Restrictions on Instagram

15 June 2023

If you are a social media manager or have an online business presence, it is possible that you have faced one or more unwanted comments on your social media posts, from a user that could cause danger, hate speech, etc.

Thankfully, Instagram launched the restriction feature in 2019, to give users autonomy of regulating comments on their profile.

Follow below to see how you can protect your account from unsuitable replies by using “restrict” on Instagram.

What does it mean to restrict someone on Instagram?

By restricting an account on Instagram, you are limiting their access to your profile. 

This means they do not have the same opportunities to interact with you, compared to a user that is not not restricted on your profile.

How will restricting someone affect the other users profile?

What happens when you restrict someone on Instagram?

First, if you decide to restrict an account on Instagram, the app will not notify the user that you have limited their interaction with your account. 

The person you have decided to restrict will not know you have made this decision regarding their account. 

And what comes with this restriction?

Comments are not public 

While an unrestricted user can comment on anything you post, comments from restricted users are not visible to everyone else.

The only people who can see the comments are you and the restricted user that has commented. Although, if you want to change this, you can make it publicly visible to everyone.

Activity is private

When you restrict an Instagram account, they can continue to see your stories, just like anyone else.

However, although they can respond to your story, they cannot see if you are online or if you have read the messages they have sent you. Similarly, their reactions to your stories would appear in your message request box, rather than in your direct message box.

Do you want to restrict on Instagram but don’t know how? Keep reading!

How to restrict Instagram accounts

The option to restrict on Instagram is available to every user. You can do this in two different ways, so I will explain each of them!

Restricting a user through their profile

The first and most simple way to restrict an Instagram account is to limit the activity of a user through their own profile. 

Just follow the steps!

restrict on instagram

1 Open your Instagram account

Remember to open the account that you want to restrict the user from.

2 Go to their profile

Find their profile either through the search option or by going through your followers.

3 Click on ‘···’

The button with the three dots is at the top-right of their profile. Click on it and Instagram will offer you all the available options.

4 Choose ‘Restrict’

The final step is to press ‘Restrict’, which is the first option you’ll see. 

Instagram will confirm that you have restricted this user. 

Restricting a user through Settings

The other way to limit an Instagram account is to do it through your account settings.

restrict on instagram

1 Go into ‘Settings’ in your account

You will find this section on your profile. Click on the three horizontal lines in the top-right.

2 Click on ‘Privacy’

Here you can edit everything related to your account, but what we are interested in at the moment is the ‘Privacy’ button.

3 Choose ‘Restricted Accounts‘

In this section, you can see the accounts that are restricted from your profile. If you have not restricted any, this section will be empty.

4 Search for the profile you want to restrict

Here there is a search bar to find the user you want to restrict access to.

Simply search their name and press the ‘Restrict’ button to the right of their name.

How to remove restrictions from an Instagram account:

1. To reverse a restriction to an account, all you have to do is follow the same steps we went through earlier. 

2. Instead of the ‘Restrict’ button, you will see ‘Cancel restriction’.

How to block on Instagram

Blocking on Instagram means that you take away any access to your account and content from the user.

They can’t view your profile, contact you via private message, or interact in any way from their account.

How to block someone on Instagram

To block an account, just go to the user’s profile > click on the three dots button > click ‘Block.’

And if you want to unblock the account, follow the same steps. Instead of finding the ‘Block’ button you can select the ‘Unblock’ button.

Mute on Instagram

Muting on Instagram is the last alternative that Instagram gives you, to limit the activity and interactions with other users.

In this case, muting is not about limiting your account to other users, but the other way around.

Instagram mutes the user you want, to not show you their publications or stories.

It would be the closest thing to stop following someone without actually ‘unfollowing’ them, because you don’t see anything from that user, as if you had stopped following them. But, the user will never know that they are muted.

How to mute someone on Instagram?

To mute a user you can do it in two ways:

▶️ In ‘Following’, find their profile and click on the three-dot button to the right of their image. Then press ‘Mute’.

▶️ To mute their Stories: when you are in one of them, tap on the option button at the top right and click on mute.

Differences between restricting, muting and blocking

Despite these options all surrounding limiting a user’s access to our Instagram account, it is important to point out the differences between muting, restricting and blocking. 

What’s exactly are the differences between them?

️ Access to your account.

This is the main difference between blocking and restricting. When you restrict an Instagram account, the user can still follow your profile and see everything you share without any problems. 

On the other hand, blocking a user means you “prohibit” them from seeing any part of your profile. This includes the posts you upload, your stories, or any content from your Reels.

️ Interaction with your profile.

As we said earlier, users that you have restricted can still comment on your posts, but only you and the user can see it. It is not public.

At least they can interact with your content. When you block a user, they cannot like your content, they cannot respond to your stories, nor comment on anything you post.

➡️ Seeing content.

Unlike blocking and restricting, when you mute a user it is you who does not see the other user’s content. You can select which content you want to mute: the posts, the stories or both.

That is, you do not limit the activity to another user on your profile, but rather with
“mute” you will no longer see their stories or posts on your feed, unless you enter directly into their account.

With blocking and restricting, you are choosing which content on your profile restricted users can view.

️ Knowing what has happened.

When you restrict an account, the user won’t know because their Instagram feed and access will look the exact same. However, when you block someone, they do not have access to anything related to your account, not even through tagged photos of you. 

Because of this, it is likely that if it was an account you interacted with quite a lot, they will suspect that you have blocked them.

What other options are there to limit content to certain users?

If you are not willing to block or restrict an Instagram account, you can also hide your stories from certain users, or report an account if you feel it is necessary.

Now you know how to restrict on Instagram if you ever need to use it, regardless of whether you have a personal account, business account or are a content creator.

Want to start your Instagram business strategy? This guide will become your best friend!

Carlos Bravo Carlos Bravo , 15 June 2023
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