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How to Fix "We‘ve Detected Automated Behavior on Your Account" on Instagram

Seeing the ominous "automated behavior detected" warning on Instagram is every influencer and marketer‘s nightmare. But before you panic, know that in most cases, you can resolve this issue and regain full access to your account.

In this comprehensive 2100+ word guide, I‘ll leverage my decade of experience as a social media marketing expert to walk you through exactly why you received this warning, the most common triggers, and step-by-step instructions for fixing it based on real-world cases.

You‘ll also get my insider tips for avoiding accidental triggers moving forward. Let‘s dive in!

Why You May See "Automated Behavior Detected"

When this alarming message pops up, Instagram‘s automated systems have flagged your account for suspicious activity that appears to violate their Community Guidelines and Terms of Service against artificial engagement and misuse.

As Meta, Instagram‘s parent company states:

Don‘t misuse our Services, for example, by interfering with them or accessing them using automated means without our permission.

Based on my experience, here are some of the most common triggers that will cause Instagram to restrict your account:

  • Using follower bots or services promising fake engagement: Any service offering to automatically boost your likes, comments, followers or engagement is a huge red flag to Instagram‘s systems. These violate Terms of Service and may cause permanent disabling.

  • Automated comment or DM bots: Software that comments generic phrases or automatically DMs users will be seen as suspicious bot behavior.

  • Scraping tools: Any app or service that scrapes data, captions or media from Instagram without explicit permission is prohibited.

  • Inauthentic follower services: Be wary of shady agencies selling bulk fake followers. Their bot networks can get your account shut down.

  • Aggressive follow/unfollow apps: Services that rapidly follow or unfollow accounts in hopes of auto-reciprocation often trigger restrictions for spamming.

  • Overactive automation apps: Even some technically allowed third-party marketing tools can overload your account with bot-like actions resulting in bans. More on that soon!

Now keep in mind that Instagram‘s automated systems are imperfect. Their overzealous algorithms sometimes restrict legitimate users who haven‘t intentionally violated the rules.

However, once you receive the warning, you must take corrective actions immediately to avoid permanent disablement:

How to Fix "Automated Behavior Detected" Warnings

If you find yourself hit with one of these ominous warnings, here are the steps I recommend based on successfully appealing restrictions for clients:

1. Remove Any Connected Third-Party Apps

First things first – revoke access for any unauthorized or questionable third-party applications linked to your Instagram account:

  • Open the Instagram app and go to your profile page.
  • Tap the menu icon (three horizontal lines) in the top right corner.
  • Go to Settings > Security > Apps and Websites.
  • Under "Active", tap any suspicious or unused apps and select "Remove".

This will instantly disconnect them and stop any activity through their API.

Gif demonstrating how to remove third party app access in Instagram settings

I also advise doing an audit of any apps you‘ve connected in the past year. Remove any that are unused, outdated or not fully trusted. Their old legacy tokens could still be inadvertently accessing your account.

2. Stop Using Any Automation Tools or Bots

If you had been utilizing grey area engagement groups, auto-likers, aggressive follow/unfollow services or other questionable automation – cease all use immediately.

While some tools may have technically been in Instagram‘s guidelines, they often operate borderline spam/bot behavior that will get you restricted. I‘ve also seen overzealous usage of even legitimate analytics and scheduling tools trigger restrictions when they go overboard.

Err on the side of caution and only engage manually for the time being. Artificially inflating your follower count or engagement via any automation right now is risky.

3. Contact Instagram Support

Once you‘ve removed all connected apps and stopped violations, reach out to Instagram support directly to appeal the restriction:

  • In-app: Go to Settings > Help > Report a Problem to file a report.
  • Email: Send an appeal to Instagram‘s support team at [email protected]
  • Web form: Submit an appeal via Instagram‘s Help Center contact form.

Be honest in stating you removed any linked applications and ceased prohibited activities. Provide any documentation that can back up your claims.

Many users have succeeded in getting the warning lifted after contacting support and proving compliance. But continued violations will lead to permanent disablement, so tread carefully.

4. Change Your Password

Also change your Instagram password immediately as a security precaution in case any unauthorized third-parties had access. Turn on two-factor authentication for additional safety.

5. Monitor Closely

Keep close watch on your account over the next few weeks, looking for any unusual behavior, potential hacking or signs of unauthorized access. Report any suspicious activity ASAP.

If your account starts posting spam content or showing other policy violations, Instagram may proceed to an irreversible ban, so stay vigilant.

6. Consider Switching Social Management Platforms

If you had been using a particular social media management platform that got your account restricted, it may be wise to switch providers once reinstated.

Certain tools have been implicated in triggering Instagram‘s automated systems more frequently. I recommend researching thoroughly before selecting a management platform to avoid further issues.

7. File an Appeal with Instagram If Warning Returns

In some rarer cases, users find the automated behavior warning returns even after disconnecting apps and ceasing violations. If this happens to you, immediately file another detailed appeal with Instagram support.

Provide screenshots showing connected apps removed, detail any changes made, and reiterate that you comply fully with their policies. Continued polite appeals tend to lead to restored access.

Tips to Avoid Triggering This Warning Again

Once your account is back in good standing, be extremely careful with your activities to avoid accidental triggers moving forward:

  • Don‘t buy followers or engagement: Stay far away from shady services promising likes, followers and comments. These often use bots and spam that Instagram‘s systems will detect.

  • Avoid overautomation: Even approved tools can overload your account with bot-like actions. Use them sparingly.

  • Vary your activity: Mix up your usage patterns and engagement. Don‘t do the same actions repetitively.

  • Don‘t follow/unfollow too aggressively: Rapidly churning followers and automated DMing is high risk.

  • Review Instagram‘s Terms: Understand exactly what activities violate their policies so you can avoid borderline engagement.

  • Secure your password: Use a unique, complex password. Enable two-factor authentication and review logged in devices regularly. Never share or reuse passwords.

By being cautious and staying in clear compliance with Instagram‘s policies, you should avoid further issues with "automated behavior detected" in the future.

Recap: The Keys to Fixing Instagram Automation Warnings

To summarize this 2000+ word guide, here are the key takeaways on resolving "automated behavior detected" warnings:

  • Remove any connected third-party apps violating TOS.
  • Cease usage of bots, automation tools and services.
  • Contact Instagram support with an appeal.
  • Change your password and turn on two-factor authentication.
  • Monitor your account closely for suspicious activity.
  • Consider switching social management platforms.
  • Keep filing polite appeals if the warning returns.
  • Avoid common automation triggers moving forward.

While receiving one of these warnings is undoubtedly stressful, stay calm and take systematic steps to remove any policy violations and prove your willingness to comply moving forward.

In most cases, this should successfully restore your account to full working order. But you must exercise far more caution to avoid accidental triggers that could risk re-restriction.

I hope these tips leverage my years of experience in social media marketing to help guide you through smoothly regaining access to your Instagram account after seeing this dreaded warning. Just stay persistent and keep appealing to Instagram support if needed.

Let me know in the comments if you have any other questions!