Why Do I Get the "Disabled Accounts Can‘t Be Contacted" Error on Instagram?

default image

As a long-time Instagram power user and social media geek, I know how frustrating it is when you try to message someone and get the error "disabled accounts can‘t be contacted."

Believe me, I‘ve been there! In this detailed guide, I‘ll walk you step-by-step through why you see this error, some nerdy technical reasons behind it, and proven hacks to fix it.

Ready to master Instagram and chat with anyone you want? Let‘s get started!

First things first, let‘s talk about why this happens.

Basically, Instagram gives users the ability to temporarily disable or deactivate their accounts.

If someone chooses to disable their profile, their posts, likes, comments, and overall presence on Instagram are hidden. It‘s like putting their account on pause.

However, the owner can bring their account out of hibernation at any time simply by logging back in. This reactivates their account and makes it visible again.

But here‘s the deal: reactivating a disabled Instagram account often causes technical issues behind the scenes, especially with messaging capabilities.

So when you try to direct message (DM) someone who recently reactivated their temporarily disabled account, you get the error saying "disabled accounts can‘t be contacted."

Frustrating, right? But once you know why it happens, you can start troubleshooting it.

Common Causes of the "Disabled Accounts" Error

There are a few key reasons you might see the "can‘t be contacted" error when trying to message certain Instagram accounts:

  • They recently disabled and reactivated their account. This is the #1 trigger – if it was disabled then reactivated in the last couple days.

  • You previously blocked or restricted them. Blocking or restricting someone can lead to complications if you try to message them again later.

  • It‘s a fake or spam account. Accounts banned for Terms of Service violations often show up as "disabled" if you try to message them.

  • Rare technical glitches. Once in a blue moon, a bug could cause this error even if the account is fine.

Now let‘s get into the good stuff: proven ways to fix this pesky error!

After researching this issue and troubleshooting it myself, I‘ve discovered several effective solutions. Here are your best options for getting rid of the "disabled accounts can‘t be contacted" message:

If You Disabled Your Account, Reactivate and Wait

If you know your account was recently disabled and then reactivated, here‘s what to do:

  1. Give it 24-48 hours after reactivating before trying to message people.

  2. Be patient and wait for Instagram to fully sync your account settings across its systems.

Messaging capabilities can take time to come back after a disable/reactivate. I know waiting is annoying, but it‘s the safest bet.

Restrict and Unrestrict the Account

Restricting and unrestricting is an easy hack that often works:

  1. Open your messages with the account showing the error.

  2. Tap their username and select "Restrict">"Restrict Account".

  3. In your messages, find their restricted account and tap it.

  4. Choose "Unrestrict" to remove the restriction.

  5. Try sending them a new message now!

Unfollow and Refollow the Account

Here are the steps for unfollowing and refollowing:

  1. Go to their profile and tap "Following".

  2. Choose "Unfollow" to unfollow them.

  3. Tap "Follow" again to refollow their account.

  4. Attempt messaging them again.

Block and Unblock the Account

Blocking and unblocking is similar:

  1. Open your conversation with the account in question.

  2. Tap their username and select "Block".

  3. On the same screen, tap "Unblock" to remove the block.

  4. Send them a new message to see if it works.

Wait 24-48 Hours

I know, waiting is a drag. But if the steps above fail, take a breather and try again in 24-48 hours.

Recently reactivated accounts can take a full day or two to stabilize. Check periodically to see if messaging starts working again after some time passes.

Now let‘s geek out and discuss the technical reasons behind this error.

When someone disables their Instagram account, it logs them out and hides their presence. Instagram‘s servers register the account as inactive/deactivated.

Later, when the user logs back in, the account reactivates on the backend. But reintegration isn‘t instant.

It takes time for their account to sync back up fully across Instagram‘s systems. Messaging is one of the last functions to come back online.

Most experts agree Instagram needs about 48 hours to completely stabilize a reactivated account. Then messaging capabilities are restored.

But during the stabilization period, you can run into issues like the "disabled accounts" error when trying to message the account.

Here are my pro tips as a tech geek for avoiding this issue down the road:

  • Have them message you first when they reactivate, don‘t message them.

  • Wait 2-3 days before messaging any recently reactivated accounts.

  • Verify they reactivated properly and their account is still intact.

  • Avoid repeatedly disabling/reactivating your own account. This can worsen problems.

Exercising some patience goes a long way. I know it‘s hard not to instantly message someone the second they reactivate their account. But hold back and you‘ll sidestep further messaging fails.

Let‘s recap what we learned today:

  • The "disabled accounts can‘t be contacted" error happens when messaging someone who recently reactivated their disabled Instagram account.

  • Give disabled accounts 24-48 hours after reactivation to fully stabilize before trying to message them.

  • Restricting, unfollowing, or blocking then unblocking the account can quickly fix the issue.

  • If all else fails, wait a day or two and the problem typically resolves on its own.

I hope these tips help you get rid of frustrating "disabled account" messaging errors for good! Let me know if you have any other Instagram questions. I‘m always happy to help a fellow social media geek out.


Written by Alexis Kestler

A female web designer and programmer - Now is a 36-year IT professional with over 15 years of experience living in NorCal. I enjoy keeping my feet wet in the world of technology through reading, working, and researching topics that pique my interest.