How to Tell if You Are Shadowbanned on Instagram?

You are good at editing photos, you know how to make videos play on Instagram stories, and your posts always get many likes. And then, you wrote an eye-catching text, picked up a great photo, set up hashtags, and prepared for a flurry of likes and comments. However, you must be content with scant subscriber activity instead of the expected effect. It means that you are in a shadowban.  

A shadowban reduces coverage or restricts displaying your content to users who are not subscribed to you. According to Instagram, the IG Shadowban does not exist, and it’s a common misconception to think otherwise.

How to understand you are shadowbanned?

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How to check your account for a shadowban and understand whether the Instagram administration anger has concerned you? The signs of a shadow bank are as follows: 

  • The coverage of posts and stories has dropped sharply, the activity of subscribers tends to zero
  • Hashtag coverage is catastrophically small in the statistics of posts
  • The publication is not visible by a personal or low-frequency (up to 1000 publications) hashtag
  • Third-party statistics services show a sharp decline in coverage, likes, and engagement

It is crucial to keep in mind that only one factor will not conclude that your account is under the ban. A change in algorithms can explain it. No matter whether you are a hundred percent sure or not, there are several ways to check whether the shadowban has been implemented to your account or not.

Reasons for getting shadowbanned

Getting into a shadow ban is a punishment for violating the social network rules. Thus, Instagram is trying to filter out low-quality content and ‘keep a friendly community.’ But what exactly affects getting shadowbanned? There are several reasons:

  1. Cheat bots. It does not positively affect promotion, and Instagram punishes it severely.
  2. Using third-party services, for example, for mass following, masslooking, or auto-posting. The social network can identify such methods as suspicious activity” and block it.
  3. Mass unsubscription. 
  4. Complaints about the account are difficult to track. It is hard to figure out why this happens, but Instagram strictly monitors the community environment. Therefore, many complaints can be the reason to get shadowbanned.
  5. Exceeding the limits. If an account posted more than 60 posts per hour or subscribed to 80 accounts, it is evident to the system that a natural person could not do this.
  6. Identical hashtags. It means that you use the same hashtags under each post while using more than 30 pieces at once and duplicate them in the comments.
  7. High-frequency hashtags. It is the case when more than a million publications are already under them. Your goal was probably to get an extensive reach, but Instagram’s algorithms work according to their scheme. Popular hashtags are believed to be used for irrelevant content. Therefore, Instagram deletes them or restricts their use. At the same time, the other harmless hashtags that you use may also stop working.

Duration of shadowban

Since there is no official instruction from the Instagram administration, it is impossible to tell how long the block lasts precisely. As practice shows, the shadowban lasts from 2-3 to 14 days. The technical support confirms this by responding to user requests.

Consider that the duration of punishment depends not only on the violation but also on other factors. For example, it depends on the age of the account, your daily actions, the ratio of an active and inactive audience, etc.

The right way out

You can withdraw your account from the shadowban yourself, following a set of measures:

  1. Stop any activity for 48 hours 
  2. Suspend all account promotion methods, take away account access from all third-party services
  3. Sign in only from your phone or tablet, do not use new devices;
  4. Temporarily switch your business account to a personal one, but keep in mind that the accumulated statistics will reset to zero
  5. Remove all hashtags from the last 10-20 publications, and high-frequency and irrelevant ones from all posts in general
  6. Change the profile header. Radical changes are not necessary  – replace one word
  7. Write to tech support; it may be possible to influence the unblocking through it
  8. Confirm your identity through an account hacking complaint
  9. Don’t post anything for two days, and after the deadline, make a publication without hashtags and geotags
  10. Make 2-3 posts without hashtags but with geotags. If the geolocation is not visible, continue to clean the hashtags


Instagram is getting more severe with enforcing its terms and service standards on the platform. It is a social network wholly subordinated to algorithms. For cooperation to be pleasant, you need to play by the rules.


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