You are Instagram action blocked! It’s one of the worst things that can happen in today’s world of Instagram! You tried to like a photo or comment on a post and received a pop-up “Try Again Later” letting you know you are in Instagram jail. You probably tried to hit the “Tell Us Button” a few times by now and noticed that it is not fixing the problem.
I have been there several times and have been able to build a few strategies that help you get Instagram unblocked. I even called Facebook Support and learned exactly what to do to unblock my Instagram.
This post will also walk you through the different types of Instagram action blocks, why you are blocked, how to get unblocked, how you can avoid future blocks and what you can do if your block expired but you are still blocked.
Disclosure: Please note that some of the links in the below article are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I earn a commission if you make a purchase. Click here for the full disclosure statement.
Why Can’t I Like Anything on Instagram?
You are on Instagram and are liking photos and a message similar to this pops up:
Based on previous use of this feature, your account has been temporarily blocked from taking this action. This block will expire on [date]. We restrict certain content and actions to protect our community. Tell us if you think we made a mistake.
Try Again Later
We restrict certain activity to protect our community. Tell us if you think we made a mistake.
This is a clear sign that you are action blocked. Instagram won’t let you comment, Instagram won’t let you like posts, and you can’t follow or unfollow anyone. In other words, you are in Instagram jail. You are action blocked and will be action blocked until Instagram decides you should get unblocked.
The good news is, there are ways to get Instagram unblocked and these strategies have helped me several times to get out of Instagram jail.
The first thing you should do when you are Instagram blocked is take a screenshot of your “Try Again Later” message. The type of message determines which fix works best to unblock your Instagram. Also write down the date and the exact time you were blocked. This is very important for your fix as well.
What Is An Instagram Action Block?
Instagram uses an algorithm to run the platform. The algorithm decides which picture, video, or reel to show on your home feed or the explore page based on your likes and dislikes. The algorithm also decides if your photo is "good" enough to show to your followers and if your account is "interesting" enough to show to other people.
The purpose of the algorithm is also to reduce or eliminate robots on Instagram. One of the key strategies to grow on Instagram is to engage a lot with other posts. Liking and commenting on other people’s posts can be very time consuming. In order to save time and make their lives easier, many Instagram accounts use third party services or robots to like posts, comment on posts, and even answer Instagram story polls.
The goal behind using robots is to make engaging easier without taking up too much time. However, Instagram wants people to spend as much time as possible on their app. Having a service or a robot doing all that work for you is not in their interest and as such, Instagram will put you in Instagram jail if it detects that you use a third-party service or robots.
In order to determine whether an account is using a robot, Instagram has rules on how many photos you can like, how many people you can follow, and how many comments you can write in a certain amount of time without being deemed "suspicious."
If you are Instagram action blocked, you likely used a feature too often in a set time frame and exceeded the unwritten limits of Instagram activity. This means you probably liked too many photos in an hour, or throughout the day. Or you unfollowed too many people. As a result, Instagram blocked your account and you can’t like anything on Instagram.
Why Am I Instagram Action Blocked?
There are multiple reasons why you could be action blocked:
- You liked too many posts too fast
- You commented on too many posts too fast
- You Followed or Unfollowed too many accounts too fast
- You connected your account with a third-party service
Your Instagram action block message can give you an indication why exactly you are blocked. Your action block message could say that you used a “feature” too often, it can say they restrict certain activity, or that it looks like you shared your password with a third party.
The Most Well-Known Unwritten Instagram Engagement Rules / Limits
The Instagram engagement rules are incorporated into the Instagram algorithm. What exactly these rules are, is Instagram’s best kept secret. I have not been able to find any documents issued by Instagram or Facebook which define these Instagram activity rules.
However, based on my own experience and based on the experience of other influencers I know, I'm sharing the most common and well-known unwritten rules or limits of Instagram engagement.
Maximum Instagram Engagement Guideline Per Hour
- Like between 100-350 photos per hour, but no more. This number highly depends on the age of your account. The older your account, the more you can like.
- Comment no more than 60 comments per hour. Again, this number depends on the age of your account.
- Do not use the same comments over and over again, including emojis.
- Follow no more than 100 accounts per hour if you are an older account. Follow no more than 20 accounts per hour if your account is relatively new. In total, you cannot follow more than 7,500 accounts.
- Do not copy and paste the same direct message more than 10 times. In my own experience, I found that I was blocked if I sent more than 10 identical DMs in a short time.
Maximum Instagram Engagement Guidelines Per 24-Hour Period
There are also daily (24-hour) like, comment, and follow limits which can cause you to be Instagram action blocked if you exceed them. This is likely what has happened to my account as I attempted to like one photo after 2 hours of inactivity.
- You can like 1,000 posts per day. This is a general idea how many likes you can give out and the number might be less if your account is new and smaller.
- Daily comment limits vary depending on who you ask. To be safe, try to stay below 200 comments per day. Instagram flags duplicate comments as spam activity so try to avoid those.
- You can follow between 500 - 1,000 accounts per day, depending on your account age. Younger (and likely smaller) accounts can follow less people.
Connecting Your Instagram Account to a Third-Party Service
Instagram has a way of detecting if a third-party service has been connected to your account. As soon as you share your password with another service, Instagram detects this. But this doesn’t automatically mean your account will get action blocked. Instagram will monitor what these third parties do and how they access your account before deciding on blocking you.
If you have been blocked by Instagram because it thinks you used a third party service, you will likely see the following message.
Your account has been temporarily blocked from taking this action. Sharing your account with a service that helps you get more likes or followers goes against our Community Guidelines. This block will expire on [date].
If you are a blogger or an Instagram influencer and you work with marketing agencies to get collaborations, you likely had to sign on their platform and connect your Instagram account. You likely won’t get action blocked just because you connected your account because these marketing agencies don’t use your log-in information to make any actions on your account. They will not like, comment, follow, or unfollow. Most marketing agencies only want you to connect your Instagram account so they can see your Instagram statistics.
However, if you connect your account to a third-party service which then starts taking actions on your account such as liking, commenting, following, or unfollowing, you can get action blocked.
Types of Instagram Action Blocks
There are multiple types of action blocks and the action block or “Try Again Later” message gives you an indication which type of Instagram action block you have. You can also easily find out what type of block you have as you won't be able to use those features.
An Instagram action block can be temporary and not have a date when you will be unblocked, or it may come with an expiration date. Action blocks come in increments of a few hours, 24 hours, a few days, a full week, or even up to two weeks!
In my experience, the length of the block highly depends on the amount of blocks you have had in the past and on the age of your account. New accounts that show robot-like activity from the very beginning are more likely to experience longer blocks.
The type of Instagram action blocks can be defined by type of action and time of the block.
Instagram Action Block by Action Type
- Instagram Like Block: You can’t like any posts but you can still comment, follow, and unfollow
- Instagram Comment Block: You can’t comment on any posts but you can still like, follow, and unfollow
- Instagram Action Block: You can’t like, comment, follow, unfollow, or post any photos. (This is the block I have been experiencing!)
Instagram Action Block by Timing
- Undefined Temporary Instagram Action Block: Your Try Again Later message doesn’t tell you how long you are blocked for. Instead it tells you to try again later.
- 24-Hour Instagram Action Block: Your Instagram action blocked message tells you your account will be unblocked the next day.
- Extended Instagram Action Block: Your Instagram action blocked message tells you your account will be unblocked at a certain date in the future. This can be up to 1 week, 2 weeks, or more.
First Signs of An Action Block
Instagram action blocks can seem to appear out of nowhere, but Instagram has a subtle way of warning you that you are about to be blocked. I have come across these warning signs a few times when engaging on Instagram and have been successfully able to avoid blocks!
There are two ways Instagram can warn you that you are about to be blocked on Instagram and for both you need to be on Instagram manually to detect them, i.e. you are liking photos manually.
- If you like a photo and Instagram instantly removes your like, i.e. the heart turns red and then instantly white again, this is a sign that you might get Instagram action blocked.
- If you try to comment on a post and Instagram takes a long time to show up, your connection might be bad, and Instagram might attempt to submit it multiple times which can cause an action block.
If you notice these two signs, you are likely close to exceeding your limits and should take a break liking and commenting for a few hours.
How to Avoid Future Action Blocks
Getting action blocked on Instagram can be incredibly frustrating. Not only are you in Instagram jail and are not able to engage, depending on the type of block, you may not even be able to post anything. If you are an Instagram influencer, content creator, or blogger, you might have ongoing Instagram campaigns and you might jeopardize brand relationships by not being able to fulfill your side of the contract.
The best thing you can do in this industry is try to not get action blocked at all. Avoiding being in Instagram jail mostly means playing by Instagram’s rules. Here are the 4 main actions you can do to avoid future Instagram action blocks.
Disconnect Third-Party Services
Instagram can detect if your account has been connected to a third-party service and if any third-party service is making actions on your account. These actions could be liking, commenting, or sending DMs. Most of these services have been created to help you increase your engagement and increase your following. Instagram is trying to limit any activity which seems unordinary and which could indicate that you are not personally on the app.
If you want to avoid getting blocked in the future, make sure you disconnect from any third-party services which perform actions on your account, if you are connected to any.
Avoid Using Robots
Similar to using third-party services to increase your engagement and/or your following, using robots to do so is equally problematic on Instagram. Instagram is trying to limit the reach of any accounts which use robots to engage or follow/unfollow people, as the app wants you to spend as much time on it as possible.
To avoid getting Instagram action blocked, make sure you don’t use any robots to like or follow/unfollow accounts.
Avoid Too Much Engagement in a Short Time
Instagram can block you if you engage too much within a certain amount of time. This is because a high engagement in a certain amount of time looks like it would be performed by a robot, rather than being done by a person. As we just discussed above, Instagram is trying to do everything possible to avoid have robots navigating the app. This is why it will restrict any actions that look like they could be performed by a robot. Such engagement actions could be:
- Liking hundreds of photos back to back
- Copy and pasting comments on other posts
- Commenting with emojis only
To avoid getting Instagram action blocked, try to stay away from any robot-like behavior on the app and engage with other accounts organically. If you are planning to comment on many posts or are responding to all your comments, make sure you take a break every 5 minutes or so in order to not get flagged and action blocked.
Avoid the Follow/Unfollow Growth Method
In addition to Instagram trying to limit any robot-like behavior, Instagram is also locking down on any accounts which are trying to grow in an artificial way which they officially published in their Instagram guidelines. One of the most common strategies which is often performed by robots and/or third-party services is the follow/unfollow method. The method implies that your account would follow other accounts in a certain niche, hoping that they would follow you back, and then your account would unfollow them after a certain amount of time.
While this method may have worked a few years ago, Instagram is limiting any accounts that are detected using this growth strategy.
To avoid getting Instagram action blocked, avoid using the follow/unfollow method and do not follow/unfollow too many people in a short period of time.
How To Fix An Instagram Action Block and Get Unblocked
Now that you know everything about why you can’t like a photo and why you are Instagram action blocked, you are probably wondering how you can actually fix your action block? How can you unblock your Instagram account?
There are several ways how to unblock Instagram. The type of fix highly depends on what type of Instagram action block you are experiencing, how "severe" your block is, your account age, and how many blocks your account has had in the past.
How Severe is Your Instagram Action Block?
The first step to fixing your Instagram action block is determining what type of action block you are experiencing; a severe block or a minor block. Take a screenshot of your action block or Try Again Later message on Instagram so that you can analyze when you were blocked and for how long. There are two ways you can determine the severity of your action block and you should take both into consideration.
Does your action block message have an expiration date?
- This means it is not a severe block and it is relatively easy to fix.
- This means that you are experiencing a more severe block and you will need to wait until your action block is expired and there is not much you can do until then.
Have you been action blocked in the past?
- This means that it is likely a minor action block and relatively easy to fix.
- This means that your account is likely flagged at Instagram for multiple reasons and your action block is likely going to last longer and will take longer to fix.
How to Fix Minor Instagram Action Blocks and Get Unblocked
If your Instagram action block message does not contain an expiration date and you are experiencing a minor Instagram action block, there are several strategies you can use to fix your block. These strategies have worked for me in the past and have worked for other accounts, but keep in mind that every account is different, and it might not work the same for everyone.
Use these 7 strategies to get Instagram unblocked in this order, as the last strategy to get unblocked is the most involved.
- Report the issue immediately by hitting "Tell Us" on the action block. You can also go to "Settings", "Help", "Report a Problem" on the app. Don't expect to hear back from Instagram but it can help showing the app that you are not a robot.
- Uninstall or disconnect any third party apps. Instagram is trying to restrict the usage of third party apps. These could be follow/unfollow apps, or simply apps to monitor who unfollowed you, etc.
- Try to get off the wifi connection and use mobile data instead. Instagram possibly blocked your IP address and you can still use your account on mobile data.
- Try to log in with a different device on mobile data. Similar to the previous point, Instagram may have blocked your device and you can still use your account on a different device.
- Sign out of Instagram and sign in again.
- Uninstall the app and install it again.
- Leave your account alone for at least 4 hours. Instagram unblocked me once after I left my account alone for 4 hours. I would recommend to leave it alone for 4-24 hours.
How To Fix Severe Instagram Blocks and Get Unblocked
Have you tried all of the above and nothing works? I'm so sorry to hear that! Trust me when I say I know what it feels like! All your hard work could disappear, you're already losing followers, your engagement might tank, etc. This is exactly what had happened to me. I was Instagram action blocked from December 10, 2019 until December 30, 2019!
I had tried all the above methods but nothing worked. Even though my action block was only supposed to be for 24-hours, Instagram kept extending my action block every single day. So that the day I was supposed to be unblocked, I was blocked again for another day, as soon as I tried to perform any action.
I decided to reach out to Facebook support (Facebook owns Instagram) to see if they can fix my problem. Facebook Support offered to give me a call and talk to me about how my block came about and how I can fix it.
The resolution they gave me on the phone is to leave my account alone for "a few days." But what does a few days mean exactly? And how can you get back to your regular Instagram activity after a long block?
I asked exactly these questions on my call with Facebook Support. You can get the recording of the entire phone conversation by signing up to my newsletter below. You will receive a video in which I share the recorded phone conversation with Facebook Support, my story of how I have been action blocked from December 10, 2019 to December 30, 2019, all my action blocked messages, and how to fix the issue!
Sign up HERE to get the full Facebook Support conversation and their recommendation on how to fix an Instagram Action Block!
When will my Instagram Action Block Expire?
Instagram action block timing can be different depending on the action block message you received. If your message has a specified expiration date this is very different to having an action block message without an expiration date.
Instagram Action Block with no Expiration Date
Instagram action blocks that have no expiration date are deemed as less severe, or minor action blocks. If your action block message does not include an expiration date, it will likely expire in between 4-24 hours. Make sure you write down exactly what time you were blocked and follow the How to Fix Your Action Block steps above.
Instagram Action Block with Expiration Date
If your Instagram action block contains an expiration date, you are blocked until that expiration date. There sadly is no way you can fix your action block and shorten the time period of your block. All you can do at this point is wait.
Your action block will expire exactly on the date that Instagram tells you it will expire and exactly the minute your action block started. This is why it is important that you write down the time you were blocked as you will be blocked until the exact same minute on the expiration date.
Keep in mind that even though you can’t take any actions by liking, commenting, posting, following, or unfollowing, you can still post Instagram stories and send DMs. Use this time to connect with your audience through Instagram stories. You can use my free Instagram story Q&A templates to share more about yourself.
Your Instagram Action Block Expired but You Are Still Blocked
Your action block has expired but you are still blocked? It is easily possible that you received an expiration date from Instagram and after your account was supposed to expire, you are still blocked past your expiration date. You may even have received a new message with a new expiration date now.
That’s exactly what happened to me and it was going on for a full 20 days! This is extremely long in the Instagram world. I really hope it will not be this long for you and here is what I did to finally get unblocked.
The best thing to do in this situation is to stop taking any actions on Instagram. This means even just trying to see if you are still blocked. Chances are that if you are blocked past your expiration date, a bigger issue is going on which requires a longer time to fix.
If your block has expired but you are still action blocked, leave your account alone for 5-7 days to fix the block. This means no likes, comments, follows, or unfollows during this time.
I would recommend leaving your account alone for 5-7 days. This means no liking, commenting, following or unfollowing for 5-7 days. While this sounds like a very long time, it has proven to be the only method that worked for me. I tried to leave it alone for 2 days which didn’t work. I tried 3 and 4 days and both didn’t work. It wasn’t until I left it alone for 7 full days that I was finally unblocked!
My best tip is to leave your account, maybe even de-install the app to not be tempted and enjoy your social detox.
Make sure you reach out to any collaboration partners and let them now you are blocked. You can also send them your planned posts and let them know you will post as soon as you're unblocked.
If you are being action blocked, chances are you are looking to grow your Instagram account. The one thing about action blocks is that you can still post Instagram stories. This is the time to get on Instagram stories and connect with your audience. Start by sharing fun facts about yourself or do an Instagram quiz with these free Instagram Story Questions Templates.
Most importantly, don't let it stress you out too much! This is easier said than done, but it's not the end of the world. I promise! After being unblocked, I managed to grow my account again and my engagement slowly went back to "normal" levels.
What to Do After you Are Unblocked on Instagram
Once you are unblocked, the most important thing is to take it slow! If you have been blocked for only a short amount of time, take it slow the first day and don’t like too many posts.
If you have been blocked for a very long time like I was, take it extremely slow with engaging and taking actions afterwards. Here is what I did day by day after I was unblocked:
- Day 1 of being Unblocked: posted 1 photo and did not like anything at all. I also did not comment on any posts. Did not follow or unfollow anyone.
- Day 2 of being Unblocked: Posted 1 photo and liked 3 other posts that day. I did not comment on any posts. Did not follow or unfollow anyone.
- Day 3 of being Unblocked: Posted 1 photo and liked 10 other posts and commented on 2. Did not follow or unfollow anyone.
- Day 4 of being Unblocked: Posted 1 photo and liked 10-20 posts and commented on 5. Did not follow or unfollow anyone.
As you see, the key is to ease back in when it comes to engaging. During the entire first week after being unblocked, I did not follow or unfollow anyone and was very careful to not like too many posts or comment too much. I was posting every day which is important to grow your Instagram account but also shows Instagram that you are not a robot.
Best Accessories to Boost Your Instagram
If you have issues with being Instagram Action Blocked, chances are you are looking to grow your Instagram account. There are so many accessories out there to make creating content easier and I'm sharing my favorite ones which have helped me create better photos and videos to share on Instagram and plan my content.
Instagram Action Block FAQ
Why Can’t I Like Anything on Instagram?
You are likely experiencing an Instagram action block and are in Instagram jail. If you are trying to like something and you receive a “Try Again Later” message, you are blocked. If you are trying to like something and the red heart immediately disappears again, this can be a warning that you will get action blocked.
Why Am I Instagram Action Blocked?
Reasons to get action blocked on Instagram include liking too many posts in a short period of time, commenting on too many posts or responding to your own comments too fast, following or unfollowing too many other accounts in a short period of time. Another reason would be that you connected your Instagram account with a third-party service and shared your password so they can perform actions on your behalf.
How Do I Fix my Instagram Action Block?
This depends on the type of action block. If you are blocked temporarily and have no expiration date in your action block messages, possible fixes are:
- Uninstall or disconnect any third party apps.
- Try to get off the wifi connection and use mobile data instead.
- Sign out of Instagram and sign in again.
- Uninstall the app and install it again.
- Leave your account alone for at least 4 hours.
If you are seeing an expiration date in your action block message, there is nothing you can do other than wait until it expires.
When Does my Instagram Action Block Expire?
If your Instagram action block message contains an expiration date, your action block will expire on exactly that date and the same minute you first received your action block.
If your Instagram action block message does not contain an expiration date, your block can expire in between 4 and 24 hours.
Can Instagram Permanently Block You?
Instagram can permanently block and shut down your account at their own will. However, if you are following the Instagram standards and guidelines, this is very rare.
Why Am I Still Blocked After My Instagram Action Block Expired?
Guesses in the industry are that this might be a bug in the Instagram code or that your action block is more severe. The best thing to do in this case is stay off the app for several days to indicate to Instagram that you are not a robot.
How Can I Get in Touch with Instagram Support?
Instagram support is almost impossible to reach but I was successful reaching out to Facebook Support. I went to my Facebook page connected with Instagram and to ad support and was able to reach out to them there in the ad support chat.
More Questions on How to Fix your Instagram Action Block?
If you have any further questions about why you got Instagram action blocked, about the Instagram algorithm, or anything else Instagram related, feel free to reach out to me via DM or via email. While Instagram is the platform I am most active on, the heart and soul of The Next Trip is this blog, the travel tips we share and the places we introduce you to.
Is your Instagram account action blocked? Have any of these resolutions helped you in the past? Share your experience in the comments!
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