How to avoid an Instagram ban

Have you been the victim of an Instagram ban?

You can be blocked from activity on Instagram for a number of reasons – automating too much content, sharing copyrighted, sexual or violent content, user complaints, or logging in from too many IP addresses. But the most common reason for a ban is surpassing Instagram’s action limits – and this is the ban that many compers are being hit with. These bans are regular and frustrating, and affecting a lot of users in 2023.

Instagram activity blocks can last from minutes to months – they’re annoying, but these automated systems are the best way to stop spam and abuse and to keep the platform safe for its millions of users. Instagram is administering blocks on accounts engaging in dubious activity – and unfortunately, the activity of a comper is definitely suspicious! Following, liking and commenting in quick succession, sharing multiple posts to a story in a few minutes, posting similar comments on different profiles… it’s no surprise that compers are constantly seeing the ‘try again later’ warning!

It’s usually doing too much of a particular action that will trigger the block, and that could be anything that doesn’t seem like natural behaviour. Following/unfollowing too many accounts at once, tagging too many people in comments, liking too many posts one after the other, etc. You will usually be blocked from doing that action but might also get additional blocks. It could be that you’re blocked from liking and commenting on posts, but can still upload content and add to your story. 

Instagram Action Limits

An Instagram ban is usually given because you’ve exceeded your action limits. The exact number of actions allowed is unknown, but it’s suggested that the date of registration, average activity level, engagement rate and your follower number has an effect on the limits. These limits will also change if you’ve already been hit with a ban!

Here’s a list of average Instagram action limits as suggested by Social Pros:

  • 7-13 follows per hour / 100-150 follows per day
  • 300-400 likes per day
  • 12-15 comments per hour
  • 10 DMs per hour

These limits will be much lower for new Instagram accounts.

What to do if you get an Instagram ban

If it’s an option, tap Report Problem or Tell Us on the pop up warning. Or simply shake your phone when the ban notice pops up. Or you can also go to your profile, tap the three line menu at the top and go to Settings and Privacy > Help > Report a Problem to let Instagram know. Tell them you’ve been blocked but don’t know why, as you’re not a spammer.

You could also try these methods to see if you can lift the ban:

  • Reinstall the Instagram app
  • Log in using a different device
  • Switching your device from WiFi to mobile data

If you’re still able to add content to your profile, try sharing an original photo or two to your grid and story, just to prove you’re not a bot.

How to avoid an Instagram ban

If you’ve had a block already, Instagram is watching you!

Instagram wants valuable content and real engagement on the platform. If all you’re doing is quickly moving from one giveaway to the next, tagging loads of people, then Insta don’t really want you there I’m afraid – and you’ll need to try and convince them that what you share on the platform is entertaining, helpful or engaging. Appreciate the app content, engage with other people’s comments, stories and posts – and start uploading more photos and videos of your own.

Here’s some tips on avoiding a repeat ban:

  • Go on Instagram just for a few minutes each time – do not do a prolonged comment session
  • Watch stories regularly and react/reply to them
  • Add your own original content to your grid and your stories – this could be pet photos, what you’re eating, old photos, anything… try to add an interesting caption, or text to your story. You should be aiming to get a few hearts or comments each time!
  • If you see comping friends add content, react or comment to help them out too.
  • Cut down on the emoji use! It’s suggested that words and phrases like ‘DM me’ or ‘share with’ might also trigger comment removal.
  • Tag verified and business accounts in your posts and stories. These accounts will often like or reshare your post – this shows Instagram that your content is valuable. This could be something as simple as taking a photo of your morning coffee and tagging the cafe. I always record short videos at gigs I see and share to my story – the bands usually re-share to their own stories. And always share photos of your prizes to your story, thanking the sender! (note that some members of Lucky Learners have recommended NOT to tag brands in comments as this could trigger a ban!)
  • If you get tagged, like or respond to the comment (and ask friends to do the same for you) – again, this shows Insta your comments are seen and appreciated.
  • Don’t leave more than 3 comments on a giveaway – I’ve only had two bans and they were both because I tried to comment 4 times on the same post! Stick to one comment, then move on.
  • Don’t waste time entering every giveaway you see – only enter for the prizes you actually want – this will also help Instagram tailor your feed to show you more relevant prizes.
  • Start a second account, especially if you’re nearing the 7500 follow limit, and swap between them
  • If you’re near 7500 and need to unfollow, don’t do too many at once as this can also get you banned! Just unfollow a few at a time (note that the total accounts you follow may take a couple of days to actually update)
  • If you want to check how many rule violations you have, and the reasons, go to the top right hand menu, then Settings and Privacy > Help > Support requests
  • Avoid group giveaways where you need to like multiple pages
  • Save giveaways to enter later, rather than entering straight away. A lot of compers like to create dated collections, then they save the posts and enter on the closing date
  • When your ban is lifted, post original content on your feed or story first, before starting on your giveaway entries again!
  • Ditch any keyboard shortcuts you use for Instagram, and type your comments and tags manually
  • Activate two-factor authentication for your account (in Settings > Security)

Have you experienced an Instagram ban? How long did it last? Do you have any tips on avoiding them? Let me know in the comments.

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16 Responses

  1. Penny Ford says:

    I’ve been banned for typing “very nice” and tagging my other account

  2. Katy says:

    Hello i cant follow everyday my accounts If I do follows secod day I must do unfollows because I have limits ? do you have any advice ? basically I have everyday limits but my actions is never more than 120

  3. yvonne pallett says:

    Hi Di – Just reading through this info on bans on Instagram. I’m on a ban at the moment and have tried all above but nothing happened to lift it. I was amazed that I then got a ban on my new Instagram the day after. I didn’t think I was over using the accounts and move about from fb and twitter. I noticed that one of the things you mention is ‘Ditch any keyboard shortcuts you use for Instagram, and type your comments and tags manually’ now I have set up shortcuts as I thought that was the way forward – do you think by using those and not actually manually typing in tags and comments may be the cause of the ban?

    • Di says:

      Leaving comments on different posts in a short space of time is something that’s flagged as bot behaviour, and can give you a ban – and of course keyboard shortcuts allow you to comment much faster than a human can type so it may be flagged as automated! So, yes, it may well have contributed. I’ve used shortcuts for a few years and have only just had my first ban though, so something has happened recently meaning more of us are affected. I think my ban was more to do with tagging multiple friends on one competition post! We just have to be patient and hope they will become less strict again soon.

  4. Roger Bufton says:

    I got a ban: I: E, I would log in on the computer, then log In on the phone to share to my reels, This then logged me out of the computer, When I logged back in on the computer, I was logged out on the phone, So I was logging in and out, sent a message to Instagram, telling them about this.
    They sent me codes to prove that I was real, then a E-Mail. but still It was the same In/out.
    Then they asked me to down load a app, to help me log in, The same think happened, log in on one out on the other.

    Then I got the ban, told I would have to prove I owned the my account, I.E. send a picture, with my name, user name and a code they sent me, showing my hand holding a piece of paper, with my face showing.
    They took three days, before I got back in.

  5. Tina McMahon says:

    Instagram won’t let me enter competitions for the past four days but I can comment on others posts , I haven’t done anything wrong my last account was hacked ever since then I keep been stopped,

  6. Tina McMahon says:

    Instagram won’t let me enter competitions for the past four days but I can comment on others posts , I haven’t done anything wrong my last account was hacked ever since then I keep been stopped,

  7. moth says:

    I got one of those “activity will be limited” bans that pops up each time I enter my account, but I can comment, like, follow, unfollow and add to my story just fine? The only thing that’s different is I can’t see anybody else’s stories, even live ones. I haven’t gained many new followers or likes, and I haven’t done any serial liking, commenting or following/unfollowing. It might be tags, but I’m not sure. Anyone got any advice?

  8. Laura Corrall says:

    I’m still on a commenting ban. I’ve tried all of the above tips and have no idea when this ban will be lifted.

  9. Holly Harmsworth says:

    I used to get instagram bans regularly, but since I have started entering differently I haven’t had a ban in over a year. Now I only upload personal pictures to my page and use stories for sharing competitions. On multi tag competitions I only enter if I really want the item and tag two people in separate comments then make a note of who I have tagged and the page and come back to it a while later and do the same repeating this until the competition ends. I also don’t enter more than 6 every half hour. It seems to working for now 🙂

  10. Richard Ford says:

    There may also be a political factor. On Facebook- instagrams owner, there was a great purge on anyone voting Trump. This has eased a little.. but having the wrong opinions is still dangerous.

  11. Zoey says:

    Never had bans to recently and now most days I either cannot comment or add to story. I’ve posted to my grid ok but still then cannot comment on posts. I’m spacing my comments out so not replying one after another but annoying when promoters ask to tag 3 in separate comments.
    Good read on tips and will try and alter my patterns

  12. Julia says:

    I think Di’s article is correct, but only most of the time. I also think the algorithm is becoming more broken – machine learning gone wrong . I say that because it’s not achieving it’s objectives: scammers are operating in abundance, yet genuine users (and I’ve seen a number of businesses commenting on this) are prevented from interacting. It feels discriminatory in the way it is excluding people. I can relate to Sam’s comment – most of my early blocks were breaching the limits Di describes. Recently this has not been the case. I logged on after a few days, liked a picture of a jumper and tried to share a charity post to my story and bam, banned for a week. Maybe the algorithm doesn’t like charity work either

  13. yvonne pallett says:

    Thanks for this Di

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