As a social media researcher, I have been getting questions on about the recently added Restrict, an anti-bullying feature that, as Instagram describes, “allows users to quietly protect their account while still keeping an eye on their bully.” It reminds me a little bit of the “Hide” features on Facebook, which you may be familiar with.
How Does the Restrict Feature on Instagram Work?
Restrict is a new privacy feature in Instagram. Once you restrict someone, their comments on your Instagram posts will only be visible to them (and not publicly).
If you want, you can view their comment using the “See Comment” button. From here, you can approve the comment to make it public, you can delete it, or you can choose to ignore it altogether.
A restricted user also can’t directly message you on Instagram DM. Their messages will be moved to the Message Requests section, and you won’t receive notifications from their account either.
You can read their messages from the Message Requests section, but they won’t be able to see when you’ve read their messages or when you are active on Instagram.
The beauty of this feature is that the restricted user will be none the wiser. They won’t know that you have restricted them. They’ll still be able to view and like your posts and be able to see your stories.
Essentially, your Instagram account for them will go into a view-only mode. They’ll be able to see your updates, but won’t be able to interact with them or with you.
How to Restrict An Instagram User
To restrict a user from their profile, first navigate to their profile, then tap the Menu button from the top-right corner.
Here, select the “Restrict” option.
If this is the first time you’re using the feature, you’ll see a bit of explanation about the restricting a user. From here, tap the “Restrict Account” button. You won’t have to do this the next time.
Now, Instagram will tell you that the user is restricted. You can tap on the “Learn More” button for more information. Tap the “Dismiss” button to go back to their profile.
You can also restrict a user proactively from your post’s comments section. Find the comment for the user you want to restrict and swipe left on it. From there, tap the “Report” button.
Here, tap the “Restrict” option to restrict the account.
If you change your mind and want to reverse the setting, you can go back to their profile, tap the three-dot Menu button, and choose the “Unrestrict” option.
As we said above, the Restrict feature only gives you control over the interaction. If you want to stop someone from viewing your activity, you can hide your Instagram Stories from them, block them from your Instagram account altogether, or you can switch to a private account to further limit unwanted exposure.