With 9 easy steps you can follow to appeal your account too
On January 5, 2016, I created an Instagram account for the family business Tile Plus and on January 12 it was disabled for a total of 3 days.
Here?s an overview of Instagram?s broken support system, and what I did to overcome it.
TL;DR (Too long; didn?t read)
9 Steps to Appeal and Hopefully Reactivate Your Disabled Instagram Account at the bottom of article.
Check out the comments for the latest ideas and suggestions.
Day 1 ? January 12, 2016
I woke up on 1/12/16 to the grim view of my disabled Instagram account. A pop-up claimed I was violating Instagram terms.
I had no clue what I had done. I had thus far posted 5 pictures to my business account since creating it the week prior. I had just over 300 followers.
My friend suggested it was because I had placed so much text over my images that they looked spammy. I?m not sure, it could be!
The pop-up said: ?Error, your account has been disabled for violating our terms. Learn how you may be able to restore your account.?
Instagram error message for disabled account
I clicked on [Learn More] and followed four more screens:
Instagram?s appeal process
What I was doing was following Instagram?s appeal process. But when I got to the end, I learned something was very wrong with Instagram?s app:
Instagram?s appeal process, designed for you to reactivate your disabled account, is broken.
Part of the process requires you to attach a business document as evidence that you are part of the account. But when I tapped on Choose File (see red arrow in the image above), the app would crash! All I was trying to do was attach a picture of my local business license. I tried again and again, but to no avail.
Perhaps following Instagram?s appeal process on my computer?s browser might work? Unfortunately, Instagram?s website claimed my login information was wrong. I tried twice more but it still insisted my login info was bad.
I visited Instagram?s help pages and they stated, ?You may be able to appeal the decision by opening the app, entering your username and password and following the on-screen instructions.?
Instagram?s support screen directed me to the broken app
I thought my phone was just being crazy for not letting me attach the image, so I asked my girlfriend to try to log in on her iPad. She tried to access my account several times, but like my web browser, it insisted my login information was wrong.
I considered just skipping the step. But Instagram explicitly made me agree:
?I understand I can?t get help with my account if I haven?t uploaded a valid document supporting my business.?
Give in to failure?
One of my friends suggested I make a new account with a new username. But I felt this had all been done unjustly. By making a new username I would be falling prey to this unjustness.
Try, try again
I did some Google searching and found one YouTube video of a guy who said he reported his account as hacked, and 24 hours later it was reactivated.
I found the Instagram form he was talking about and filled it out myself.
Shortly afterward, I received this email from Instagram. They asked for a digital copy of proof of my association with the business such as a business license, tax filing, utility bill, etc.
I replied and attached the document. Now it was time to wait 24 hours?
Day 2 ? January 13, 2016
24 hours later, and no response from Instagram.
I crossed my fingers and tried logging in to my account on my phone. Same error message!
I saw that my final un-tried option was to go through Instagram?s broken appeal process and just omit attaching a document. I would not attach any evidence of my association with the company.
An hour later, I received another email from Instagram asking me to send evidence that I am a real person and that I am associated with my account:
I immediately replied with the required photo, a random set of numbers, my full name, and my username:
My girlfriend said I looked very cute in this picture.
Day 3 ? January 14, 2016
I got another email response from Instagram, but it was identical to the earlier email asking for proof of my association with the business.
I once more attached a photo of our local San Jose, CA business license.
An hour later, I received an email saying my account was reactivated!!!
9 Steps to Appeal and Hopefully Reactivate Your Disabled Instagram Account
To sum it up in simple, repeatable steps, here is how you can appeal and hopefully reactivate your account:
This does not work for deleted accounts. If you broke Instagram?s rules, your account is probably deleted. Deleted accounts cannot be reactivated.
If you see this error message when trying to log in to your Instagram account, follow these steps to appeal your disabled account.
- Please note, this is just the appeal process. I did this several times per day. I?ve helped others who appealed 3 times/day for 14 days! Others never got their accounts back. Give it your best, we?re all on your side!
- Click on [Learn More].
- You will have a new window, saying your account has been disabled for not following Instagram?s terms. On the bottom of the text is a link saying ?let us know?. Click on it.
- Next, a window will appear saying, ?If you believe your account was disabled by mistake?? Choose [Yes] if your account is for a business like mine or [No] if it is your personal account.
- Then, go ahead and fill out the information as requested. Your Instagram username is the second text field on your profile (see photo below). If you are located outside of the U.S., select ?United States? as your country. Insta apparently has a problem with foreigners ?
- NOTE: Don?t attach a file. Just skip it and submit the form. That was what worked for me.
- Crossing our fingers, within a couple of hours you should receive an email from Instagram asking you to take a picture of yourself, with random numbers, your account name, and your name all handwritten. Do it right away!
- Next, you will receive an email from Instagram asking you to provide the evidence you were supposed to provide in #6 above. Do it immediately!
- If no luck, repeat steps 1 through 6 two to three times each day. We?re going to spam Instagram and do this for up to 14 days! ?
Other Ideas to Reactivate Your Account
If the above process didn?t work, don?t give up hope. It may take up to 14 days for your account to reactivate! Try the following, they may help/speed up your account reactivation:
Reach out to Instagram Support on their official Twitter account: @igofficialhelp
This idea comes from Tommy Kuo who recently provided a great suggestion which worked well for him. Thanks for sharing Tommy!
?I was able to get my account back in 7 days by direct-messaging Facebook and Instagram employees.?
?I searched on Facebook for ?People who work at Instagram? and ?Lives in San Fransisco? (so I know they?re legit), and I checked each profile to make sure they were indeed an employee before I messaged them with this:
Hey ____ , my name?s Tommy and my Instagram has been wrongly disabled for ?pretending to be someone else?. I saw you work at Facebook so I hope you can take out a few seconds of your day to help me get my business account back, it?s integral to the success of my business. I?ve been trying to regain access for a week, and FB/IG have not replied to my messages and appeals. I?d really appreciate if you can help me out and connect me with the right people, thank you.
?After DM?ing over 50 individuals, one responded and asked for my email. Days later, my account was restored. I have no idea if it was from this person, but this is definitely an option to try.?
Here are some ways we can make Tommy?s idea easier and quicker:
- Using Chrome?s web browser, get the PropelIQ Targeted Lead Builder extension.
PropelIQ Targeted Lead Builder
Build clean, targeted prospect lists quickly. Automatically get names, emails, websites and company information.
2. Then get the ContactOut Chrome Extension.
Find anyone’s email – Contact Out
The best & most accurate email finding tool, used by 30% of FORTUNE500 companies
3. Click on PropelIQ Targeted Lead Builder and type in ?Instagram? to run a LinkedIn search. It will scour LinkedIn for anyone who has ?Instagram? in their resume.
4. Now you will see a list of results on Google. Open one.
5. While looking at their LinkedIn page, click on the Contact Out Chrome extension. You will see their hidden contact info. Click on [Show].
6. Now you can see their email and sometimes phone number! Here?s what I suggest you do:
- Send them an email with a link to the petition with THOUSANDS of signatures.
- Call them and tell them about the problem, the petition and what you?d like them to do.
7. Repeat this process doing a PropelIQ search for ?Facebook? too!
This solution directly notifies the Instagram & Facebook team that their product is majorly bugged.
NOTE: If for some reason your account isn?t being reactivated, don?t give up! Try several times like me. Like me, this girl?s account was deleted ?by accident.?
This idea comes from Philip Moran who provided great advice in his comment below. Thanks again Philip!
?What worked for me was logging into my personal account?
(I had another account which I was able to log into, if you only have one Instagram account, this solution won?t work).
On the main page of my personal account, I clicked on the upper right wheel symbol. From there I clicked on ?Report a Problem?, and then ?Something Isn?t Working?. At that point, I typed in my concern and they got back to me.
It?s important that you indicate the account which isn?t working in the message with @NAMEOFBUSINESS.
I was fortunate because our Facebook business account by the same name was linked to the Instagram business account. So it was easy to prove that we had rightful ownership of the brand and therefore the page.
I first received an email reply from IG asking to show documentation that I owned the business, so provided Articles of Formation and a Brand Ownership Document (from here in the Philippines).
I got a reply from Instagram Support within 30 minutes of sending my first message. And my Instagram business account was reactivated the next day.?
Two people contacted me on Twitter saying their accounts were deactivated and that Instagram hadn?t responded to their email. They continued complaining almost daily. In each post, they tagged #instagram and @instagram. 2 weeks later, their accounts were reactivated. Maybe Instagram is following Twitter posts silently?
Try logging in with a different device as stated in the link below. If you don?t have another phone handy (your sister?s, girlfriend?s, parent?s, etc.) then try logging in on your computer.
How to Get an Instagram Account Unbanned – Boostlikes.com
Like many other social media networks, Instagram reserves the right to decide what content they will allow you to share?
Ask the Facebook Help Community for help. Because Facebook owns Instagram, and Facebook employees are often monitoring and replying to questions in the community. Asking for help there seems very worthwhile.
(NOTE: They may suggest you ask for help on the Insta site. IMHO, try EVERYTHING.)https://www.facebook.com/help/community/ask/
If you?ve done all of the above steps and your account has been disabled for more than 2?3 weeks, then you might just need to make a new account ?
I know you don?t want to hear that, but don?t you get more value out of having an active Insta account?
Try shooting an email to firstname.lastname@example.org for help
(NOTE: This email has been spammed so much that they may not receive your message. IMHO, try EVERYTHING.)
Proof of Success
Here are some success stories of people who reactivated their accounts:
Matthew letting me know he is back in on TwitterAnkita tweeting that she can now access her InstagramInstagram DM between Kay and IDM between Deezy and I saying she?s back in.
UPDATE: Sign The Petition
Please sign my petition on Change.org. Let Instagram know that they have to stop disabling working, valid accounts. Let?s show them that they have a broken system! It takes less than a minute and together we can force Instagram to get their sh*t together.
Kevin Systrom Instagram CEO: Stop Incorrectly Disabling Accounts
Did you know that Instagram incorrectly disables hundreds of accounts each month without logic or reason? I recently?
If you have any questions, comments or feedback, please share it below.