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2024-03-02 03:00:00

Troubleshooting Instagram: Why Can't I Follow People?

Person with a smartphone encountering an error while trying to follow someone on Instagram, digital art.

Instagram, the photo and video sharing social networking service, has evolved into a significant hub of interaction and engagement. With millions of active users, it's no surprise that the ability to follow others plays a critical role in the platform's experience. However, instances where users encounter difficulties in following others can cause confusion and frustration. This article aims to explore the reasons behind this issue, providing insight and solutions to help you overcome this unexpected barrier on Instagram.

Understanding Instagram's Following Mechanism

Before diving into the various reasons that could prevent you from following other users on Instagram, it's essential to understand how the following mechanism works on the platform. Instagram allows users to follow other accounts to keep up with their content, engagements, and updates. This is a simple action that can be done by clicking the 'Follow' button on the desired account's profile.

Possible Causes for Following Issues on Instagram

  • Exceeding Follow Limits: Instagram imposes restrictions on the number of accounts you can follow within a certain time frame to prevent spamming. If you've been actively following numerous accounts too quickly, you may have hit this limit.
  • Account Restrictions: Reasons such as violating Instagram’s Community Guidelines can lead to temporary restrictions on your account, which may include the ability to follow others.
  • Technical Glitches: Sometimes, bugs within the app or server-side issues can cause temporary problems with following functionality.
  • Network Issues: Faulty internet connections can impact various features on Instagram, including the follow function.
  • Blocked by User: If you have been blocked by the specific user you are trying to follow, you will not be able to follow them.
  • Private Accounts: Users with private accounts must approve your follow request before you can follow them. If your request is pending, you cannot follow additionally until they accept.

Solutions to Follow Problems on Instagram

If you're experiencing difficulties following others on Instagram, here are some steps you can take:

  1. Wait it out: If you've hit the follow limit, waiting is the best course of action. The restriction typically lifts after a certain period.
  2. Review Community Guidelines: Make sure your account activities are in line with Instagram's guidelines to avoid restrictions.
  3. Check for Updates: Ensure you have the latest version of the Instagram app to fix any known bugs that might be causing issues.
  4. Restart the App: Sometimes, closing and reopening the app can resolve temporary glitches.
  5. Toggle Network Connection: Switching between Wi-Fi and mobile data or rebooting your router may solve internet-related issues.
  6. Reach Out to Support: If none of the above works, contacting Instagram Support can provide further assistance.

Preventing Future Issues

To avoid running into similar issues in the future, consider the following best practices when using Instagram:

  • Follow responsibly: Avoid following large numbers of accounts in a short time span.
  • Stay Informed: Keep an eye on Instagram updates and changes to policies.
  • Maintain a Good Connection: Ensure a stable and reliable internet connection when using the app.
  • Monitor Account Health: Regularly check for any indications of restrictions or blocks on your account.


While encountering problems with following other users on Instagram can be troublesome, understanding the possible causes and implementing the suggested solutions can help you swiftly rectify the situation. Remember that responsible usage and staying informed about platform updates are key to a seamless Instagram experience.