Why Can’t I Tag Someone on Instagram? The Answers You Need

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Karen Lin

Instagram 101 | May 21, 2023

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Picture this. You are uploading the perfect content on Instagram and want to mention the other featured people. However, you receive an error. You may not find the correct user or receive an error message. Has this ever happened to you? If so, you probably wonder – why can’t I tag someone on Instagram? As it turns out, this is a common question many people ask.

Tagging is the act of mentioning a person on Instagram. You use their Instagram handle to bring something to their attention, whether a picture, video, or comment. This then alerts them in their notifications, depending on their settings. It is a great way to ensure another user sees a piece of content. 

If you are experiencing Instagram tagging issues, we are here to help. Read on below as we cover common problems that people encounter on the social media app. From trouble tagging private accounts to the total number of people you can tag, we have the information you need to know. With our help, you will be adequately tagging in no time.

A person on his phone, asking himself why can't I tag someone on Instagram?

What Is an Instagram Tag?

Before answering the question, why can’t I tag someone on Instagram? Let’s first learn what this language means. What is an Instagram tag? What is the purpose of it, and why is it so popular? While we briefly covered this above, it’s time to learn more. We are here with everything you need to know. 

As you know, an Instagram tag mentions another user on the social media app. Essentially, you are making them aware of the content. There are a few different ways you can tag someone on Instagram. Let’s review two of them.

First, tag someone in a photo or video you are posting. You will typically use this when posting content the person is in. It is a great way to share family photos and group videos. You will do this form of tagging in the final steps of posting a feed post, reel, or Instagram story. You will be able to search for the handle in question quickly.

You can also tag someone on Instagram in the comments of another post. For example, if you want a friend to see a post made by a celebrity or public figure. Tagging a specific number of people in comments is also a standard entry method for running Instagram contests.

This tagging feature is a great way to directly interact and communicate with another person, brand, or company. Many influencers and small businesses use this to promote themselves and gain attention. However, the person you tag must have their setting set to receive the notification. We will discuss this further down below.

How to Tag Someone on Instagram

Now you know the purpose of an Instagram tag. How do you go about using this feature? This is a crucial step to understand when asking, why can’t I tag someone on Instagram? The process is quite simple to learn and is often thought of to be part of Instagram post basics

Like many other social media features, you must ensure a good internet connection or cellular data service. This will ensure your content, comments, and tags are loading correctly. Consider this the first step in identifying any potential issues.  

To tag another user in a feed post, follow the typical steps to capture and edit your photo or video. In the last step, you will see the option to tag people. Once you click on it, tap the image to pull up a search bar. Once you begin to type in a username, suggestions will auto-populate. Select the proper handle and hit done.

It is even easier to mention someone in a comment. Underneath the feed post in question, you will see the option to add a comment. You can also do this by clicking the thought bubble icon below the content. 

Next, type the @ symbol. This action automatically pulls up a short list of your most recently searched Instagram handles. Start typing in their name if the user isn’t on this list. When the handle appears, click on them. If you wish, you can also briefly comment on why you tagged them.

A person looking at her computer, wondering - why can't I tag someone on Instagram?

Why Can’t I Tag Someone on Instagram: Privacy Settings

Regarding tagging people on the social media app, your Instagram privacy settings can help keep your virtual experience positive. Did you know you can choose the audience to mention or tag you on Instagram? That is right. This is fully customizable, depending on your preferences. So, if you are asking the question, why can’t I tag someone on Instagram? It might be because of the user’s privacy settings. 

When someone tags you in a photo, it automatically adds the content to your profile under the tagged photos tab. However, you can choose who can and cannot tag you. You can manage these specific settings for posts as well as stories. If another user has blocked you on Instagram, you cannot tag or mention their handle.

To review or update your tag settings, follow the steps outlined below. 

  1. Open your Instagram app and access your profile.
  2. Click on the three lines icon at the top right corner of the screen. 
  3. Next, select settings and privacy.
  4. Scroll down and tap on the tags and mentions option under the how others can interact with your section.
  5. From here, select the options that you feel most comfortable with. You can choose from allowing tags and mentions from everyone, from only people you follow, and from no one. 
  6. When done, tap the back arrow to save your preferences.

Knowing who can and cannot tag or mention you on Instagram is essential. This can keep your profile, content, and account safe. If you need more clarification, consider double-checking your account settings to ensure you understand your options.

Why Can’t I Tag Someone on Instagram: 4 Common Questions

Now you are up to speed on an Instagram tag and how to create one. You also understand how your privacy settings can affect this. Of course, there is still more to learn about the question of why can’t I tag someone on Instagram. This is understandable, as Instagram constantly adds, changes, and updates features. It can be hard to keep up.

You may sometimes encounter tagging errors when uploading your content and mentioning other users. These problems could be related to several reasons. No matter the culprit, it can be frustrating when you run into issues. Luckily, we are here to offer solutions.

Below, read on as we cover four common tagging issues that people have on Instagram. This includes understanding private accounts, disabled accounts, and the concept of collab posts. Keep reading and learn the answers to these simple questions. Once you have the correct information, you can understand how Instagram tagging works.

Two friends asking the question, why can't I tag someone on Instagram?

1. Why Can’t I Tag Someone on an Instagram Story?

Instagram stories are a common way to share content on social media, offering a way to post life and adventures with your followers. This feature lets you quickly share moments throughout the day in a photo or video format. They appear together in a slideshow format to create your story. Remember, this content is fleeting, as stories only last 24 hours. 

However, you may receive a tagging error when uploading your content. Are you wondering – why can’t I tag someone on an Instagram story? There may be a couple of reasons why. One culprit is that you do not have a proper internet connection or cellular data. If this is the case, usernames will not load when you tag someone. This will also affect your ability to post the story.

Of course, there are other reasons to answer the question of why can’t I tag someone on Instagram stories. Trying to tag a private account that you do not follow is another reason you will have issues with your Instagram stories. Finally, you may have tagged too many accounts in the story. We will cover both of these issues further down below.

2. Why Can’t I Tag Someone on Instagram That Has a Private Account?

You can either have a public or private Instagram account. The option is up to you. However, these choices can impact the access you have to popular features. Have you ever wondered why can’t I tag someone on Instagram that has a private account?

First, let’s address what each type means. If your account is public, anyone can view your content. People can access all public profile features, including feed posts, reels, and stories. We suggest setting your Instagram to a private account if you prefer a more confidential experience. This means that only people that you approve can view your profile and shared content. 

But what if you want to tag someone on Instagram that has a private account? Is that possible? The answer is yes – but there is a catch. First, you must be an approved follower of the person you try to tag. You cannot mention or tag them in any content if you are not.

If you are not currently following the person, send them a request. If they approve it, you can tag them following the normal process. However, remember that approval is entirely up to their discretion. They may prefer to decline or block your account, especially if they do not know you or suspect your account to be spam.

3. Why Can’t I Tag Someone on Instagram With a Disabled Account?

The next topic we will discuss is dealing with disabled accounts on Instagram. What does this term mean? Allow us to explain further. Your account is locked, and you cannot log in. The social media app can disable a user’s account if believed to violate Instagram’s community guidelines. 

Disabling an account can be done at any time and without any warning. Users will receive an alert when attempting to sign into their account. If you find yourself in this position, you must file an appeal to regain access. Having a disabled account can impact how other people interact with your profile. 

Have you ever asked yourself – why can’t I tag someone on Instagram? It could be due to an issue with disabled accounts. Essentially, the username and profile you try to tag are on pause and inactive. The handle will not show up when you search for it, and you will be unable to tag or mention it.

4. Why Can’t I Tag Someone on Instagram in a Collab Post?

A newer feature on Instagram is the ability to tag a collaborator on an Instagram post. This means the original creator can add another co-author account, allowing the post to show simultaneously on two profiles. It is an excellent way to increase your engagement and reach on a post.

Are you wondering – why can’t I tag someone on Instagram as a collaborator on collab posts? The main reason may be that you are not currently following the user in question, and they have a private account. As we learned above, you cannot tag or mention a private account if you are not an approved follower. 

Additionally, you cannot tag more than one collaborator per post. You cannot add more than this and will not have the option. Consider tagging them in the content if you want to add multiple people. This will still appear on their profile under the tagged tab. 

a group of people posing for a photo

Why Can’t I Tag Someone on Instagram: Tagging Limits

Did you know that Instagram limits the number of people you can tag? That’s right. This is true for several sharing methods, including feed posts and stories. So, why can’t I tag someone on Instagram? It may be because you have already tagged too many people. 

The current tagging limit is 20 accounts for each video or photo you share on the social media app. After you hit this number, you cannot tag any more Instagram users. If you have received a message in error, double-check how many handles you have added to your content. 

You may be wondering why Instagram established limited tagging. The main reason is that the social media app can ensure you are not an automated system or spreading spam. This is a typical practice of bot accounts trying to attract attention.

Instagram can even restrict profiles that they suspect are guilty of this. Some accounts can abuse tagging to promote themselves or their products. This goes against Instagram’s community guidelines and can put your account at risk. If this happens to you, you cannot tag anyone. The restriction may take a few days to lift, so you can typically return to tagging. 

At Path Social, we’ve built up an in-house platform of Instagram influencers and an AI-targeting algorithm over the past decade. That’s how we organically target and reach users that engage in your content. And that’s why no one can replicate our results, which means you’ll build an Instagram community that lasts! Start growing and gaining Instagram followers today.