How to Get an Inactive Instagram Username

Let me tell you a story. A story that involves battles, wars, and suffrage. It’s a story of when I tried to setup an Instagram account for one of my businesses. I had registered a business earlier this year, put up a website I was super happy with and had socials planned out. Then came the time to setup my social accounts. And that is when the battle begun. I quickly realized that the username I wanted, is taken. It was taken on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. But wait, here is the best (worst) part. On all the three platforms, these profiles were completely inactive for over 3 years. So, someone took the username and didn’t use it for more than a day. And, here I am, with my business documentations, my trademark, my domain name – everything setup, but I can’t get a matching username on the socials. And thus began my hunt to find out on how to get an inactive Instagram username

Things got worse. At first, I decided on a creative spin for my username on Instagram. Luckily it was available. Hooray, right? Well, no. While this username was available on Instagram, and I was happy about it, it was not available on Twitter or Facebook. So, I already decided to settle for the less desired username, one which had an unnecessary prefix, but to make things work, the same matching username was not available elsewhere. 

So, I keep on fighting the battle, but every time I’d find a username that I want on one platform, I’d quickly realize, it’s not available on the other. And thus, began the never-ending suffrage. The problem of not being able to register a username for your business, on social media networks, just because, someone several years ago decided to register it, even though they never used it. 

As a brand, my online identity is super important to me. Having the perfect usernames, that are all consistent, and that match my domain, is super important. It makes my brand look professional. I don’t want, as an example, to have but have @zahara1 on Instagram, and then have @wearezahara on Facebook and have @zahara_ on Twitter. That doesn’t showcase my brand as one that is professional. I want consistency. I want everything to look neat and tidy. 

So, with enough effort from my and a bunch of my team members, I came across the only way you can claim an inactive Instagram username. And today, we are going to discuss just that. I won’t bore you with what doesn’t work, instead, I’ll just focus on what does work. 

As Easy as 1-2-3

Here is all you need to know. All usernames, on all social media networks can be claimed. But they must meet a certain criterion. The only requirement is that the username you’d like must be inactive for at least 1.5 years or more. 

So, how do you know if a username is inactive? The first sign would be to see when they have posted last. If the user’s last post is from over a year and a half ago, then this username would be claimable. And this, applies to all social media networks. 

The next thing that you’d need is to approach a reputable social media agency. Why? Because these agencies would be the one who’d get you the username you want. Social media agencies have access to internal teams at social networks, with whom, they can request for usernames, verifications, merges, and a variety of other things. 

What you’ll need to do is, approach such an agency, and hire them to process your claim request. The process for this simple. They’ll simply reassign your desired username to you. The time required for this ranges anywhere from a few hours to a few days. Yes, that’s how fast you can get your dream username on all social platforms. 

But what do you do, if someone has your desired username, but they are active? Well, nothing. You cannot do anything about it. Instagram, or any other social platform is not going to take away an individual’s username, just because you want it. It doesn’t matter if you’re a big brand or a celebrity. I mean, think of it, there are celebrities who have usernames that are not perfect, the reason being, their desired username is already taken, and it is also actively being used by someone else. 

In such a case, you could always go with a suffix or a prefix whilst making sure the one you go with, you register the same across all social networks. In this way, although you don’t have a username that exactly matches your business name or domain name, you still have all socials consistent. Your usernames across all social networks are one and the same. And that is still better than being all over the place and having unique names for every platform. 


Your social media branding is everything. Whether you’re building a personal page or a business one, your identity matters. And, your username, is a searchable element. That’s how people, your audience, your customers, will find you on social media. 

Social media is here to stay and growing at a rapid pace. I mean, Instagram has over 2 billion active users every month. And that shows the amount of potential social networks have for you as a personal or business brand. There is a lot of good that can come from building an audience on social media. 

So, now, you know how to get an inactive Instagram username. You simply reach out to agencies and hire them to have it done for you. And yes, if you’re wondering still, you can have virtually any username, so long as it has been inactive for at least 1.5 years. And finally, yes, you can claim usernames for any social network. Whether its Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, or even newer platforms like TikTok – all platforms allow for username claims via media partnerships that they extend to social media agencies. 

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