Why Can’t I Follow People on Instagram? Quick Fixes

Profile photo of Karen Lin, author

Karen Lin

Instagram 101 | Feb 20, 2024

Want More Real Instagram Followers?

Around 69.9% of Instagram use the platform only to share photos and videos. Users follow friends and family to keep each other updated. But what if Instagram bars you from following your loved ones?

Oftentimes, Instagram does not allow users to follow accounts—including other users, brands, and influencers. It could be due to restrictions imposed by the platform or a glitch in your phone. This problem has multiple causes, each demanding a unique solution for resolution.

So, are you also wondering, ‘Why can’t I follow people on Instagram?’ Stay with us until the end of the guide to learn why it is happening and how to fix it. 

A mobile phone mounted on a tripod with the Instagram app displayed on the screen

So, Why Can’t I Follow People on Instagram? 

It can be annoying when you keep tapping the follow button, only for Instagram to show an error message. There are different reasons why you are unable to follow people on Instagram. In order to resolve them, it’s important to learn the root cause. Here are some reasons why you can’t follow other users on Instagram:

An Unstable Internet Connection

Check your internet. It should be stable as Instagram consumes 2-3 MB of data per minute. If your internet connection is bad, Instagram won’t be able to process your request to follow a user.

Moreover, an unstable internet connection prevents you from refreshing your feed, posting stories, and adding new posts.

In such cases, if you’re using Wi-Fi or cellular data, check your settings. You can turn on Airplane mode, toggle it off, and then reconnect to the network.

Check if Instagram Is Down

If your internet is working fine, the issue may be with the app. You can check if Instagram is down on sites like OutageReport and Downdetector. You can check the news to confirm if there is a problem with Instagram.

In this case, you can’t do much except wait for Instagram to fix the servers. Once the platform works, you can follow new users without a hitch.

A person holding a phone looking at social media app icons.

Why Isn’t Instagram Working?

Instagram has a great support team that is always available to help users. Mostly, the crashes are due to monetary glitches, which users can easily fix with a quick refresh. If the app continues to crash, you can fix it by contacting the Support Team on Instagram. 

No matter what the problem is, you can fix most of them with easy tricks. So, if you’re wondering, ‘Why isn’t Instagram working?’ Here are some quick troubleshooting tips. 

Log In With Other Devices

Try logging in with other devices and see if the problem resolves. If you can follow people from the new device, the issue may be with a mobile device. 

But if the problem continues after you change your device, the app may have issues. 

Try Instagram for Browser

If changing the device doesn’t help, try using a browser for Instagram. Check with your desktop and see if you can follow people on Instagram. If you are already using Instagram on your browser, change the browser. Move to Firefox from Chrome and vice versa.

Have You Updated Your Instagram?

Instagram provides users with regular automated updates, improving its existing features and rolling out new ones. If you’re using an older version, technical issues are inevitable. 

Update your Instagram regularly, checking for updates. Tap the update button in the Play Store (Androids) or App Store (iPhones) or turn on the automatic. With automatic updates turned on, you can avoid manually checking for updates. Instagram will update and get the latest version itself.

A person is scrolling an Instagram feed. 

Why Can’t I Follow People Back on Instagram?

Are you wondering, “Why can’t I follow people back on Instagram?”

Instagram may restrict follow-backs due to many reasons. This includes privacy settings or limits on daily actions. Ensure your account is public, and try again later if you’ve hit the following limits.

Here are some common reasons why you may be unable to follow users back:

Loaded Cache

If your Instagram is acting slow or quirky, it’s time to clear out the cache. On Android, you can clear the Instagram cache in the settings. This will get things running smoothly again. Meanwhile, iPhone users need to uninstall and then reinstall the app. After clearing the cache, reopen Instagram and check if the Follow button is working.

Account Authentication

The authentication of personal or business accounts is another major problem that affects Instagram’s features. This may be because you recently changed your password or due to an issue with two-factor authentication.

Here’s how you can fix this:

  1. Open Instagram on your phone.
  2. Hit your profile icon, then the menu button up the top right.
  3. Choose ‘Settings and privacy‘ from the menu.
  4. Scroll to ‘Login‘ and tap ‘Log out.’
  5. After logging out, tap ‘Login.‘ Insert your new password and 2FA code.

Exceeded Follower Count Limit

Check the follower count on your profile. If the number exceeds 7,500 users, the issue isn’t with your phone or the app. Instagram does not allow users to follow more than 7,500 profiles

You can resolve this problem by unfollowing some accounts. Here is how to do it:

  1. Tap your account avatar in the lower-right corner of the Instagram app.
  2. Tap ‘Following‘ at the top right of the screen.
  3. Scroll through the list and tap ‘Following‘ next to a few accounts you no longer want.
  4. Now, the ‘Following‘ button turns into a ‘Follow‘ button, making space for new followers.

What Is Instagram Follow Limit?

Instagram follow limit is a cap Instagram uses to reduce spam. As stated earlier, users can only follow up to 7,500 accounts on Instagram. If you exceed the limit, an error will appear on your screen. But have you ever wondered why Instagram’s daily limits exist?

Instagram prefers quality over quantity. It encourages genuine interactions and engagements. By capping your followers, they encourage you to pick followers more carefully. This way, your feed stays more personalized—filled with content you like.

While these limits can sometimes be annoying, they’re here to keep Instagram enjoyable. And who knows, playing by these rules might make your Instagram game stronger.

A person checking an Instagram profile.

Why Can’t I Follow Certain People on Instagram?

Many Instagram users vent, “Why can’t I follow certain people on Instagram?” Why does it happen? It’s time to find out.

  • You Are Using a VPN Service: Are you using a VPN? That’s great for privacy, but Instagram gets suspicious if it sees your IP addresses change. It can lead to restrictions on your account activity, including following other users. So, turn off your VPN while using Instagram and get your follower button back. Even if you are not doing suspicious activity, we recommend not using VPNs.
  • Instagram Has Blocked Your Account: Instagram’s on a mission to keep bots at bay. If you are on a follow/unfollow spree or using some third-party apps to automate likes or comments, it’s a code red. Instagram’s algorithms will flag your account as suspicious. The solution here is patience. Restrictions like these are usually temporary and do not last for a long time.
  • Certain Users Have Blocked You: Instagram allows you to block users if you want to avoid certain accounts. So, if you’re unable to follow certain users, they may have blocked you. Accounts can also have certain restrictions that prevent you from following them. 

How To Check Blocked List on Instagram?

How would you know if someone has blocked your Instagram? You will have to access the blocked list on Instagram.

Here’s how you can check if someone has blocked you on Instagram:

  1. Go to your Instagram profile.
  2. Tap on the three horizontal lines at the top-right corner.
  3. You’ll see a menu pop up. Tap on ‘Settings.
  4. From there, hit ‘Privacy.
  5. Now, scroll down until you find the ‘Connections‘ section.
  6. Here, you’ll find ‘Blocked accounts.’ Open it to see your blocked list on Instagram.

A person is commenting on an Instagram post.

How To Know if Someone Blocked You on Instagram

Finding the people you blocked on Instagram is easy. But how do you know if someone blocked you on Instagram? This needs some work. Here are the five simple ways to find out if someone has blocked you on Instagram.

  1. Start with a simple search. Head over to the search bar in the app and type in their username. If you can’t find their account, it could mean they’ve blocked or deleted you.
  2. If you’ve ever exchanged comments or DMs with a user, search for the user through their old comment or chat. If you see messages like User Not Found or No Posts Yet, it’s a hint that they’ve blocked you.
  3. What if there has been no exchange of messages? No worries! You can still play detective. Go to the web, type www.instagram.com/, and then their username. If you can see their profile on the web but not in your app, the user has blocked you. If their profile doesn’t appear on the web, they have deleted it.
  4. Watch for their likes and comments on mutual friends’ posts or in groups. If you see their activity popping up, it’s clear they haven’t vanished from Instagram. They’ve blocked you.

Increase Your Following on Instagram With Path Social

Instagram is about sharing content with followers and viewing content from the following. So, if Instagram prevents you from following users, try the troubleshooting tips in this blog. If fixing your internet connection, updating your app, and following limits doesn’t work, reach out to Instagram’s Support Team. 

That’s a wrap to our guide. Now that you know “Why Can’t I Follow People on Instagram?”, you must be wondering how to increase your following. If you need help growing your Instagram, Path Social is the place to reach out to. We use AI algorithms to target the right followers who are truly interested in your content.

Our team is highly skilled with ample experience—ready to help you take your Instagram account to the next level. So, what are you waiting for? Grab the lending hand of Path Social and begin your journey to Instagram fame today.