Everything you need to know about the Instagram Shadowban.

Posted on: February 3, 2019 Posted by: David Aparu Comments: 0

Everything you need to know about the Instagram Shadowban.

Is your Instagram engagement to the ground? You don’t understand why your posts don’t appear in the search bar? This article is aimed to make you understand what the instagram shadowban is doing to your account. It will teach you how to diagnose your account and also offer a number of possible fixes.

What is the Instagram Shadowban?

The Instagram shadowban is a relatively recent punishment created by the Instagram staff. It was created to mainly deal with automated programs which aim to simulate human activity and boost Instagram followers and engagement. There are a number of these bots available online, using scripts to like other peoples’ accounts and boost follower rate. Instagram found a solution which analyzes the behavior of your account and punishes it if it’s flagged as being automatic. The way the instagram shadowban affects your account is simple: when an account gets flagged, all your posts will be hidden to anyone that is not your follower.

How to diagnose for the Instagram Shadowban?

The simplest and most effective way to test for your account being shadowbanned is to post a picture with a specific hashtag. The hashtag should not have many pictures, so something random or very specific should work (ex: #testingshadowban, #pleaseignore). After you’ve done that, the next step consists of attempting to find your picture under the hashtag from an account that is not following the user that might be shadowbanned. You can do this by either creating a separate account and then searching for the picture yourself, or ask for a friend to unfollow you and search for your picture. If you picture exists on your account and you can find it under the hashtag you set for the test, but you are unable to find the picture in question from an account that is not following you; then I am afraid your account is indeed shadowbanned.

What are the causes of the Instagram Shadowban?

As mentioned before, the instagram shadowban is intended as a measure to deal with accounts controlled by automated scripts. Specifically here are some of the reasons you might’ve been shadowbanned:

  • You used a bot. Even thought you used it weeks prior to the shadowban, it still counts.
  • You used a third party app to help you manage your account. (We’ve had reports that using a bot to analyze your engagement or to help you with unfollowing inactive accounts will still hold a chance for your account to be shadowbanned.)
  • You used a desktop app to schedule your posts. It acts similar as the reasons mentioned above.
  • Your hashtags are identical every-day. Don’t just copy paste your hash-tags and post them for every picture.
  • We are not 100% this is a reason, but we’ve heard that hiding your hashtags in the comments can also cause you to be flagged for suspicious activity.

How to get unbanned?

Unfortunately, there is no certain method that will immediately get you unbanned but here are a few reported fixes that could work on your account.

  • If you were using any automatic programs immediately remove them from your phone or desktop.
  • Revoke authorized access of third party applications from your instagram app. Here’s how
  • Make sure you haven’t used any “banned” hashtags. Usually related with pornography, nudity, or any offensive topics. Here’s a list.
  • If you are using a business account, revert back to a personal for a while.
  • If you are using a personal account, switch to a business profile for a while.

Sometimes the above solutions don’t work for you, it means your account will need time. Your account is flagged for suspicious activity. You need to stop working on it in order for Instagram to take it off their black-list.

  • We suggest you take some time to organize your future posts, while leaving your account inactive for a while.


There have been some rumor that contacting Instagram by lying that your account has been hacked will reset its status. This statement is not true! We tested it ourselves, and we got in direct contact with someone working at the Instagram headquarters. The response we got when we tried to tell them our account has issues with the hashtags since we got “hacked” was that their team only deals with the hacked part.
Furthermore, we also tried to report the problem to instagram using their in-built system of reporting bugs. We didn’t get a response but we are almost certain sending reports that your hashtags not working can help.