Picture this: Bumble has been a pretty reliable dating app for you, so you keep using it. Then one day, the app just downright sucks. Suddenly, you're getting fewer matches, your match queue doesn't have any attractive women, and no one responds even if you match. The quality of experience has suddenly gone down and you can't do anything about it, so you reboot the app, start a new account hoping things will get better this time, But they rarely, if ever do. Then you realize that you, my friend, have received the infamous Bumble shadowban.
If an outright ban is hell, then the Bumble shadowban is like purgatory. So why would this happen to you if you don't think you've done anything wrong? Why would Bumble let you keep using the app if they're just going to make your entire experience miserable? We've got all the answers. Brace yourself because we know that you won't like all these answers.
What Is the Bumble Shadowban?
First off, when you don't get any matches on a dating app, it's not necessarily a shadowban. There are plenty of reasons you're not having a fun time on an app, though a shadowban may potentially be one of them.
Second, there are two types of bans a dating app can give you: a permanent ban and a shadowban, and both affect you in different ways.
1. A permanent ban
The in-your-face, get-the-H-outta-here Bumble ban. You receive a message that you can no longer use this specific dating app - Bumble in this case - because you've violated one or more security policies including; personal threats, sending inappropriate photos, and scammy or misleading behaviors such as asking for money or promoting personal products.
This type of ban is almost always irreversible, and you can no longer use the app again on the same device. You get what is called "device banning" where the company identifies all your possible log-in devices including your phone, laptop and/or tablet and blocks those devices on their system so you can no longer use them for a new account.
Essentially, this is the ban that you won't get out of unless you change your devices, social media accounts, phone number, credit card number, and more. So if you've experienced the dreaded permanent ban, you may want to try some other alternatives to dating apps if you want to still get dates.
The Best Dating Apps Right Now
(Better Than Bumble)
- Easily the best option for long-term relationships
- 75% of all online marriages start here
- 70% of users meet their spouse within a year
- In-depth signup and matching process
- The best way to meet singles for hookups by far
- Best results for regular guys
- Over 60 million active members
- Free trial to check it out
- A very good option if you're very attractive
- Top 5-10% of guys get solid results
- Free to try
- Can be very frustrating for regular guys
2. A Bumble shadowban
This one isn't exclusive to just Bumble. Other dating apps also have the same type of ban. This is a soft, cut-you-dry, leave-you-to-figure-it-out-yourself ban, and it's almost always irreversible as well. Emphasis on almost.
All things seem perfect on the surface with a shadowban. You'll still get to use the app and its features, and you'll still pay your subscription fees if you have them. The only difference is that your results will suddenly become so bad the app will become almost useless to you. You get fewer matches, low quality swipes, and low response rates even if you're usually an amazing texter.
The worst part? It's all a gut feeling because Bumble will never tell you that something's up. They don't even want to acknowledge the concept of shadowbanning on their site!
For instance, the one time I got shadowbanned on Tinder, I still got new matches every week, but the quality was suddenly so bad it could take you a whole half an hour to just find a single hottie to even swipe right on.
It's only when I went on Reddit, learned what a shadowban means, and fixed it that I could get around the ban.
And, unfortunately, no matter how hard you try, how many new photos you add, or how much you pay for premium features, once you're banned, you're banned, and the only way around it is a new account, and you must set it up properly or the ban won't go away. More on that later.
Why Does Bumble Shadowban?
So if outright harassment, solicitation, and overall bad behavior on Bumble will get you a permanent ban, what grounds does the app have to give you a shadowban?
Overusing the "welcome boost"
The one thing that is sure to get you a Bumble shadowban is to delete your account and reinstall it several times in order to get more/better matches. Let me explain.
Every major dating app out there categorizes its users in layers. Those from any given layer are only allowed to date one or two layers up or down to ensure compatibility. For example, if your profile scores 6 out of a possible 10, then you'll only see suggestions from 4 to 8. But how will Bumble know your score if you just signed to it? Through trial and error.
Almost every dating app, including Bumble, has some sort of a "welcome boost."
The first time you sign up, Bumble will send you a mix of hot matches (i.e. users who frequently get right swipes) and judge you based on how they respond to you. The app wants to figure out a way to rate your profile so it makes you more visible to hot women, to see how well you'll perform.
Having a bunch of popular users swipe right on you will indicate that you have a good profile. So Bumble will boost your score so you can always match with more hot women, and vice versa. That's why, for an average guy, the best suggestions he'll get are those who appear upon signing up. And the best way to hack the system (before the Bumble shadowban was a thing) and ensure a load of free, hot suggestions - and hopefully, matches - is to keep deleting and reinstalling the app.
Eventually, all the big apps realized this trick and created what we now call "a shadowban".
It's Bumble's way of saying, "We'll ban you, sucker, and we won't tell you - even if you still pay us money - until you figure it out yourself!"
Using bots or overusing the right swipe
I'm a little 50/50 on this, especially since the concept of the Bumble shadowban is so hidden in secrecy. But Bumble does limit your daily swipes--something you can get around if you get Bumble Boost or Bumble Premium.
So when you swipe right too fast and too often, Bumble severely limits your match queue because you're not taking the time to check out each profile you swipe on. To the Bumble algorithm, you're either using a bot or you're trying to rig the system. And they don't want that. So for the next couple of days, you'll only get a handful of matches--usually other users who tend to get a lower match rate.
How Long Does a Shadowban Last?
Some people say a shadowban lasts a week, others say two and some say three months. From my experience, it lasts forever.
Insert emoji: sad face
You can't unhook yourself once you receive a Bumble shadowban unless you make a major profile revamp, and even then, success is never guaranteed.
I have a working theory, though. It's possible that you get a few strikes before you get the eternal shadowban. So look back on your previous Bumble experience. Were there days or weeks when you feel like you got a shadowban, but it was over in a week? Was it because you were swiping right too quickly? Maybe that was strike one, and the app unbanned you after a while.
But if you keep doing this while also trying to get the welcome boost by deleting and creating your account, you might end up getting the dreaded permanent Bumble shadowban. If that's the case, you might be curious about...
How to Get Rid of a Bumble Shadowban
You don't want to miss on what Bumble can offer. It's the second most popular dating app in the U.S. and is an exceptional place for single guys to meet beautiful women. So, instead of giving up on Bumble altogether, let me show you how to get good matches again. The only way to unban your profile is to:
Never do it again
Don't keep deleting and installing Bumble just to get the welcome boost and get more beautiful women in your queue. Focus instead on getting better photos, asking deeper questions and having longer interactions with your matches (Bumble judges you by the time you spend on every chat: the longer, the better), and if you want more/better matches then consider paying for Spotlight or Bumble Boost every once in a while
Make a new Bumble account from scratch
Sounds tedious, I know. But there's no other way to get over a Bumble shadowban other than to start a new account from scratch. Here's how you can do it in no time...
Get a new sim card
Some people might say you'll need a new phone but, fortunately, Bumble isn't that demanding. If you have a double-slotted phone, add a new sim card to it, snooze the old one until you activate your new Bumble account with the new number you just bought then get back again to the old one.
Get new photos
Bumble and Tinder, both keep tabs on your photos using face recognition software and photo trackers. So you're better off taking new photos to unban your account.
But, what if those photos were the best you can get, and you still want to use them again? If those photos are so good they'll get you all the dates you want, then you can delete their exif file. An exif file is the one your camera creates every time it takes a photo to save its information.
Unfortunately, Bumble uses those records to identify your photos in each new profile you make. But the good news is that you can easily delete those files using some software like Easy EXIF Delete or EXIF Purge.
We tested this trick on several, previously banned accounts and found that it works. However, I'm still against it. You're better off taking new photos to avoid any technology updates that Bumble may use in the future.
Use a different credit card
If you've ever been a premium user or paid for any of Bumble's features, then you must use a new credit/debit card for all future purchases. Bumble collects all your information including the card you used to pay for its features, which means all your efforts to unban yourself will be useless if you use your old card.
Is it worth the effort? Yes, if you rest all your dating dreams on Bumble. No, if you can use other dating apps that work.
Use different Facebook, Instagram and Spotify accounts
Again, Bumble keeps tabs on all your information including your social media accounts. If you've connected your shadowbanned account to Facebook then you should never connect the new Bumble with that account. Keep in mind that if you try to connect a Spotify account that was created using your original Facebook account, Bumble can still detect that and ban you again.
Use a different Google Play/Apple account
Similar to your card number; you should attach the new card to a new Google Play or Apple account to avoid being tracked and re-banned by Bumble. Sounds like too much pain in the ass? Indeed.
All dating companies - including Bumble - will do anything to prevent you from hacking the system, and will punish anyone who does it with soft and permanent bans. But, the good news is that you can still find a way out of a shadowban and get more matches than before. You're also lucky to learn about shadowbanning. We had to figure it our ourseleves when it wasn't that popular, and boy it gave us a hard time!