The Instagram "Username" screen on a smartphone.
Khamosh Pathak / How-To Geek

On Instagram, you can change your display name or username whenever you want, as often as you want. Follow the guide below to change your Instagram name and/or handle.

Your Instagram display name and username are two separate things. Your display name appears below your profile icon, and it doesn’t have to be unique. You can even add emojis or special characters to spice it up.

Your Instagram handle, or username, on the other hand, appears at the top of your Instagram profile. This is your unique identifier. It can’t be longer than 30 characters, and special characters aren’t allowed here. You can only use letters, periods, numbers, or underscores.

How to Change Your Instagram Display Name

You can change both your name and handle from your Instagram profile.

To change your display name, open Instagram on your iPhone or Android device. Tap your Profile icon in the bottom-right corner.

Next, tap “Edit Profile.”

Tap "Edit Profile."

Tap the text box next to “Name,” and then tap the Delete icon (x) to remove your current display name.

Now, type your new name. When you’re finished, tap “Done.”

Type your new display name, and then tap "Done."

Instagram returns you to your profile, where you’ll see your new display name.

A display name on an Instagram profile.

How to Change Your Instagram Username

It’s just as easy to change your Instagram handle, as long as the username you want isn’t already being used by someone else.

You start the process the same way you did to change your display name. Open Instagram, go to your Profile, and then tap “Edit Profile.”

Tap "Edit Profile."

Tap the text box next to “Username.”

Tap next to "Username."

Now, tap the Delete icon (x) to delete your current username.

Type your new username, and then tap “Done.”

Type your new Instagram username, and then tap "Done."

If that username isn’t available, the app will tell you. If it’s unavailable, try adding a period or underscore, or choose another username. Tap “Done” once again to submit the new username.

The "This Username Isn't Available. Please Try Another" notification in Instagram.

After your new username is accepted, you’ll return to the “Edit Profile” section. Tap “Done.”

Tap "Done" in the "Edit Profile" section.

You’ll now see your updated username at the top of your Instagram profile.

A username and handle on an Instagram profile.

If you decide to go back to your old username, you can try to switch it back. Instagram will save your previous username for 14 days. After that, though, it’s released into the wild. Even then, you can still switch back to it, though, as long as no one else has claimed it.

New to Instagram? Learn how to use some of its fun features, like Instagram Effects. You might also want to trim or edit Boomerangs or set up the Close Friends feature.

RELATED: How to Use Instagram Effects on iPhone and Android

Profile Photo for Khamosh Pathak Khamosh Pathak
Khamosh Pathak is a freelance technology writer who specializes in tutorials. His work has also been published on Lifehacker, iPhoneHacks, Zapier's blog, MakeUseOf, and Guiding Tech. Khamosh has nearly a decade of experience writing how-tos, features and technology guides on the internet.
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