What Does It Mean To Restrict Or Block Someone & How To Do It (2023)

Summary: In this blog post, we’ll explain two privacy features on Instagram – Restricting and Blocking. In a nutshell, when you restrict someone, it helps you limit unwanted interactions with a user, without alerting them. On the other hand, when you block someone, Instagram completely hides your profile & prevents the blocked user from all types of interaction with you on the platform.

Keep reading to know about these privacy options in detail & what happens to the user what happens to the user who has been restricted or blocked.

Browsing through your social media feed is as addictive as using drugs. Once you start doing it, there’s no going back. Don’t believe us? Let’s talk about Instagram—one of the most popular social media apps that tie billions of users around the world together. From stalking our crush to watching our favorite celebrities go LIVE, Instagram has got all the entertainment we need. Whether you’re a teenager posting random selfies or a professional photographer, Instagram is for everyone—everyone and anyone.

Restrict VS Blocking Someone
Image Source: Search Engine Journal

Well, enough said, aren’t there a few times when a specific contact or a follower bugs us or get on our nerves? When they keep posting nasty comments on your pictures and stories, and you’re just a second away from blocking someone. Yes, we’ve all been through that. Blocking is one of the most effective ways to ignore someone. You agree with us, right?

But did you know about Instagram’s restrict feature? How is it different from blocking? Here’s a complete guide on block vs restrict someone on Instagram so that you can choose your privacy settings optimally.

Let’s get started.

Is Restricting Someone on Instagram Same as Blocking?

Umm no! When you block someone on Instagram, they won’t be able to see anything on your profile, including your posts, stories, followers, people who you are following, absolutely nothing. When they visit your profile somehow, they will be able to see your username and tiny profile pic icon and nothing more than that.

Restricting Someone on Instagram Same as Blocking
Image Source: The Daily Dot

In addition to this, when you block someone on Instagram, they disappear from your profile. You won’t see their name anywhere, not even when you search for their ID explicitly. Also, all conversations that you did with that specific contact will automatically disappear from direct messages once you block them.

What Does it Mean to Restrict Someone?

What Does it Mean to Restrict Someone
Image Source: The Verge

There are times when blocking someone you know can get awkward. It might be a known family member with whom you’re not comfortable to show your posts/stories or a creepy friend you met at a party. Well, to survive these dilemma-packed situations, Instagram also offers you a “Restrict” feature that can help you to ignore someone without making things problematic.

Restricting someone is like using a polite version of “Block”. It doesn’t notify the other person, hence saving you from all the trouble. When you restrict someone, they will be able to see your posts/stories, comment on it but it will be hidden from your profile. When you’re limiting contact or a follower, you’re just doing it for the sake of avoiding unwanted conversations which otherwise you had to face when you’re blocking someone.

Instagram Block VS Restrict: How It Changes The Way To Interact With You?

Well, when you block someone, your Instagram profile gets completely hidden from them. It means, the person can no longer view your profile information or have access to any of your posts, stories, comments etc. Not only this, they can’t even DM you or have any possible interaction through comments, tags or mentions. You can even block the new accounts they may have or create.  

On the other hand, if you do not want to completely remove a person from your account, you can use the Restrict feature. When you restrict someone on Instagram, not a lot of changes are implemented when it comes to interacting with you as they can still view your stories & feed. But their comments and messages will be hidden from your profile. Any new comments from the restricted user on your feed can be viewed only by them unless you choose to see it yourself or allow other Instagrammers to see it. The feature is considered as a soft block and often touted as an anti-bullying feature on IG.

Instagram says “There is no place for bullying on Instagram. If people see that kind of hurtful behaviour on our platform, they can report it, and we remove any content that violates our guidelines.”

You can also check out these tips if you or someone you know is bullied on Instagram.

How Does the Restrict Feature Work? How is it Useful?

Agree or not, but the Restrict feature on Instagram is a real savior. It offers you all the perks of blocking someone without notifying them. How cool is that, right?

To Restrict someone on Instagram, here’s what you need to do. Head on to their profile whom you wish to restrict and then tap the three-dot icon on the right. Tap on the “Restrict” option. And that’s it!

How Does the Restrict Feature Work

When you restrict someone and if they try to send you a direct message, Instagram won’t notify you and will directly send their message to the “Requests” section.

Restrict feature on Instagram

And you know what’s great? They won’t be able to see your “Active now” or “Last Seen” status as well, and that’s huge relief too.

If you want to learn How To Block/Unblock Someone On Instagram.

Quick Comparison: What Happens When You Restrict or Block Someone on Instagram?

The following table shows what a user can do when he/she is restricted or blocked.


When You Restrict Someone?

When You Block Someone?

The person can view the profile.

Yes No

The person can like or comment.



Are their likes/comments visible to me?



Are their likes/comments visible to me?



The person can see when you’re online.

No No
The person can tag or mention you. Yes


The person can send or receive messages

Yes, but it stays in the Message Request section.


The person can see if you’ve read their messages. No


Now, you must be curious to learn: How To Find If Someone Has Blocked You On Instagram

Restrict VS Block On Instagram: When You Should Use Each Privacy Option?

Restricting someone on Instagram is helpful when you want to avoid interactions from a person who may be constantly bothering you with their unwanted messages or meaningless comments on your posts. The feature comes in handy to cut out users who’re spoiling your day.

On the other hand, if hate speech, inappropriate DMs, unsolicited promotional messages are the problem or maybe you’re falling out with a mate, you can consider blocking them. This way, a blocked user cannot interact with you in any way.

Why is Restricting Someone Better than Blocking?

Block vs restrict someone on Instagram? What would you pick? Well, if you want to ignore someone and don’t wish to hurt them by letting them know that they have been blocked, using the restrict feature is a great call. It leaves the other person in a bubble where they can still see your posts/stories, comment on it, send you messages, but it won’t be visible on your profile, and neither it can annoy you. So, yes, it works great!

Yes, you can thank us later! Follow us on social media – FacebookInstagram and YouTube.


  • comment_avtar
    Camila Saunders
    Thanks for sharing this information. I was confused before whether to block someone or restrict but I think things seems to be very clear now.

    4 years ago
  • comment_avtar
    Emma Honeycutt Barnes
    My name is Emma Honeycutt Barnes, & I would like to Report that someone is Impersonating me on Instagram Messenger. Thank you!

    2 years ago
    • comment_avtar
      Mansi Vijay
      Hey Emma, Thanks for reaching out! Instagram takes safety seriously. If you know such an account, you can report it on the Instagram Help Center! Simply fill out this form: https://help.instagram.com/370054663112398

      2 years ago

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