How to Claim an Inactive Instagram Username Account

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Matthew Wilhelm Kapell
@matthewwilhelmkapell
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The Instagram username market

If you create an Instagram account and have thought of the perfect username that reflects your individuality or mission, you might find that an inactive account owns the username. For businesses and influencers trying to start an Instagram presence, having the right username is invaluable.

An inactive account is an account that has been abandoned or has not been used for an extended period. If the profile has the username you desperately need, there's no direct way to get it, but there are a few things you can do.



buy instagram username

There are many secondary markets where holders of good IDs can sell them for sums ranging from a few hundred dollars to tens of thousands.

For the most part, the people who make money selling names are the ones who staked their accounts early on and had the foresight to choose usernames that other people or businesses will eventually want.

Sometimes a name increases in value because a movie, show, or album comes out. Suddenly, “BigBangTheory” goes from a great account for a physics student to a highly sought-after property. If the profile becomes "inactive", you may be able to obtain the username.

Find their contact details

Just because the account is inactive doesn't mean the owner isn't there. They may be happy to sell you their old profile. However, getting in touch with them can be the tricky part.


Of course, you can send a direct message on the Instagram platform itself. However, if the person isn't active on Instagram, chances are they won't see your DM for a while if they don't even see it at all.


You can check the account bio to try to get information about it. There are a few things to look for here.

Some people put a contact email address in their bio or even their personal website URL. If so, your quest is probably already successful.

Other people are more privacy-conscious and don't put that kind of direct contact information there. However, they may include links or references to their other social media accounts, such as their Facebook pages or LinkedIn bio. If you have that person's name, you can always search different social media sites and send them a message.

If you're not sure how much to offer, you can search for similar accounts on Instagram account marketplace sites like Selling Insta and see the pricing for profiles with similarities.

Can you get an inactive Instagram username?

Instagram will eventually purge inactive users. This action provides another way to get your username.

Will Instagram delete inactive accounts?

Yes, they will remove inactive accounts, although the time taken varies depending on the needs of the website.

For example, purges usually happen randomly, or at least they seem random. Often, these purges take place at the end of the year.


Wait for an Instagram purge

If the account you want is really inactive and doesn't have much or no content, chances are it will eventually be deleted from Instagram's database. This is not a guarantee, but the inactive account you want can be deleted and the username will become available again.


Instagram doesn't announce the schedule for its purges, so you won't be notified to start trying to recover usernames from your list. The best way to detect a purge is to follow one of the ever-popular Instagram accounts with a relatively stable follower list and check their follower count daily.

If they have thousands of subscribers, then at least some of those subscribers are definitely spam accounts or bots, and a purge will reduce their subscriber list by a sizable amount of users. If your monitored account drops from 9 followers to 341 followers overnight (and there's no apparent outrageous post that caused the loss), there's a good chance Instagram has performed a purge, and some usernames are now up for grabs.

Trademark or copyright name

You can follow the patent process online. Once the patent is obtained, you can report the inactive account to Instagram. Although it may take time and an additional expense, it is an option for you.

Many users have reported success asking Instagram to transfer an account. When you hold a trademark on a name, you can argue that your customers' existing accounts are confusing. Copyright infringement can be an effective way to get your Instagram username.


If you own such a trademark or copyright, you may file a report of copyright/trademark infringement and attempt to claim the name as your own.

If the account is active and frequently used, you may find it difficult to succeed with this method.


Getting a new trademark is a complicated and expensive process, but getting copyright protection is relatively simple. Whenever you create something original, you have implied copyright; you can file an official copyright registration to cement your legal claim, but the claim is made by reference to the work, not by the act of filing the claim. In other words, you need to use the name consistently and prove the harm it could incorporate if someone else used it.

Of course, you can also report a copyright issue directly to Instagram. Head to this link on the Instagram site and file a report.

Choose a similar name

Although it may seem obvious, choosing a similar username is the easiest way to set up your Instagram account. Adding an underscore or number is simple and effective.

Instagram usernames can be up to 30 characters and contain letters, numbers, periods, and underscores. This specification gives you some flexibility to create a name close to what you want. You may need to use a little imagination, but the rest should be pretty straightforward.

If you run a business, add a city or location to your name. You can do the same for surnames or other names. This decision can help you maintain your brand and add a quick local ID that can work in your favor. You can also add the business type to the name.

Workarounds for major brands

If you're a larger business or more established brand, adding "official" or "real" to the end of your Instagram account can also work. Artists with common names often do this, so you can too.

However, you should be careful not to imitate established brands. Suppose you create an account for Microsoft Software. In this case, it's a legal account name – but if you reach a level of success and visibility where Microsoft sees your account, they'll quickly shut you down using the same trademark and copyright tools. which I described above. You cannot infringe on the protected intellectual property of others as much as they can infringe on yours.

If you're having trouble getting a username but there aren't any accounts with it, remember that some are set to private. If so, the username is not available and you cannot search for the account.

Account created but unable to log in

Several users reported that they had created a new Instagram account with the perfect username and were getting the error message "Sorry, something went wrong". Clicking the "Try again" option or trying to log in does not work. Unfortunately, the username has been taken and you cannot log in. So what should you do if this has happened?

  • You can contact Instagram support, which may or may not be helpful. If you have any screenshots of the error message or username that would be great.
  • Try using another app or web browser to log in to your new Instagram account. It could be a simple problem with the app.
  • Log in with Facebook and see if your new account appears. Assuming you are using similar login credentials, the new account may appear.
  • Wait a few hours and then try logging into your Instagram account again.

The situation above can be incredibly frustrating when you've created the perfect Instagram username and you can't access the account. Trying the tips we've outlined can help you regain access.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Instagram remove inactive users?

Yes, but after a while. Although we don't know the exact process, Instagram says logging into your account is essential to avoid a purge. The company does not give time frames for purging a profile.

What can I do if I need help with my Instagram account or username?

Instagram has a help site that you can visit to get help or answers for various things. If you can't access your account or someone is accessing it illegally, check out the Instagram Help Center.

How long does it take for a username to be available after someone deletes their account?

Instagram hasn't given us an official word on this. Still, many users have reported that they might take the name as soon as the original owner deletes their account. Keep in mind that the profile will need to be permanently deleted. If you are trying to buy a username from another user, make sure you have obtained the username before sending payment.

Audio Video How to Claim an Inactive Instagram Username Account
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