How To Unrestrict Someone on Instagram: Burying the Hatchet

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Karen Lin

Instagram 101 | May 14, 2024

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The restrict feature on Instagram is useful for blocking out things like negative comments, unsolicited DMs, and other unwanted interactions. It’s convenient for people who don’t feel like hearing from certain users but don’t feel like blocking them either. But what if you’ve gone over that hill and want to welcome them back into your online life again? Don’t worry—it’s easy to do that. You just have to know how to unrestrict someone on Instagram.

Instagram allows people to protect their peace with restriction options to keep someone at arm’s length. But the platform’s features also allow you to undo these settings when you’ve buried the hatchet. To learn how you can welcome someone’s Instagram interactions back with open arms, keep reading. We’re getting into the basics of the restrict feature and how to undo it if the need arises.

A man holding his hands up at the sky with uncuffed handcuffs.

A Quick Refresher: What Restricted Instagram Accounts Can and Can’t Do

Many people restrict others when they’re avoiding engaging with someone they have tension with and want to draw boundaries. Some also do it because they’ve been suffering from cyberbullying and harassment. For example, the Pew Research Center has found that around 42% of teens have experienced being called mean names online. This is the perfect reason to restrict someone on Instagram.

But what are restricted Instagram accounts anyway, and what are they allowed to do? Here’s a quick refresher course.

Anyone can restrict another Instagram user if they don’t want to deal with unwanted interactions from them. It’s an awesome way to limit these users’ access to you without doing something drastic or permanent, like blocking them.

One of the main features of restricting someone on Instagram is restricted comments. Restricted users can still comment on your posts. But what they don’t realize is that the platform will hide those comments from you and others. If restricted accounts comment on one of your posts, they’re automatically hidden. If you want to see the comment, just tap the “See comment” button. From there, you can approve or delete those comments.

A restricted person’s direct messages will also move from the inbox to the message requests folder. Even if they try to pester you relentlessly, you won’t receive notifications of their DMs.

A man facing the camera waving his index finger from left to right.

What Happens When Someone Restricts You on Instagram?

When you restrict someone on Instagram, life becomes quieter and free of disruptions from unwanted interactions with that person. But that’s just one side of the coin. What happens when someone restricts you on Instagram? What do you see and experience on the app?

To be honest, life goes on as normal once someone restricts you—or so it seems. You won’t be blocked from visiting that person’s profile and looking through their content. You can even engage with them as much as you want through comments and direct messages.

The only thing is, you won’t know that none of your interactions are reaching their screens. It’s like they’ve put you on mute without you knowing.

Of course, there are a few signs that might tell you someone has restricted your account. First, you might notice that nobody engages with your comments on their posts anymore. The user you’re trying to interact with won’t respond to your comments. No one else likes or replies to them, either. Your comments being hidden from the public eye is a tell-tale sign.

You also won’t be able to see the activity status of the person who restricted you in the message inbox. You won’t see that little green dot to signal that they’re active or when they were last online.

Lastly, they don’t respond to your direct messages. Users don’t get notifications from DMs from people they’ve restricted. No replies nor activity status may mean that your chat is in their message requests folder, not the main inbox.

A woman putting out the palm of her hand at the camera in a “stop” gesture.

Opening the Gates Again: How To Unrestrict Someone on Instagram

Did you restrict someone you were having issues with in the past but are now feeling a change of heart? Maybe you’ve resolved a flight with a friend or gotten back with an ex after they begged for another chance. Don’t worry. You can welcome their comments and DMs with just a few taps on your phone screen. Here’s how to unrestrict on Instagram, step by step:

1. Open your Instagram app.

2. Click the message inbox icon at the top-right corner of the main screen, next to the heart-shaped notifications icon.

3. Click Requests at the top of your chats. This takes you to the message requests folder, where all messages with restricted users go.

4. Look for the chat with the person you want to restrict. It should show you their name with the label “Restricted Account.” Tap on it.

Path Social’s screenshot of someone’s message requests folder with a red box highlighting a restricted account in it.

5. At the bottom of your DM, tap Unrestrict.

Path Social’s screenshot of a direct message with a restricted account with the “Unrestrict” button highlighted with a red box.

6. Alternatively, you can also click their name at the top of your chat. Tap the three-dot icon that says Options and then Unrestrict.

And that’s it, you’re all done! Easy, right? Now, you can receive notifications from that user’s direct messages and comments again and see them right away. 

What Does Restrict Mean on Threads?

People with Threads accounts can also limit their interactions with others on Threads, but what does “restrict” mean on Threads?

When you restrict someone on Threads, you’ll stop getting notifications when they like, repost, and quote your text content. You also won’t know if they’ve sent in replies to your posts.

It may sound a lot simpler than regular restrictions on the Instagram algorithm. But given that Threads revolves around just those text-based posts, you’re essentially choosing not to hear from them at all.

Restricting someone on Threads is easy. Just go to their profile and tap the “More” button on the top-right part of the page. Then, choose “Restrict.

Note that if you restrict a Threads account, it will automatically restrict that person’s Instagram profile and vice versa.

Pro Tip: Try Soft Blocking Instagram Accounts You Don’t Want To Interact With

Restricting others on Instagram has always been a terrific alternative for blocking someone without causing drama. Its only flaw is that it doesn’t really let you sever ties with someone completely. They still follow you, and you still follow them, even if you don’t see their DMs and comments anymore.

So, here’s a better idea if you want to cut someone off without the unnecessary drama and attention—soft blocking. Soft blocking Instagram accounts refers to the act of blocking and unblocking someone right after. This automatically deletes them from your follower list and vice versa. You’ll stop following each other without them even realizing it. But even with all of that, they’ll still be able to see your account if they come looking for it.

Soft blocking will also remove any previous interactions you’ve had on posts. Since you block them briefly, it removes all their likes and comments from your old content.

Instagram Restricted My Account for No Reason: What Happened?

Restriction isn’t limited to users restricting each other and getting rid of unwanted interactions on the feed and message inbox. The Instagram algorithm can also limit you from using all the features of the platform if they find you suspicious.

You might find yourself frustrated and asking, “Instagram restricted my account for no reason—what the heck happened?” But know that there are always logical reasons behind it. Here are just some of them:

  • The platform suspects you of data scraping. Data scraping is when you use unauthorized, third-party tools to collect information from Instagram without permission. This is typical for people who buy fake likes and followers online. If you use your login credentials to use those third-party apps, your account can get in trouble with the platform.
  • There’s been a suspicious amount of activity in your account in a short period. Instagram is known to be very wary of bots and automation tools. These tools generate large amounts of fake activity on the platform, like going on liking and following sprees. So, if you like too many posts or follow too many accounts at once, the app might flag your account. It might look as if you’re using bots to automate that burst of sudden activity.
  • You haven’t verified your age. You have to be at least 13 years old to have an Instagram account. When you make an account, you must verify your age somehow, like through a video selfie or uploading an ID. If you fail to complete this step, Instagram may restrict your access to the platform.

A young girl pouting while looking at her smartphone.

How To Unrestrict My Instagram Account

It can be frustrating dealing with a restricted account on Instagram for one of the reasons above. Maybe you’re racking your brain to come up with a solution and searching “how to unrestrict my Instagram account” online.

Well, the only solution is to fix whatever issue you had with Instagram in the first place. Verify your age with a quick selfie or ID upload. Stop data scraping with sketchy sites on the internet. Control how many posts you like and comment on in a short amount of time. Then, wait until Instagram clears your account and lifts the restrictions.

And That’s How To Remove Restriction From Instagram

All it takes to unrestrict an old foe on Instagram is a few taps. After that, you can go back to being besties and engage through DMs and comments on your posts. It’s easy-peasy and just takes a few seconds to do!

Now that you know how to unrestrict someone on Instagram, you can focus on creating content that receives only positive comments. And, of course, you’ll want that content to be seen by others to get even more positive attention online. That’s something we at Path Social can help you achieve.

Our proprietary targeting algorithm harnesses the power of AI to find your niche audience. Then, we promote your content to them in various ways, from email newsletters to tapping partner influencers for shoutouts. This boost in visibility gets you tons of new followers, giving you a larger audience. Grow your page with us today!