Using Telegram usernames is a great way to easily find and chat with people without needing their phone number. Telegram usernames work like handles that others can search for and message without any other contact details.
However, sometimes when you try to search for a Telegram username, you may get the frustrating “Username not found” error instead. This means Telegram was unable to locate the username you entered.
Don’t worry – there are some troubleshooting tips you can try to resolve this Telegram error. This guide will walk you through the top reasons why the “Username not found” error occurs and the step-by-step solutions to fix it.
Why You Get the “Username not Found” Error
Before diving into the solutions, it helps to understand the main causes behind the “Username not found” error on Telegram:
You Entered the Wrong Username
The most common reason for the error is that the username you searched for doesn’t exist or you made a typo entering it.
Telegram usernames are case-sensitive, so “JohnSmith” is not the same as “johnsmith”. Even a small typo or spelling error can lead to the username not being found.
Always double and triple check that you’ve entered the exact username with proper capitalization. If you only heard the username verbally, clarify the spelling before searching.
The User Changed Their Username
Another possibility is that the person you’re searching for previously had that Telegram username but has since changed it.
Usernames on Telegram can be changed at any time. So if you haven’t contacted the person in a while, they may have updated their username to something new.
When this happens, their old username immediately becomes available for anyone else to take. Trying to search for their old one will give the “Username not found” error.
The Account Doesn’t Exist
It could also be that the Telegram account with that username does not exist at all.
Perhaps you wrote down or remembered the username incorrectly. Or the person gave you an invalid made-up username by mistake.
Trying to search for a Telegram username that nobody has claimed will always return the “Username not found” result.
You’re Blocked By the User
If the person has blocked you on Telegram, it will make it impossible for you to find or contact them by their username.
Blocking prevents all interaction with the user, so your search attempts for their username will fail even if you enter it correctly.
The only way to fix this is by getting unblocked by the user. But since you can’t message them, you’ll need to try reaching them through other means.
There’s a Temporary Technical Issue
Less commonly, the error can occur due to a temporary technical glitch on Telegram’s end.
Sometimes server errors and connectivity issues cause searches and lookups to fail until the problem is fixed.
How to Fix “Username not Found” Error on Telegram
Now that you know why the “Username not found” error happens, here are the step-by-step solutions to get it working:
1. Double Check You Entered the Correct Username
The very first troubleshooting step is to check that you entered the exact username correctly.
Telegram usernames are case-sensitive and the smallest typo will prevent it from being found.
Take a close look at how you typed the username, paying attention to:
- Spelling: Look at each letter. Is everything spelled correctly? Ensure you didn’t make any typos.
- Capitalization: Telegram usernames will fail to work if you use the wrong capitalization. Double check that you’ve capitalized all letters in the username exactly as originally created.
- Spacing: Does the username have any spaces or separators? Remove any extra spaces before or after the username.
- Punctuation: Make sure to include any periods, underscores or other punctuation used in the username.
The best way is to have the person confirm their username for you again verbally or via messaging in case you wrote it down wrong earlier.
Having them spell out the username fully will eliminate any mistakes on your end.
If possible, consider asking them to send you a t.me link to their username which you can click on directly without having to type anything.
Taking an extra minute to thoroughly verify the exact username will go a long way in fixing most “Username not found” errors.
2. Ask the Person to Confirm Their Exact Username
If you still get the error after carefully checking your entry, the next step is to have the person confirm their Telegram username again.
Politely ask them to send you their exact current username, even if they already gave it to you previously.
They may have:
- Given you the wrong username by accident earlier
- Changed their username and forgotten to tell you
- Misspelled it when giving it to you
Any of these could lead you to search for an outdated or invalid username.
To avoid wasted effort, don’t keep trying different spellings on your own. Go straight to the source and have them verify it for you.
Say something like:
“I tried searching for your Telegram username but it says ‘Username not found’. Can you please confirm what your current username is so I can add you?”
This forces them to double check and send you the 100% accurate username themselves. You can then copy-paste it directly rather than re-typing anything.
Having the person verify it, even multiple times, prevents you from wasting time trying defective usernames that they may have shared incorrectly.
3. Update Telegram to the Latest Version
Telegram frequently releases new versions and updates to fix bugs and improve performance.
You may be running into a username search error that has already been resolved in a more recent update.
Before anything else, ensure Telegram on your device is fully updated to the latest version available.
- Open the Google Play Store app
- Search for “Telegram”
- If an ‘Update’ button is shown, tap it to update to the newest version.
- If no updates are pending, you already have the newest version.
- Open the App Store app
- Tap your profile icon in the top-right
- Scroll down and tap ‘Updates’ if any updates are waiting
- If Telegram is in the list, update it to the latest version
- If not, you already have the newest version.
Updating provides you access to all the latest features and fixes. It often resolves search indexing issues that prevent usernames from being found.
Make updating Telegram one of the first solutions you try whenever you encounter any username errors.
4. Restart the Telegram App
A simple restart of the Telegram app can also quickly fix the “Username not found” error.
Restarting clears out any temporary glitches and reconnects all components properly.
To restart Telegram:
- Open your Android settings
- Tap ‘Apps & Notifications’
- Tap ‘See all apps’
- Locate Telegram in the apps list and tap it
- Tap ‘Force Stop’ to force close Telegram
- Start the Telegram app again normally
- Double tap the Home button to open the multitasking view
- Locate the Telegram app preview and swipe up to close it
- Tap the Telegram icon on the Home screen to relaunch the app
Restarting fully reloads the app and reconnects the processes that handle username lookups. This often gets stuck searches functioning again.
If restarting Telegram doesn’t fix it, move on to the next steps involving your network connection.
5. Attempt the Search from a Different Device
Determining whether the “Username not found” issue is specific to a certain device or more general can help narrow down the cause.
Try conducting the username search from a different device if possible.
- If the error occurs on your mobile, try searching for the username on desktop.
- If it happens on your laptop, attempt the lookup via your smartphone.
This checks if the problem is tied to a particular device or Telegram install.
If searching the username succeeds on other devices, then the issue is isolated to your original device. This indicates an app reinstallation could fix it.
But if it still fails elsewhere, then the problem is more systemic. The username itself is likely invalid or inactive.
Checking on alternate devices gives you vital troubleshooting data to remediate the error.
5. Clear Telegram’s Cache and Data
With extended Telegram use, residual cached data and temporary files can accumulate and sometimes interfere with processes like searching.
Clearing Telegram’s cache and data can wipe out corrupt remnants left behind by bugs and glitches in prior app versions.
To clear the Telegram app cache:
- Open the Telegram app.
- Tap the three horizontal lines in the top left corner to open the hamburger menu.
- Select “Settings” from the menu.
- Go to “Data and Storage.”
- Tap on “Storage Usage.”
- Here, you’ll see how much space the Telegram cache is taking up. To clear it, tap on “Clear Telegram Cache.”
- Confirm by tapping “Clear Cache” again in the pop-up window.
This forces Telegram to start fresh with a clean slate. Once you log back in, search issues caused by outdated cached files often disappear.
Make sure to clear Telegram’s cache and data regularly as a preventive measure as well.
6. Check Username for Invalid Characters
Telegram imposes rules and restrictions regarding which characters can be used in usernames.
Trying to search for a username containing banned characters will always return ‘Username not found’.
Double check that the username only includes valid characters:
✅ The letters A-Z, numbers 0-9, and underscores
❌ Special characters like !@#$% are not allowed
❌ Emojis and non-English letters don’t work
If the username contains any characters outside of Telegram’s permitted set, it won’t be searchable.
Ask the person to update their username to fit the guidelines if needed.
Also ensure the username is between 5-32 characters long. Anything outside of that range will be unsearchable.
7. See If You’re Blocked by the User
As mentioned earlier, you will get the ‘Username not found’ error anytime you try to search for a user that has blocked you.
Blocking prevents any interaction with that person’s account. Their privacy settings override your ability to view their profile or contact them.
If you have reason to think the person may have blocked you, that could explain why their username isn’t showing up.
Check if you’re blocked:
- Try sending them a new message. If your messages don’t go through, you’re likely blocked.
- See if you can find them in Telegram Groups you share. Blocking removes them from your common groups.
- Ask a mutual friend to check if they can view the person’s profile normally. If yes, you’re blocked.
- Check from a different device after logging out of your account. If the username appears normally, you were blocked.
If you determine you have been blocked, the only solution is to get unblocked by the user.
You’ll need to message them through another medium like email to resolve the conflict that led to you getting blocked. Handling it maturely and politely can convince them to unblock you.
8. Ensure Global Search is Enabled
Telegram allows you to disable “Global Search” in your app’s settings. This prevents searching for usernames beyond just your contacts.
Go into Telegram Settings > Privacy and Security and make sure “Enable Global Search” is toggled ON.
If Global Search is disabled, it will always give “Username not found” when searching public usernames.
Enable this setting to permit looking up any Telegram username, not just those in your contact list.
9. Check Public Groups and Channels
Keep in mind that some Telegram usernames belong to public groups or channels rather than individual users.
If you get “Username not found” when searching for a username directly, try looking it up in Telegram’s search tab instead.
Tap the search icon at the top and select the ‘Groups and Channels’ tab. Search for the username there.
If it shows up under public groups/channels, that means it doesn’t belong to a personal account. This is why searching it as a user failed.
Step 13: Verify Their Privacy Settings
The person you’re trying to lookup may have configured their Telegram privacy settings to be hidden from random username searches.
Under Telegram’s settings, they can change the “Who Can Find Me By My Username” option to restrict access.
This will make their username unsearchable by anyone except their contacts or people they explicitly allow.
Ask them to verify their privacy settings haven’t been changed to limit searching their username. Having them double check can rule out issues on their end.
Step 14: Check If the Account Is Deleted
If you previously were able to find the username successfully, the account may have been deleted or banned since then.
Ask the person if they disabled or deleted their Telegram account recently. This would instantly make their username unsearchable.
Also see if their profile comes up in any mutual groups or channels. If their account was deleted, they’d be removed from all groups.
Searching a username of a closed account will give the standard “Username not found” result. Have them confirm their account status.
Step 15: Report the Issue to Telegram
As a last resort, the issue could be caused by a bug or technical limitation within Telegram’s backend systems.
If you’ve exhausted all other troubleshooting steps, report the problem to Telegram Support for further investigation.
Reach them in the Telegram app by contacting @SpamBot and using the /start command.
Explain your situation and steps taken in detail. Include the problematic username and any error messages.
Telegram can check their servers and work to improve their search algorithms if a bug is found.