What Are Instagram Banned Hashtags and How to Avoid Them?

The usage of hashtags is essential for growth and discovery on Instagram. But, you have to keep one thing in mind, don’t use banned hashtags even by mistake. If there is a banned hashtag in your content it will impact your account negatively in many ways.

Instagram Banned Hashtags Search

What are hashtags on Instagram?

The first thing necessary to understand is what is a banned hashtag on Instagram.

A hashtag on Instagram is a symbol followed by a word or phrase without space and it acts as a hyperlink. And in whichever content this hashtag is used, you can find them in the results.

So ultimately, if you are creating a hashtag of your brand name and using it in content, when some user clicks on this brand name (hashtag) the result will show all the content where this hashtag is used.

Look at this example, when you click on the #CrowdMultiplier hashtag on Instagram or search for it you might see something like this in the results.

What are banned hashtags on Instagram?

If any hashtag is going against community guidelines and many users report the same it will be considered a banned hashtag.

Naturally, you might have a question that,

What happens if you use a banned hashtag on Instagram?

If you use any banned hashtag in your content, your post will be hidden. It will not be visible to your community.

Due to this, there will be a huge impact on your organic growth strategy. Because, if your content is not visible to anyone you will not gain reach and so there will not be any growth.

And if you keep on using such banned hashtags repeatedly, there can be temporary or permanent restrictions on your profile.

Now you might be interested in knowing, if is there a list of such banned hashtags.

How to get a banned hashtags list?

No, Instagram doesn’t provide any such list. But, based on daily reports by Instagram users and investigation by the platform it will be decided what should be the status of a particular hashtag.

That means the hashtag which is banned today may not be banned tomorrow.

However, there are third-party websites which release a list of banned hashtags list on a regular basis. Check the list here

How to avoid banned hashtags with a free banned hashtags checker?

Let me tell you this is a time-consuming process as it’s a manual process. Here comes Instagram banned hashtags search process.

Go to the explore page. Now in the search bar any hashtag which you want to use and tap the tags option.

As a result, if you can see the following four things – Top Section, Recent Section, Count of the number of posts and follow button.

If all these 4 things are available that means the particular hashtag is not a banned hashtag and you can use it. Here is an example of #Strangers

But in the results, you see only posts without the follow button then that’s a good indication that a particular hashtag is a banned hashtag. Don’t use it.

You can see here #stranger.

Strangers plural was allowed but Stranger singular is a banned hashtag.

In a few hashtags, you might see this kind of instruction as well. For example #Depression. Here you are able to see this instruction  ‘We’ve hidden posts for #% (hashtag)s to protect our community from content that may encourage behaviour that can cause harm and even lead to death.’

If you are seeing any such instructions on a hashtag then you have to avoid them.

On other hashtags, you might see different kinds of instructions. If you search for #Nudity you might see this kind of instruction.

Recent posts for #nudity are hidden because some posts may not follow Instagram’s Community Guidelines.

If you see this instruction, then you have to avoid these hashtags as well.

So this is an entirely manual process, whichever hashtags you want to use check them one by one.

And in the results, the four criteria which I discussed Recent, Top, Post Count and Follow Button if they are visible then only use those hashtags.

Should you use a banned hashtag finder for Instagram?

If you don’t want to go through this manual process, there are a few apps that can immediately tell you if are there any banned hashtags out of the set you want to use.

But most of the apps give this facility to identify banned hashtags in their paid version only.

Earlier when you were using 30 hashtags this process was really long but in today’s scenario, Instagram is suggesting using 3 to 5 hashtags only. So, comparatively, finding banned hashtags would be a lot easier.

So the process is not that long anymore.

So ensure, that whichever 5,7,10 hashtags you want to use, any of them is not a banned hashtag.

And if you find any banned hashtag then remove that from the old post as well.

You might be interested in knowing, if should you use hashtags in your Instagram bio?


Banned hashtags can ruin your Instagram marketing efforts so it is necessary to eliminate them at all costs. Don’t stuff your Instagram posts with 30 hashtags because the Creator account on Instagram has clarified that you need only 3-5 hashtags to grow, additional hashtags don’t help in distribution. That means checking, whether a particular hashtag is banned or not is not that difficult anymore, even manually. 

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