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Best Ways to Check if You Are Shadowbanned on Instagram

Nave Ben Dror
Nave Ben Dror
CEO & Co-founder at Spikerz
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Published -  
May 22, 2024
Best Ways to Check if You Are Shadowbanned on Instagram

The term "shadowban" has become a common fear among Instagram users, especially those who rely on the platform for business and engagement. A shadowban on Instagram is an unofficial ban that hides your posts from users who don't follow you. This method can significantly decrease your account's discoverability and engagement. 

Instagram does not officially acknowledge this type of ban, making it particularly irritating because it can go unnoticed for a long time.

What is a Shadowban?

A shadowban on Instagram is a subtle yet impactful form of penalizing users, affecting content visibility without notification. When shadowbanned, your posts are hidden from appearing on anyone's feed except those who already follow you. This limits your reach and engagement significantly. Shadowban is triggered when Instagram's algorithms detect activities that resemble spamming behaviors.

Activities likely to incur a shadowban include excessive use of the same hashtags, posting identical comments across various posts, and rapidly following and then unfollowing users to gain attention. Instagram's algorithm is designed to promote authentic interaction. It thus prevents what it perceives as manipulative behaviors aimed at artificially boosting engagement. 

Once these behaviors are detected, the algorithm may suppress your content. When this happens, it reduces your ability to engage with a broader Instagram audience.

This type of ban is problematic because it does not come with a notification or warning, leaving many users puzzled by their sudden drop in engagement. The rationale behind the shadowban is Instagram's commitment to fostering a genuine and safe environment free from spam and manipulation. The platform aims to discourage inauthentic practices and maintain user integrity by curtailing visibility.

How to Tell if You Are Shadowbanned

Perhaps you're asking yourself, "Am I shadowbanned?"

Identifying a shadowban on your Instagram account can be challenging since it occurs without direct notification. Here's how to check if you're shadowbanned:

1. Check Your Hashtags

Checking the visibility of your posts through hashtag searches is a direct method to diagnose a possible shadowban on Instagram. When you tag a photo with a specific, less popular hashtag, it should theoretically appear in searches for that hashtag—assuming your account isn't shadowbanned. If your content does not show up in the search results despite using relevant, low-competition hashtags, this is a strong indication of a shadowban.

To perform a reliable Instagram shadowban test, select a hashtag that is not widely used to avoid your post being buried under more popular content. After posting, ask the help of individuals who do not follow you to search for the hashtag you used. If these users cannot find your post under the hashtag, this lack of visibility suggests your account may be shadowbanned.

For a more systematic approach to testing for a shadowban, you can use tools like Spikerz's shadowban calculators. These tools offer a detailed analysis of your account's interactions and hashtag visibility, helping to confirm whether a shadowban is affecting your account. You can find these resources at the following links:

Using these tools, you can better understand your account's status and take informed steps to mitigate any impact.

2. Compare Engagement

Comparing engagement levels before and after you suspect a shadowban can be a crucial indicator of whether your IG account has been penalized. Analyze the likes, comments, and shares on your recent posts versus those from a period before the suspected shadowban. A noticeable decline in these metrics often signifies that your content is not reaching beyond your existing follower base, hinting at a potential shadowban.

Low engagement rates can sometimes be attributed to factors like an increased presence of bot followers, who are less likely to interact with content authentically. Bots can skew the perception of account activity, leading Instagram's algorithms to mark it as spammy. Regularly auditing your follower list and removing bot-like profiles can help maintain a "clean" account status, enhancing engagement quality.

Maintaining a "clean" account status involves more than just managing followers; it also includes adhering to best practices regarding content and interaction. Instagram's algorithms continuously evolve to prioritize user engagement and satisfaction, flagging accounts that suddenly accumulate high amounts of bot followers or exhibit spam-like behavior. Keeping your account clean involves regular monitoring and adjustments to stay aligned with Instagram's operational standards and avoid penalties like shadowbans.

What to Do If You Are Shadowbanned

If you've performed an Instagram shadowban test and suspect that your account is affected, here are some steps to mitigate the situation:

  1. Review Your Hashtags: Overly used or broken hashtags can lead to a shadowban as they might trigger Instagram's spam filters. Cleaning up your hashtag strategy by removing these can help improve your posts' visibility. Use relevant and varied hashtags in future posts to avoid repetitive flags from the algorithm.
  2. Decrease Activity: Temporarily reducing your posting, liking, and commenting rates can help reset the Instagram algorithm's perception of your account. This step is crucial to distance your behavior from patterns detected as spam, helping to clear potential flags against your account.
  3. Engage Naturally: Enhance your engagement by interacting genuinely with your followers. Instagram's algorithms value Authentic comments and interactions and can increase your visibility organically. This approach encourages a healthier engagement metric, which can counteract the effects of a shadowban.
  4. Report the Problem: If you suspect a shadowban, use Instagram's help feature to report this issue. While responses may be slow, reporting helps document discrepancies and might prompt a review of your account, which can lead to resolving the shadowban.
  5. Follow the Rules: Adherence to Instagram's terms of service and community guidelines is essential. Ensuring your account complies with these rules can prevent future shadowbans and maintain the integrity of your social media presence. Regularly update yourself with any changes to these guidelines to stay compliant.

Last Note

Being shadowbanned on Instagram can be frustrating, mainly when your business or personal brand relies heavily on social media visibility. By employing tools like Spikerz and following best practices for engagement and hashtag use, you can reverse a shadowban and prevent it from occurring in the first place.

Remember, the key to success on Instagram lies in organic growth and genuine interaction. Keep your strategies transparent and your engagement authentic, and your social media efforts will likely flourish.


  1. What triggers a shadowban on Instagram? A shadowban on Instagram is often triggered by behaviors that the platform's algorithms identify as spammy, such as excessive use of the same hashtags, frequent repetitive comments, and rapid following and unfollowing activities. These behaviors are seen as attempts to manipulate engagement, prompting Instagram to limit the visibility of the affected accounts.
  2. How can I prevent getting shadowbanned on Instagram? Engaging in authentic interactions, using a diverse range of relevant hashtags, and avoiding repetitive and spam-like behaviors are important to prevent a shadowban. Regularly auditing your account for bot followers and adhering strictly to Instagram's community guidelines can help maintain a healthy account status.
  3. Can a shadowban be permanent, and how can it be lifted? Shadowbans on Instagram are not permanent. They typically last from a few days to several weeks. Lifting a shadowban involves changing the behaviors that triggered it, such as revising your hashtag strategy, reducing posting frequency, and increasing genuine engagement with your followers.
  4. How can Spikerz help if my Instagram account is shadowbanned? Spikerz can be instrumental in managing a shadowban situation by providing real-time analytics to detect sudden drops in engagement and alert you to potential shadowbans. It also offers account analysis highlighting risky behaviors and provides recovery tips and preventative measures to avoid future bans.
  5. What should I do if I suspect a shadowban but can't confirm it? If you suspect you're shadowbanned but lack confirmation, tools like Spikerz's shadowban calculators can help analyze your account's visibility and engagement metrics. Additionally, engaging with your followers more authentically and altering your content strategy can help improve your visibility and lift the shadowban.