Instagram Action Blocked Fix 2020

“Why am I action blocked on Instagram?”

One of the most asked questions we get daily. In this article we will dive deep into Instagram’s dreaded action block so you can finally overcome the issue for good.

Before delving into several methods for removing action blocks, let’s define what they are and why Instagram uses them on accounts.

What does action blocked mean on Instagram?

Action blocks are a form of restriction (like the shadowban) that is put on Instagram accounts to limit their capacity to perform actions on the platform. There are different types of action blocks which stop various actions. The biggest action blocks are on the following features:

  • Following & unfollowing
  • Direct messages (DM)
  • Comments
  • Story viewing

The origins of the action blocked message

Instagram rapidly increased action blocks after its notorious June 2019 algorithm update. Automation before June 2019 was a huge problem for the platform. Software such as Jarvee made it incredibly easy for people to go against Instagram’s guidelines and grow their accounts without much work. The bread-and-butter growth method for botters was ‘follow unfollow ’. Before 2019, people could follow over 500 people then unfollow the same amount without much intervention from Instagram. When Instagram started becoming a powerhouse for Facebook’s business model by giving advertisers new terrain to display ads, Instagram had to put its foot down on automation.

The solution was expressed on their official blog in a post published on November 19, 2018 titled ‘Reducing inauthentic activity on Instagram’. They mentioned how they would utilize machine learning to detect inauthentic activity on the platform. A warning which was widely ignored until the algorithm was updated seven months later.

Instagram uses an algorithm to discern whether someone is a human or bot. This algorithm looks for patterns in behaviour and uses probability and statistics to determine if the behavior is authentic. Sometimes, the algorithm gets it wrong and punishes innocent accounts with action blocks.

Luckily there are some things you can do to protect yourself from action blocks.

Action Blocked Message Instagram

How to avoid action blocks on Instagram

Generally, accounts get action blocked from doing too many actions or having a low trust score. There is no fixed number of actions that results in an action block, however, from analyzing 1000s of accounts we have found safe ranges of actions that are less likely to result in blocks.

Instagram follow unfollow limits to avoid action blocked

The daily follow-unfollow limit of an account typically lies in the range of 100 to 300 actions. There seems to be a monthly limit which sits at 6000 follow-unfollow actions. Some accounts can do slightly more actions whilst others can’t reach even these numbers. The ability to achieve higher numbers is contingent upon your trust score (which we will explore later). The Instagram unfollow limit per day tends to be higher than the follow limit.

New accounts tend to hit action blocks a lot sooner, so we propose the following warm-up phase for those wishing to follow a lot of users.

Week One: Stay under 60 follow/unfollow actions a day and have a day with no actions.

Week Two: Stay under 90 follow/unfollow actions a day and have a day with no actions.

Week Three: Stay under 120 follow and unfollow actions a day and have a day with no actions.

Week Four: Stay under 180 follow/unfollow actions a day.

Instagram likes limits to avoid blocks

Are you suffering from an Instagram like ban?

The daily like limits for Instagram are a lot more lenient than those for follows and unfollows. From our research we have seen that most accounts are able to like between 750 and 1000 posts without receiving blocks. The speed of the likes can influence action blocks. The faster you give out likes without taking breaks, the quicker you will experience like action blocks. We suggest staying within the following limits:

Likes in a 24-hour period: Stay under 750 likes.

Likes in 60-minute period: Stay under 80 likes.

Story viewing limits on Instagram

Before late 2019, Instagram did not impose any limits on the number of stories users could view. Following the June update new growth hacks were developed to grow accounts rapidly. Two of these methods were mass story viewing and mass story voting. Users would plug their accounts into bots which would view millions of stories and drive traffic to their accounts. Mass story viewing is no longer viable for accounts which are not verified whilst mass story voting is still heavily used.

The story viewing limits on Instagram tend to be higher than 10,000 stories viewed per day. These limits have been placed to stop automation users not normal users. Story views have a larger range than other features on the platform, however you can keep yourself safe by following this limit.

Story views in a 24- hour period: Stay under 2000 story views.

Direct message limits on Instagram


Many people ask us how to get unblocked from DM on Instagram. Here are some things that you should know. Direct messages have the lowest limits as they are the feature most used by spammers. Direct messaging people who are not following you is more likely to give you an action blocked message than messaging those who follow you. It’s wise to be wary of the speed at which you are sending messages. Here is what we suggest:

Direct messages to followers: Keep below 40 messages a day.

Direct messages to non-followers: Keep below 15 messages a day.

What causes the action blocked message on Instagram?

If you are staying below the suggested limits we outlined and you are still getting action blocked, then you likely have a trust score issue. The trust score is an analogy for the health of your account in the eyes of the Instagram algorithm. The higher the trust score, the more Instagram trusts the account. Accounts with low trust scores are given stricter and more rapid action blocks as they are assumed to be low value or automated. Low trust scores are also closely related to shadowbans.

The following activities will lower your trust score and increase the likelihood of your receiving premature action blocks before hitting the conventional limits.

  1. Flagged IP

Whenever you connect to Instagram you do it through an IP address. Think of your IP address like your phone number – it’s one of the metrics Instagram uses to identify you. There are different types of IP addresses and many of these are re-used. When someone spams the platform through an IP address, Instagram can blacklist the IP and monitor it more closely. Hence why you might experience action blocks on several devices in the same home. These devices tend to share the same residential IP address which might be blacklisted.

  1. Flagged Device

Instagram can detect the device you use to access their application through several methods. In their Data Policy they outline some of these.

  • Device operating system
  • Software version
  • Battery level
  • Storage space
  • Windows on your device
  • Device ID
  • App Store information
  • Cookie data
  • GPS location

It’s safe to say Instagram know who you are from your phone. If your phone has been associated with spammy behavior, the accounts you use on it can experience action blocks even when the account itself hasn’t done anything against Instagram’s guidelines.

  1. Using Third-party Apps

Using third-party apps that have not been approved by Instagram can drastically lower your trust score and hinder your account with blocks. Some seemingly innocent apps such as schedulers allowing you to automatically post on your feed are the biggest culprits. Automation software such as Jarvee, if observed by Instagram, will likely contribute to the lowering of your trust score.

  1. Unnatural IP changes

IP addresses can be tracked to distinct countries and regions. An IP address from London has a different pattern to one found in Sydney. If you’ve been logging in from Sydney for 6 months, then you abruptly log in from Hong Kong, and then Wuhan, Instagram will deem your account as suspicious. Normal accounts do not behave this way and Instagram will suspect that you are either using a proxy or being hacked. The more frequent these abrupt changes happen, the more likely it will be that you are using a proxy. Proxies are against Instagram’s guidelines and you will experience more action blocks as a result.

  1. User complaints

If you are posting content that is consistently getting reported by other users on the platform, your trust score will be lowered. User complaints are also one of the leading causes of shadowbans. Users tend to report content of the following nature:

  • Sexually explicit
  • Abusive
  • Bullying
  • Racist
  • Fraudulent/scammy
  1. Copyright infringement

If you are reposting other people’s content without giving credit you could get action blocked. If this becomes a pattern, you will likely get your account banned. Copyright infringement comes from posting:

  • People’s content without crediting them
  • Pay-per view content like UFC matches
  • Clips from newly released movies
  • Music from artists
  • Clips from television shows
    1. Excessive posting

    Posting too frequently can lower the trust of your account, especially if you are constantly reposting other people’s content and not receiving much engagement from your followers. Space on the Instagram feed is precious and should not be wasted. Instagram tries to milk as much real estate from the feed as possible for advertisers. If the algorithm notices your posts are low quality and spammy they will limit your reach. If you continue posting in the same fashion, then you will start experiencing action blocks preventing you from posting.

    Try keep your daily posts under 8. You can go above this number if you are a big page which receives lots of engagement.

    1. Banned hashtags

    Although Instagram denies the existence of ‘banned hashtags’, it’s been observed that there are a range of hashtags which do not show up in the hashtag section of the platform. Many of these hashtags were abused by spammers and have become restricted. If you use these hashtags too often, Instagram can mistake your account for a spammer decreasing your trust score and giving you blocks.

    To avoid this, analyse all your hashtags with an app called Banned Hashtags or via their website

    How To Remove Action Blocks on Instagram for Good

    “How do I fix action blocked on Instagram?”

    Below are a series of practical tips you can use to remove the action blocked message on Instagram. No longer will you need to wonder how to unblock Instagram account.

    1. Switch your internet network connection.

    If you have been using your home wifi address to connect to Instagram try switching to your mobile data connection or vice-versa. This will ensure that a blacklisted IP won’t lower your account’s trust. You can also try change your mobile data network’s IP address by turning on airplane mode for 10 seconds and then turning it off. Many mobile network providers will provide you with a new IP address whenever this happens.

    If you are using automation tools such as Jarvee, try to use high quality mobile proxies instead of residential or data-center proxies. Proxies from countries such as the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada and New Zealand tend to be of higher quality.

    1. Log in from a different device.

    We showed you how easily Instagram can detect your device. Try using another device such as an iPad or second phone to log in to your account. If you stop getting action blocks use this new device for several weeks before switching back to your usual device. When switching devices make sure that the device is located geographically close to your old device. Logging in from across the globe will cause some problems.

    1. Remove all third-party apps.

    The easiest way to remove third-party apps that require your password is by changing your password. You can also access the Facebook Business profile associated with your account to remove third-party apps you might have forgotten about.

    1. Stop automation.

    Stop using automation tools that can be detected easily by Instagram. Staying off Instagram’s radar has become exponentially more difficult to do over the past few years. If you really want to stop seeing the annoying action blocked messages, then disconnect your account from all things bot related.

    1. Report the problem to Instagram.

    Surprisingly, reporting the issue to Instagram can sometimes help remove your blocks. Just don’t hold your breath. Instagram has over a billion monthly active users and the probability of them getting to your problem is low. Be that as it may, reporting a problem doesn’t take long so it’s worth a try.

    1. Don’t use your account for 48 hours.

    As mentioned before, one of the biggest reasons Instagram action blocks accounts is because they are doing too many actions. Give your account a rest for at least 2 days. That means no posting, liking or commenting. It’s even better if you just log out of the account and take some time off the platform.

    1. Pay for a promotion.

    Instagram wants your money. Give it to them via a small promotion and watch the trust score of your account increase. People who spam the platform don’t pay for advertisements. By paying you increase your chances of being recognized as a legitimate account by the algorithm. To pay for a promotion you will need to have a business account connected to a Facebook business page. Paying for advertising also allows you to use another method to unblock our account.

    1. Talk with Facebook Support

    This is a method many people don’t know about. Once you have created a Facebook Business Manager account and paid for a promotion, Instagram will start treating you differently to common users. During certain times of the day you can start a live chat with Facebook ads support. That means you can talk to a REAL HUMAN.

    The premise of the conversation should be how action blocks are interfering with your ability to advertise on Instagram. Facebook support will often do their best to try and resolve your issue so you can continue spending money on the platform. We have done this before when our accounts were shadow banned and got a quicker response than if we were to simply report the issue

    How long do action blocks last?

    “How long does action blocked last on Instagram?” Is another question we are frequently asked.

    There is no set duration for action blocks. Some action blocks can last for a couple of minutes whilst others can last for a month. The duration is dependent on how the Instagram algorithm evaluates your account. If you are constantly getting action blocks, then it’s not uncommon for the duration of each block to increase with time. Therefore, it’s important to try several strategies to remove the block before attempting to do more actions. If something doesn’t work move on to another strategy. Rest assured your action block will not last forever.

    Final thoughts

    As you can see the action blocked problem is not a simple one to fix. At its most fundamental level it is a trust issue between your account and Instagram. The Instagram algorithm is always changing and becoming more advanced with machine learning. Many of the mistakes it has made on the platform (penalizing innocent users with blocks) will be rectified.

    The more Instagram trusts your account, the less likely it is to experience action blocks (abiding you are not abusing the limits). Work on building trust through using other features on the platform appropriately and you will be back in action in no time.

    Need some help with Instagram?

    Whether you need help removing a nasty action block, increasing your engagement, or gaining more followers, we can offer you a comprehensive solution for all things Instagram related. This allows you to take your game to the next level. Simply fill out this form and we will be in touch.

    Isaac Tinashe

    Hi, I am Tinashe and I started delving into entrepreneurship in 2015. It started with YouTube, and I was drawn to having my own business even more as time passed. I am now the proud owner of digital marketing agency The Insta Hustle. My team and I work with clients ranging from dentists to real estate moguls and public figures. The world is changing and if you don't keep up you'll be left behind. Let me show you what is possible with digital marketing.