Restricting on Instagram: What Does it Mean?

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Karen Lin

Instagram 101 | May 24, 2024

Want More Real Instagram Followers?

You don’t have to be a social butterfly to enjoy social media. You can be a very private person — a classic introvert — and still feel safe having a social media presence. All you need is the proper privacy configuration. Instagram, private and public accounts alike (including business accounts) have several options. You might have to protect yourself from abuse, bullying, spam, inappropriate comments and offensive language. The restrict feature is widely used on Instagram. So what does restrict mean on IG and when should you use it? Read on for all of our tips and tricks on how to restrict on Instagram and what it means.

A hand holding a phone getting ready to restrict on Instagram

What Does Restricting on Instagram Do?

Restricting on Instagram allows you to control which comments appear on your posts. When you restrict an account, the restricted user can still see, like, and comment on your posts. However, their comments will only be visible to them. You won’t receive notifications about their comments, as well. Other steps you can take with regard to a restricted person’s comments on your posts include:

  • Seeing their comment by tapping “See comment”
  • Approving their comment so it will be visible to others
  • Ignoring or deleting their comment

Restricting is a highly utilized feature to add to your Instagram toolbox for generating growth. Try it alongside hashtags on Instagram to keep your posts streamlined and organized.   

What Does Restrict Mean on Instagram?

If you are wondering what does restrict mean on Instagram, the answer is simple. It gives your followers limited interactions with your account. The restriction option on Instagram was introduced as a way to combat cyberbullying and unwanted interactions. Essentially, it’s a way to control what appears on your feed without blocking someone on Instagram. In turn, it allows you to keep your follower count up as opposed to blocking. This is important if you are an Instagram entrepreneur building your brand and follower count. Now that we’ve covered the basics of restricting on Instagram, let’s talk about the difference between restricting and blocking.

What Happens When You Restrict Someone on Instagram?

You’ve hit the button, so what happens when you restrict someone on Instagram? As aforementioned, the restricted user can still interact with your Instagram account and posts. However, the person you’ve restricted won’t see when you’re online. They can send you messages but these will be stored in your Message Requests Inbox. If you have any chat history with the restricted person, it will be relocated to your message requests. They won’t know if you read their message/s. If you are worried about people knowing you are using the restrict feature, don’t be. They won’t know that they have been restricted on Instagram.

An iPhone next to a MacBook with Instagram posts displayed.

Can I Tell if I Am Restricted on Instagram?

Restricting on Instagram provides you with control over who you interact with. If you don’t want to see comments or messages, the restriction feature is your friend. However, a restricted follower won’t be notified about the action. Only you know you have restricted other users. This also means that if you have been restricted on another user’s Instagram account you won’t know. 

If you suspect you have been restricted on Instagram check by commenting on a user’s post. If your comment is not published immediately, you might be restricted. To check, log in from a secondary or friend’s account to see if you can see your comment. Another sign? You won’t be able to see whether the user is online or not. Keep in mind these suggestions aren’t foolproof. Instagram settings allow the user to limit comments and disable their activity status.

How Do I Restrict on Instagram?

Now that you know the functionality of restricting on Instagram let’s discuss how to restrict a user. There are multiple ways to restrict someone on Instagram to make it a simple task. Here’s how to use the restrict function on your Instagram account.

Restrict on Instagram Through Messages

One of the easiest ways to restrict someone on Instagram is through messages. Open your direct messages and tap the person’s name then tap the three dots on the top right. Select “Restrict” and then tap “Restrict account” to confirm. You can even use the restriction feature in a group chat. If you’re in a group chat with the person you’ve restricted on Instagram you’ll see a notification. Instagram will let you know that you’ll see a restricted account’s message/s. After you restrict someone on Instagram, their messages will appear as message requests.

Restrict on Instagram Through the Comments Section

Is there spam or unwanted comments on your Instagram post? If it’s a repeat offender, go to your post and tap “View all comments.” Find the comment of the person you want to restrict on Instagram. Hold your finger on the comment. Tap the exclamation point icon, then tap “ Restrict [username].” After you hit the restrict button, be sure to reload your comments. This user’s comment should no longer be visible.

What does Restrict mean to your Instagram account’s privacy and safety? How do you Restrict someone on Instagram?

Restrict on Instagram Through Your Settings

If you prefer to restrict on Instagram through your settings, head to your profile by tapping the profile icon. Then, tap the three bar menu icon, also known as the hamb urger menu, on the top right. Tap “Settings,” then “Privacy.” Find “Restricted accounts” below “Connections,” then tap “Continue.” Find the account you want to restrict and tap “Restrict” next to their name. 

Restrict Someone Through Their Profile

Another simple way to restrict on Instagram is to search for the user by their username. Tap on their name to go to their profile. Alternatively, if the account you want to restrict pops up on your feed or Instagram stories, tap their username. Tap the three dots on the top right. Then tap “Restrict,” followed by “Restrict account” to confirm. Now, you won’t be able to see this user’s comments, feed or messages.

Instagram also allows you to restrict multiple accounts at the same time. To do this, go to your post and tap “View all comments.” For an iPhone on the Instagram app, tap the three dots on the top right, then tap “Manage accounts”.  Android Instagram app users don’t have this step. For both the iPhone and Android app, just select all the comments you want to manage. Then, tap the “Restrict” button to restrict multiple accounts at the same time. 

Hands holding an iPhone, about to tap on profile settings to check out restrict functions.

What is the Difference Between Restricting on Instagram and Blocking?

The main difference between restricting on Instagram and blocking is the accessibility to your profile. As we mentioned, a restricted person can still interact with your feed and profile. You won’t see the comments or direct messages unless you want to. The Block feature, on the other hand, completely removes a person’s ability to find you on Instagram. Blocked Instagram accounts won’t be able to view your profile and posts or interact with you in any way. As your follower count grows, you may find the need to block or restrict a variety of reasons including unwanted interactions. Don’t worry, Instagram allows you to block or restrict as many accounts as you like.

If you’ve accidentally blocked or restricted a user, unblocking or removing restrictions is easy. From your main feed, click on your profile icon to bring you to your Instagram profile. Then click on the three bar menu at the top of the screen. Once the menu appears, click on “Settings” then “Privacy”. For restricted users, tap on the “Restricted accounts” tab to take you to your list of restricted accounts. Then click on the “Unrestrict” tab next to the specific account you want to give full access to your profile. The same procedure applies to blocked accounts. Instead of the “Restricted accounts” tab, you’ll utilize the “Blocked accounts” tab.

Instagram logo created with thread.

Final Thoughts: Use the Restrict Feature for Enhanced Safety and Privacy

To sum it up, what restrict on Instagram means is enhanced safety and privacy for your account. This is achieved through better control of which comments appear on your posts from someone on Instagram. Additionally, you’ll have control of who can see your activity status and which messages go directly to your main inbox. Any interactions with restricted users will become a message request instead.

Restricting and blocking users on Instagram are a few options the platform offers to manage how people interact with you. You can choose to temporarily limit unwanted or negative comments, turn off comments, use comment filters, or report comments for abuse or spam.
For business pages, growing your Instagram account always comes with the risk of exposure to spam, harassment, abuse, and even bots. You increase your risk exponentially when you use third-party apps to help you increase your followers. If you need help on your Instagram growth journey, find a reliable partner that understands the value of organic growth — a company like Path Social. Take advantage of Path Social’s proprietary AI targeting technology and in-house team of social media experts, and start growing and gaining Instagram followers today