When You Should Use Each Privacy Option
Blocking someone on Instagram is a good way to take control of your engagements on the social media app, but blocking someone you know in real life can make things pretty awkward—after all, they’ll know you’ve blocked them.
Luckily, Instagram’s Restrict feature helps you avoid those awkward situations.
This article will help you understand what the Block and Restrict functions do on Instagram and how they differ, so that you can decide which option is best when trying to avoid someone.
What Does Restricting Someone on Instagram Do?
We know what blocking does—it prevents someone from interacting with you on Instagram and viewing your posts. But what does restricting someone mean on Instagram and what happens when you restrict an account?
To put it plainly, it helps you avoid unwanted interactions with other users without alerting them.
Introduced as an anti-bullying feature, restricting on Instagram gives you more control over what comments both you and your followers see on your posts by limiting what restricted accounts can post on your profile.
When you restrict someone, their comments and messages will be hidden from your profile. It’s like keeping the restricted user behind a privacy window where they can see you, but they can’t exactly interact with you as normal and they don’t realize that this is the case.
The tool comes in handy when dealing with repeat bullies who leave negative comments on your Instagram posts and who may harass you in your Direct Messages.
Think of it as a soft block—a toned-down version that offers similar capabilities, but in a limited manner.
Block vs. Restrict on Instagram: How It Affects Access to Your Profile
When you block someone, your feed and Stories are hidden from them. Although they will be able to see and access your profile, they can only see the data at the top of your profile, such as how many people you follow, the number of people who follow you, and the number of posts on your feed.
What they won’t be able to see, however, are your actual posts, even if your profile is open to the public.
But when you restrict someone, not much changes on their end in terms of the visibility of your profile and posts.
They can still view your Stories and feed, and you can see theirs.
Whereas there are ways to tell if you are blocked on Instagram, it’s much harder to figure out if you have been restricted.
Blocking someone prevents them from being able to comment on your posts. But when you restrict them, you can both comment on each other’s posts.
The difference is that the comments made by the person you’ve restricted will only be visible to them and no one else.
In other words, they will not know their activity has been restricted. Essentially, they will continue to enjoy the ability to comment on your posts, without these comments impacting you or other followers.
As for your comments on their posts, nothing changes. They will still be able to see them.
The restricted person’s comments appear along with others under your post, but under a protected message. You will not receive a notification when they comment on your post, so you can only view their comments by opening the post and going through the comments section.
To view the comment, tap See comment. You can then choose to either Approve or Delete it.
If you approve it, it’ll be visible to everyone, like the rest of the comments. If you delete it, neither you nor the restricted person will be able to see it.
Either way, they will not be notified of the action you have taken.
Block vs. Restrict: How It Affects Messages
When you block someone on Instagram, you can’t message each other. But it works differently when you restrict an account.
Here are the implications:
- A restricted person can message you. However, their messages arrive in the Requests folder.
- You will not receive notifications when they message you. You will only be able to see their messages if you manually view your message requests.
- If you do view their message, they will not be notified by the “seen” text in the chat. This means they won’t know when you’ve read the message.
To reply to a restricted person’s message, tap Unrestrict at the bottom of the screen. You can also select Delete to get rid of the message.
If you do not wish to engage with that person further, tap Block.
Other Differences Between Blocking and Restricting Someone on Instagram
There are some other differences between blocking and restricting on Instagram. This applies to seeing activity status, tags, mentions, and notifications.
Just like the block option, when you restrict someone, you can no longer see each other’s active status, so you will not know when they were last online and vice versa.
Unlike comments and messages, a person you’ve blocked or restricted can still tag and mention you. If they’re blocked, you won’t be notified about it, but if they’re restricted, you will. That means Instagram’s restrict function doesn’t work with tags and mentions.
Blocks remove all kinds of interactions, so you will not be notified. When you restrict someone, you don’t receive notifications about their messages and comments, but you do get notified when they tag you.
Block vs. Restrict: Will the Affected Person Know?
There is no direct way to know if someone has blocked you. However, there are ways you can find out, like visiting their profile. This isn’t the case with the restrict feature though.
A restricted person will never know if they have been restricted. Everything appears normal on their end as they can still comment on your posts, send you messages, and view your profile like any other user. The difference is only on your end.
How to Block Someone on Instagram
To block a user, go to their profile, tap the three-dot icon at the top-right of your screen, and select Block.
How to Restrict Someone on Instagram
There are three methods to restrict a person on Instagram:
- Directly from comments.
- Through your account settings.
- From their profile.
We’ll explain each of these methods below…
On an Android phone, follow these steps:
- Tap and hold the comment from the person you want to restrict.
- Tap the information icon (an exclamation point in a bubble) at the top and then the Restrict button.
On iOS, follow these steps:
- Swipe left on the comment.
- Tap the information icon (an exclamation point in a bubble) and then Restrict.
How to Restrict a User From Your Settings
To restrict a user from your account settings, you can follow these steps:
- Go to your profile and tap the three-bar menu icon in the top-right corner.
- Go to Settings > Privacy > Restricted accounts.
- Now search for the account you’d like to restrict, then tap the Restrict button next to the chosen account.
How to Restrict a User From Their Profile
You can also restrict an account using their profile page.
To do this, follow these steps:
- Go to the Instagram profile you want to restrict.
- Tap the three-dot menu at the top-right corner
- Select Restrict.
Which Function to Use to Avoid People
Your decision to either block or restrict someone on Instagram depends on your reasons and on how much access you want to give that person to your profile.
If you don’t want them to interact with you in any way or to see anything on your profile except the basic info at the top, you should block them.
Just ensure you’re okay with them knowing that they’ve been blocked.
If you want to avoid someone without them knowing, then restricting is your best bet.
When you’re getting started on Instagram, there are a few tips and tricks to bear in mind to make sure that you hit the ground running. The popular app is part photo-sharing site and part social network, and finding the right balance on how to use it, and following certain rules of etiquette can make you a popular, and engaging user.
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