Instagram Not Working? Here Are 10 Ways to Fix it

Instagram Not Working Featured

Instagram is the dominant photo-sharing platform on the Internet and has become the sole social media site used by people who prefer to express themselves with pictures rather than words. But what do you do when Instagram goes down? Here we show you the main reasons for Instagram not working and how you can fix it.

Note: a good place to begin is restarting your device and making sure you have a stable Internet connection. If you’ve tried both and Instagram’s still not working, then read on.

1. Reinstall Older Version of Instagram

If you’ve noticed that your problems with Instagram have started since an app update, then you can try rolling the app back to a previous version. The best way to do this is through APK Mirror.

On your phone browser, go to APK Mirror, then using the search icon at the top right corner search for “instagram”.

Instagram Not Working Apkmirror Search 1

On the next page, tap “Apps” then scroll down the list until you find “Instagram by Instagram”. Select it.

Instagram Not Working Apkmirror

Now, tap the latest version of Instagram, then on the next page scroll down to the “All Releases” section then scroll through it until you find a version dated before your last update (avoiding “alpha” or “beta” versions).

Instagram Not Working Variants 2

Tap the download icon next to it, then pick the correct variant for the Android version you’re on.

Instagram Not Working Variants

If you have to, grant permission for your browser to download from unknown sources, then browse to the download APK in your Downloads folder (accessed through the Files app), tap it, and allow it to install.

Instagram Not Working Older Version

2. Clear App Data and Cache (iOS/Android)

If a restart didn’t fix Instagram for you, try clearing the app data and cache. While you can clear an individual app’s cache and data on Android, on iPhone you need to delete and reinstall the app.

Luckily, there’s an “Offload” function, which means that your Instagram data gets kept on the phone when you delete the app, so it restores it all when you reinstall Instagram. It’s essentially a roundabout way of clearing the cache.

To “offload” Instagram from your iPhone, go to “Settings -> General -> iPhone Storage.”

Instagram Not Working Ios Clear Cache 1

Scroll down until you find the Instagram app, tap it, then tap “Offload App.” Go to the App Store, find Instagram and install it again.

Instagram Not Working Ios Clear Cache 2

To clear the Instagram app cache on Android

1. Open “Settings -> Apps & notifications.”

Instagram Not Working Clear Cache

2. Tap on the “See all apps” button.

See All Apps

3. Scroll down and find Instagram from the list of populated apps.

Instagram Not Working

4. Depending on your Android device version, you may need to tap “Storage & cache” to access the “Clear data” and “Clear Cache” settings.

Instagram Clear Cache Storage

5. Tap “Clear cache.” To clear the data, go through the same steps again, but this time, tap “Clear storage” instead.

3. Enable Permissions for Instagram (iOS/Android)

Instagram requires many app permissions to work properly on your iOS or Android phone – Camera, Contacts, Microphone, Photos, and Storage, to name a few. If permissions for even one or two of these are disabled, Instagram may not work properly.

On Android, make sure app permissions are enabled by going to “Settings -> Apps & notifications -> Instagram -> Permissions.” Depending on your Android version, on this screen you’ll need to either tap the switches next to each option so they’re green, or tap entries in the “Denied” list, then allow them.

Instagram Permissions

On iOS, go to “Settings -> Instagram” and make sure all the relevant permissions are given there.

Instagram Not Working Iphone App Permissions 2

4. Is Instagram Down?

If Instagram is experiencing outages globally, there’s nothing much you can do except wait for its team to fix the site. A telltale sign of servers being down is if you get the “5xx” error.

Instagram Downdetector

You can use a third-party status checker such as Down Detector, Is It Down?, or Outage Report. Enter the URL and it’ll let you know if Instagram is down with messages like “Possible problems at Instagram” or “Problems at Instagram.”

Other places to check include Instagram’s Twitter handle for any company posts and updates.

5. Try a Different Device

If the problem isn’t with your Internet connection, you can try using Instagram on a different device like your phone. Alternatively, check to see if the app is working on someone else’s phone and whether they can view the feed and upload photos or videos.

6. Update Instagram

If nothing has worked thus far, it could be that you have not updated the Instagram app to the latest version on your device. Newer versions usually contain security patches and bug fixes, besides new features.

To update the app:

1. Open Google Play Store and tap the menu (hamburger icon – three horizontal lines) at the upper left of the screen.

2. Tap “My apps and games,” then check if there’s an Update option next to Instagram.

Instagram Update

Once you’ve finished updating the app, try running Instagram again.

7. Uninstall and Reinstall Instagram

If the problem is caused by a bug, you can fix Instagram by uninstalling and reinstalling the Instagram app. To do this:

1. Open “Settings -> Apps & notifications.”

Instagram Not Working Clear Cache

2. Tap the “See all apps” button.

See All Apps

3. Find Instagram in the list of apps.

Instagram Not Working

4. Simply tap on Uninstall, then go back to Google Play Store and reinstall the latest version of Instagram. Sign in again and see if it works.

Instagram Uninstall

8. Check Common Error Messages and Known Issues

Like most other apps, Instagram also has a set of error messages and known issues, and this list is regularly updated so that users can find possible solutions to their daily issues with the app.

Most times it happens with the mobile app, so if Instagram isn’t working on your mobile device, check whether it works on the Web version.

You can note the error you see and do a search on Google to find out whether it’s already been handled. Most likely other users have had similar or the same issue and found help.

9. Turn Off VPN

With the use of a VPN, you can access all the restricted content in your country. One of the advantages of using a VPN is that it hides your Internet presence and bypasses regional constraints. This means you can use apps like WhatsApp, Instagram, etc. in countries where it is restricted.

Instagram Vpn Logo

The downside of this is that VPN may very well be the reason behind Instagram not working. A faulty VPN may not load the Instagram feed, you experience a delay in sending or receiving messages, etc.

If you are using a VPN, turn it off and see if Instagram works again.

10. Ensure Background Data Is Not Restricted

Instagram needs to be connected to the Internet in order to continuously update your feed, send/receive messages, and show you notifications regarding your post. For Instagram to run uninterrupted, you need to make sure the background data is not restricted.

Background Data Enabled Instagram

To ensure the background data is not restricted, head over to the Settings menu on your phone, then “Apps & notifications-> See all apps-> Instagram -> Mobile data & Wi-Fi.” Set the Background data toggle to On. This ensures Instagram has access to the Internet while running in the background.

Still No Luck? Report the Issue to Instagram

If none of the steps listed here resolve the problem, you can report the bug from within the app to have Instagram investigate. Make sure you give a detailed response about the issue you’re facing, the device you’re using and what you were doing before and when it stopped working. The same applies to issues with signing in to your account.

For other social network-related bits, see our guide on how to bulk-delete messages from Facebook Messenger. We also have a guide on how you can download your entire Facebook chat history.

Robert Zak Robert Zak

Content Manager at Make Tech Easier. Enjoys Android, Windows, and tinkering with retro console emulation to breaking point.

2 comments

  1. Hi my Instagram has been saying cant refresh feed for about 4 weeks now and I’ve tried all the troubleshooting and even contacted Instagram 3 times and they still haven’t gotten back to me I dont know what else to do please help thank you :)

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