Instagram Shadowban and workaround
April 6, 2017 11553 Views

Instagram Shadowban and workaround

It was late last night and I thought to post on Instagram, before going to sleep. I felt inspired and came up with a quote just by looking at a pic I took. I’ll link the post below so you can have a look yourself.


Usually after I post, I see likes flowing in almost instantly, however it was a bit slow this time and all the likes were only from my followers. Now I had already heard about the so called ‘Shadow ban’ on Instagram, but never thought I would experience it myself. 

What is a Shadow ban?

A shadowban is when your posts do not show up in search results for the hashtags you have used for all to see. The only ones that can still see you are your followers and you. But nobody outside of that circle. Which kinda makes using the hashtags pointless, especially if you are a blogger, business, etc. i.e. where you need people to find you by exposure through hashtags.

How to find out if you have been Shadowbanned?

Tag your post with an unknown or unpopular hashtag and check the hashtag with someone who does not follow you. What I did was, I have a personal account, which I unfollowed myself with to see if my post was still coming up in the search results. To my surprise it did not come up. But when I followed my blog account, I was able to see the post with my personal account. This determined I had been shadowbanned.

Why do you get Shadowbanned?

To be honest, I don’t know. I have contacted Instagram on the ‘Report a problem’ option. However I am not sure if I will receive a response, as I understand Instagram does not have a proper customer service department. If I do get a reply I will update asap.

What does Google say? Solution?

I browsed around till quite late, however I was unable to find a proper solution. In the end all the articles said to just wait for a week by not posting, liking or commenting anywhere and hope the ban automatically gets lifted. Ultimately the only thing everybody suggested to do was to create a new account and start over. I was not ready to accept that, as I had worked hard on getting to where I am right now. It might not be much, but it sure is far ahead than where I was at the beginning of this year. Starting over again is just not a fair solution. I refuse to accept that so easily.

So what solution did I come up with?

This is where I started playing around with the hashtags. I first removed all hashtags from my post and then I put on one not so commonly used hashtag to see if I can find it. I unfollowed my blog account from my personal account, to see if it would still come up in the search results. Lo and behold, it did!

Thereafter I kept putting on hashtags, until it would not appear, that’s when I figured out the hashtags I can eliminate, i.e. the hashtags I have been banned to use. Appeared there were only 2 culprits, # followforfollow and # follow4follow. Once I removed those I appeared in all the search results for the others. And if I put back in any one of those 2, it would remove me from all hashtag search results. It’s not ideal, but hey, at least it saves me (and you) the hassle of starting all over again. 

Now I know I just need to stop using those hashtags and just replace it with some other hashtags. Luckily there’s plenty to choose from.

If you have any questions/comments, leave them behind below or on any of my social media accounts and I will try and reply soon as I can.

Have a great day! 

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  1. SNL
    May 02, 05:03 Reply

    I’ve tried to delete all hashtags except one really under used one just to see and I’m banned no matter what. Never used bots or cheats, and have only a week old account. Guess I won’t be growing it either. Makes it pointless.

    • HSJ
      May 02, 20:51 Reply

      It kinda worked for me but for couple of days and then I was shadow banned again.

  2. int
    May 26, 18:55 Reply

    if i have almost 5,000 posts, i need to delete ALL hashtags from every post!?

    • info
      July 09, 23:08 Reply

      I think you should try doing this on your last 10 posts or so but again they re-shadowban you pretty quick

  3. Christine
    July 08, 16:54 Reply

    I’m definitely shadowbanned. So annoying because I feel like my content is worth seeing!

  4. AngelaC
    December 06, 05:33 Reply

    I had been growing an account for the last 10 months and achieved over 7000 followers I was not botting at all just regular likes comments etc. Recently my engagement had dropped off almost completely. I was not even using a lot of hashtags. Since it’s a female bodybuilding site I was wondering if mentioning similar hashtags too often had caused a shadow ban of my account.

    I first deleted several hashtags from the last 30 images and just kept 5-6 on each image I had been using 25-30 before.

    I logged out for about 3 weeks and did nothing to the account and began slowly posting and keeping a close eye on things, currently my engagement is not like it used to be it does seem to have improved.

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