Instagram Tips: How To Fix an Instagram Hashtag When a Photo Doesn’t Show Up in Search Results

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UPDATE SEPTEMBER 2016:

Hi everyone! I’m sorry you’ve found yourself here on this page, and that your Instagram hashtags aren’t working – I know how annoying that is. The method I describe in the post below is no longer working for several users. Two things to know:

  1. If you are using a third-party app to post photos, such as Adobe Lightroom or Dropbox, that seems to cause the hashtags to not work.
  2. This seems to affect brand-new accounts more than established ones.

Unfortunately, I’m not an Instagram expert and I am not currently (in September 2016) experiencing this issue so I do not yet have the solution. I would hypothesize that Instagram may want to discourage overuse of hashtags, especially on new accounts, so as to limit “spam” accounts, but I’m not sure. Some people in the comments below have had luck submitting a help ticket to Instagram. Actually, there is lots of activity in the comments section of this post that I hope will help someone out. I will update the post if I learn more.


I recently started a daily photography challenge loosely based on the project #100HappyDays. I wanted to create my own hashtag in order to keep my photos grouped together and organized for me personally, so I chose one that nobody else had used yet, #stephlovestoday. I happily began tagging my photos with it and they would show up in the search results for that tag without a problem.

Then I noticed that one of my Instagram photos wasn’t showing up in the search results for that hashtag. I thought this was odd, since I’d never had any problems before. I did a bit of a Google search and finally found the information I was looking for, buried in the replies to a Yahoo Answers post. I’m sharing it here in the hopes that I can be helpful to someone who might be encountering the same problem I was!

Here’s what it comes down to: there are a few broken hashtags on Instagram. When you tag using those tags, they ruin it for all their hashtag friends and none of the other tags you use on that photo will show up in their respective search results.

I don’t have a definitive list of all the broken hashtags, so you’ll have to do a bit of trial-and-error if you’re encountering this problem. But here are a few to watch out for (in my experience):

  • #photography
  • #instagram
  • #love

These are all popular hashtags, so I think they all work at least sometimes, but if you’re encountering an issue with one of your photos not showing up for another tag, chances are one of these tags are causing an issue.

I’ll show you an example. Here’s a photo I took for my photography project. I tagged it with a few hashtags.

DSC_0229Unfortunately, the search results for my personal tag don’t show this photo, despite it being tagged!

DSC_0242How annoying. Luckily, I put all my hashtags into a comment. If you tagged your photo in the caption and not a comment, you’ll have to delete and re-post your photo for this fix to work.

Here’s how to fix it.

Insta1Locate the broken hashtag. Again, this is where trial-and-error might come into play, but for me it was definitely the #photography hashtag.

Insta2Click “Comment” underneath your photo and it’ll take you to the screen above. Swipe to the left, and then click the red trashcan to delete the comment.

Insta3Once you’ve identified the problem, you can tag to your heart’s content!

DSC_0223And happily, your photo will now appear in the search results for all the hashtags you used, including of course your own personal tag.

I hope this was helpful! If you have had a similar problem, share your experience in the comments.

You can follow me on Instagram @lifeinlimboblog.

Why I Yoga

Yoga 1That’s the first ever Instagram yoga picture I ever took! Unfortunately/fortunately, it wasn’t the last. I’ve been posting ever since, usually every day. You can see all my yoga pictures, if you’re so inclined, here.  

You might be wondering, why? Why do I practice yoga, and why on earth do I post photos of me doing so? Excellent questions. 

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I practice yoga because it makes me feel strong. It makes me feel relaxed and centered, it makes me feel focused, it makes me feel excited and positively giddy at times. There is something absolutely incredible about discovering that you can do something you never thought would be possible. It’s amazing to see small improvements in your body every day. It’s fascinating to watch yourself get stronger or more flexible, even though you never thought you would. 

I also practice yoga because in many ways, it’s practice for life. I know I haven’t even scratched the surface when it comes to the spiritual side of yoga, but I’m getting slightly deeper every time I come to my mat. When I go to classes, I get lots of perspective. I get to see people of all levels and I get to remind myself (over and over, forever, to infinity and beyond) to keep my eyes on my own mat and my awareness in my own body. I am pushed and challenged and I get angry or I get bored, and I try very hard (and never, ever succeed) to keep my focus on my breath throughout the entire class. 

The teachers always tell us not to resist the poses, even though they can be so uncomfortable and frustrating. They tell us that we don’t need to react to our internal complaints or angst. They tell us to just be, without resisting, without reacting. This is, truly, the ultimate challenge, in that hot sweaty room and in real life. 

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I’ve been “doing yoga” for a while – on and off for maybe 5 years. I went to a few classes in high school, and took classes all throughout university. But I only really started to practice in earnest, almost every day, a few months ago, ever since I got back from Europe this past fall. The last few months were hard for me in many ways: I felt lost and sad and confused more often than I expected I would. I would go to hot yoga and put my body through the motions that I could barely do until I was totally spent and too tired to think. I cried in class almost every time, and if you had asked me I wouldn’t have been able to explain why. But it was always, always worth it for that feeling of pure clarity and lightness when I stepped back out into the fresh air at dusk. 

So, in a sentence, I practice yoga because it makes me want to work towards being better, physically & spiritually, on the mat and in my life. 

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And that’s a lot of why I post the photos on Instagram. Sharing my progress in yoga is like the way I share what I’m reading or what lessons I’ve learned in my life like I do on this blog. The only difference (and the part that can feel uncomfortable) is that I’m posting photos of myself. But in taking those photos I push myself to try new things, explore my limits, bring awareness to my form and alignment, and bring some much-needed fun and joy and levity into my practice. :)

As a member of a generation that uses social media to nominate each other for stupid drinking competitions or to boast about how much money we’ve spent, I wish there was more positive, healthy inspiration online. Pictures of yoga, or delicious meals or friends and family or beautiful landscapes – that’s what I want more of in my feed. And I want to be an active participant in creating that kind of content. 

I think yoga practice can be seen as so intimidating for people who haven’t tried it yet. The poses look so complicated and there’s this idea that if you practice yoga, you have to live the whole “yogic” lifestyle, whatever that means. Definitely not the case. Yogis come in all shapes and all sizes and from all backgrounds and personalities. It’s just stretching and body weight exercises! Nothing to be scared of. 

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Who knows, maybe I won’t practice yoga forever. Maybe I’ll get bored when I find another form of exercise that challenges me and makes me feel strong and light. But for now, I’m enjoying my practice. I’m learning new things every day. I have wobbly days (in yoga and in life) and I have strong days. I’ve found some advanced poses but I have an infinite number of advanced poses and transitions to conquer. For now, I yoga. Do you yoga?

Namaste – I bow to (the greatness in) you. 

The Everyday

I love Instagram. Even though I haven’t been counting iPhone photos towards Project 365, I’ve still been trying to take pictures when I’m out and about, and little things in my daily life. This poster represents 2012 so far, and it makes me crazy happy everytime I look at it. I need to keep reminding myself to document the small details, the everyday – because I absolutely adore having those small memories to look back on. I should also probably start using the same filter every time I share a photo on Instagram, but I can’t help switching it up.. there’s just so much variety! And I love how they all look!

Here’s to the little things. Here’s to technology. Here’s to remembering the moments that make us happy. Here’s to a great weekend! Hope it’s not raining where you are. Happy Friday.

The “poster” is thanks to Printsgram, a great service that lets you organize your photos and save PDFs – for free!