TikTok Account Not Found Message: What does it mean?

August 27, 2022

Let’s take a deep dive into why this message appears on TikTok, and how to troubleshoot it.

What is TikTok?

TikTok is a Chinese application that is one of the most widely used social media platforms with around 1 billion monthly active users. It’s a digital space where anyone can create and share short video clips. It’s the birthplace of many popular trends, from dance moves to sound effects, that many know and love.

TikTok Account Not Found Message: What does it mean? (non-infographic)

Just like many other social media platforms, TikTok has influencers who make money by creating content to share. The beauty of the platform is that basically anyone has the opportunity to get TikTok famous with creative content. The platform’s highest-paid influencers, Charli and Dixie D’Amelio raked in $55.5 million in 2021, with around 30% to 50% of their earnings being from posting sponsored content.

Since TikTok has so many users that depend on it for daily entertainment, income, and creative expression, users must abide by certain rules and regulations that keep the platform functional. If you have an account that’s not showing up, or are trying to find someone else’s account with no luck, it may be due to TikTok’s regulations. Let’s explore how they may be affecting you and what you can do about it, below!

What Does “Account Not Found” on TikTok Mean?

This is a very frequently asked question in the TikTok community. One day a profile will be there, and the next - it’s seemingly disappeared! If you get this message, it means that the account you are searching for is no longer visible to you on the platform. It may be because the account has been deleted, or because you have been blocked from seeing it. This issue can also arise from system errors or glitches. As frustrating as this can be - there are solutions to this issue. Let’s dive right into them!

Can’t Find A TikTok Account?

If you can’t find your own TikTok account, or if you can’t find someone else’s TikTok account, there are a few reasons this could be occurring. Whatever the reason, we have the tools you need to figure out what the underlying issue is behind the “account not found” error message, and the necessary steps to take for troubleshooting the problem.

TikTok Glitches or Server Errors

Just like with any piece of technology, TikTok experiences downed servers and glitches within the app. Sometimes, this can make it seem like the account your looking for is nonexistent, when in fact, it does exist. Typically, server maintenance will be announced on the app, so be sure to check the status of their servers on their website.

Servers are the backbone of the platform users’ ability to effectively connect and communicate. So, if they are down you may experience the “account not found” message when trying to log in to your account or search for someone else’s account.

If not a server issue, it could be a bug or glitch. These are very common, happen randomly, and vary from user to user. Glitches can often be resolved within a few steps, but they may occur again sometime after resolving.


Give the server time to resolve itself and come back to being functional. These issues rarely occur, and when they do, it’s usually resolved within a couple of hours. The waiting time may be longer depending on the severity of the issue. Remember to check the server status and look at TikTok’s account for server updates.

If it’s not the server, it could be a glitch. If TikTok’s server is normal, try the following steps.

  1. Log out, then log back in.
  2. Clear your cache and cookies.
  3. Delete the app and reinstall it.

After following these steps, any bugs or glitches should be immediately resolved. If it’s not a server error or a glitch causing you to receive the error message, try the other troubleshooting methods below.

180-day Inactive Account Policy

To encourage users to stay active after creating a TikTok account, the platform has an Inactive Account Policy for users who haven’t logged in or scrolled their feed in 180 days. Does this mean your account will be deleted if you don’t use it for 180 days? No, it doesn’t! TikTok doesn’t delete inactive accounts, but they may change your username to something less desirable so that active users can have access to more desired usernames.

So, if the account you are looking for hasn’t been active for over 180 days, the profile may not have the same username, causing the “account not found” message on TikTok.


  1. Search for the account using the creator’s full name instead of the username.
  2. If the user is in your contacts or a friend on Facebook, you can search for them via the “find friends” button on TikTok.
  3. If you already follow the account you’re looking for, scroll through the users you follow and look for usernames with random numbers. This may be the autogenerated username that TikTok assigned to free up the inactive account’s username.

Banned for Inappropriate Behavior

If the account you are looking for has been banned from the platform, you may get the “account not found” error message. TikTok has community guidelines for content and communication that must be adhered to for public safety. They are requirements that are in place to uphold TikTok’s welcoming, safe and enjoyable platform. Content moderation on TikTok is upheld by technology that identifies and flags potential violations, such as nudity, violence, or graphic content. The flagged content will either be automatically deleted or sent to the Safety team for further review.

If you post content that violates these standards, you’ll get a message in your inbox. If a user has multiple offenses, the account will be temporarily or permanently banned. In very serious cases, TikTok can ban a user’s device to prevent them from creating more accounts.


If your account has been banned, you may want to reconsider the content you are posting. Make sure your creations and communications are adhering to TikTok’s community guidelines. If you think your content was mistakenly flagged, file an appeal! You have a chance to get your account up and running.

If someone else’s account has been banned, the “account not found” error message will appear. Unfortunately, since it’s not your account, there isn’t much you can do to get the profile back up. The user you are looking for may have already created a new profile, so with a little digging, you may be able to find their new account if it exists.

You’ve Been Blocked by the Account You’re Looking For

Being blocked by the account you are looking for is the most common cause of the “account not found” message. People may block you for any reason they’d like to, there are no restrictions on who you can block. If a TikTok user has blocked you, you’ll see the error message when you look for their profile. Here are a few methods for how to find out if you’ve been blocked on TikTok.

  1. Search for the profile using a different account. If it shows up for a different account, then your account has indeed been blocked.
  2. Scroll through your friend list. If they’ve blocked you, they won’t appear on your friend list anymore.


Unfortunately, there isn’t much you can do here besides have a conversation with them. If you can get a hold of them through a separate platform or profile, you can ask them why they’ve blocked you. They may or may not respond, but if they do, you can attempt to clear up the situation and ask them to unblock your account.

All in all, there are many reasons why the “account not found” message pops up. Although this can be frustrating, there are plenty of viable solutions to get to the bottom of the issue. Whatever the cause, remember to keep your cache clear, and adhere to TikTok’s community guidelines.

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