Most social media platforms do not allow users to alter account names once the account goes live. This is because usernames are recognised as a basic identifying element of the account. It is consequently surprising Instagram lets people change theirs at any time. Instagram lets you change both display name and username, either from the iPhone or Android mobile apps, or your web browser.
What is the difference between Instagram username and display name?
The display name is on your Instagram profile underneath the avatar.
This name does not need to be unique and it can contain emoji and special characters.
Your username conversely appears at the profile’s top and at the end of your profile’s URL.
This username does need to be unique to you and is also subject to more restrictions.
A username can be no longer than 30 characters and may only contain letters, numbers, periods, and underscores.
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How to change your username on the Instagram app:
Begin by logging in to your Instagram account on the Apple iOS or Android app.
Users with more than one Instagram account should check they are logged in to the correct account they wish to change.
Next tap your avatar icon in the bottom-right corner to navigate to your profile.
Then tap Edit Profile beneath your bio, then simply type in your new handle in the Username field and click Done when ready.
If you want to change your display name, type in the Name field instead.
What to do if an Instagram username is taken:
As already noted, users cannot have the same username as someone else.
Usernames become available on a strict first-come, first-serve basis.
Should a chosen handle be taken, Instagram will let you know after you press Done on mobile, or Submit on a computer.
If the name you want isn’t available, try adding numbers or underscores to make it unique to you.
And another option available is to continuously keep checking back to Instagram.
Your dream username may one day finally become available, should the current owner change or delete their profile.
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