Instagram Shadowban

Instagram Shadowban – 10 tips to avoid and recover

Everyone is complaining that due to a recent Instagram algorithm update your engagement and followers are getting reduced. And Instagram shadowban and blah blah blah….. Believe it or not, Instagram is doing a pretty good job recently of cleaning up their platform!

What was the case for such tough updates?

Once it was a time that few fake accounts used to flood-up hashtags with pornographic images and Spam comments. You might have seen them before months and also got lots of likes and follows for “comment n likes for sale” sort of comments. All are gone now, and it’s thanks to this big Instagram Algorithm update!

But in this strict policy few genuine accounts are getting messed-up and so it’s our duty to pass from that filter and show that we are genuine human being and our account is genuine.

So, in this article, we will try to understand what is Instagram Shadowban exactly what you need to do to avoid/recover

What is Instagram Shadowban?

The term “shadowban” has been around since 2006 when twitter used it for the first time. Twitter had announced that they are filtering out abusive tweets on its platform by applying a sort of temporary “time-out” on users who broke their terms of service. But they used to inform their users about it.

But on Instagram, when a shadowban is implemented user is not informed. They just hide your Instagram posts from users who don’t follow you, which can be an obstacle in growing your account and getting more followers as those who don’t follow you will not be able to see your posts on hashtags. And all your Instagram hashtag and such strategies fail.

What Causes Instagram to implement Shadowban?

Shadowban exist to stop users from a specific kind of behavior. In the case of Instagram, the platform seems to mostly target users who display spammy or inappropriate behavior.

How to find out if you’re a target of Instagram’s Shadowban:

The best way to find out if you’ve been shadowbanned is to check if your posts appear in hashtag searches. To do this, create a new post on Instagram and include 2-3 unpopular hashtags in the caption, and other 2-3 unpopular hashtags in the first comment. And check if your post is seen from that account from someone else account who don’t follow you.

** Do not rely on the Instagram Shadowban Tester websites.**

Instagram shadowban tester

They are not 100% reliable. In fact, many people who used this test have reported that after checking manually, their account was in fact not shadowbanned.

How to Avoid the Shadowban

1. Stop using banned or broken hashtags

With millions of active monthly users, it’s difficult for Instagram to control what people share and what hashtags they use. Lots of times, a totally innocent hashtag can become invaded with inappropriate content by fake and bot accounts use.

In some cases, using one of these banned hashtags could make the post become undiscoverable, as in being ‘Shadowbanned’. Sometimes leaving these tags in older posts could also cause issues, and removing these from older posts could also help.

Look through your hashtags and make sure that none of them is “banned”. To do this, simply search for the hashtag on Instagram. And if only the top posts section appears and nothing else, that hashtag could be banned ones. Sometimes Instagram will even leave a short message on a hashtag page explaining that posts have been hidden for not meeting the community guidelines like below image.

Recently there have been over 60,000 such banned hashtags, few of such banned hashtags are:
#dogsofinstagram #boho #costumes #tanlines #humpday #tgif #brain #saltwater #petitie #curvy #singlelife #thebaligroom #elevator #astreetphoto #books #meme #newyears #todayimwearing #snapchat #skype #sallyhansen #shesquats #pushups #easter #curvy #kindredparents #dedicationstudio #hairychest #ineedhelplol

If any of the hashtags you use were banned, make sure to stop using them! They could be preventing your posts from appearing on any of the hashtags you use!

2. Stop using automated software/apps or buying followers

Using an Instagram scheduler that automatically posts your photos to Instagram or any sort of automated activity like getting likes or comments or follow. OR Have you ever used a bot before? Like automatic likes or such tasks. Even if you signed up for a bot service years ago, they could still be linked to your account.
To find out, log into Instagram on your desktop computer and check if any of them are still connected to your account. Navigate to your feed by clicking the “user” icon in the top right-hand corner. Then click “Edit Profile” and select “Authorized Applications”. From there, you can check for any applications that look suspicious.
How would they know?
One minute login from Singapore (through IP address of the automation service that you use), and next minute you’re using your phone in Mumbai with another IP address. This straight away looks suspicious and alerts Instagram.

3. Avoid big activity bumps in your Instagram activity:

If you weren’t aware, there are limits on how many photos you can like, comments you can leave, and accounts you can follow or unfollow. However, everyone’s limits are different!

In general case try not to exceed 150-200 likes, 60 comments, and 60 follows or unfollows per hour!

4. Using the same hashtags for months on end.

For some users using the same set of hashtags continuously have been the cause of shadowban. If you’re continuously using the same hashtags for extended periods of time Instagram might think you’re being a little spammy. So keep your hashtags fresh and keep rotating them. It’s advisable to have some 10-20 different combination sets and use them with time instead of same one every time.

5. Avoid being reported by other users:

Try to avoid getting reported by another user. Because on the check if they verify that you are at fault and actually violated their terms of service, they may fully disable banned account, or just shadowban you.

How to lift/overcome shadowban?

There are no fixed official rules or guidelines by Instagram. But have shared few tested things over here (it’s through trial and error and through guidelines by few friends). Though the good news is that shadowbans don’t appear to be permanent. And most users tend to get theirs lifted within 2-3 weeks.

1. Switch from a business account to a personal account

It’s not the actual solution, but some Instagrammers reported that switching from a business account to a personal account helped them lift their Instagram shadowban.

The reason this might work is, ever since Facebook acquired Instagram they’ve tried to monetize the platform by limiting the reach and engagement of business accounts. And wants you to buy ads on Instagram. So by switching from a business account to a personal account, it’s possible that you might recover from that.

2. Take a short break from Instagram

Some users have said that taking 2-3 days off of Instagram has helped them lift their Instagram shadowban. If you decide to take a break, avoid posting, commenting, and even logging-into the app!

After your 2-3 day break, you can start engaging with the Instagram community again like you normally would. But remember to engage with them by caution and engage like you are being watched by the app.

3. Report your shadowban to Instagram

Reporting your shadowban to Instagram is definitely worth in many cases.

Use the native “Report a Problem” option within the Instagram app. To do this, simply navigate to your Instagram profile and select the icon in the top right-hand corner of the screen. Next, scroll down and select “Report a Problem.” A pop-up should appear with a few options. Select “Something Isn’t Working,” and write a short message that clearly describes the issue.

4. Revoke API permissions

Have you signed up for a follower tracker app and gave them your login credentials? That could be the reason for shadowban. So log onto your account and make sure that no other applications have access to your account. Additionally, if you have used any automation services in the past, simply change your password to cut off the automation service.

Detail to revoke permission shared previously above

5. Avoid growth hacks and engagement groups

Using 60 hashtags in your comment and caption? Are you following and unfollowing people by tracking them with a tracker app? Joined up with an engagement group that promises to like each other’s photos? Stop them All. These hacks may work in most cases. But when you get shadow banned, these are pointless things and might harm you.


If you’re using Instagram genuinely and not using any automated services for masses of activity like follow and unfollow or automated likes and checking your hashtags regularly, there will be almost negligible chance of Instagram Shadowban.

Although algorithm of Instagram keeps on changing by placing new traps each day to stop foul practices on Instagram. So situation keeps changing every day. Just keep your activity on Instagram genuine.

We know that Instagram change their algorithm with time and engagement rate keeps changing from time to time and could drop and grow each time, so don’t get panic straight away if it falls and understand that now engagement is the only way of growing your account genuinely.

Any else queries or suggestion? Drop them through DM on Instagram at @hirenkhambhayta

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