Usernames are one of the most basic elements of our social media lives, yet they play a crucial role in our ability to be found and identified across different platforms. They also often serve as a kind of “mission statement” for our accounts, letting others know what we’re about or where we want to put the bulk of our attention.
It can be difficult to secure the username you desire on popular social media sites, especially on the photo and video sharing services like Instagram. Occasionally, you outgrow your previous username since it no longer reflects who you are. For situations like these, most social media sites allow users to switch their profiles’ usernames.
Display name vs username
You should know there is a distinction between your Instagram display name and username before making any hasty choices. Limits on your display name, which is essentially your real name or company name, are minimal. It doesn’t have to be special, and you’re free to alter it whenever you like.
If you’re having trouble remembering your username, changing it could be the answer. However, your Instagram profile will always be prefaced by your username. It’s what gets appended to the end of your Instagram URL and what people use to “@” you. Additional limitations apply to Instagram usernames.
- Unique to your account.
- Less than 30 characters.
- Contains only letters, numbers, periods, and underscores (no spaces or other symbols).
- No profanity or restricted language.
How do I Change My Username in The Instagram App?
Given Instagram’s mobile-first philosophy, the platform’s official app will serve as our starting point for the first strategy we’ll describe. Assuming you’ve previously come up with a catchy new username, the process takes no more than a few seconds to finish.
When you open your profile by tapping the profile symbol in the lower right corner of the app, you’ll see an option to alter your Instagram username. Then, click the link that says “Edit Profile” next to your bio. In the Username section, type your new Instagram handle, and then tap the checkmark in the upper right.
The discussion is over. The limitations of Instagram handles have already been discussed. A red exclamation mark and the words “Username not available” will appear if the criteria you’ve set for your new username aren’t met. If you can’t get in with your first username choice, try, try again.
- Open the Instagram app and log in.
- Tap your profile icon in the bottom right.
- Tap Edit Profile beneath your bio.
- Enter your new username in the Username field.
- Tap the checkmark in the top right.
How Do I Change My Username on A Computer or Browser?
Changing your Instagram handle is as simple as making the change in a web browser. Procedures are virtually identical. What you should do is as follows. To access your Instagram account, go to Instagram.com. To proceed, select your profile from the menu that appears next.
Access the preferences menu by selecting it. The option to edit your profile should be visible. Fill up the Username form with your new name. Just hit the “Submit” button at the bottom of the page and you’ll be all set!
Keep in mind that, unlike when you change your Instagram username in the app, you won’t be notified if the username you want is already in use. When you try to submit with an invalid username, a message will appear instead. Again, for your convenience, we’ve detailed the procedure below.
- Navigate to Instagram.com and log in.
- Click your profile icon in the top right.
- Select Settings.
- Click Edit Profile.
- Enter your new username in the Username field.
- Click Submit at the bottom of the page.
What Happens When You Change Your Username?
The new Instagram username will take effect immediately once you click the Submit button on the desktop or hit the checkmark icon on the mobile device. This implies that it is permanently out of your reach if it falls into the wrong hands.
If you change your Instagram username, you’ll also need to modify your Instagram account’s URL, which means any website that links to your Instagram account will now return the error message shown above. Verify that all of your online profiles, including blogs and social media pages, have been recently updated.
The good news is that you won’t have to start from scratch because it’s the same account. The same people will continue to follow you, though they may be bewildered by the transition. Even though this may cause some people to lose interest in the account or unfollow it, it shouldn’t deter those who are just looking to exchange images with friends.
You can rest assured that any comments you’ve made on old posts will no longer link to a defunct account because your Instagram profile will be updated anywhere it appears on Instagram. Tagging you in new posts will require your new username, but old posts may not be changed.
Why Won’t Instagram Let Me Change My Username?
If Instagram rejects your proposed username, it’s probably because it doesn’t match the aforementioned criteria. The most typical cause of this error is that the desired username already exists. Keep in mind that reverting to a previous username may not work if someone else grabbed it while it was available.
If you’ve recently changed your Instagram username, this could be due to the app’s caching of your old user name. The fact that everyone else can see your new username and the problem normally resolves itself within a few hours makes this a minor inconvenience at best. Your phone can also be restarted if necessary. If that doesn’t work, uninstalling Instagram and reinstalling it is a surefire fix.
How to Find Someone With A New Username
While a new Instagram handle can feel like a clean slate, it’s still easy to track down followers. The account will remain on your list of followers, and new updates will continue to appear in your feed if you have already begun following it.
Instagram accounts that change their username can still be located using a search for their display name. You should be able to find the account with a quick search if it is public and the display name has been kept the same.
One last option is to try to trace the account to its original point of connection. An old post on which the account commented or a recent post in which they were tagged are both possibilities. It’s not hard to track out a previously unknown Instagram handle but refrain from being creepy if you do.