When Instagram Disables Your Account


The nightmare of trying to recover my deactivated Instagram account

Hopefully nobody else has encountered the nightmare of having their Instagram account deactivated or disabled. I recently had my Instagram disabled, and now I’m on the hunt to figure out how to get my account back! I’ve spent so much time growing my account, engaging with new friends on my account, and building a reputation so I could partner with other businesses, it’s devastating to see all that work go to waste because of some algorithm. I’m not only disappointed about the time I’ve spent, but also about current partnership contracts I may violate because of this.

What Happened to Me

At the time my Instagram was disabled, I was scrolling through hashtags to see if my recent post was showing up in the top. I wasn’t liking or spamming any other accounts, just browsing around. I received a message through the app asking me to confirm my identity by entering a code that would be texted to me. I entered the code. I was then directed to a page stating that they would review my info and if they could confirm it was me, I would have access in about 24 hours. After 24 hours, I checked, and my account is now disabled for violating terms. I am a dog account. There’s nothing obscene on my page except maybe a naked dog (no collar!). I only encourage positive engagement and never bullying. I do engage with my followers often, which may be my problem, but isn’t that all part of Instagram…to like and engage with photos and accounts you love?

Confirming identity through the Instagram app

Trying to Find Help from Instagram

My biggest complaint is that Instagram isn’t very clear about why they are disabling me and what I can do to appeal the process. An initial search of the Instagram Help Center is completely useless. They link to their Terms of Use page and Content Guidelines, but they don’t make any links to actual solutions easy to find. I actually had to do a Google search for “Instagram disabled” to figure out how to find any forms. Growth Launchpad gives some great advice and tricks to use to recover your Instagram account. They also provide easy access to links to those forms I mentioned for recovering personal or business accounts. They also offer some great step-by-step instructions on how to appeal and what they have seen work best, but of course it isn’t guaranteed.

Instagram’s Help Center

Trying To Recover my Account

So now I’m trying out some of the tips recommended by Growth Launchpad. Here’s what I’ve tried so far, and the responses from Instagram that I haven’t received:

  1. Used this link to report my account as deactivated by mistake. I used Growth Launchpad’s suggested message. So far, no response
  2. Used this link to report my business account as deactivated by mistake. I received an automated email asking to send over proof of business ownership, which I don’t have, since I am not formally a business yet.
  3. I used the same link to report my personal account as deactivated. I received an automated email asking for me to reply with a photo of myself holding up a piece of paper with information they indicated. I did this and have not received any response yet.
  4. Appealed using the app at login. I am given the option to “Learn More”, which I did and followed the instructions. No response yet.
  5. Sent several DMs to Instagram’s account on Instagram and Facebook. They disabled the ability to DM on Twitter. No response yet.
  6. Created a new business account so I could create a promoted post, as recommended by Growth Launchpad. It’s been 3 hours and I’m still waiting for the promotion to be reviewed so I can hopefully have the ability to chat with someone at Facebook.

I can’t believe how difficult it is to contact Instagram. I understand that they likely get many requests, however, 1) they are a huge company with many resources and 2) if they were more clear on their policies and how to rectify the situations, maybe they wouldn’t have to answer so many requests. Stay tuned to see if anything happens.

[UPDATE] My account is back up! It only took 2 days, which felt like 2 weeks. In the end, I have no idea which trick worked. I never got through to chat with anyone through Facebook, so it isn’t #6 from my above list. Also, none of my DMs to Instagram’s social media accounts were ever read, so it isn’t #5. It must have been from submitting one of the forms. I’m not sure which one, since I submitted several forms several times! Thank you Zarko from Facebook who emailed me letting me know my account was restored.

[UPDATE 2] After about 48 hours, I have received several responses to my several form submissions from Facebook letting me know that they have looked into my issue and found my account has been restored. Like I mentioned before, I submitted several different forms several times, so I’m not sure which ones they were responding to, but I am happy that they actually responded. In conclusion, if you can find the forms to appeal the decision, it works!