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.
How to change your Instagram username
Display name vs username
Before you make any rash decisions, you should know there is a 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.
Your username, on the other hand, 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 takes literally seconds to complete, assuming you’ve already thought of your new username.
To change your Instagram username in the app, tap your profile icon in the bottom right to open up your profile. Then, tap the Edit Profile button beneath your bio. Enter your new Instagram username in the Username field, and tap the checkmark in the top right. That’s it!
As mentioned previously, there are certain restrictions to 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.
For those who need a step-by-step, we’ve listed the steps below in brief.
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.
How do I change my username on a computer or browser?
Changing your Instagram username from a browser is just as easy. In fact, the steps are very similar. Here’s what you need to do.
Navigate to Instagram.com and log into your account. Next, click your profile icon in the top-right corner of the screen. Click on Settings. You should see the Edit Profile section. Enter your new username in the Username field. Click Submit at the bottom of the screen, and you’re good to go!
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.
Once again, we’ve listed the step-by-step instructions below for your convenience.
How to change an Instagram username on the web:
- Navigate to Instagram.com and log in.
- Click your profile icon in the top right.
- Select Settings.
- Click Edit Profile.
- Enter your new username in the Username field.
- Click Submit at the bottom of the page.
What happens when you change your username?
Once you’ve clicked the Submit button on the web or tapped the checkmark button on mobile, your Instagram username will be changed instantly, and your previous username 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 the error seen above. Make sure you update any websites or other social media profiles you have around the internet.
Changing your Instagram username will not reset your follower count, but it may confuse them.
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 it 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 that 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.