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 or the Instagram app keeps crashing? Here we show you the main reasons Instagram is not working and how you can fix it.
- 1. Restart App, Phone, and Router
- 2. Is Instagram Down?
- 3. Update Instagram
- 4. Clear App Data and Cache (Android)
- 5. Offload Instagram App (iPhone)
- 6. Uninstall and Reinstall Instagram
- 7. Reinstall an Older Version of Instagram (Android Only)
- 8. Enable Permissions for Instagram
- 9. Turn Off VPN
- 10. Ensure Background Data Is Not Restricted (Android)
- 11. Check Your Phone's Storage
- 12. Log Out of Your Account
- 13. Check Common Error Messages and Known Issues
- 14. Try a Different Device or Tool
- Frequently Asked Questions
1. Restart App, Phone, and Router
A good place to begin fixing the issues with Instagram not working is relaunching the Instagram app by removing it from the list of recent apps and launching it again.
Another important preliminary fix is to restart your Android phone or iPhone, which can sometimes be enough to make things right again.
Also, make sure you have a stable Internet connection. If you’re using Instagram on Wi-Fi, restart the router as well. You can also try switching to mobile data to see if the issue is with the Wi-Fi connection or vice versa.
2. Is Instagram Down?
Next, you must check whether Instagram is down for everyone. A telltale sign of servers being down is when you get the “5xx” error or your Instagram feed doesn’t load.
You can use a third-party status checker, such as Down Detector, Is It Down Right Now?, or Outage Report. Enter the Instagram URL and it’ll let you know whether Instagram is down with messages like “Possible problems at Instagram” or “Problems at Instagram.”
Other places to check include Instagram’s Twitter handle. Look for any company posts and updates or search for Instagram on Twitter.
If Instagram is experiencing outages globally, there’s nothing much you can do except wait for its team to fix the site.
3. Update Instagram
If the above solutions haven’t worked thus far to fix Instagram, 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 along with new features.
To update the Instagram app on Android, open Google Play Store and search for Instagram. If you see an “Update” button next to Instagram, tap on it. Check out other methods of updating apps on Android.
Similarly, on iOS, open App Store and find Instagram. Hit the “Update” button next to it.
Once you’ve finished updating the app, try running Instagram again.
4. Clear App Data and Cache (Android)
If the Instagram app isn’t working on your Android phone, try clearing the Instagram app data and cache as shown below.
- Open “Settings -> Apps.”
- Tap on the “See all apps” button.
- Scroll down and find Instagram from the list of populated apps.
- Depending on your Android device version, you may need to tap “Storage & cache” to access the “Clear data” and “Clear cache” settings.
- Tap “Clear cache.” To clear the data, go through the same steps again, but this time, tap “Clear storage” instead.
5. Offload Instagram App (iPhone)
If the Instagram app isn’t working on your iPhone, you must offload it. This process ensures that your Instagram data is retained on the phone when you delete the app, and it will be restored 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.”
Scroll down until you find the Instagram app, tap it, then tap “Offload App.” Restart the iPhone. Go to the App Store, find Instagram, and install it again.
6. Uninstall and Reinstall Instagram
If the Instagram app crash is caused by a bug, and clearing the cache or offloading the app didn’t help, you can fix the problem by uninstalling and reinstalling the Instagram app.
Reinstall Instagram on Android
- Open “Settings -> Apps.”
- Tap the “See all apps” button.
- Find Instagram in the list of apps and tap on it.
- Tap on “Uninstall.”
- Go back to Google Play Store and reinstall the latest version of Instagram. Sign in again and see whether it works.
Reinstall Instagram on iPhone
- Open App Library on your iPhone and look for the Instagram app.
- Touch and hold the Instagram app icon. Tap on “Delete App.”
Another way to uninstall Instagram is to go to “Settings -> General -> iPhone Storage -> Instagram -> Delete App.”
- Once deleted, restart your iPhone, then open App Store, search for Instagram and install it again.
7. Reinstall an Older Version of Instagram (Android Only)
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. Make sure to uninstall the Instagram app before you try the following steps.
- On your phone browser, go to APK Mirror, then use the search icon at the top right corner to search for “instagram.”
- Tap “Apps” and scroll down the list until you find “Instagram by Instagram,” then select it.
- Scroll through the available Instagram versions until you find a version dated before your last update (avoiding the “alpha” or “beta” versions).
- On the next page, scroll down to the “Download” section and pick the correct variant for the Android version you’re using, then tap the download icon next to it.
- If you have to, grant permission to your browser to download apps from unknown sources, then browse to the downloaded APK in your Downloads folder (accessed through the Files app), tap it, and allow it to install.
8. Enable Permissions for Instagram
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, and the app may crash on your phone.
On Android, make sure app permissions are enabled by going to “Settings -> Apps -> Instagram -> Permissions.” Depending on your Android version, on this screen, you’ll need to either tap the switches next to each option so that they’re green or tap entries in the “Denied” list, then allow them.
On iOS, go to “Settings -> Instagram” and make sure all of the relevant permissions are given there.
9. Turn Off VPN
With the use of a VPN, you can access all of 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.
The downside of this is that a VPN may be the reason behind Instagram not working. A faulty VPN may not load the Instagram feed, you may experience a delay in sending or receiving messages, etc.
If you are using a VPN, turn it off to check whether Instagram is working again.
10. Ensure Background Data Is Not Restricted (Android)
Instagram needs to be connected to the Internet 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.
To ensure it’s not restricted on Android, head over to the Settings menu on your phone, then “Apps -> See all apps -> Instagram -> Mobile data & Wi-Fi.” Set the “Background data” toggle to On. This ensures Instagram has access to the Internet while it runs in the background.
11. Check Your Phone’s Storage
If your Android or iPhone’s storage is low, you may experience issues with the Instagram app, such as Instagram continuously crashing or stopping. Learn how to check and free up storage on Android and iPhone.
12. Log Out of Your Account
To fix the the issue with Instagram not working on your phone, you should try logging out of your account. To do so, open the Instagram app and go to your profile screen. Tap on the hamburger icon (three horizontal bars) followed by “Settings.”
Scroll down and tap on “Log out username.” Restart the phone and log in again.
13. 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.
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 a similar or same issue and found help.
14. Try a Different Device or Tool
Usually, the issues with Instagram not working are only one the mobile app. So if Instagram isn’t working on your mobile device, try using the Instagram web version in a browser on your phone, or try using Instagram on a different device, like your computer.
Still No Luck? Report the Issue to Instagram
If none of the steps listed here resolve the problem, 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.
Open the Instagram app and shake your phone to report the problem.
Frequently Asked Questions
Will your Instagram account be deleted if you uninstall the Instagram app?
No. Uninstalling the Instagram app from your phone will not delete your account. It will only remove the app from your phone and won’t affect your followers, published posts, etc.
How can I fix it when Instagram's mobile data on iPhone is not working?
Go to “Settings -> Instagram.” Enable the toggle next to “Mobile data.”
How to fix Instagram notifications not working?
Open the Instagram app settings and go to “Notifications.”
On Android, turn off the toggle next to “Pause all.” Also, take a look at individual notification settings and see whether any one of them are turned off.
On iOS, ensure that the “Allow Notifications” toggle is enabled and that alerts are active.
How can I fix the "Try again later" error on Instagram?
If you are getting a “Try again later” message in the Instagram app, it may be because Instagram banned you temporarily due to inappropriate activity from your account, such as using third-party tools to get more followers or likes. You can try the above fixes, link Facebook to Instagram, remove external links from your Instagram bio, or wait for a few days for the error to fix itself.
All screenshots and images by Mehvish Mushtaq.
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