Instagram Down? Troubleshoot Errors & Get Back to Posting

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Is Instagram not working for you right now? I feel your pain. As a social media marketing guru and tech nerd, I rely on Instagram every day. So when the app is down or glitchy, I quickly get frustrated.

Not to worry – we‘ll get to the bottom of the issues and have you scrolling and posting again in no time. Just think of me as your Instagram troubleshooting guru, here to save the day!

With over 1 billion monthly active users, it‘s no surprise that Instagram has the occasional outage or app malfunction. Haven‘t we all grumbled "Ugh, Instagram is down again!" at some point?

According to Facebook’s Q3 2021 earnings, Instagram has 1.386 billion daily active users worldwide. With such a massive user base, even the smallest bug can impact millions of people.

When your Instagram feed won‘t refresh or you can‘t login, it feels like the end of the world. Your digital life depends on filtering puppy pics and stalking your ex‘s vacation photos, after all!

But most Instagram problems are temporary and have an easy fix. You just need to know the right troubleshooting tips and preventative measures.

Consider this your handbook for diagnosing and resolving the most common Instagram errors and issues. We‘ll cover:

  • Why Instagram goes down and has technical issues
  • The top troubleshooting steps to fix problems
  • Pro tips to avoid headaches in the future
  • Answers to frequently asked questions

Let‘s start with why Instagram fails in the first place…

Why Does Instagram Stop Working?

Before we fix the issues, it helps to understand what causes them. Here are the primary reasons Instagram goes down:

1. System Outages

Like any software platform, Instagram experiences periodic system-wide outages. These can be caused by:

  • Server failures – Instagram‘s servers go offline
  • Database errors – Problems with software databases and caching
  • Network disruptions – Data center connection issues
  • Power outages – Data center power and generator failures
  • Human errors – Accidental configurations or changes

Unfortunately, most outages are out of your control as a user. All we can do is patiently wait for Instagram‘s engineers to resolve them.

2. Platform Bugs

No software is perfect. As developers roll out new Instagram features and code updates, they inevitably introduce new bugs. Some slip through testing and cause problems after public release.

Recent examples include the September 2022 bug preventing pictures and videos from loading in the feed. Or the October Instagram bug that caused Stories to disappear after being posted.

Bugs tend to cause inconsistent errors that affect some users and devices but not others. Frustrating, but updating the app usually resolves them.

3. App Performance Issues

The Instagram app can suffer performance issues that disrupt the user experience. For example:

  • Slow loading feeds and stories
  • Choppy navigation and transitions
  • Crashing or freezing after use

These are often tied to device health factors, like low storage, outdated software, or too many background apps.

4. Internet Connectivity Problems

Since Instagram requires an internet connection, weak signals and network issues also cause problems. Slow home WiFi or a poor cellular connection can prevent feeds from refreshing, uploads from completing, and more. Always rule connectivity out as the culprit first.

Now that we know why Instagram fails, let‘s talk solutions. Onwards to tried and true troubleshooting!

12 Ways to Troubleshoot Instagram Problems

Here are the top 12 tips to fix most any Instagram problem or error you encounter:

1. Check Instagram‘s Status Pages

When Instagram is down, checking their status pages provides real-time updates.

  • @instagram – The official Instagram account often posts outage updates.
  • DownDetector – Reports Instagram outages as they happen around the world.

If a major service outage is confirmed, all you can do is wait for Instagram‘s engineers to restore service. Bookmark these sites to stay in the know.

2. Update the Instagram App

Make sure to run the latest version of the Instagram app. App updates frequently include:

  • Bug fixes for known issues
  • Optimizations to improve performance
  • Support for new iOS and Android releases

Updating provides stability improvements and prevents bugs.

  • iOS: Check the App Store for app updates.
  • Android: Use the Google Play Store to update.

Also make sure your device operating system is up-to-date for maximum compatibility.

3. Force Quit and Reopen the App

If the Instagram app is glitchy or frozen, force quit and restart it. Force quitting closes the app and reloads it fresh.

On iPhone:

  • Double tap the Home button to switch apps.
  • Swipe up on the Instagram preview to force quit.
  • Tap the icon to relaunch the app.

On Android:

  • Open the App Manager in Settings.
  • Select Instagram and choose Force Stop.
  • Reopen Instagram normally.

This refresh fixes temporary bugs and gets things running smoothly again.

4. Reinstall the Instagram App

If force quitting doesn‘t help, uninstall and reinstall the Instagram app from scratch. This clears out any corrupt data.

On iPhone, just delete Instagram normally. On Android, choose Uninstall from app info. Reinstall fresh from the app store.

Your profile and content will be waiting when you log back in!

5. Restart Your Device

Don‘t underestimate the power of turning your phone or computer off and on again. Rebooting clears temporary glitches and resets network connections.

Close all apps first before rebooting for maximum effectiveness. Restarting weekly or so keeps performance optimized.

6. Switch Networks or Use Mobile Data

Many Instagram problems come down to network connectivity issues:

  • Slow/unreliable home WiFi signal
  • Public WiFi hotspots with traffic shaping
  • Cellular dead zones with 1 bar service

If Instagram struggles on WiFi, try cellular data instead. Or switch WiFi networks. A clean, consistent connection prevents problems.

7. Reset Network Settings

Beyond switching networks, resetting network settings entirely can help. On iPhone, go to Settings > General > Reset > Reset Network Settings.

On Android, go to Settings > System > Reset Options > Reset Wi-Fi, Mobile Data, and Bluetooth.

Resetting works around glitchy connections and services not responding.

8. Clear App Cache and Data

Over time, outdated Instagram app cache and data causes performance issues. Clearing it wipes the slate clean.

On iPhone: Delete and reinstall Instagram (the only way to clear cache on iOS).

On Android:

  • Settings > Apps > Instagram > Storage
  • Tap Clear Cache and Clear Data

This often fixes crashing, freezing, and bugs during use. It‘s smart to clear cache every few months.

9. Update iOS or Android

Keep your operating system updated for the latest bug fixes and features. Using outdated iOS or Android versions can cause incompatibilities.

Enable automatic updates if possible. Or check periodically and install updates manually:

  • iOS: Settings > General > Software Update
  • Android: Settings > System > System Update

Updating provides stability and prevents surprises down the road.

10. Free Up Storage Space

Is your phone always low on storage? Insufficient storage space can disrupt Instagram performance and prevent uploads.

Offload unused apps, photos, and videos. Use cloud backups instead of local ones when possible. Keep at least 500MB free, preferably 1-2GB+.

11. Contact Instagram Support

If all else fails, reach out to Instagram support. In the Instagram app:

  • Tap your profile > menu > Settings
  • Scroll to Help and select Report a Problem

On a web browser:

Clearly describe the issues you‘re experiencing. Support can investigate problems with your account or Instagram‘s systems.

12. Follow @Instagram on Twitter

The @Instagram Twitter account posts real-time platform updates. Following them makes it easy to stay on top of outages and new features.

Tips to Avoid Instagram Headaches

Here are some best practices to prevent problems in the first place:

  • Don‘t post or engage too rapidly – pace yourself to avoid automated limits.
  • Keep the Instagram app updated across all devices.
  • Use a fast, stable WiFi or cellular data connection.
  • Periodically restart your phone to refresh performance.
  • Maintain plenty of available storage space.
  • Clear the cache and data for Instagram periodically.
  • Disable battery optimizations so Instagram runs properly in the background.
  • Create an Instagram support ticket if major glitches continue.

With proactive care, you can dodge many of Instagram‘s technical difficulties.

Why Does My Instagram Keep Crashing or Lagging?

Frustrated by constant crashing and lagging while using Instagram? Let‘s explore the top reasons and fixes.

The most common factors causing Instagram app instability include:

  • Using an outdated version of the app
  • Low available storage space on your device
  • Too many background apps running
  • Weak internet connectivity and signal
  • Corrupted cache/data or software conflicts
  • Bugs introduced in a recent Instagram update

To stop the crashing and lag, troubleshoot by:

  • Updating or reinstalling the Instagram app
  • Freeing up storage space on your device
  • Force quitting background apps before launching Instagram
  • Switching to a stronger WiFi or cellular data connection
  • Clearing Instagram‘s cache and data
  • Reporting bugs to Instagram support if crashes recur

With consistent care and maintenance, you can return smoothness and stability back to the Instagram app.

Why Does My Instagram Feed Not Load?

Ever refresh your feed only to get stuck at "Couldn‘t Refresh Feed"? This frustrating error has a few potential causes and solutions.

An Instagram feed fails to load or refresh when:

  • You have a weak internet connection
  • The Instagram app needs to be force closed and restarted
  • The app requires an update to resolve bugs
  • You need to clear the Instagram cache and data
  • The Instagram platform is down or having widespread issues

To get your feed working again, troubleshoot by:

  • Switching to a stronger WiFi network or using mobile data
  • Force quitting the Instagram app and relaunching it
  • Updating or reinstalling the Instagram app
  • Clearing stored cache and data for the app
  • Checking the Instagram status pages to see if an outage is occurring

With a little diligent troubleshooting, you‘ll be back to infinite scrolling in no time.

Why Are My Instagram Stories Not Posting?

Upload stories, only to have them fail to post? Stories not posting is super annoying. The good news is there are a few easy fixes.

The most common reasons Instagram Stories don‘t upload include:

  • Poor internet connection
  • Insufficient storage space on your device
  • The app requires an update to fix bugs
  • Permissions are disabled for Instagram
  • You have reached the daily story limit (over 100 per day)
  • The app is glitching and needs a restart

To get Stories working again, try:

  • Switching to a stronger WiFi or cellular network
  • Freeing up storage space on your device
  • Updating or reinstalling the Instagram app
  • Checking that Instagram has permission to access photos
  • Refraining from mass story uploads
  • Closing the Instagram app fully and reopening it

With a little TLC, your story posts should start flowing again in no time!

Why Are My Instagram Messages Not Sending?

Messages failing to send or receive is incredibly annoying. Are your Instagram DMs broken too? Let‘s get to the bottom of it.

The most common causes include:

  • Server outages affecting Instagram messaging
  • Needing to reset your internet connection
  • The Instagram app requires an update
  • Reaching your daily message limit (around 300 per day)
  • Blocks/restrictions on your account or the recipient‘s account

To return messaging capabilities, troubleshoot by:

  • Checking Instagram‘s status pages for any service outages
  • Toggling airplane mode on and off to reset connectivity
  • Updating or reinstalling the Instagram messaging app
  • Avoiding mass message blasting which can trigger limits
  • Confirming you or the recipient don‘t have messaging restrictions enabled

With a quick reset, you should be direct messaging like normal again.

Why Are My Instagram Notifications Not Working?

Missing important notifications? Make sure they‘re enabled properly in the app.

On iOS, check Settings > Notifications > Instagram and toggle on what you want to receive.

On Android, go to Settings > Apps & Notifications > Instagram > Notifications and enable notifications.

In the Instagram app itself, go to your profile > menu > Settings > Notifications and customize to your preferences.

If notifications still don‘t come through, try updating the Instagram app. Background app refresh may also need to be enabled in your device settings.

Why Does My Instagram Story View Count Freeze?

Ever notice your Instagram story view count stop updating? The view tally freezing is a common annoyance. But don‘t worry, your actual views aren‘t affected.

The view count can freeze at times for a few different reasons:

  • Brief Instagram server outages that disrupt counts
  • The app is force closed in the background
  • Watchers have stories muted or are anonymized
  • Rapid views trigger the counter to freeze temporarily

The view tally will eventually catch up to the correct number. You can also try force quitting and reopening the app to refresh it.

But rest assured, your story views aren‘t impacted – just the real-time indicator. The stats will be fully captured in your story insights.

Why Can‘t I Log Into My Instagram Account?

There are few things more frustrating than being locked out of your Instagram account. If you‘re struggling to log in, a couple issues may be to blame.

First, double check you‘re using the correct username and password. It‘s easy to mistype credentials, especially on mobile. Tap forgot password to reset if needed.

Also, make sure two-factor authentication didn‘t get enabled without you realizing. If prompted for a code, check your phone number or authentication app for the right 6-digit code.

If it says your password is incorrect despite entering the right one, you may have been hacked. Use Instagram‘s support form to recover your account.

And if "We Limit Login Attempts" appears, you may be temporarily soft-locked from too many attempts. Wait an hour or so before trying again.

Why Did Instagram Disable My Account?

Did your account suddenly get deactivated or disabled? If so, you likely violated one of Instagram‘s community guidelines.

Reasons accounts get disabled include:

  • Sharing prohibited or illegal content
  • Spamming others with unwanted content or DMs
  • Purchasing fake followers or engagement
  • Abusing hashtags like posting banned weight loss or adult content
  • Automating activities like following/unfollowing or liking

To appeal disabled accounts:

  • Request a review via the Instagram app within 30 days
  • Provide an explanation and proof the violation was accidental
  • Alternative is to open a new account and avoid past mistakes

Unfortunately if your violation was severe, the account may stay disabled for good per Instagram‘s discretion.


I hope this guide helps you troubleshoot and prevent the most common Instagram problems. With the right maintenance and care, you can avoid most technical headaches.

Here are some final tips to keep your Instagram account running smoothly:

  • Keep the Instagram app updated across devices
  • Use fast home WiFi or 5G cellular when available
  • Periodically restart your phone and iPad
  • Maintain plenty of free storage space
  • Clear the cache and data for Instagram regularly
  • Disable battery optimizations so it runs properly in the background
  • Create Instagram support tickets for lingering issues

Now get back to stalking celeb vacations and adorable dog pics! And let me know if any tricky Instagram problems persist – I‘m happy to help strategize a fix.


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.