Why Can’t I Follow Anyone on TikTok?

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Carolyn Howell

Last Updated: Oct 30, 2023

TikTok Tips

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Why can’t I follow anyone on TikTok? If you’re suddenly unable to follow TikTok users, there are several possible causes. Let’s look at each one and how to solve them.

A phone screen displays TikTok’s official account and the red Follow button.

Can’t Follow People on TikTok

Following people on social media enhances the user experience. On TikTok, the accounts you follow influence your For You feed content and TikTok’s account suggestions. If you can’t follow people on TikTok, don’t worry. Here are possible causes and how to solve them. 

Error Message: Following Too Fast

If you receive a “Following too fast” error message, this means you’ve been hitting the Follow button too quickly. TikTok is always on the lookout for suspicious activities, such as bot-like activities and spamming. If you have been following many accounts too fast, TikTok may turn off your following privileges for 24 hours to prevent spamming.

According to user reports, the daily limit is between 140 and 200 accounts per day or 30 per hour. TikTok does not specify the number. If you must maximize your daily follows, split the number into smaller batches throughout the day. Limit your follows to only a dozen or so per hour to be safe.

You may also experience a temporary loss of your following privileges if you follow and unfollow the same account multiple times. TikTok may mark this as bot-like or spammy behavior. 

You Have Reached Your Overall Following Limit

Why can’t I follow people on TikTok? Another likely reason is that you have reached your overall following limit. TikTok allows users to follow a maximum of 10,000 accounts. If you have hit this threshold, but you need to follow some new accounts, you’ll need to unfollow others first.

This would be an excellent opportunity to do some TikTok cleanup. Unfollow accounts you don’t engage with or those no longer active on the platform. You may have followed an account because you really enjoyed a few of their videos. However, If most of their content doesn’t resonate with you, you should also consider unfollowing them.

Why Can’t I Follow People Back on TikTok?

Why can’t I follow people back on TikTok? A user’s Follow button is available to everyone, whether or not the user has a private or public account. However, the user approves all follow requests for private accounts before their videos and other info become available. Teen accounts, specifically for 13-15 year olds, are also set to private by default.

If you’re unable to follow back a public or private account on TikTok, it may be because they have blocked you. A blocked account can’t view the videos of the user who blocked them. Nor can they engage with the user via DMs, comments, likes, or follow.

Whether or not an account is private or public, anybody can search for them on TikTok and view their profile page. Only their profile info and content may have limited accessibility, depending on their privacy settings. If a user blocks an account, the blocked account can still find and view the user’s profile. However, they won’t be able to engage with them in any way and view their videos.

A picture of three people holding up their phones to show  “#tiktok” on the screens.

TikTok May Be Down or Experiencing Other Issues

It happens now and then. The TikTok app may be experiencing server issues or may be completely down. The app may be undergoing routine maintenance. When this happens, you may be unable to follow accounts, among other issues. You may even be unable to access your TikTok at all. You can go online and use a down detector site to find out if the TikTok app is having an outage in your area. If the app is down, you will have to wait it out. 

Sometimes, the problem is only limited to the app version. Try accessing TikTok’s desktop version via a browser to see if the same issues are present.

Cache Files Buildup

TikTok stores cache files in your device to enhance your experience whenever you use the app. A buildup of cache files may sometimes cause app issues, including not being able to follow accounts.

If you’re trying various fixes to resolve any issues you may be experiencing, you should also clear your TikTok app cache. Just follow these steps: 

  1. Go to your Profile and tap the Menu in the upper right corner. 
  2. Tap Settings and Privacy. 
  3. Near the bottom and under Cache & Cellular, tap Free up space. 
  4. You can clear your app cache, downloads, or both to free up space. You can publish or delete drafts from here if you have saved drafts.

TikTok App Update

If you’re unable to follow accounts or experiencing other app issues, check if your TikTok app is up-to-date. After an app update, an un-updated version may glitch out. The quickest way to check for a TikTok update is by going to the Google Play Store or Apple Store.

  1. Open Google Play Store or Apple Store.
  2. Type TikTok in the search box. 
  3. Select TikTok. 
  4. The Update/Install update option will appear if your app needs an update. If your app is up-to-date, you won’t see this option.

If this doesn’t fix the issue, you can also try uninstalling and re-installing your TikTok app. You won’t lose your TikTok information and content when uninstalling the app. However, you will lose your TikTok drafts. 

If the problems persist, you can submit a report to TikTok.

Connection Issues

Your TikTok app problems may also be the result of internet connection issues. Restart your internet router and your device’s WiFi connection. If the problem is your internet connection, contact your service provider. 

A person waits for the TikTok app to open on their phone.

How To Manage Your Follow Settings

If you have a personal account, you can set it to private to control who can follow you and view your profile info and content. With a private account, you’ll need to approve all follow requests.

To make your account private:

  1. Go to your Profile and tap the Menu in the top right. 
  2. Tap Settings and Privacy. 
  3. Select Privacy. 
  4. Tap Private Account to turn it on.

If you have a public account, you can manage your followers to limit inappropriate behaviors by blocking certain users. Block users when they use hate speech or post other violent content.

You can block someone from their profile or your video’s comments section.

To block someone from their profile:

  1. Go to the user’s profile. 
  2. Tap the arrow icon next to their name.
  3. Tap Block.

To block someone from your video’s comments section:

  1. Tap the comments. 
  2. Long-press on the comment of the user you want to block.
  3. Tap Manage multiple comments. Select the user you want to block, or you can select up to 100 comments to block users in bulk. 
  4. Tap More, then tap Block accounts.

Alternatively, you can simply remove followers from your account. However, they can always follow you back. Here are two ways to remove followers:

  1. Go to your Profile and tap Followers under your profile pic. Tap the three dots beside the follower you want to remove. Tap Remove this follower. 
  2. Go to the user’s profile, then tap the arrow icon next to their name. Tap Remove this follower.

A person taps the TikTok app on their phone to launch it.

Should You Follow Your Followers?

On TikTok, you don’t just grow your followers; you build relationships and grow a community. The accounts you follow and interact with also inform the TikTok algorithm of your preferences. The algorithm considers these signals when suggesting accounts for you to follow and videos you may want to watch. So, following accounts in your niche and industry is always a good idea. Should you also follow your followers?

The size of your account and time constraints are your primary considerations when deciding whether or not to follow your followers. For example, you may have the time to check their profiles when you have only a few dozen followers. You can decide if following a follower’s account will contribute to your community’s growth. Are they sharing quality content relevant to your community’s interests? Do they have active engagement? Even if the person is a regular user, following them back may help boost your visibility and reach.

Following back a follower is also a common courtesy. But regular users don’t always expect creators and brands to follow them back. However, if your niche community is small enough, giving your followers a follow-back would help forge stronger relationships. A tight-knit TikTok community is always an advantage for niche creators/brands. These communities often consist of highly active and dedicated fans who consistently deliver quality engagement.

Once you’ve answered, “Why can’t I follow anyone on TikTok?” you can refine your following strategy so it benefits you. Consider signing up for a High Social plan to boost your audience-targeting advantage further. Leverage High Social’s advanced, proprietary AI technology to reach more genuinely interested viewers. Start growing your TikTok today!

TikTok Tips