Tiktok Shadow Ban: What Is It and How To Remove It

8 min read
22 January 2022

The most trending social media platform of 2020, TikTok keeps expanding its reach to attract new users and creators. An intuitive interface, content that is easy to create and distribute, and access to a global database of soundtracks are some of the drivers of TikTok’s growing popularity.

On TikTok, user attention is mainly focused on the so-called For You page, which is an endless feed of posts tailored to match your interests and app activity. The goal is to continuously display content relevant to viewer preference. To achieve this, TikTok has special recommendation algorithms that rate and categorize the content.

Naturally, creators want to know how to avoid getting out of favor with TikTok’s algorithms. And even though the regulations that could get you banned can be found on their website, many users have reported a different type of restriction existing on the platform - a shadowban.

What Is a TikTok Shadowban?

A shadowban is whenever TikTok blocks an account’s content from being included on the For You page, search results, and hashtags. For the account owner, this results in little to no views, likes, and comments, even though they still have the ability to upload new content and interact with other videos on the platform.

As of today, there is no mention of the shadowban in TikTok’s Community Guidelines, so most of the insights about it come from the collective experience of users who have faced a sudden drop in engagement. There are several likely reasons for getting shadowbanned and ways to recover from it, which we will explore below.

How can I Tell if My TikTok Account is Shadowbanned?

Since the shadowban is not an official status of the account, you won’t see it anywhere in your profile or settings. However, there are certain tells that indicate your TikTok account has probably been shadowbanned.

First, you will start to notice a significant drop in views, with no apparent reason, for every new video you post. TikTok creators are familiar with the usual variations in views and comments that depend on the posting schedule and type of content, but the engagement drop associated with the shadowban is much more drastic and will affect every subsequent video until the ban is lifted.

A way to detect this with certainty is available to pro account users with extended access to account analytics. Check the traffic sources for videos posted after you’ve noticed the change in engagement rates. With the shadowban in place, there will be no views coming from the For You page. Those with regular accounts can try using a hashtag or a sound to see whether the videos show up under them.

How long Does a Tik Tok Shadowban last?

Most cases of shadowbans are temporary. Ban length can vary from a day up to two weeks, usually shorter for first-time offenders and longer for subsequent infractions. During the shadow period, you will still be able to post new content and receive views and likes from followers who visit your page directly.

When you’ve first suspected the ban, continue monitoring the activity on your page for the next two weeks and keep posting videos at your usual pace, carefully following all the guidelines and regulations. You will most likely start to notice a positive change in engagement, indicating that the shadowban has come to an end.

Why am I shadowbanned on TikTok?

A shadowban is essentially a way to limit the visibility of your account when it has content that TikTok algorithms consider inappropriate or potentially harmful. Spam-like behavior, community guidelines violation, and copyright infringement are some of the red flags that can prompt a shadowban or even a permanent ban. To pinpoint the problem, consider all your recent videos and in-app activity.

Spam Behavior

Using technology to artificially get more followers, shares, comments, or likes on TikTok can get your account flagged. You should also avoid using the same hashtags for all publications. It is safer to build and grow your audience organically, manually following and liking no more than 50-100 accounts and posts a day. Otherwise, TikTok might mistake you for a robot or a spammer, which can then result in a shadowban.

Inappropriate Content

The full list of cases that could lead to bans is available in TikTok’s Community Guidelines and Intellectual Property Policy.

It mainly includes:

  • violent and graphic content
  • nudity
  • self-harm or eating disorders
  • illegal activities or drugs
  • harassment, bullying, or hateful behavior

Unauthorized use of copyrighted content is also frowned upon.

How Can I Remove My Shadowban?

It’s better to avoid the shadowban altogether, but if you are already experiencing the drop in engagement and visibility, there are a few strategies you could try to not catch it again. Evaluate the content that led up to the ban and go through the following steps:

Uninstall and Reinstall TikTok

Even though this may seem trivial, try uninstalling and then reinstalling the app to make sure that your version is up-to-date. Uninstalling the app won’t affect any information on your account. It won’t alleviate the shadowban either but can help with a technical problem that might be causing a similar condition.

Switch to a pro account

As mentioned above, using a pro account with access to traffic source analytics will give you a deeper understanding of your audience behavior. If people are still finding your videos on the For You page, this means you need to focus on the content instead of the algorithms. Trying something new or changing up the posting schedule can get you back to the usual levels of likes and shares.

Don’t post content that goes against community guidelines

Violating community guidelines is a common cause of the shadowban. Delete the videos that could have potentially been flagged by TikTok and refrain from posting similar content in the next two weeks. This will allow you to get through the shadowban more quickly.

Avoid TikTok spam behavior

Do not purchase likes or followers or attract them artificially as this will probably result in a ban. Be careful with leaving too many comments or following more than 50-100 people at once to not be mistaken for a robot. You can also try checking comments under your videos and subscribers for spammers and use the comment filter to automatically restrict their activity.

What if I don’t remove my shadowban?

All shadowbans pass eventually, and your statistics may recover to the way it was before on its own. To speed up the engagement recovery and make sure you won’t get a new ban, steer clear of spam behavior and inappropriate content. Delete the video you suspect caused the ban and follow all the rules in the new videos you post.

If you keep getting more flags from TikTok’s algorithms, more shadowbans will follow, and the situation can escalate to a permanent ban. Recovering from it will be harder and can take longer, you may lose subscribers or account history and have to start all over again.

Other reasons you can get permanently banned

Besides multiple guideline violations, a TikTok account can get permanently banned for owners below the age of 13. Unless you are older and can verify your age, TikTok will consider you a minor, and your using the platform will be in violation of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act.

How to recover your banned Tiktok account

  1. Pass the age verification process

Go to your account settings to check whether you have submitted proof of your age. Use a government-issued ID to speed up the process. Double-check that you’ve entered the right date of birth that matches the document you are providing.

  1. Contact customer support

Open a claim via the app and state all circumstances that led to the ban. A customer support agent will get back to you within 6 to 8 hours and can help you understand and resolve the issue that caused the ban. This will be faster than waiting out a temporary ban of 24 to 48 hours.


TikTok is banned in some countries including Indonesia, Bangladesh, India, and Pakistan, and citizens won’t be able to access the app using regular networks. Install VPN software and select a country where TikTok is available, like the US, to obtain a different IP address and recover your account.


When you know how to recognize, avoid and remove a shadowban, its effect on your account performance won’t be so drastic. Following the above-mentioned methods will help you minimize the possibility of getting banned and mitigate the potential consequences of the ban for your engagement.

Getting a shadowban on TikTok, however frustrating it may be, doesn’t mean that all of your efforts have been in vain. Your followers will still be able to see and interact with your content, and after the ban is lifted, the videos can attract new users, likes, and shares on the For You page as they did before.