More than a billion people use the Instagram app every month to share photos and video content with family, friends, and businesses, with their customers. With such a huge user-base to boot, there’s a high probability of Instagram not working at some point, and for several reasons.
One of the main culprits is when the app is down, but that’s not the only reason Instagram may not work. Sometimes it could be because of an outdated app version, software glitches, bugs, or other errors.
Generally, the Facebook-owned app’s servers are reliable, but if you find it not working on your device, here’s a list of ways to fix it.
1. Check if Instagram is down
If Instagram is experiencing outages globally, there’s nothing much you can do except wait for their team to fix the site.
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 the platform 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.
2. Check your connection
This is the next thing to check on your computer before moving down the list to more advanced steps. If your Internet is down, it may not be the first thing you check because your browser and app cache is of your most visited sites and load older versions in such situations.
Beyond the cache, you’ll notice Instagram isn’t working, particularly if you’ve set it to work only on a Wi-Fi connection instead of mobile data.
Depending on the device you’re using, you can check if the Wi-Fi icon is greyed out at the top of your screen, for phones or tablets, or on the taskbar on your computer. You may find that your feed won’t load or you can’t upload media files like photos and videos when the connection is down.
To fix the Internet connection issue, you can move closer to your router, turn Wi-Fi on and off, switch from data to Wi-Fi, or reset your router. If you turn Wi-Fi off and Instagram works, the problem could be with the router.
3. 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.
4. Restart Instagram
By now, you’ve probably ruled out a server outage, problematic connection, and that your device isn’t the cause. If Instagram still doesn’t work after trying all the solutions above, you can restart the app.
Close Instagram and reopen it, and then check whether your feed loads or whether you can upload content. If not, move down the list for more solutions.
5. Clear app data and cache
If a restart didn’t fix the chop, try clearing the app data and cache. To do this on Android phone:
1. Open “Settings -> Apps.”
2. Tap Instagram. Depending on your Android device version, you may need to tap Storage to access the Clear data and Clear Cache settings.
3. Tap Clear cache. Use the same steps again, but this time tap Clear data instead, and then tap Force stop.
6. Update Instagram
If nothing has worked thus far, it could be that you’ve 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 Instagram:
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 and then check if there’s an Update option next to Instagram.
7. Restart your device
A restart usually fixes any software glitches that could be hindering your device’s apps or software from working properly. If you find Instagram not working on your phone or computer, restart the device and try using the app again.
8. Uninstall and reinstall Instagram
If the problem is caused by a bug, you can fix that by uninstalling and reinstalling the Instagram app. To do this:
1. Open “Settings -> Apps & Notifications.”
2. Tap Instagram.
3. Tap Uninstall and then go back to Google Play Store and reinstall the latest version of Instagram. Sign in again and see if it works.
9. 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 been handled before or not. Most likely other users have had similar or the exact same issue and found help.
10. Still no luck? Report the issue to Instagram
If none of the steps listed here resolved the problem, you can report the bug from within the app for Instagram to investigate. Make sure you give as much detail about the issue you’re facing in the report, 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.
Like any other app, Instagram has its ups and downs, so it’s not perfect. However, we hope you now know what to do when you find that it isn’t working on your device. Most of the solutions above should help. If you have a specific issue with the app, tell us about it in a comment below.