Notwithstanding that Instagram has its inner searching mechanisms, it’s not always possible to find users via the native app alone. In this piece, we’ll cover alternative and advanced ways to search for Instagram users with and without a username, using a phone number alone, third-party tools, location and more.

Combin Growth - Instagram Search Tool

If you’re attempting to conduct an Instagram profile search, but you aren’t sure where to begin, then you’ve found the right tool - Combin Growth. This tool can also be helpful to users who are looking to increase Instagram followers or simply learn more about a certain account.

Combin Growth is a desktop Instagram marketing tool that allows you to get more Instagram followers, easily find the right users and influencers, target your competitors’ audience, and more.

In order to initiate a search, launch Combin Growth and open the Search tab. You can search by Users or Posts.

Searching by Users allows you to search Instagram users by followers of a certain account, followings, commenters, likers, and bio. To do so, you just need to know the username of an account whose followers, followings, or likers you want to find.

Move to the Search by section to specify the type of audience you want to target. Click the field to open the drop-down list of options. Select either Followers, Followings, Commenters, Likers or Bio.

Specify the number of search results in the Search limit field.

Below the default search settings, there are Fast search and Advanced Filters and Analysis features.

  • Enable the Fast search mode to load search results quicker but without information about accounts (e.g. following and followers count, gender, etc.)
  • Enable the Advanced Filters, and Analysis feature to activate machine learning user analysis and set the preferable language, gender, last activity, following/followers range filters.

Searching by Posts allows you to look for Instagram accounts by hashtags or a group of hashtags and locations. You can also combine these two search strategies and find users both by location and hashtags.

Combin Growth lets you find Instagram users without logging in to your Instagram account.

User Search With Instagram Native Tools

You might as well search for Instagram users within the native Instagram app and leverage its tools. Find the magnifying glass icon to start a search on Instagram.

We won’t cover here ways to use the Instagram search field; it’s not rocket science. We just want to draw your attention to the things you have possibly underestimated: Facebook contacts, suggested users and your friends’ followings.

Facebook Contacts

If you have many friends on Facebook, you can find them on Instagram and follow them. To do so, you have to connect your Facebook account and see who you can find on Instagram.

You can add your Facebook friends to Instagram following these steps:

  1. Open your Instagram profile.
  2. Find the ‘Discover people’ section and tap 'See All'

Alternatively, you can click the hamburger icon and then press 'Discover people'.

3. Press the ‘Connect to Facebook’ button of blue colour.

4. Press ‘Continue’ to allow the app and website to share information about you.

5. Log in to the Facebook account.

6. Press ‘Continue’ to authorise FB access to Instagram.

7. Wait for a couple of seconds until your list of friends is compiled.

8. Select the account you want to follow or tap the ‘Follow All’ button at the top of the web page.

Suggested Users

Suggested users is yet another option to discover new people and find accounts that Instagram thinks you might be interested in or familiar with.

Instagram suggests accounts for you to discover; you can see the profiles when browsing stories or your Instagram feed.

If you can’t see any suggestions, you can find them on your profile page by clicking on the Discover people section that is already familiar to you. Then head over to See All and you'll see top suggestions for you.

There you'll also see mutual connections with users who follow you and new Instagram users.

Your Friend’s Followings

If you have already followed some Instagram users or your friends, you can browse their followings and discover some new users to follow there. There you’ll also find hashtags that your friend is following, if any.

Instagram User Search By Phone Number

Instagram allows users to find each other in many ways; using a phone number is one of them.

If you’re not trying to discover random accounts but are searching for a specific user, you have two options to find them on Instagram:

  • Their username
  • Their phone number

In order to find a user on Instagram via their number, their phone number should be in your contact list on your smartphone. Besides, their Instagram account must be linked to this exact phone number.

If both conditions are met, Instagram will show you your contacts among top suggested users.

Note that you can’t predict or choose which of your contacts will be suggested to you by Instagram.

If a contact does not have an Instagram account or their account is confirmed by another number or email, there is obviously no finding them. This method is far less reliable than using a username.

Another way to find people knowing their phone number is using WhatsApp.

When it comes to WhatsApp users, most of them are added to your book of contacts automatically, so they will be available on the list too.

But note that before you can see any users from your contact list, you need to allow Instagram connect with your contacts.

Search For Instagram Accounts Near You

If you want to find someone who lives nearby or you constantly meet in your area, you can try to search for them on Instagram using the location function that allows you to locate Instagram users near you without typing their username in the search bar.

This method, however, may not work for everyone.

Open the search field of Instagram (magnifying glass icon), and you’ll see the search bar options – accounts, tags, places, and audio.

Select Places and type the name of your target city. Next, you will find posts of users who are near your location.

This feature might be quite helpful for people living in small towns.

However, if you are trying to find someone in a large city with hundreds of thousands of people using Instagram, this option will show you dozens of accounts mentioning your target location.

If you are looking for people in a super narrow area, you can enter your address in the Place search bar. This will narrow down your search result to the top accounts near you.

Another, more convenient and precise way to find people near you, is to use Combin Growth's map feature. To do use it and find accounts near you, do the following:

  1. Open Combin Growth.
  2. Start a new search by pressing the 'Add Search' button in the Search section.
  3. Select Posts → Search by Hashtags and Locations.
  4. Head over to the Place line and find the map icon. Click on it.

5. Open the map and set the required area or let the map do it for you automatically. Then press Next and Apply.

6. If you don't need any more search criteria, press Find.

Instagram User Search By Photo

You can also find the profile of an Instagram if you upload an image to search engines and apps using AI-powered image search technology.

Google image search helps you see similar images across the web. You can upload the sample images onto Google Image Search Engine, and it will display related or similar images from around the Internet.

Among the results, you will see images leading to different sources with Instagram among them.

Here are the steps to do a reverse image search with Google:

  • Go to on your browser.
  • Click on “Camera Icon” along the search bar.
  • Click on the icon and upload the image from your device storage (iPhone, iPad, or Android phone upload)
  • Press Enter & Google Images will show you images results related to the sample photo downloaded from or found on Instagram.

Pinterest is not only a social media platform but also a great visual search engine.

To find images, including those uploaded on Instagram, you just need to open a Pinterest mobile app, open the search page, then click on the camera icon at the top right corner.

Then upload an image from your smartphone gallery or take a photo from scratch, and find related images in the search results. Some of them will lead you to Instagram accounts.

Why Can’t I Find an Instagram User?

The reason why you can’t find the user within the native Instagram search is that this user has blocked you or their account has been deactivated/deleted by Instagram.

To check which one of the two is the reason, simply go to the incognito browser and make sure you are not signed in to any Instagram account. Then you just type in address username.

If the account appears then, and you can visit the profile, it means the user has blocked you. If it doesn’t - then they have either changed the handle, the account has been deactivated, hacked or just deleted.

You can also use Combin Growth to make sure you were blocked by the user. If the user’s account is deleted or deactivated, you won’t be able to find it with Combin Growth.