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Instagram is one of the most popular social media platforms in the world, and losing access to your account can be a nightmare scenario for many users. Being cut off from your friends and community is one thing, but losing years of pictures and videos can be devastating. Fortunately, it’s not too difficult to get back your Instagram account in most cases.

Read also: Instagram tips and tricks: Do it for the ‘gram

To help you through the process, we’ve created this handy how-to guide for getting back your disabled, hacked, or deleted Instagram account. Depending on your situation, account recovery could take a few days or a few weeks. Let’s get started!

Why was my Instagram account disabled?

How to get back your instagram account

There are a number of reasons why an Instagram account gets disabled, and often moderators will strike without any kind of warning. You will know that your account has been disabled because a pop-up message will inform you the next time you try to log in.

Note that this is not the same as not having the correct password/username for your account (“Incorrect Password or Username”). If this is the case, entering your email address or phone number and resetting your password should fix the issue in a few minutes, unless you’ve been hacked which we’ll get to in a moment.

Posting illegal activities, hate speech, nudity, or graphic violence will get your account disabled.

Instagram doesn’t provide precise guidance for why accounts are disabled, but it does say that it results from violating community guidelines or terms of use. In general, things like illegal activities, hate speech, nudity, and graphic violence are grounds for action. Repeat offenders may also find their account permanently removed with no possible recourse.

The good news is that it isn’t too complicated to get back your Instagram account if it’s been disabled. It might take a few days, but that’s nothing compared to the months or years of photos in your account!

How to get back a disabled Instagram account

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When you do get the dreaded disabled account message, the first thing the app prompts you to do is Learn More. This will more or less guide you through the process to get back your disabled Instagram account, although there are a few other tricks that we’ll get to in a moment.

Run through the prompts in the app, but keep in mind that to recover your Instagram account you have to pass the appeal process. The only way that happens is if it was disabled by mistake. Saying you’re sorry for breaking the rules and promising not to do it again simply won’t cut it.

Be persistent. You can submit appeals several times a day until you recover your account.

Another place you can submit appeals is this official contact page. Simply fill in the required fields and click Send to have your case reviewed. Again, avoid apologizing as this implies you were at fault. You may be asked to send in a selfie as verification at some point in the process.

You can repeat the appeal process as often as you like until you get a more lenient moderator. Assuming you haven’t intentionally broken any major rules, it shouldn’t take more than a few days to get a response. Don’t be afraid to be persistent and eventually you might get lucky.

Be aware, however, that this process can take a long time. If you want to get right back to the ‘gram, you might be better off creating a new account.

How to reactivate an Instagram account

A few years ago Instagram added the option to temporarily deactivate your account when you need to take a break from the social media platform. It can only be done via a mobile browser or computer (not the app), but it will remove all of your content and make it appear that the account has been deleted altogether.

Read also: How to share an Instagram story made by someone else

Thankfully, it’s very easy to get your deactivated Instagram account back. Just log back in on any device and your account will automatically be reactivated. Depending on how long you have been away, you may need to agree to any new terms and conditions put in place since you left.

How to get back a hacked Instagram account

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Instagram accounts are a frequent target for hackers. They could be seeking access to private accounts, attempting to sell your username, or aiming to steal your personal details for other nefarious actions.

If you suspect your Instagram account has been hacked, you should take action as soon as possible. The longer hackers have access to your account, the more damage they can do to your privacy and online reputation!

Read also: How to secure your Android phone and protect your data

The first thing to do is check for an email from Instagram stating that the email tied to your account has been changed. This is the easiest way for hackers to take control of your account. However, if you can find the email you can reverse the action immediately.

If you can’t find the email, there is one more option to fix it before it’s too late. You can request a login link to be sent to your phone number instead of the hacker’s email address. At the login screen, tap Get help signing in (on Android) or Forgot password? (on iOS). You can then enter your phone number to have a temporary login link sent. Follow the instructions from there to regain access.

If this restores access to your account, you should immediately change your password and revoke access given to any third-party apps. You may also find that you are now following some new accounts. Don’t worry about that until after your account has been secured. You’ll have plenty of time to unfollow them after you’ve secured your account.

Read also: How to tweak your Instagram privacy settings

When all else fails, you can still report the hacked account to regain access. Do this by following the steps below, and again, don’t be afraid to be persistent.

How to report a hacked Instagram account

  1. On the login screen, tap Get help signing in (on Android) or Forgot Password? (on iOS).
  2. (Android only) Enter your username, email address, or phone number and tap Next.
  3. Tap Need more help? and follow the on-screen instructions.

As part of this process, you will need to send a photo of yourself holding a security code to verify your identity. To minimize the chance of getting hacked again, be sure to turn on two-factor authentication as soon as possible.

Can I get back a deleted Instagram account?

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If you or someone with your login information has deleted your Instagram account, you will not be able to recover it. Because of this, you should be very careful with sharing your login information with friends and family. And if you get an email about suspicious activity, take it very seriously and change your password.

Although you cannot get back a deleted Instagram account, you can create a new account using the same email address or phone number. You won’t be able to use the same username, nor will you be able to recover any followers or images posted.

Up next: How to permanently delete your Facebook account