Some social platforms limit the number of times you can change your username, while others don’t let you do it at all. Instagram is a username free-for-all; you can alter your Instagram handle whenever you want, as many times as you want — within certain limits.
There’s a difference between your username and your display name. The display name is on your profile below your avatar. It doesn’t need to be unique to you, and it can contain emoji and special characters. (And yes, it can also be changed — up to two times within 14 days.)
Your username, on the other hand, appears at the top of your profile and at the end of your profile’s URL. It needs to be unique to you. It’s also subject to more restrictions: it can’t be longer than 30 characters and can only contain letters, numbers, periods, and underscores. If you choose a new username, you can change it back within 14 days — if nobody else has claimed it.
Whether you’ve changed your real-life name, you’re upgrading to a more professional username, or you’re just bored of your current moniker, you can change your handle in less than a minute. Here’s how.
First, log in to your Instagram account on the iOS or Android app. If you have more than one account, double-check that you’re logged in to the one you’re trying to change.
- Tap your avatar icon in the bottom-right corner to go to your profile
- Tap Edit profile under your bio
- Tap the Username field and type in your new handle
- Tap the blue checkmark in the upper right corner.
Tap your avatar icon.
Tap “Edit Profile.”
Now you can change your username.
If you want to change your display name, type in the Name field instead.
If you prefer, you can change your username with the desktop version of Instagram.
- In a web browser, go to Instagram.com
- If you’re already logged in, you’ll be prompted to continue with your account. If you’re not already logged in, enter your username and password.
- Click your profile icon on the right side of the homepage and select Profile
- Click Edit profile next to your username
Again, if you make a mistake during this process or decide you don’t like your new handle after all, you can go back to your old handle within 14 days. After that time, you may still be able to revert, but your old handle may have been taken by another user.
As mentioned before, you can’t have the same username as someone else, and it’s first come, first served. If your chosen handle is taken, Instagram will let you know after you press the checkmark on mobile or Submit on the web.
If the name you want isn’t available, try adding numbers or underscores to make it unique to you.
Also, keep checking back. Your desired username may become available in the future. The current owner may change or delete their profile, and Instagram occasionally removes fake accounts.
Update June 21st, 2022, 2:10PM ET: This article was originally published on February 5th, 2020, and has been updated to account for changes in the app.
Credit: Notigroup Newsroom.
[Written in collaboration with other media outlets with information from the following sources]