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How to change your Instagram username in less than a minute
Usernames are the lifeblood of most social media sites, but finding a good one is always a struggle. Unless you created your account years ago, you’re unlikely to get the username you want, and even then, you might regret it years later. If you’re like most of us and regret the choices you made in your youth, you’ll be happy to learn that it’s super easy to change your Instagram username to something a bit less cringe-inducing.
The easiest way to change your Instagram username is through the mobile app. Launch the Instagram app, tap on your profile icon, and go to Edit Profile. Enter your new username under the Username section and hit the checkmark to save.
Jump to the right section
Editor’s note: All instructions in this post were put together using a Google Pixel 7 running Android 13, an Apple iPhone 12 Mini running iOS 17.0, and Chrome version 115.0.5790.171 running on a custom PC with Windows 11. Things might be a bit different depending on your device.
Display name vs username
Before making rash decisions, you should know the difference between your Instagram display name and username. Your display name, which is basically your personal or business name, has very few restrictions. You can change it as often as you want, and it doesn’t have to be unique. Changing your display name might be a more straightforward solution for those looking for something easier to remember.
On the other hand, your username (also known as a handle) is what goes at the top of your Instagram account. It’s also how people tag you with the “@” symbol, and what goes at the end of your Instagram URL. Instagram usernames also have more restrictions.
Instagram username guidelines:
- Unique to your account.
- Less than 30 characters.
- Contains only letters, numbers, periods, and underscores (no spaces or other symbols).
- No profanity or restricted language.
With that out of the way, here’s how to change your Instagram username. We’ve also thrown in a few extra details you should know.
How do I change my username in the Instagram app?
Instagram has a mobile focus, so the first method we’ll outline uses the Instagram app. It literally takes seconds to complete, assuming you’ve already thought of your new username.
As mentioned previously, there are certain restrictions on Instagram usernames. If your new username doesn’t meet them, you will see a red exclamation point and a message reading “Username not available.” Keep trying variations of your username until you find one that works.
How to change an Instagram username in the app:
- Open the Instagram app and log in.
- Tap your profile icon in the bottom right.
- Tap Edit Profile beneath your bio.
- Enter your new username in the Username field.
- Tap the checkmark in the top right. If you’re using an iPhone, this checkmark will be replaced by a Done option.
How do I change my username on a computer or browser?
Modifying your Instagram username from a browser is just as easy. The steps are very similar.
Note that unlike changing your Instagram username in the app, you will not get a warning that the desired username is already in use. Instead, a small pop-up will inform you that the username isn’t available when clicking the submit button.
How to change an Instagram username on the web:
- Navigate to Instagram.com and log in.
- Go into the Profile tab.
- Click on Edit Profile.
- Go into the Accounts Center option.
- Click on the Instagram account you want to edit.
- Pick Username.
- Type in the username and make sure it’s available.
- When ready, hit Done.
What happens when you change your username?
Once you’ve clicked the Done button on the web or tapped the checkmark button on mobile, your Instagram username will be changed instantly, and your previous username will be freed up. This means that if someone else snags it, you won’t be able to get it back.
Changing your Instagram username also changes your account URL, which means any website linking to your Instagram account will now return an error screen. Make sure you update any websites or other social media profiles around the internet.
Changing your Instagram username will not reset your follower count, but it may confuse people.
The good news is that it’s still the same account, so you won’t have to start over from scratch. You will have the same followers, although they may be confused by the change. This could lead to lower engagement or unfollows, but that shouldn’t concern users just looking to share photos with friends.
Everywhere your Instagram account is displayed on Instagram will automatically update, so you don’t have to worry about old posts you’ve commented on linking to a non-existent account. However, posts you’ve been tagged in may not be updated, and people looking to tag you in new posts will need to know your new username.
Why won’t Instagram let me change my username?
If Instagram won’t let you submit a new username, it’s likely because it doesn’t meet the requirements mentioned before. The most common error is related to that username being taken, so try another username.
Note that even if you’re trying to change back to an old username, it’s possible someone took it while it was free, and you won’t be able to get it back.
Another probable cause is app caching, which may happen when you change your username in the Instagram app. This isn’t much cause for concern, as everyone else will see your new username, and the problem usually fixes itself after a few hours. You can also restart your phone. When that doesn’t do the trick, uninstalling and reinstalling Instagram is the silver bullet that always works.
How to find someone with a new username
A new Instagram username might feel like a fresh start, but it’s still effortless to find for those who previously knew about the account. If you’re already following the account, it will still appear in your following list, and new posts will still pop into your feed.
Another way to find Instagram accounts that change username is by searching for their display name. Assuming the account is public, and the display name was left the same, it should come up with a simple search.
The final method is to find another place where the account is linked. This could be an old post the account commented on, or someone else tagging them in a new post. It isn’t too hard to find a changed Instagram username with a little sleuthing, but please don’t be a creep about it.
There is no limit! You can change your Instagram username as often as you want, as long as it meets all requirements and the new username isn’t taken. As mentioned above, changing your username too much may confuse followers and lead to unfollows.
It depends on how you’ll be using your account. If you use your Instagram account as a personal social media account, keeping it that way is better. Some people like transforming personal accounts into business ones because they already have many followers.
This isn’t always the best option, as your friends aren’t necessarily interested in your business ventures. Sometimes they just want to see your personal images, and forcing them into your business accounts doesn’t seem fair. Plus, you’ll also want to keep a personal account for all those fun images! It’s best to keep them separate.
You can, as long as no one has taken the old username.
There is no way to take a username from another Instagram account holder, regardless of whether it’s in use or not. Instagram recommends that you get another version of it instead. You can add symbols, numbers, periods, etc.
That said, Instagram can deactivate accounts due to inactivity. This happens when the user doesn’t log in, like images, or post new content. Instagram has never been clear about its standards regarding the matter, but it can happen. You can try to take the username when and if they cancel the account.