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Instagram Restrict vs Block: What’s the difference, and how can you do it?

Whether you want to block or restrict someone, or just know the difference between restrict vs block on Instagram, read on.

Posted 4 months ago

Written by

Sam King
Posted 4 months ago

As Instagram has developed as a platform, they have become increasingly aware of issues of cyberbullying, trolling, and general negativity – leading them to develop safeguarding options such as ‘restrict’ and ‘block’ features for accounts. This has allowed users to monitor and limit the interactions that appear on their profile, as well as who can and can’t see their content. Whether you want to block or restrict someone or want to know the difference between restrict vs block on Instagram, we answer all your questions, below!

Jump to a section ✨

  1. What does restrict mean on Instagram? 👀
    • Here’s what else happens when you block someone:

At Flick, we’re all things social media and can help you learn a great deal about how to get more followers and engagement using Instagram Captions or Hashtags.

What does restrict mean on Instagram? 👀

So, what does it mean to restrict someone on Instagram? First of all, restricting a profile shouldn’t be mistaken for blocking, as restrict on Instagram is a totally different thing. Think of it as a subtle version of a block!

When you restrict someone on Instagram, it means that you are restricting them from seeing certain parts of your profile, or from interacting with you in certain ways. Restricting is different from blocking because users are still able to view your profile, follow you, and have you as a follower. You can block a user after you have already restricted them.

How do you restrict vs block someone on Instagram? 👋

There are a few different ways to restrict someone, once you have decided this is the option for you.

  • First, you’ll want to log in to your account and go to the profile of the user you’d like to restrict.
  • Next, click on the ‘…’ icon.
  • Select ‘restrict.’

restrict vs block instagram

You can also restrict someone through the settings option on your profile.

  1. Navigate to ‘Settings’.
  2. Select ‘Privacy’.
  3. Select ‘Restricted Accounts’.
  4. Search for the profile you’d like to restrict, and select this option.

instagram restrict vs block

What happens when you restrict someone on Instagram? 🙅‍♀️

If you want to restrict someone but you’re worried about what they might think – don’t worry. Instagram does not notify users as to whether or not they’ve been restricted. However, you will be able to stop them from making the following actions on your profile:

  1. Commenting

So what does restrict do on Instagram comments? Technically, they will still be able to comment on your images or videos, as normal, but their comments will not be public or viewable by other users. This means only you, and the restricted user can see the comments they have left on your profile.

Also, when a restricted user comments on your post, you won’t get a notification as you normally would. However, it stays under a protected message. In other words, you’ll see a message to either Approve or Delete it.

Since there’s no notification of the comment from the restricted user profile, you have to go and find the comment manually in a post. So if you’re very active on Instagram, chances are you may never see their comment and your post unless you stumble upon the protected message.

  1. Visibility of your activity

Although your profile may appear normal to the restricted user, they will not be able to see when you are online or if you have seen their messages if they send across a DM. Any messages they send will appear in ‘message requests’ rather than your primary inbox.

These are both particularly useful if you are a public figure or a brand. If you are a public figure and want to restrict hate or any negative comments that may come your way, the restrict function is a great option that doesn’t cause too much upset.

What does restricting someone on Instagram do to their profile? Nothing, as you can see, like, and comment on their posts and stories.

When should you restrict a profile on Instagram?

Instagram has over one billion active users. Celebrities, public figures, brands, and influencers have tens of thousands to millions of followers. But not all the users are well-intentioned, polite, or decent.

Hate speech and cyberbullying have increased tremendously over the years and have become a problem for the platform. The Meta-owned company has come under pressure to tackle hate speech and bullying, which doesn’t just impact general users but also public figures.

Thanks to the public and political outcry about the problem, the social media platform has introduced new features to tackle the problem, which had become extremely serious and damaging for Instagram. Just in the last quarter of 2021, Instagram took action on 3.8 million hate speech incidents.

Features like restrict on Instagram also help users limit and avoid such incidents from other users and followers. It reduces the interaction of the user with your profile, posts, and stories, as only you can view their comments, should you choose to. And similarly, the messages come into the message request section of your DMs, not the primary inbox.

Restrict Instagram is an ideal feature to limit interaction from someone who may be bothering you with their comments on your posts or messages. It’s also good for those users who don’t necessarily want to lower their follower count but do want to restrict the user interaction. Instagram restrict vs block keeps the user in your followers’ list despite restricting their actions.

If you’re putting up with rude and invasive followers just so you have more outreach and exposure, you should consider Flick’s Hashtag Academy, where you can learn how to leverage hashtags on Instagram to grow your audience organically and increase engagement with your current following.


Hashtags & Analytics

Find, manage, and analyze hashtags for Instagram.


How to tell if someone restricted you on Instagram? 🥺

So you think you’ve been restricted, eh? It’s quite easy to find out if you’ve been blocked on Instagram, as you won’t have any access to that person’s profile, however, restricting can be trickier to work out. You’ll still be able to see the profile as normal, and you’ll still be able to comment on posts, so how do you know if you’ve been restricted?

If you want to find out if you’ve been restricted, one of the best ways is to check your message history with the person in question. You should be able to see when and if they are online if they haven’t restricted you, as well as whether or not they have seen your recent messages, marked by read receipts.

If you have multiple accounts, you can also check if you have been restricted, when looking at whether or not your comments appear on your profile. You can test this by commenting on a recent post, then switching to your other account to see if your comment appears automatically, or if it has to be approved.

The restrict feature has been added to Instagram as a way to stop bullying, negativity, and hate on the platform, and it helps some users take back control over their profiles. It’s important that whether or not you have been restricted, to think about the comments you post on a person’s profile and whether or not they could be harmful to the individual.

How do you block someone on Instagram? 😡

Is someone really getting to you, and restriction just isn’t enough to keep them off your back? If you want to take things a step further, you can also block someone on Instagram, which will mean you will essentially ‘disappear’. Don’t worry, you won’t actually disappear. The user won’t be able to search for or find your profile, and you will be removed from their followers and following. Here’s how to block someone on Instagram:

  • Go to the person’s profile that you’d like to block.
  • Select the ‘…’ icon in the top righthand corner.
  • Select ‘Block’.

What happens when you block someone on Instagram?

When you block a user on Instagram, your profile essentially disappears from the profile and feed of that particular user. But that happens in a variety of ways. Unlike Instagram restrict, a blocked user cannot interact with your posts or even message you. They won’t even be able to find your profile.

Here’s what else happens when you block someone:

  • All the previous likes and comments from that user on your profile will disappear. (And they won’t return even when you unblock them)
  • They won’t be able to tag your in photos or even mention your username using the @ function. However, if you change your username, they might be able to mention you, provided they know the new username.
  • They will be able to see your likes or comments on public accounts or private accounts they follow.
  • While you’re not able to message the blocked user, any previous chat remains in your DMs.
  • If you and the blocked person are in a group chat on Instagram, you’ll get a prompt on whether you want to leave the group. Should you choose to stay, you will be able to see the messages from the blocked person.
  • Your DM thread also remains in the blocked user’s inbox, and they are able to send a message. However, the message will never be delivered to you, even when you’ve unblocked them.
  • Blocking someone automatically unfollows them from your profile and you from theirs should they be following you. And you’ll have to follow them and vice versa after unblocking them.

As you can see, the difference between restrict and block on Instagram is significant. Blocking someone stops any form of contact with the account on Instagram. Not just that, any history of the interaction except DMs is also deleted as if you never followed them in the first place.

If someone has multiple accounts, you may have to block those accounts separately. However, you do get the chance to ensure any new account they create is also blocked. Instagram probably included this setting because it’s pretty easy to create a second Instagram account, and people do it all the time to check if someone has blocked them. So this makes it a little harder for the blocked user to find out if you’ve blocked them or simply deactivated or deleted your account.

Instagram block vs restrict: Quick comparison

What does mean in IG? What does block mean on IG? The following table will answer!


Restrict Block
Can see profile? Yes No
Can like or comment? Yes No
Are their likes and comments visible to me? Yes No
Are their likes and comments visible to others? No No
Can tag in photos? Yes No
Can mention username? Yes No
Can send message? Yes (message request) No
Can receive message? Yes No

When should you block a profile on Instagram?

Perhaps you have had a falling out with a person. Perhaps a random brand account is sending you unsolicited promotional messages. Or perhaps someone is DMing you hateful speech. As that popular Spanish meme goes, it’s time to block, block, block!

As mentioned earlier, hate speech, inappropriate pictures, and bullying are serious problems on Instagram. So, the block option comes in very handy to cut out such users from spoiling your day.

You can block an Instagram profile any time and unblock it anytime unless they’ve blocked you too. Restricted vs blocked Instagram is very different. A blocked user cannot reach you in any way, unlike a restricted user, who may still be able to view your posts and comment, albeit only visible to you and them.

In addition, to restrict and block, Instagram has also introduced other features like Limit and Hidden Words. These features are directed towards public figures and influencers with many followers who get negative comments and messages frequently.

instagram restrict vs block

How do you unblock vs unrestrict someone on IG? 📸

Decided you want to unblock someone, or no longer see them as a threat to your page? Blocking and restricting are reversible, which means you can also unblock and unrestrict users too.

To unblock someone:

  1. On your profile tap the icon of three horizontal lines in the top righthand corner.
  2. Select ‘Settings’.
  3. Tap ‘Privacy’.
  4. In the ‘Connections’ section, select ‘Blocked Accounts.’
  5. Find the user you’d like to unblock, and select ‘Unblock.’

instagram toolkit

To unrestrict someone:

  1. Go to the person’s profile that you’d like to unrestrict.
  2. Select the ‘…’ icon.
  3. Select ‘Unrestrict.’

How do you tell if someone blocked you on Instagram? 💭

Finding out if someone blocked you on Instagram is quite simple, if you are blocked, you won’t be able to find them at all. Try searching for their username, and if they don’t appear, it likely means they have either deleted their account or blocked you. You can also check your ‘following’ to see if you are still following that profile.

Finally, if you want to find out whether their profile has been deleted, or if they have blocked you, you will need to log in to another Instagram profile, search for their username, and check. If it pops up, it means they have blocked you from their account. If it doesn’t, it’s likely they could have deleted or deactivated their account altogether.

Now you should know everything there is about the restrict vs block actions on Instagram. If you want to explore more hacks, insights, and how-tos, just click the banner below!



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What does restrict mean on Instagram? 👀

How do you restrict vs block someone on Instagram? 👋

What happens when you restrict someone on Instagram? 🙅‍♀️

When should you restrict a profile on Instagram?

How to tell if someone restricted you on Instagram? 🥺

How do you block someone on Instagram? 😡

What happens when you block someone on Instagram?

Instagram block vs restrict: Quick comparison

When should you block a profile on Instagram?

How do you unblock vs unrestrict someone on IG? 📸

How do you tell if someone blocked you on Instagram? 💭

Talk Social To Me

Get the latest social media gossip, memes, news and tips sent straight to your inbox.

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