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How To Find Someone On Instagram

Screenshot of Instagram Discover Page with text overlay

Social media is wildly popular for a reason. People use it to keep up with friends and family, promote their business, or even to become an influencer. If you’re looking to find Instagram accounts to connect with, you can use your contacts list, search for specific usernames, use phone numbers, or even hashtags and search engines. We’ll cover all the ways you can look someone up on Instagram. 🌟📸

Finding people from your contacts

We’ll start with contact information readily available to you, like friends and family. 

Finding people from a telephone number

Using phone numbers to find a person’s account is pretty easy. One prerequisite is to have given IG (Instagram) necessary permissions on your phone. You’ll do this by:

  1. Go to your phone’s settings
  2. Find the IG app
  3. Turn on contacts 

Instagram access menu

From there, you’ll need to have the person added as a contact on your phone before finding them on IG.

Here are the rest of the steps:

  1. Open your Instagram app
  2. Go to your profile image on the bottom right, which will take you to your profile
  3. Find the hamburger menu icon on the top right corner of the screen
  4. Tap Settings and Privacy
    Instagram settings and privacy
  5. Tap Accounts Center
    Instagram settings and privacy
  6. Tap Your Information and Permissions
    IG information and permissions
  7. Tap Upload Contacts
    IG upload contacts
  8. Make sure Connect Contacts is toggled on
  9. IG will now show suggestions based off your phone’s contact list
  10. Tap discover people or try the search function now in IG to find for your contact

If you already have contact syncing active you may be able to find them using IG’s search function or go to the discover people option and find your “Suggested for you,” accounts. Keep in mind, for this method, the people you’re looking for must have their Instagram accounts connected via phone number. Considering concerns with privacy and cybersecurity, many people won’t use this option. Luckily, there are other ways to find friends. 

Find people through your Facebook account

Another tactic is through your Facebook account contact list. Here’s how:

  1. Open your IG app
  2. Go to your Instagram profile image on the bottom right
  3. Go to the hamburger menu on the top right
  4. Tap Settings and Privacy
    IG accounts menu
  5. Select Accounts Center
  6. Tap Sharing Across Profiles
    IG sharing profiles menu
  7. Tap Add Accounts
  8. Tap Add Facebook Account

How to find Instagram accounts without a contact list

Sometimes you don’t have someone’s contact information available, such as if you don’t know their full name, or when you follow celebrities or influencers on Instagram. Here’s how to find these users.

Using the Discover People Option

If you use the Discover People option on your account, it will suggest all kinds of people Instagram thinks you should be following. This could be friends from your contacts list, or even celebrity accounts that might interest you. 

Instagram discover people feature

  1. Open your Instagram
  2. Go to the search function (the magnifying glass icon)
  3. Enter the username into the search bar
  4. Look through the results that appear
  5. Tap on the account you’re looking for
  6. Tap the follow button

Finding Instagram profiles through hashtags

Hashtags are a way to increase coverage of Instagram posts and find a wider audience by subject matter. If you’re looking for someone who has used a specific hashtag, you can use this to discover people.

  1. Open Instagram
  2. Go to the search function
  3. Enter # (hashtag) and whatever text you’re looking for
    IG cats hashtag
  4. Search the results to find the right account 

Other ways to find related accounts

Here are a few more things to try when looking for accounts:

Contacts Syncing

Under the follow and invite section mentioned earlier, you’ll see you can send invites through email, text, and other social networks by allowing Instagram contacts syncing. 

Search Engines

You can use search engines by putting their name, username, etc. and the word “Instagram.” If their account is set to public and you have the correct information, it should pop up.

Suggested lists and web pages

Instagram will be fairly intuitive about suggesting relevant accounts through your network. Some of these might be mutual friends your contacts follow, popular accounts, or accounts with related subject matter. You might run across users through organic searches, such as finding a business’s Instagram link. 

If you can’t find who you’re looking for…

  • They might not be on Instagram
  • They may have their IG on private, which requires a follow request
  • Account could be deactivated
  • You may be blocked or banned by the user
  • You don’t have their correct account info


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