Just like on Facebook, it’s possible to view when someone was last active on Instagram. The feature was introduced back in 2018 and proved quite popular with users of the app. However, as you might have noticed, sometimes a user’s “Activity Status” can be hidden or unavailable. This article examines all the reasons you can’t see when someone was last active on Instagram and offers a few suggestions to fix it.
Did you know Instagram just added a new feature called “Notes” in Direct Messages? Learn how to use Notes on Instagram.
How to Tell When Someone Was Last Active on Instagram
Technically, the “Activity Status” option on Instagram should show you when anyone was last active on the app. You can view this information whether you’re using the mobile app or accessing Instagram on your PC via your browser of choice.
To get started, go to your Direct Messages on the app and check whether you can spot a tiny green dot in the lower-right corner of a user’s profile picture, indicating that they’re currently active on the app.
At the same time, if they were recently online on the app, you should be able to see how long ago they were last active. The details are listed underneath their username.
The following messages give you an idea of when the user was last seen on the app:
- Active X minutes/hours ago
- Active today
- Active yesterday
You should also be able to see a user’s “Activity Status” once you open their specific Direct Messages thread and look at the top of the window under the username.
Why Can’t I See Someone’s Activity Status?
There are quite a few reasons you may not see someone’s “Activity Status” on Instagram. Listed below are all of the scenarios so that you can understand what might have gone wrong.
1. They Are Not Following You
While in theory, “Activity Status” enables you to know when a user was last active on the app, in practice, you’re a bit limited by variables. For starters, you will only be able to see a user’s status if they follow you.
If someone isn’t part of your followers, you can’t view when they last visited the app – even if they have the feature enabled. Note that you also need to follow them for the magic to work! Of course, they will need to accept you as their follower first.
2. They Don’t Have Activity Status Turned On
Even if the account you are viewing is following you, the user might not have the feature turned on. Instagram’s “Activity Status” can be easily disabled, so perhaps they’ve changed their privacy settings to not allow this information to be visible.
If that’s the case, the only thing you can do is check back at a later date to see whether they’ve changed their mind. Another hypothesis is that they may not be aware their status is off, since the feature needs to be activated manually after you’ve created an Instagram account.
Tip: if you don’t want other users finding you on Instagram, learn how to hide your account on the app.
3. You Don’t Have the Activity Status Enabled
For “Activity Status” to be visible on Instagram, it needs to be enabled on both ends. You also need to have the feature activated to see another user’s online movements. Basically, if you don’t have the option enabled but the other user does, you still won’t see their status.
This works similar to WhatsApp’s “Last Seen” option, where both parties need to have the feature active. Ensure that you’ve enabled “Activity Status” before checking their status.
Tip: learn how to view a WhatsApp status secretly.
- Open the Instagram app on your mobile device and go to your profile.
- Tap on the hamburger menu in the upper-right corner.
- Select Settings from the pop-up menu that appears.
- Tap on Privacy.
- Find the “Activity Status” option and tap it.
- Toggle on the “Show Activity Status” option.
You can enable the option from your PC as well.
- Go to Instagram in your browser.
- Click on your profile picture in the upper-right corner of the display.
- Select “Settings.”
- Select “Privacy and Security” from the menu on the left.
- Tick the “Show Activity Status” option on the right.
Worried about your privacy? These best search engines won’t monetize your data.
4. You’ve Never Sent Them a Direct Message
Another reason you may not see a user’s “Activity Status” is if you haven’t yet had a private conversation with them. Even if you both follow each other and have the option turned on, you still need to drop them a Direct Message before you can start seeing their Instagram habits.
“Activity Status” is only visible in Direct. You can’t view it just by checking your friend’s profile and glancing at their profile picture. Go to Direct, find your conversation with them, and you’ll know when they were there last.
If you’re not getting a reply, it might be that they have set their privacy settings to overlook message requests from people they don’t follow, or your messages were sent to a Request folder in Direct Messages instead of their main inbox. Tweaking these options is done by going to “Settings -> Privacy -> Messages.”
5. The 25 Conversations Rule
You haven’t talked to your friend in a long time via Instagram? Then it may be the reason you can’t see their “Activity Status” in Direct. Instagram limits your “Activity Status” viewing privileges to the first 25 users you’ve most recently had a conversation with. If you want to know your friend’s whereabouts, drop them a new message. You should be able to see their “Activity Status,’ provided they haven’t switched off the feature or unfollowed you in the meantime.
6. You’ve Been Restricted
You won’t be able to see someone’s “Activity Status” if they have restricted you. Instagram allows users to restrict intrusive accounts without having to block or unfollow them. You won’t be notified if this happens.
This is a more discreet way of ignoring someone on the app, as it doesn’t involve removing them from your Followers list. Once someone restricts you, their chats will be moved to the “Message Requests,” so you won’t be able to see if they read your messages. This also removes your privilege of knowing when they were last online.
7. You’ve Been Blocked
It’s also a possibility the person in question blocked you. Oddly enough, if someone did indeed block you, you can still see their texts in Direct but can’t view their “Activity Status” or send further messages their way. If they try to send you messages, you won’t see them. It’s possible to tell when someone has blocked you – you can’t find them in Search anymore. To make absolutely sure that’s the case, use another account to look for their account.
Tip: if someone is bothering you on Instagram, you can block them.
8. A Temporary Glitch
Sometimes a temporary glitch is the reason you can’t see the Activity Status. Check whether you can view it for others via Direct Messages. If you can’t, it might be safe to assume a bug might be causing the problem. Try waiting it out or apply one of the fixes listed below.
A glitch may also affect the Activity Status or the other way around – it may show someone online even if they aren’t. Always take this information with a grain of salt.
9. They Aren’t Using Instagram Much
Activity Status covers the immediate time frame. If someone hasn’t been on the app for a week or two, they won’t have a visible Activity Status. Consider this possibility before jumping to conclusions and thinking they are trying to hide their activity from you or something similar.
Once they log in to the app again, their Activity Status may spark back to life, but if someone is a casual user of Instagram, that may not happen for a while.
If you’re experiencing issues with Instagram and can’t get it to work properly, here are some fixes you can try.
What to Do If You Can’t See “Activity Status” on Instagram
If you’re not seeing “Activity Status” on Instagram but think you should be able to, try implementing these steps.
- Restart the Instagram app: try closing the app on your phone and opening it again. Check to see whether that has fixed the issue.
- Restart your phone: if you believe a temporary issue may be affecting your Instagram app, opt for a device restart. That may immediately fix the problem.
- Update your app: if a bug related to “Activity Status” is plaguing your Instagram experience, updating the app may fix the problem.
- Reinstall the app: if nothing above helps, try reinstalling the app. First, uninstall it from your device, then go to the Google Play Store or App Store and redownload it from there.
- Double-check that your “Activity Status” feature is ON: as humans, we tend to forget all the time! Do yourself a favor and check again whether you’ve really enabled the “Activity Status” like you think you did.
- Send a DM: send the other user a Direct message. This will take care of the issue of not being active in a chat with that person anymore. Also, if you’ve never spoken to them before, this will create a connection between the two of you. Make sure you follow each other before doing so, though, or your message may not get through.
- Check Instagram for PC: if all the right conditions are met, but you still can’t see a person’s “Activity Status,” then you may want to check whether you can view it on your PC. Perhaps there’s a bug with your mobile app that’s preventing you from seeing statuses.
- Investigate whether you’ve been blocked/restricted: try reaching out to inquire about it. Alternatively, you can tell whether you have been restricted if the other user no longer shows as a follower, if their profile doesn’t have a picture, or if you can’t leave a comment on their posts. You can tell whether you’ve been blocked if the other user’s profile appears blank or you’re unable to access it.
Frequently Asked Questions
What happens to Activity Status after 24 hours?
The Activity Status lasts for 24 hours, showing you either how many hours have elapsed since the person was last online or “Active today.” The former option appears once you’ve been inactive for 8 to 24 hours. After 24 hours have elapsed, the Activity Status will change to “Active Yesterday.” Once 48 hours have elapsed, the Activity Status tends to disappear from view, so that could mean they haven’t been on the app much.
Is there any other way to track a user’s activity on Instagram?
You could try using a third-party app, such as InstaOnline (Android | iOS), that notifies you when the user goes online on Instagram. In our trials, the app got mixed results. Sometimes the app would accurately notify us when the targeted user went on the app, and other times it sent bogus notifications. Take the free version for a spin and see what it can do for you, but we don’t recommend paying for Pro.
How can I tell whether someone turned off their Activity Status on Instagram?
Unfortunately, there’s no reliable way to tell. If you are close to that person, you could try asking them. If you don’t want to, you could use the tips outlined above to rule out that you haven’t been restricted or blocked, then safely assume they disabled the feature.
Can a VPN help me solve Activity Status not showing up?
It could. If certain features such as Activity Status are not working properly for you in your region, you could try switching your location and access Instagram via a browser to see whether it helps
Image credit: Unsplash. All screenshots by Alexandra Arici.
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