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 them.
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.”
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. To clear the data, go through the same steps again, but this time tap Clear data 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’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 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 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.
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 exact same issue and found help.
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 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.
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.