How To Claim an Inactive Instagram Username Account

The Market for Instagram Usernames

If you’re setting up an Instagram account and have thought of the perfect username that reflects your individuality or mission, you may realize that an inactive account has the username. For companies and influencers trying to jumpstart an Instagram presence, having the correct username is valuable.

An inactive account is one that got abandoned or didn’t get used for an extended period. If the profile has the username you so desperately need, there’s no direct way to obtain it, but there are several things you can do.

Buying an Instagram Username

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

For the most part, the people making money selling names are those who staked out their accounts in the early days and had the foresight to pick usernames that other people or businesses will eventually want.

Sometimes a name becomes valuable because a movie or show, or album comes out. Suddenly, ‘BigBangTheory’ goes from being an excellent account for a physics student to being a highly sought-after property. If the profile becomes “inactive,” you may be able to get the username.

Finding Their Contact Information

Just because the account is inactive doesn’t mean that the owner isn’t around. It may be that they would be delighted to sell you their old profile. However, getting in touch with them may be the tricky part.

Of course, you can send a Direct Message on the Instagram platform itself. Though, if the person isn’t active on Instagram, there’s a good chance that they won’t see your DM for quite some time if they even see it at all.

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

Some people put a contact e-mail address in their bio or even their personal website’s URL. If that’s the case, your quest is probably already successful.

Other people are more privacy-minded 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 this person’s name, you can always search through different social media sites and send them a message.

If you have no idea how much to offer, you might look up similar accounts at Instagram account market sites like InstaSale and see the pricing of profiles with similarities.

Can You Get an Inactive Instagram Username?

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

Will Instagram Delete Inactive Accounts?

Yes, they will delete inactive accounts, although the time it takes for them varies depending on the website’s needs.

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

Wait for an Instagram Purge

If the account you want is genuinely inactive and doesn’t have much or any content on it, there is an excellent chance that it will eventually get purged from the Instagram database. It’s no guarantee, but the inactive account you want may get dropped, and the username will become available again.

Instagram does not announce the schedule for its purges, so you won’t get a heads up to alert you to start trying to grab any usernames on your list. The best way to detect a purge is to follow one of the perennially popular Instagram accounts with a relatively stable follower list and check their follower count daily.

If they have thousands of followers, then at least some of those followers are undoubtedly spam accounts or bots, and a purge will cut their follower list by some non-trivial quantity of users. If your monitored account goes from 9,341 followers to 9,102 followers overnight (and there’s not some apparent scandalous post driving the loss), the odds are good that Instagram did a purge, and some usernames are now up for grabs.

Trademark or Copyright the Name

You can go through the process of getting a patent online. Once the patent gets obtained, you can report the inactive account to Instagram. Although this may take time and an additional expense, this is an option for you.

Many users have reported success by 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 obtain your Instagram username.

If you hold such a trademark or copyright, you can file a copyright/trademark violation report and attempt to claim the name as your own.

If the account is active and frequently used, you may have difficulty succeeding with this method.

Getting a new trademark is a complicated and expensive process, but getting copyright protection is reasonably straightforward. Any time you create anything original, you have implicit copyright; you can file an official copyright registration to cement your legal claim, but the claim is made by referencing the work, not by the act of filing the claim. In other words, you must use the name consistently and prove the damages it could incorporate if someone else uses it.

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

Choose a Similar Name

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

Instagram usernames can be up to 30 characters long and contain letters, numbers, periods, and underscores. This specification gives you quite a bit of flexibility in creating a close name to the one you so desire. You may need to use a little imagination, but the rest should be straightforward enough.

If you run a business, add a city or location to your name. You can do the same for surnames or others. This move can help maintain your brand and add a quick local identifier that may work in your favor. You can also add the type of business to the name.

Workarounds For Larger Brands

If you’re a more significant business or a more established brand, adding ‘official’ or ‘real’ at the end of your Instagram account can work too. Artists with common names often do this, so you can too.

You do need to be careful about emulating established brands, however. Suppose you create an account for Microsoft Software. In that case, it’s a legal account name – but if you reach a level of success and visibility where Microsoft sees your account, they will shut you down promptly using the same trademark and copyright tools I described above. You can’t infringe on other people’s protected intellectual property just as much as they can’t intrude on yours.

If you’re having trouble obtaining a username but there are no accounts with it, remember that some get set to private. If this is the case, the username is unavailable, and you cannot search for the account.

Created Account But Can’t log in

Several users have reported that they’ve created a new Instagram account with the perfect username and receive the “Sorry, Something Went Wrong” error message. Clicking the ‘Try Again’ option or trying to log in doesn’t work. Unfortunately, the username got taken, and you can’t log in. So what are you to do if this has happened?

  • You can contact Instagram Support, which may or may not be helpful. If you have screenshots of the error message or username, that would be great.
  • Try using a different application or web browser to log into your new Instagram account. This could be a simple glitch with the application.
  • Log in with Facebook and see if your new account shows. Assuming you used similar login credentials, the new account may appear.
  • Wait for a few hours, then try to log back into your Instagram account.

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

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Instagram delete inactive users?

Yes, but after some time. Although we don’t know the exact process, Instagram does state that it’s essential to log into your account to avoid a purge. The company does not give time frames for when a profile gets purged.

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

Instagram does have a help site that you can visit to get assistance or answers for various things. If you can’t access your account or if someone is accessing it unlawfully, check out the Instagram Help Center.

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

Instagram has not given us the official word on this. Still, many users have reported they could take the name as soon as the original owner deleted their account. Keep in mind, the profile will need to be permanently deleted. If you’re trying to buy a username from another user, be sure you’ve obtained the username before sending payment.

12 thoughts on “How To Claim an Inactive Instagram Username Account”

socialtechjunkiemyass says:
Yeah? thats why you put ads over your text and nobody can read them?
LEX says:
You mentioned the trademark stuff…. prior use laws are complex and vary from country to country. Best to be sure on this stuff before engaging in that sort of thing. You don’t want legal problems with brand identity and counter claims later on down the track.
grace says:
Ian: Unfortunately, I tried to create a new account during which an error occurred (As Instagram put it: “Something went wrong”) After hitting Try again a dozen times I gave up. Sure enough, the account now exists, but is not connected to my login. Yay! – I sent a help request, but sending a help request to Facebook is like talking to a cloud.

This happened to me too! I don’t know how to solve this problem.

Ian McIntosh says:
Unfortunately, I tried to create a new account during which an error occurred (As Instagram put it: “Something went wrong”) After hitting Try again a dozen times I gave up. Sure enough, the account now exists, but is not connected to my login. Yay! – I sent a help request, but sending a help request to Facebook is like talking to a cloud.
Andres says:
Exactly the same thing happened to me. Did you manage to get your username back? When trying to get some help from facebook they just sent me a link to a useless forum help. It’s been almost a year and the username is still unavailable.
Steve S says:
Thank you for this information. I followed the part regarding the trade name, expecting it to take weeks, and within 4 hours it was changed!
Lamia says:
Hey how did you do this? I need help!
GCC BUZ says:
My story is different. I am building a brand and I have all the desired social media usernames except Instagram. Someone had created 1 on that name in 2014 and left it inactive since then. I reported instagram that this account is inactive and their shared photos and location map is conflicting my business. Instagram replied that they have deleted the contents and to submit a trademark to claim the username. And they deleted that account! (But username shows unavailable)
I applied for the trademark, but by the time I got it, the mail I was communicating became inactive. I submitted many requests via IP Infringement form but they turn down the request saying they don’t see the reported content infringing. I told them I am following up, then no anwer. And the wired thing is the copy pasted reply always contain words like ‘we are unclear that you are the right owner’. And they don’t reply how can I make it clear to them. My name is on the trademark, I am sending mails from the domain name.
Weird, isn’t it?
I can’t give up, I send them the filled form almost everyday. And they reply too.
I check everyday if the username became available. I had lot of expectation when it was past 6 months and one day after they removed the content. But no way.
They want my brand to be famous to listen to me. But I want this username to be famous. Ha ha ha
Sammy Aka Hoodies says:
I have a nickname and it’s Hoodies cause I always wear them so I thought it would be cool if I could have tha be my Instagram name and when I check the account had been inactive since 2012.. I tried Hoodie and Hoodiez and it was the exact same thing. Almost like the guy who made them were like yeah no ones getting this and it sucks cause it’s something I’ve always wanted to do but never got the chance.
Taylor says:
How can i contact him? i’m not clear ok howyour spelled his email.
Nathan Juarez says:
Right now my Instagram name is “nnathanjuarezz”. Ived wanted the username “nj7” but it is taken by a inactive account. I’m not gonna use it for any business purposes but I really want that username bad but the account is inactive and I can’t have that name because it is already taken by a inactive account. So please having that username would help my account boost up because when I get that username “nj7” I’m looking forward to actually posting.
Silly Reviews says:
I’ve got the same url/username for all the popular social networks except Instagram. The username I need is not being used by anyone, but it is unavailable. This is very frustrating.
KT says:
Agreed, very frustrating indeed. Instagram needs to take inactive accounts with zero posts a lot more seriously!
Veronica D. Wolff says:
I am in the same boat. The IG username I want says it’s unavailable when I try to claim it, but then when I search it doesn’t exist. I cannot figure it out!

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