Blocking Issues

Does Instagram notify a user if you block them?

No, Instagram does not proactively notify a user when you block them. The only indications are your profile vanishing and posts being inaccessible. They will have to determine they were blocked on their own.

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Can someone tell if you blocked them on Instagram?

There are ways someone can suspect they are blocked such as you disappearing from followers/following lists and inability to find your profile or access posts. But Instagram provides no definitive blocking notification.

Why does Instagram limit how many accounts you can block?

Blocking limits intend to discourage bullying by blocking excessive users or blocking “games” common among kids. But this can hinder dealing with legitimate harassment once hitting the limit.

Can you block someone who doesn’t follow you on Instagram?

Yes, you can block any account on Instagram, even if they are not currently following you. You don’t need an existing follower connection to restrict an abusive or spam account.

What happens if someone you blocked messages you on Instagram?

If a blocked user attempts to message you, they will see the message sending on their end but you will never receive the message. Blocking prevents all forms of contact in both directions.


While Instagram intends restrictions on blocking to curb bullying and revenge blocks, limits can hinder dealing with legitimate harassment. Understanding the reasons blocking can fail allows troubleshooting issues and utilizing alternatives like reporting.

With Instagram’s help, you can overcome most challenges to blocking abusive accounts. But use blocking tools responsibly in the spirit of reducing negativity.


  • Adekiya Joscor

    Am a Tech blogger | Content Writer | Website designer | Freelancer | YouTuber. Need any of my help? Use any of the social handles below to get to me.

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