Nowadays, you can find just about anyone on Instagram. Whether it’s your favorite celebrity, athlete, or even an old friend from high school, there’s a high chance you can find them on Instagram. But unless you know their name or username on the platform, it can be hard to find their account.
This is why many people look for ways to people on Instagram through their phone contacts.
Luckily, Instagram has a feature that allows you to find users on the platform using the contacts on your phone.
How to Find Phone Contacts on Instagram
Instagram encourages people to connect with other users on the platform. That’s why there are many ways to find contacts on Instagram. While the only way to find people on Instagram in the past was through their Instagram handles, you can now use your phone contacts to find other users on Instagram.
To do this, you need to turn on contact syncing. This feature allows Instagram to access the data on your phone and reference that with their own user base. And if they find a match, they’ll show it to you. That way, you can connect with the people whose numbers you have saved on your phone.
That said, most people don’t know how to find their phone contacts on Instagram and turn on contact syncing. So below, we’ll explain the different steps to turning on contact syncing on both Android and iOS devices. That way, it will be much easier for you to search for contacts on Instagram and connect with the people closest to you.
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How to Turn on Contact Syncing
Contact syncing is one of Instagram’s oldest features. As a result, it’s become very easy to turn the feature on and off. With that said, the process differs slightly depending on the device you use, but we’ll explain how to turn on contact syncing for both Android and iOS devices in this section.
First, let’s start with Android devices. To turn on contact syncing, open the app and go to your profile by tapping on the icon on the bottom right of the screen. From there, you should see a “Discover People” section that shows accounts that you may want to follow. In the same place, you should also see a “See All” option, which you’ll need to tap.
This should open up two additional options: “Connect Facebook” and “Connect Contacts”. You can turn either one of these on. The “Connect Contacts” option allows the app to access your contact data and find users that match the contact number on your phone. And with the “Connect Facebook” option, it will show you, users, you can follow based on your friends on Facebook.
When you turn either of these options on, you’ll receive a prompt asking you to allow Instagram to access your data. If you want to find users based on your phone contacts, you have to allow Instagram to do this.
From there, you will be given a bunch of recommendations. They are sorted from “Top Suggestions”, which are people you would most likely follow to “Most mutual connections” to find people that share contacts with you who you might know or want to follow.
If you’re looking to turn on contact syncing on an iPhone or an iOS device, the process is a bit different. To start, you still need to open the Instagram app and head to your profile. From there, you need to tap on the hamburger menu (three lines in the top right corner), which will present you with several different options.
Tap on the settings then select account. When you do this, you will open up another menu that should have a contact syncing option on it. Simply tap on that option then turn on the toggle switch for contact syncing. Just like with Android devices, you can choose to sync Facebook contacts, phone contacts, or both.
If Instagram doesn't have access to your contact data yet, then you will have to allow it again. But don’t worry, there should be a prompt allowing you to do this easily.
Why Aren't My Contacts Syncing on Instagram?
The first reason you may not be seeing your phone or Facebook contacts on Instagram is that the app isn’t allowed to access your data. While this is good for your privacy, you will need to allow data access to Instagram if you want to sync your contacts.
It’s fairly easy to allow Instagram to access your contacts, and it opens up a bunch of functions on the app. But if you’ve allowed access and you still aren’t seeing your Instagram contacts, then that means you don’t have enough relevant information on your phone to help Instagram identify the people you care about.
For example, if you have old phone numbers or mailing addresses saved on your phone, Instagram can’t use that information to find other users. Or, there may not be any users on the platform that match your saved phone numbers. Again, this could be because the person you’re trying to find changed phone numbers or because the person doesn’t have an Instagram account.
How to Stop Instagram from Syncing Your Phone Contacts
If you don’t want Instagram to sync your phone contacts, follow these steps:
- Go to the hamburger menu and access your settings
- Go to account > contact syncing
- Turn the toggle switch off
There are many ways to find people on Instagram. But if you don’t have their name or username, your best bet would be to find them using your phone contacts. If you have a person’s number and that number matches an Instagram account, you can turn on contact syncing to find that specific account and follow them. This is a very handy and useful Instagram feature that you can easily turn on and off.
You can read additional Instagram articles here.