‘We restrict certain activity’ Instagram Error: How To Fix the Issue

Instagram has been updating the app with new features since the 2020 pandemic began. First, we got Reels and then we got the ability to embed Tweets directly in your story. It seems that Facebook is hard at work to make the most out of Instagram’s current popularity.

Keeping in line with this, the company has improved its privacy policy and user protection guidelines and protocols. However, this recent change seems to have negatively impacted a lot of users who seem to be getting the “We restrict certain activity” error message for no reason. So what is this error message? And should you be receiving it? Let’s find out!

What is the “We restrict certain activity” error?

This is a spam-based error shown to shadowbanned accounts that have been identified as spam. In case you have been using a lot of bots, third-party apps or your Instagram activity has been unusually high, then it is likely that you have been marked as spam. In such cases, you will be restricted from doing certain things on Instagram like contacting certain people, following certain people, liking certain posts, reels, stories, and more. 

Why am I getting the “We restrict certain activity” error?

There could be multiple reasons why your account has been marked as spam and you are getting this error. Some of the common ones have been listed below. 

  • A lot of unusual activity has been detected from your account. 
  • You’ve surpassed the daily action limits set by Instagram which were halved from their original count in 2019. 
  • Your Instagram account is fairly new. 
  • You’ve been (mis)using automation and bots. 
  • You’ve been using unapproved third-party software integrated with your Instagram account. 
  • A lot of Instagram users have reported you as spam.

There can be many other reasons for you getting marked as spam as well. Either way, if you are seeing the “We restrict certain activity” message or “Action Blocked” message, then you can try one of the following fixes to try and fix your Instagram account.   

How to fix

As we do not know how severe your current restrictions by Instagram are, you can start by trying all the fixes one by one below. These fixes have helped many users lift restrictions off of their account and the most recent fix is listed at the top. We hope you can unrestrict your account using one of the fixes below. 

Remove links

This the latest fix that seems to be working for everybody around the world. It seems a recent change to Instagram’s moderation algorithm is marking users with linked profiles and websites in their names to get tagged as ‘Spam’ which in turn restricts their account. If you have linked to a webpage, website, or a profile in your Instagram bio then it is likely the reason for Instagram’s restrictions on your account. We recommend you edit your bio by going into Instagram > Profile > Edit Profile > Bio. Now sign out of your account and sign back in. You can also reinstall Instagram for good measure and to clear all local data. Once you are signed back in, you can try performing the restricted action again. If this is why you were restricted, then the shadowban should be lifted by now. 

Add phone number

In case you have a fairly recent profile then adding a phone number will help identify you not as a bot. This way you can lift bans from your profile as well. Go to Instagram > Settings > Account > Personal Information > Phone Number. Now add your phone number and verify it with the one-time code sent to your device. And that’s it! Restart the Instagram app and you should now be able to perform the restricted actions.  

Reinstall Instagram

This is a simple method that seems to have worked for many users. Simply reinstall the app for Instagram on your mobile device. This should help clear cookies, cache, and any other conflicting local data that might be causing issues with your account. Once reinstalled, log back into your account and try performing the restricted action again. If restrictions seem to be lifted, then you are good to go. 

Switch to mobile data 

Changing your network to mobile data has also seemed to work for some users. This could be a region-restricted fix to certain parts of the world due to some carrier-specific features but you can try it nonetheless. Close the Instagram app, switch to mobile data, and relaunch the app. If you can perform the restricted action then you are good to go. Your Wi-Fi IP address has likely been flagged by Instagram. 

Link your Instagram and Facebook account

This is another way to verify your identity to Instagram and in turn, lift any restrictions placed on your account due to it being marked as spam or bot. Open Instagram > Settings > Account > Sharing with other apps > Facebook. Now follow the onscreen instructions to link your Instagram and Facebook account together. Once linked, try to perform the restricted action again. If you are successful, then your identity has now been verified and you have been unmarked as a spam/bot. 

Stop Running bots or third-party services

This is a given, but you should definitely stop running any unapproved third-party botts or services that you might be using with your Instagram account. Using these services not only surpasses your daily action limits but also gets you marked for unusual activity. Hence we recommend you stop using these services at the earliest and then try restoring your account using one of the fixes in this list. 

Change your IP Address

This has also helped many users lift restrictions off of their accounts. You can use a third-party app or service to change your IP address which will help Instagram reverify your identity and activity. If all checks out then any restrictions placed on your account should be lifted. Simply restart the Instagram app after changing your IP address and see if you can perform the restricted action. 

Switch your device

Some users have been able to lift restrictions off of their Instagram account by switching devices. Instagram seems to flag mobile devices in some cases which leaves you with no choice but to change your device. If you’re using a used device then it is likely that it was flagged due to a previous account’s activity but now you have to suffer the consequences.  

Get in touch with Instagram Support

You can also get in touch with the Instagram support team in case nothing seems to work for you. Open Instagram > Settings > Help > Report a problem > Report a problem. You can now use the on-screen instructions to report a problem to Instagram and a support ticket will be generated for the same. You will be able to track the ticket’s progress by going to the Help section again in the future.  

Post something

Haven’t posted in a while? Inactive profiles often get marked as Spam depending on their previous activity. If you have been inactive for a while then you have been likely marked as Spam or Bot by Instagram. Do what normal people do on Instagram, post a photo, share a story, create a reel, watch something, browse a little. As you browse and find your way around Instagram, your activity should automatically help lift your restrictions. 

Note: It can take up to 48 hours for your restrictions to get lifted. 

Verify your profile

If you are still unable to lift the shadowban, then it’s time to verify your profile with Instagram. This will add a blue tick beside your profile and permanently ensure that Instagram never identifies you as a spam/bot in the future. However, keep in mind that getting verified is completely up to Instagram’s discretion and your request could be denied in the future. Open Instagram > Settings > Account > Request Verification. Now follow the on-screen steps to verify your account and provide the necessary information. Once approved, your profile will not only be verified but any restrictions placed on your account should also be lifted. 

Last Resort: Wait it out (12 to 48 hours)

If this is your first shadowban then you probably don’t need to worry that much. These restrictions are most likely probation and the next 24 to 48 hours of activity will help determine whether Instagram will place permanent restrictions on your account or not. You can simply take a break, in this case, leave the platform for a while and maybe do some forced social detox in return. After 24 hours or 48 hours, you can try performing the restricted action again. In most first-time cases, the restrictions should have been lifted by now. 

We hope you were able to get rid of the ‘We restrict certain activity’ error from Instagram using this guide. If you face any more issues, feel free to reach out to us using the comments section below. 

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Mudit

Spectroscopic collection of human cells trying to pave a path via words.

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