How To Fix Instagram: “Your Account Has Been Temporarily Locked”

Instagram can temporarily lock your account for several reasons. They do so to protect user accounts, protect the platform, and encourage the best user experience. If you have tried to log into your account and received the “Your account has been temporarily locked” message, today we’ll go through what might have been the cause and how to get your account unlocked as quickly as possible.

To help avoid your account being temporarily locked again, we’ve detailed some specific account activity that Instagram will deem suspicious then automatically lock your account.

Why Was My Instagram Account Locked?

Instagram will place a temporary lock on your account if they believe you have breached any of their user policies. The lock can happen even if you had nothing to do with the violation.

Here are the common activities that cause Instagram to issue an account lock:

1. Bot-Like Activity

Instagram is on the lookout for actions being performed too quickly per hour and per 24-hour period. The following acts performed at an unnaturally fast rate will be considered “bot activity” and trigger a temporary account lock:

Following and Unfollowing Users in Bulk

Typical Instagram conduct includes “following” someone, and they “follow” you straight back. To exploit this practice, one could “follow” hundreds of people at once, then once they’ve been “followed,” the person “unfollows” them.

Instagram will deem this bot behavior as humans using Instagram have agreed not to abuse the platform with such behavior.

Liking and Un-Liking Pictures Too Quick

Again, this would be considered bot behavior.

Scrolling through your feed and ‘liking” a couple of photos or so at an average pace is matched to typical human behavior. However, “liking” or “un-linking” a hundred pictures, for example, in a few minutes, can only be achieved by a program.

Commenting on Posts Too Quickly

The more comments you leave on people’s posts, the more engagement you get, and eventually, the more followers. Super-fast commenting on loads of posts will seem artificial to the Instagram algorithm.

Posting the Same Comment Multiple Times

Not only is it likely that this will not add value to a conversation, but it’s also not something that a user who is genuinely engaging with posts would do.

2. Use of Third-Party Apps

The use of some third-party applications on the Instagram platform is a breach of their Terms of Use. Not all apps are banned; there is an approval process for some apps to have access.

However, the types that help to automate actions are prohibited and easily detected by Instagram. Bots work against a great user experience, and since Instagram encourages this, any account suspected of using them will be locked.

3. Phished Account Credentials

Hackers can obtain your sign-in details using a fraudulent website. If you accidentally submitted your Instagram credentials by signing into a login screen that looked like Instagram’s sign-in screen but wasn’t, you may have given away your login details.

Since your account is compromised and hackers can do what they want, whatever they did has triggered a red flag with Instagram, and the platform responded with an account lock.

How To Unlock a Locked Instagram Account

To unlock your account when seeing the “Your Account Has Been Temporarily Locked” message at login, you need to submit the My Instagram account has been deactivated form:

  1. Go to the My Instagram account has been deactivated form or enter a “My Instagram account has been deactivated” search in Google, and choose the Facebook result.

  2. Complete the form, then enter the email address tied to the Instagram account you’re trying to unlock.

  3. Explain that your account was blocked by mistake, and you believe you haven’t violated the user guidelines.

  4. Once you’ve completed the form, click “Send.”

  5. You’ll eventually receive a reply requesting a photo of you holding up a piece of paper with the code they’ve sent you handwritten on it. Your picture must be natural with your face seen clearly with the paper– no Photoshop editing. Instagram is quite strict and may reject the photo if they believe it isn’t you.

  6. There is a waiting period after you’ve sent the photo.

  7. You’ll receive a confirmation from Instagram that your account has been unlocked. Approval times can take anywhere between a few days to a few weeks.

Additional FAQs

How long does an Instagram ban last?

A temporary ban length depends on your number of past bans and the causes of those bans. A typical duration could last from a few hours on the lighter side to 24-48 hours for repeated infractions.

If you receive subsequent bans, then the length may be further extended. Therefore, do your best to avoid bot-like behavior, so your account doesn’t get flagged.

If you receive the “Your Account Has Been Temporarily Locked” message when trying to sign in, complete and submit a “My Instagram account has been deactivated form” to reinstate your account as soon as possible.

Human Instagram Account Owners Only

An Instagram account is automatically locked whenever Instagram believes a user has breached its community guidelines. To create the best user experience, Instagram prohibits the use of most third-party apps. It will block any account displaying bot-like behavior or an account that exhibits irregular activity.

Luckily, unlocking your account is one form away. By completing a form and proving you are the human owner of the account, Instagram will recover your account as quickly as possible.

Has your account been mistakenly locked by Instagram? Tell us about it in the comments section below.

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