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A Fresh Start: How to Change Your Instagram Username

Published August 11, 2023

Are you contemplating an Instagram rebrand? Changing your username is an excellent place to start, as it is often the first thing that people notice about your account.

Whether you have legally changed your name or you just want to turn a new leaf with a fresh handle, we are here to help. Before diving into the instructions, let us briefly discuss a distinction that confuses many Instagram users — the difference between a display name and a username.

Usernames Vs. Display Names

On Instagram, a display name is located right underneath your profile photo on the mobile app. If you use Instagram.com in your browser, your display name will appear to the right of your avatar.

Now, a display name can consist of letters, numbers, punctuation signs, emojis, special characters, and so on. You can change it whenever you want and as many times as you wish.

On the other hand, usernames (also known as handles)can be found right at the top of your profile, as well as at the end of your personalized Instagram URL (www.instagram.com/username). In terms of customization, there are some limitations that the platform enforces for all handles.

For one, a username can only be up to 30 characters long. Moreover, it can consist solely of numbers, letters, underscores, and periods. It also must be 100% unique, meaning that no two Instagram profiles can share a username.

Changing Your Instagram Username

You can change your Instagram handle both in the app and on Instagram.com on your browser in a few simple steps.

In the app, you should:

  1. Open Instagram and log in;
  2. Navigate to your profile by tapping your profile picture in the bottom right-hand corner of the screen;
  3. Select Edit Profile;
  4. Go to the Username field and type in your new handle;
  5. Click on the blue checkmark in the upper right-hand corner.

And if you’d rather make the change on your PC, follow these steps:

  1. In your browser of choice, go to Instagram.com;
  2. Log in;
  3. Click on your avatar on the upper right-hand side of the screen;
  4. Go to Edit Profile and enter your new username in the appropriate field;
  5. Click Submit.

Please note that if you change your mind and want your old handle back, you can switch it again after 14 days. However, that will only be possible if the username has not been claimed by another account. 

Also, in the event that your new desired username is taken, the platform will notify you after you try to save the change. In such a case, you should experiment a little by adding numbers, more letters, periods, or underscores until you find an available option.

Lastly, it’s important to point out that Instagram can put username changes under review before completing them. That is especially the case with requests by verified public profiles with numerous followers. However, this review usually only takes a few hours and results in approval.

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Written By:
Jessica is a writer who specializes in social media, marketing, and digital strategy. She is a graduate of Antioch College and earned her MBA at Boston College’s Carroll Graduate School of Management, specializing in STEM Management. Her work has been published in numerous academic journals and mainstream publications. She lives in New England with her husband, two children, and three dogs.
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