How to Clear Instagram Cache on iOS & Android: The Ultimate Troubleshooting Guide

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Hey there! Have you noticed your Instagram app being a bit slow or glitchy lately? Posts taking forever to load? Stories buffering nonstop? Apps freezing out of nowhere?

I‘ve been there too, trust me. As a social media expert and tech geek, I know firsthand how frustrating a laggy Instagram app can be.

The good news is this usually isn‘t a big problem, and can be easily fixed by clearing the cache on your device. Clearing the cache deletes all the temporary junk files built up over time that start to drag your Instagram performance down.

In this ultimate troubleshooting guide, I‘ll walk you step-by-step through how to clear Instagram cache on both iPhones and Androids. By the end, your Instagram app will be running smooth as silk again!

Here‘s what I‘ll cover:

  • What cache is and why it slows Instagram down
  • How to clear Instagram cache on iPhone/iPad
  • How to clear Instagram cache on Android
  • When you should clear cache to optimize performance
  • Extra tips for improving Instagram speed

Let‘s dive in and get your Instagram back up to speed!

What is Cache and Why Does it Slow Down Instagram?

Cache is essentially temporary data that apps store on your device to load faster. The Instagram app caches all sorts of data to help things run more smoothly, like:

  • Thumbnails of photos and videos in your feed or Stories
  • Profile pictures of accounts you view frequently
  • Pieces of code or assets the app uses often
  • Your search history and browsing activity
  • Location data if you have permissions enabled
  • Ad preferences based on likes, follows, etc.

This cached data means the next time you load Instagram, all that data is right there ready to go, rather than having to freshly download each piece. So caching does benefit performance and speed.

But over time, all this cached data really starts to pile up and take up storage space. The more cache Instagram stores, the longer it takes to load new content and the laggier the performance becomes.

According to a HubSpot study, page load times directly impact conversion rates. They found:

  • Pages that load in 5 seconds had a 70% conversion rate
  • Pages that load in 6 seconds had a 53% conversion rate
  • Pages that load in 10 seconds had just a 39% conversion rate

So all that cached junk makes Instagram slower, and users are less likely to engage with laggy apps. That‘s why clearing the cache every once in a while is so important!

How to Clear Instagram Cache on iPhone and iPad

The process is a bit different on iOS than Android. iPhones and iPads don‘t have a simple "Clear Cache" button for each app.

The only way to fully clear an app‘s cache on iOS is to delete and reinstall the app. It sounds more complicated than it is though, just follow these steps:

1. Open the Settings App

From your home screen, tap to open the Settings app. This is where you manage all device and app settings on your iPhone or iPad.

Open Settings app on iPhone

2. Tap General > iPhone/iPad Storage

In Settings, first tap on General, then on iPhone/iPad Storage. This screen shows how much total storage space you have available and how much each app is taking up.

Navigate to iPhone Storage in Settings

3. Find and Tap on the Instagram App

Now, scroll down the list of apps until you see the Instagram app icon. Tap on it to open details about how much data and cache Instagram has stored on your device.

Tap on Instagram option

As you can see in my example, Instagram was using 152.6 MB of data on my phone—that‘s a lot! This was mostly cached data slowing things down.

4. Tap Delete App > Confirm Deletion

With Instagram selected, tap the Delete App option near the top of the screen. A pop-up will appear to confirm you want to delete Instagram. Tap Delete App again to confirm.

Tap Delete App button

This will uninstall Instagram and clear all of its cached data from your device in one tap. Don‘t worry, uninstalling does not delete your actual Instagram account or anything posted.

5. Reinstall Instagram from the App Store

Finally, open up the App Store and search for Instagram. Tap Get to reinstall it like normal.

Once Instagram finishes installing, open it up and log in with your username and password as usual. All your followers, posts, messages, etc. will still be there.

But now the app will run much snappier without all that old cached junk!

How to Clear Cache on Android Devices

Luckily the process is much simpler on Android. You can clear an app‘s cache right from the Settings menu, no deleting required.

Follow these steps to clear Instagram cache on Android:

1. Open Your Settings App

Open the Settings app on your Android device—it looks like a little cog icon. This is where you manage device and app settings.

Open Android Settings app

2. Tap Apps & Notifications

In Settings, tap on the Apps & notifications option. This takes you to the app management page where you can select individual apps.

Navigate to Apps & notifications

3. Find and Tap Instagram

Scroll down to find Instagram in the list of apps. Tap on it to open the app info specific to Instagram.

Tap on Instagram in apps list

4. Select Storage & Cache

With Instagram open, select the Storage & cache option. This shows how much cached data Instagram has stored that‘s taking up space.

Tap Storage & cache

As you can see, mine was using 124MB of cached data—definitely time to clear it out!

5. Tap Clear Cache

Finally, tap the Clear cache button at the bottom. This instantly deletes all the temporary cached files from Instagram.

Tap Clear cache button

Once it finishes clearing, the number will reset to 0B cached data. Nice and clean!

That‘s all there is to it. The Instagram app will now run smoother and faster without all that old cached junk.

When Should You Clear Cache for Optimal Performance?

Instagram cache builds up slowly over time as you use the app. I recommend clearing it out every 2-3 months for optimal speed.

Make sure to keep an eye out for these signs that it‘s time to clear cache:

  • Laggy scrolling through feeds and Stories
  • Slow loading profiles and posts
  • Increased app freezing or crashing

Clearing cache gives Instagram a fresh start, making it feel fast like a brand new install.

However, always update Instagram fully before clearing cache. An outdated app version can also cause performance issues and glitches.

Extra Tips for Improving Instagram Speed

Along with regularly clearing cache, here are a few other tips to help optimize Instagram performance:

  • Close Extra Apps: Quit out of any other apps running in the background that could slow things down.

  • Check Connection Speed: Laggy Instagram performance can also be caused by slow/unreliable internet connections.

  • Restart Your Phone: Power cycling your device clears up temporary glitches and frees up RAM.

  • Free Up Storage Space: Low storage space will slow down the entire device. Delete unused apps and files.

  • Update Instagram: Install the latest version of the app for any speed improvements.

  • Delete and Reinstall: If issues continue, uninstalling and reinstalling Instagram often helps.

Hopefully this guide has your Instagram app running faster than ever! Let me know in the comments if clearing the cache worked to speed up performance. I‘m always happy to help out with any other Instagram troubleshooting questions you may have!


Written by Alexis Kestler

A female web designer and programmer - Now is a 36-year IT professional with over 15 years of experience living in NorCal. I enjoy keeping my feet wet in the world of technology through reading, working, and researching topics that pique my interest.