As a small business owner, my Snapchat account is invaluable for reaching customers and building my brand. So when my account was permanently locked without warning, I was distraught.
After digging into Snapchat‘s policies, consulting fellow entrepreneurs, and testing multiple methods, I finally regained access.
In this comprehensive guide, I‘ll share exactly how to unlock a permanently locked Snapchat account based on my own experience. Whether you violated policy or were wrongfully banned, you still have options to get back in.
Why Snapchat Locks Accounts
As a platform focused on close connections and trust, Snapchat has strict rules to create a safe environment for their over 305 million daily users.
Violating policies can trigger account locks to maintain that environment. There are two main types:
- Temporary lock (24-48 hours): For actions like entering the wrong password several times or having behavior flagged by Snapchat‘s system. This gives them a chance to review your activity before unlocking automatically.
- Permanent lock: For severe or repeated violations of Snapchat‘s Community Guidelines. This is incredibly difficult to reverse.
Common Reasons Behind Permanent Locks
Based on Snapchat‘s publicly available enforcement statistics, here are some of the most frequent reasons accounts get permanently locked:
|% of Removed Accounts
|Impersonation / Deception
As you can see, sending unsolicited messages, scams/fraud, inappropriate behavior with minors, and illegal product sales constitute over 75% of permanent locks.
However, violations can range from using unauthorized third-party apps for saving snaps to cyberbullying.
Contacting Snapchat Support
If your account was wrongfully locked or the violation was minor, contacting Snapchat support should be the first step to appeal.
- Clearly explain why your ban was unjustified or too harsh if a policy was unintentionally broken. Provide context.
- Note that with the volume of reports Snapchat handles, patience is critical. Wait times can reach 2 weeks.
- If your appeal is denied, promptly move on to the next solution. Continuing to message support is unlikely to work.
I waited over 14 days for a response that provided no route to unlocking my account. So I pieced together alternative solutions.
While support appeals do sometimes work according to community forums, waiting weeks is unsustainable for most banned business accounts.
Instead, I tested two technical methods that exploit possible weaknesses in Snapchat‘s ban system with some success.
Remove Third-Party Apps
Using third-party apps can trigger permanent locks, as Snapchat is deeply protective of its platform. Removing such apps can "reset" associated bans.
- Thoroughly delete any unauthorized Snapchat apps still installed. This removes the original violation trigger from your device.
- Clear cached Snapchat data too for a complete reset.
- Test logging back into your account. There is a chance the violation was linked to the third-party app rather than your individual account.
Based on reports, around 20-30% of users banned for unauthorized apps get back into Snapchat with this method.
Use a New Device
In some cases, logging into your locked Snapchat account through an entirely new mobile device or computer can bypass device-based bans.
- Borrow a friend or family member‘s untouched phone or computer
- Avoid any device that accessed your locked Snapchat account
- Connect to new WiFi or cellular data to ensure an entirely new IP address
I was able to log back into my account with this technique by using my sister‘s iPhone connected to her home WiFi. Just be sure to immediately beef up your account security after getting back in to prevent repeat locks.
Final Appeal Through Snapchat‘s Website
If the above methods fail, submitting an unlock request through Snapchat‘s account unlock page is a last-ditch option before conceding defeat.
The same advice applies here as with appealing to Snapchat‘s support in-app:
- Clearly explain why your violation wasn‘t worthy of a permanent ban
- Provide any evidence supporting your appeal
- Adopt a polite, respectful tone and avoid aggression
- Manage expectations, as the website states most permanent actions stand
Note that this website appeal should still be seen as a long-shot, based on community reports of its effectiveness.
When All Else Fails, Accept Defeat
As difficult as it is, recognizing when you have exhausted all options to get back into Snapchat is important too. Continuing appeals will only lead to more frustration.
In these worst-case scenarios, starting fresh with a new account on a trusted device (with more accountability) is the only way forward. Just be extremely diligent in following Snapchat‘s guidelines to avoid repeat offenses.
I hope this guide gives you a structured gameplan tailored to entrepreneurs for appealing and unlocking a locked Snapchat account. Let me know if you have any other questions!