Skip to main content

How to Search Instagram

This wikiHow teaches you how to use Instagram's search feature. Instagram allows you to search for anything from specific topics and hashtags to users on both the mobile app and the desktop site.


EditOn Mobile

  1. Open Instagram. Tap the Instagram app icon, which resembles a multicolored, square camera. This will open your Instagram home page if you're logged into your account.
    Search Instagram Step 1 Version 3.jpg
    • If you aren't logged into Instagram, enter your email address (or phone number, or username) and password before proceeding.
  2. Tap the "Search" icon. It's the magnifying glass-shaped icon in the lower-left side of the screen.
    Search Instagram Step 2 Version 3.jpg
  3. Tap the search bar. It's at the top of the screen. This will both bring up your on-screen keyboard and cause the filter tabs to appear near the top of the screen.
    Search Instagram Step 3 Version 3.jpg
  4. Select a filter. Near the top of the "Search" page, tap one of the following tabs:[1]
    Search Instagram Step 4 Version 3.jpg
    • Top — Displays a list of the most popular (or relevant) people, tags, and places matching your search query.
    • People — Limits search results to people whose usernames match your search query.
    • Tags — Limits search results to hashtags matching your search query.
    • Places — Limits search results to locations matching your search query.
  5. Enter your search term(s). Type in whatever you want to search for, then tap Search in the keyboard.
    Search Instagram Step 5 Version 3.jpg
    • On Android, you might tap Enter or a magnifying glass icon instead of Search.
    • When searching for tags, you don't need to include the pound sign (#) in your search.
    • You may have to tap the search bar again after selecting a filter before the keyboard re-appears.
  6. Review the results. Scroll through the list of search results to do so.
    Search Instagram Step 6 Version 3.jpg
    • You can open a result (e.g., a hashtag's list or a user's profile) by tapping it.

EditOn Desktop

  1. Open Instagram. Go to in your computer's web browser. This will open your Instagram home page if you're logged in.
    Search Instagram Step 7 Version 3.jpg
    • If you aren't logged into Instagram, click the Log in link and enter your account credentials before you continue.
  2. Click the search bar. It's at the top of the page, just right of the "Instagram" heading.
    Search Instagram Step 8 Version 3.jpg
  3. Enter your search term(s). Type in the name, word, or location for which you want to search.
    Search Instagram Step 9 Version 2.jpg
  4. Review the search results. As you type, you'll see a drop-down menu appear below the search bar; this is where your search results will display. You can scroll down through the search results to browse through them as needed.
    Search Instagram Step 10 Version 2.jpg
    • Clicking a search result will open it.


  • The search results Instagram shows to you are impacted by your current location, friends list, the content you like, and more.[2]


  • Make sure you're using the correct filter when searching for a specific item (e.g., a person). Looking up a person's username while on the Tags tab, for example, will prevent you from finding the person for whom you're looking.

EditSources and Citations

EditQuick Summary

Cite error: <ref> tags exist, but no <references/> tag was found

from How to of the Day