The post that I never wanted to write – Instagram randomly reactivated my business account. I’d seen it happen to other creatives over the past few years and I was sure that it wouldn’t happen to me! I’d built up a successful following. I had my 2-factor authentication set up. And I assumed that I was following all of Instagram’s rules. But what do you know, one afternoon I tried opening up Instagram and it said I was locked out.
If I learned anything from this experience, it’s that this is actually a common thing that happens. So if you’ve landed on this post because your Instagram account was just deactivated, first off, I’m so sorry! And second, you’re not the only one. I talked to many other creatives and business owners who went through the same thing, which was both comforting and a little frustrating. But ultimately, most people do get their account restored and I’m going to share exactly what I did to get mine back!
01 / Be patient.
The first thing to know is that there is no magic solution to get your account back immediately. At least from what I’ve read. The reason why your account has been taken down and the amount of time you’ll have to wait to get it back is different for everyone. From the people that I spoke with, some got theirs back in a few hours. Others had to wait months. But don’t let that freak you out – I’m just trying to let you know what to expect. Ultimately, the main thing that you need to get your account back is patience, persistance, and probably a little luck.
02 / Fill out a form to report that your account should be reactivated.
The main step that Instagram wants you to take in order to get your account back is to fill out a form through their help center. When you tried to log in and saw that your account was locked, you may have seen a link to report an issue or verify your identity. Follow those instructions! Otherwise, you can find one of the forms available here.
After you submit this form, you should get an automated email asking for more information to verify that you actually own the account. It might ask you to take a photo of yourself holding a piece of paper with numbers and you IG handle written on it. You’ll need to do whatever they ask and email it back to them.
And that’s essentially what Instagram tells you to do. From their, your case will go to their support team and they will review it. But the problem is you don’t know how long it will take. So in the next step, I’ll explain what I did to speed up the process.
03 / Chat with someone from Facebook Concierge Support.
The best way to speed things up is to talk to a real person. The problem is that Instagram doesn’t give you an option to do this through them. You need to go through Facebook. I’ve watch videos where people go this route to get in a support chat – they try setting up an advertisement on Facebook, then report that they are having an issue with the ad and ask to talk to someone. This works for some people, but Facebook had also blocked me from creating ads. So I found another way that I felt was better because with the ads, you’re only being connected to people who deal with Facebook issues, not Instagram. Here’s what to do:
- Log into your Facebook business page
- Click “Facebook Business Suite” on the left side menu
- Click “Commerce on the left side menu
- On the Commerce dashboard, scroll down until you see a section with the title “Need Help?”
- Click the “Learn More” button in that section
- Click the “Contact Facebook Support” button in the Help box
That got me to a place where I could submit a support ticket and be connected with a real person, either via email or in Facebook messenger. The important thing about this strategy was that it allowed me to specify that my issue was occurring on Instagram, not Facebook! I was matched with someone very quickly and explained what was happening.
04 / Ask if they can prioritize your case.
Now the first thing that your support person will ask is if you’ve filled out the forms form the Instagram Help Center. Tell them you have filled out the forms, but haven’t gotten a response yet and want to know if it’s possible for them to label your case as a priority in their queue. Most likely, the support person isn’t going to be able to reactivate your account immediately, BUT they can definitely try to push your case to the top of the list.
If they say that they can do that, then you’ve done all that you can do! They will likely give you an estimate of how long it will take their team to review your case and that they will follow up with you via email if they have updates or need anything else.
My person was really nice and sent me an email once my case hit their desk, which I appreciated very much. Make sure to thank them 🙂
And that’s all the steps that I took to get my account back! I hope that this doesn’t happen to you, but if it does, maybe this blog post will help you get through it faster. And if you’re nervous that your account will be deactivated one day, here are some tips to avoid it:
- Set up Two-Factor Authentication in your account settings to prevent being hacked.
- Disconnect all third-party apps from your account. (like Tailwind, Later, etc.) Apparently this is what caused my deactivation because it violates Instagram’s terms to use another app to control your account.
- Periodically request a data backup of your account via your settings so that your previous content is saved somewhere in case you can’t get your original account back. (To do this, go to Instagram on a web browser, then click Settings > Privacy & Security and then click “Request Download” under the section titled “Data Download”.)