How to unblock Instagram in 7 easy steps

Instagram phone

Instagram, IG, Insta, ‘The Gram’, whatever you choose to call it we can all agree how annoying it is when you can’t access it. Be it at school, work, when travellingwherever.

How can you keep up with your favourite Instagrammer? Check your follower count or while away time with live video?

In this guide, I’ll be showing you how you can keep accessing Instagram wherever you are, even if it appears blocked.

We all know how popular Instagram is these days. It has millions of users, and we can only guess how many photos get uploaded on it every minute. It is easily one of the most popular social networks out there, which is why a lot of people wish to have non-stop access to it.

After all, it is the easiest way to share photos of important events, vacations, adventures, and more.

However, depending on the situation, you might discover that you can’t access Instagram anymore. This can be very frustrating, which is why I will show you how to bypass the issue, should it happen to you.

Why is Instagram blocked?

Before we get to the method of unlocking Instagram, let’s first talk about why it might get blocked in the first place.

Assuming that the social network has no issues with servers, there could be a few other reasons why you can’t access it. The most common being:

1) Network block

It is not uncommon for schools, universities, or even workplaces to block Instagram and prevent you from accessing it.

They operate their own networks, and they don’t want their students/employees to spend time on social media instead of being productive. Which sucks for you.

2) Country block

Some countries have stringent rules of what is allowed and what is not.

If you live in or have travelled to a country like China, you will be all too familiar with this problem, where the government censors pretty much all of the online content.

If they don’t want you to see something – they will make sure that you won’t see it. Unfortunately, Instagram is one of these cases.

Instagram photo

3) Social media block

Some services and networks don’t want you accessing social media, and you may encounter this when connecting to public Wi-Fi systems such as those in libraries.

Parental blocks are also a possibility, so this might also be a reason why Instagram is unavailable to you.

How to access Instagram if you’re blocked

The easiest way to bypass any of the mentioned barriers is to use a VPN app.

VPNs can throw a mask over your online usage and stop others from knowing what websites you’re visiting or apps you’re using.

One of the ways is by disguising your ‘IP Address’, which acts as a source of information about you – and replacing it with one of their own.

This way, your online location changes, and you appear to be located somewhere else.

Primarily, VPNs were developed as online privacy and security technologies. However, with censorship and geo-restrictions becoming more severe, many use them for unlocking different content these days.

Or in the case of yourself, used for gaining access to Instagram if you find it’s not accessible.

Where to get a VPN for Instagram

There are a lot of VPN apps out there, and I mean ALOT.

Searching ‘VPN’ is a huge mistake that will leave you with a basket full of choices and more questions than answers.

Thankfully, we’ve done the hard work for you. Rather than limit you to once choice we’ve found three that are suitable for getting access to Instagram when it’s not ordinarily available.

The best VPN to use for unblocking Instagram is ExpressVPN.

It offers mobile versions of its VPN apps which is critical for using Insta; it is fast, which is perfect for video or sharing high-quality photos, safe, and capable of unblocking almost anything else too.

About those other choices – NordVPN and IPVanish are also great alternatives, so you’re free to choose.

30-day money-back guarantee

How to use the VPN?

Using a VPN is like using any other type of app, and they’re suitable for both beginners and experts alike.

It is very easy to get one, set it up, and start using it for Instagram, and you can do it all in less than 5 minutes.

Just follow these steps seven steps:

  1. Choose a VPN service; my recommendation is ExpressVPN.
  2. Go to the VPN’s website and sign up for an account.
  3. Choose a payment plan (long-term plans come at a discount).
  4. From your regular app store download their VPN app.
  5. After the app is installed – login.
  6. Connect to any country – using your own or a nearby one is best.
  7. Now open Instagram and continue using it like normal.
ExpressVPN connecting to the UK

Gain access to Instagram using ExpressVPN.

If you discover Instagram is still not working, disconnect from the VPN and connect to another country which should resolve the problem.

How does a VPN help?

To understand what VPN does, you must first know that geo-restrictions and censorship usually limit you due to your ‘IP address’ (find out what an IP Address is).

It’s a little bit like a phone number in that it’s unique to your internet connection at the time you’re using it.

Networks introduce a rule that IP addresses belonging to a particular area cannot access a certain website or service – in this case, Instagram.

The result is Instagram is unavailable.

Instagram logo in blue paint splat

A VPN deals with this by allowing you to use its network of servers which are located all over the world.

Connecting to any of them through the VPN app grants you a new IP address that is not limited by the original network’s rules. It also pushes all your data through the VPN service.

At the same time, you appear to be somewhere else, which is basically how you skip past any blocks.

30-day money-back guarantee

What countries is Instagram blocked in?

Instagram is blocked in most countries that hold a tight grasp on their internet, and like to control what their citizens can access.

This includes the likes of:

  • North Korea
  • China
  • Iran

Anyone living in these countries can only access Instagram by hiding their real location with a VPN and similar methods. Without such tools, all they are left with is censorship of their governments.

There are other countries that heavily restrict the use of Instagram or who have banned it at different points throughout history. These include Egypt, Uganda and Eritrea, although they are not alone.

Is it safe to use a VPN with Instagram?

Using a VPN is perfectly safe, as long as you go for premium apps. Free VPNs can often be malicious, or they could steal your data.

Although you’ll mainly be using a VPN with Instagram because you’re unable to access it without one, it’s safer to be using it with a VPN than not.

The primary purpose of a VPN is to protect your online safety and security. This adds an extra layer of protection when using Insta.


If you find that Instagram is blocked, then you’ll need to use a VPN app to unblock it.

Almost any will do, and you can compare loads in our VPN comparison guide.

I recommend using ExpressVPN, though. They’re easy and quick to set up and have the bonus of a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Download their VPN app, connect to your own country or one nearby and enjoy following, posting and everything else associated with Instagram without restrictions.


Ready to unblock? Try our recommended VPN service provider.

  • Use Insta anywhere
  • Simple to set up
  • Beginner-friendly

Illustrations © Michaelgolez & Supun Liyanaarachchi |

Author: Ali Raza

Ali is a journalist with a keen interest in VPN usage. He is an expert in the field and has been covering VPN related topics for VPNCompare and numerous well-respected publications for many years.

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