Tech

A Comprehensive Guide To Blocking Someone On Instagram

Haters, back off.

One young woman using smart phone at home to block someone on Instagram for privacy.
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While much of the internet might feel like the Wild West, Instagram should feel like a relatively safe space for you to connect with friends and express yourself — after all, you should be in charge of who has front-row seats to your life. In reality, exes, nosey relatives, bosses, and frenemies often make Instagram a stressful place, where establishing boundaries feels unnecessarily awkward. Getting the hang of how to block someone on Instagram without making waves is easier than it sounds thanks to built-in features, like discreet settings and mute options.

Blocking is the final frontier of your interactions with someone on Instagram. While you can always unblock them, the action denies them access to your Instagram account. When you block someone on Instagram, they won’t get a notification letting them know you’ve revoked their access to your page, but they will be able to see that they’ve been blocked if they look you up while they’re logged out. When someone blocks you on Instagram, their account won’t show up in a search, and if you see them tagged in a post, their profile will yield a blank page — you won’t be able to see any of their posts or follower information, or be able to add them.

If you’re not in need of a function severe as blocking, but want to limit interactions with an account, Instagram also has a feature called restrict. When you restrict someone on Instagram, they can still see your profile and stories, but their DMs will be moved to your Message Requests folder, and other people won’t be able to see their comments on your posts. There’s virtually no way for this person to know that you’ve restricted them — everything looks the same on their end — so this might be a more comfy option if you don’t want to have to explain your boundaries around a block.

Here are all the options you have when it comes to controlling who can see and interact with you on Instagram.

Can You Block Someone On Instagram If You’re Public?

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Just because you have a public account on Instagram doesn’t mean you can’t make it private for some. If generally you’d like to keep the doors open to your account, but there are some people you’d rather not welcome, you can block them individually. Just tap the three dots next to a user’s profile picture, then tap Block User to immediately remove your account from their feed.

Can You Block Someone On Instagram If You Don't Follow Them?

You’ve cut ties with someone and no longer follow each other, but every once in a while you see their comments on a mutual’s post and, well, you’d rather not. You can block someone that you don’t follow, as an added layer of protection from “bumping” into each other on Instagram. Just pull up their profile, tap the three dots next to their name, and then tap Block User.

Can You Block Someone On Instagram If They Don't Follow You?

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Maybe you just got an Instagram notification that your aunt who you’re Facebook friends with has joined Instagram. While you love Aunt Karen and her earnest overuse of emojis, you’re not exactly dying to share your Instagram antics with her, so you want to block her before she finds you. A user doesn’t need to be following you in order to be blocked. Just head to Aunt Karen’s profile, tap the three dots next to her username, and select Block This User. Now, when she searches for you, your account won’t come up.

How To Unblock Someone On Instagram

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If you decide later that your comment section could really use some enthusiasm and want to become discoverable to Aunt Karen, just head to her profile and tap the blue Unblock square that shows up under the profile picture and username. If you want to do an audit of the people you’ve blocked for unblocking purposes, that’s easy. You can see all the people you’ve blocked by going to Settings, Privacy, and then scrolling down to Blocked Accounts. There, you can edit the list or add new accounts to block.

How To Soft-Block Someone On Instagram

If you want to get rid of a follower so they don’t see your posts, you can simply block them, then unblock them. The technique, called soft-blocking, will make it look as if they’d unfollowed you. While they’ll no longer have access to your content, they can find your profile information if they search for you. If you have a private account, they can request to follow you again. If you have a public account, they will still be able to see your content if they go to your page, but it won’t show up in their feed. For public accounts, the only way to keep your content from someone is to keep them on block — and face the potential unpleasantness if they ask about it.