How to Find Contacts on Instagram: 4 Ways That Work

Instagram Find Contacts

Instagram works a bit differently than chat messages when it comes to finding contacts. The numbers saved in your contact list will automatically show in chat apps. This isn’t the case with Instagram, where you need to manually find someone using search, or connect your contacts list to Instagram to chat with them. If you are looking to find and connect with your contacts on Instagram on iPhone, Android, or PC, this guide will help.

Note: the first two methods only work on iPhone and Android.

Good to know: if you’d rather get back to the days when Instagram was all about the photos you posted, try one of these Instagram alternatives for photographers.

1. Syncing Phone Contacts

Instagram offers an easy way to find contacts: syncing your phone’s contact list. You can find an Instagram account associated with any email or phone number in your phone’s contact list.

For this method to work, you need to first sync your contacts, then find the synced contacts in the Discover section. Let’s examine the steps in detail.

How to Sync Phone Contacts to Instagram

  1. Open the Instagram app on your Android or iPhone.
  2. Tap on your profile picture to go to the profile screen.
Instagram Profile Tab
  1. Tap on the three-bar icon at the top and go to “Settings and privacy.”
Instagram Settings
  1. Scroll down and tap on “Follow and invite friends” in the “How others can interact with you” section.
Instagram Settings Follow People
  1. Tap on “Follow contacts,” then the “Continue” button.
Instagram Settings Follow Contacts

FYI: is your contacts list filled with people you no longer want to keep around? Learn how to delete multiple contacts from Android and iPhone.

Note: you may be asked to grant permission to access your contacts. On iPhone, go to the Settings app, then “Instagram,” and enable the toggle next to “Contacts.” Similarly, on Android, go to “Settings -> Apps -> Instagram -> Permissions -> Contacts.” Select “Allow.”

If you don’t find the “Follow and invite” option inside Instagram Settings, look for it with the following methods:

  • Go to your profile screen and tap on the three-bar icon followed by “Settings -> Accounts -> Contacts syncing.”
  • On your profile screen, tap on the three-bar icon and select “Discover people” or “Follow and invite friends.”

How to Find Phone Contacts on Instagram

After syncing your contacts, follow these steps to find those same contacts on Instagram:

  1. Open the Instagram app on your phone.
  2. Tap on your profile picture to go to the profile screen.
Instagram Profile Tab
  1. You will see the “Discover people” section. Tap on “See All” to view all the suggested contacts. Tap on “Follow” to connect with someone.
Instagram Discover People
  1. If you don’t see the “Discover people” section, tap on the “Add Contact” icon (person with a plus sign). You will see the “Discover People” section and need to tap on the “See All” button.
Instagram Find People

Moreover, when someone from your contacts joins Instagram, you will receive a notification from Instagram. Just tap on the notification and press the “Follow” button on the person’s profile to follow them.

2. Connecting Facebook Friends List

In addition to phone contacts, you can also find someone through your Facebook Friends list. You will need to connect your Facebook account to see your Facebook friends.

  1. Open the Instagram app and go to your profile screen.
Instagram Profile Tab
  1. Tap on the “Add Contact” icon next to the “Edit Profile” and “Share profile” buttons.
  1. Tap on the “See All” button in the “Discover people” section.
Instagram Find People
  1. Next to the Facebook option, tap on “Connect” and sign in to your Facebook account. You will see your Facebook friends in the “Discover people” section.
Instagram Find Facebook Friends

If you want to find someone on Instagram without syncing your phone contacts or Facebook account, you can use Instagram search. Enter the name of the contact you want to find, and Instagram will show related contacts.

Note: this method works on all devices: Android, iPhone, and PC.

  1. Open the Instagram app and tap on the “Search” icon (magnifying glass).
Instagram Search People
  1. Enter the name of the person you are looking for to see a choice of profiles. Tap on a profile that looks familiar to view more details about that person. If that’s the person you wanted to add, tap on the “Follow” button. If it’s the wrong profile, try other profiles from the search results.
Instagram Search People To Add

4. Check Following List

If you can’t find people using the above methods, try the basic method of checking a common friend’s or family member’s list of followers on Instagram. This is working on the assumption that your friend or family member is following the people that you know.

  1. Open the profile of a mutual friend or family member on Instagram.
  2. Tap on the “Following” option at the top.
Instagram Mutual Friend
  1. Go through the list, and if you find a known contact, tap on the “Follow” button next to their name. If you aren’t sure, just tap on the profile name to learn more about the person before you follow them.
Instagram Mutual Friend Contacts List

Pro tip: learn who unfollowed you on Instagram.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I find someone on Instagram by using a picture?

Instagram doesn’t offer a feature that finds someone through their photo. However, you can use reverse image search from your Android or iPhone to find someone.

Will the other person know if I open their Instagram profile?

No, the other person will not be notified if you visit their Instagram profile.

How can I prevent others from finding my Instagram account?

There are many ways to hide your Instagram account from others. For instance, you can sign out of your Facebook account, turn your online status off, etc. Learn more in our detailed guide on how to prevent others from finding you on Instagram.

All images and screenshots by Mehvish Mushtaq.

Mehvish Mushtaq
Mehvish Mushtaq

Mehvish is a tech lover from Kashmir. With a degree in computer engineering, she's always been happy to help anyone who finds technology challenging. She's been writing about technology for over six years, and her favorite topics include how-to guides, explainers, tips and tricks for Android, iOS/iPadOS, Windows, social media, and web apps.

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