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. 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.”
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.
To clear the Instagram app cache on Android
1. Open “Settings -> Apps & notifications.”
2. Tap on the “See all apps” button.
3. Scroll down and find Instagram from the list of populated apps.
4. Depending on your Android device version, you may need to tap “Storage & cache” to access the “Clear data” and “Clear Cache” settings.
5. Tap “Clear cache.” To clear the data, go through the same steps again, but this time, tap “Clear storage” instead.
2. 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.
On iOS, go to “Settings -> Instagram” and make sure all the relevant permissions are given there.
3. 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.
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.
4. 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.
5. 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.
Once you’ve finished updating the app, try running Instagram again.
6. 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.”
2. Tap the “See all apps” button.
3. Find Instagram in the list of apps.
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.
7. 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.
8. 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.
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.
9. 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.
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.
10. Check for a Data Issue
If you are on a limited data plan, there is a possibility that the data has been exhausted. This will prevent Instagram from loading on your phone. It could also be due to an issue with your mobile network. To fix this, you can try switching to another Wi-Fi network and check your data plan.
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.