Why Can’t I Add Music to My IG Story?

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If you’re an avid Instagrammer, you’ve probably noticed the popular music sticker that many people are using in their Instagram Stories lately. This fun feature allows you to easily search for and add songs to play in the background of your Stories. But what if the music sticker is missing or not working for you?

As a social media expert and tech geek myself, I totally get how frustrating it is when Instagram features don’t function properly. I’ve heard from many users wondering why they can’t add music to their IG Stories.

Not to worry – in this detailed guide, I’ll walk you through all the potential reasons the Instagram music sticker may not be showing up, plus troubleshooting tips to fix it. Just think of me as your virtual best friend here to help you get those tunes rocking on your Stories!

Why Is the Music Sticker Not Showing Up on My Instagram Stories?

When you go to create an Instagram Story, you should see a sticker tray pop up that includes a music icon. Tapping on this opens a searchable music library where you can browse and select songs to add to your Story.

But if you don’t see the music sticker icon at all, there are a few possible explanations:

Your Instagram App Needs Updating

Instagram is constantly improving features and releasing new versions of the app, typically every 2-3 weeks. If your Instagram app is outdated, it may not have the latest features enabled. The music sticker first launched in June 2018.

Solution: Head to your phone’s app store and check for any Instagram updates. Download the latest version of the app and the music sticker should appear.

Your Account Lacks Access

Instagram has full control over which users get access to newer features like music stickers upon rollout. If your account is relatively new or doesn’t have many followers, Instagram may have restricted your access.

Over time as your account builds an audience, Instagram will likely enable music stickers for you. This is a gradual process on their end.

Solution: Have patience and continue actively using your Instagram account. With no direct way to request access, your only option is to wait for Instagram to flip the switch for your account.

Your Region is Not Supported

Due to music licensing restrictions, Instagram initially launched music stickers exclusively in certain countries like the United States, United Kingdom, Japan, etc.

If you live in an unsupported country, you won’t see music stickers even when using the latest version of the app.

Solution: Use a VPN service to route your mobile traffic through a supported country, which will unlock the music sticker. Or simply wait as Instagram rolls it out globally.

Why Does the Music Sticker Disappear When I Try to Add a Song?

In some cases, you may actually see the music sticker icon and open up the song search experience. But when you go to select a specific song, the sticker suddenly disappears. What gives?

Here are some potential reasons for this frustrating issue:

The Song You Want is Blocked

Record labels and artists have the ability to block their catalog from being used in Instagram Stories. If you search for a song but the music sticker vanishes when you tap on it, chances are that song has been explicitly blocked.

Solution: Try searching for a different popular song by the same artist. If other songs work fine, then the specific track you want is sadly blocked and unusable.

Your Internet Connection Is Unstable

With music stickers relying heavily on streaming audio from Instagram’s servers, an unstable internet connection disrupts the process.

Solution: Try toggling Airplane Mode on/off to reset connectivity and switch between WiFi and mobile data to test speeds. With a stronger signal, music stickers should load reliably.

Instagram is Having Technical Difficulties

Once in a while, the servers that power Instagram run into technical glitches, leading to widespread outages or specific features breaking. Music stickers are vulnerable when this happens.

Solution: Check third-party sites like DownDetector to see if other users are reporting Instagram issues. If so, wait for Instagram’s engineers to complete repairs on their end before trying again.

Your Account is Restricted

In severe cases where an account violates Instagram’s rules, the platform may impose restrictions like disabling certain features such as music stickers.

Solution: Submit an appeal requesting your account restrictions be removed. If approved after review, your access to music stickers will be restored.

Why Does the Music Keep Pausing in the Middle of My Instagram Story?

You’ve successfully added a song to your Story, but the audio keeps cutting out intermittently. There’s nothing more annoying than music that isn’t seamless!

Here are some top reasons you may experience this frustration:

Poor Internet Connection

With music streaming directly within the Instagram Stories, an unstable internet connection results in buffering and audio dropouts.

Solution: As always, move to a location with stronger WiFi or switch to mobile data if on WiFi currently. Consistent bandwidth is key.

App Permissions Are Not Enabled

The Instagram app must be allowed access to your phone’s microphone and storage in order to properly download and play music sticker songs.

Solution: In your phone’s settings, make sure Instagram has permission to access the microphone and storage. Grant the requested permissions.

App Needs to Be Updated

Buggy app versions can lead to glitchy music playback in Stories. Ensure you’re running the latest Instagram version.

Solution: Visit your phone’s app store and check for Instagram updates which typically contain fixes and optimizations.

Background App Refresh Is Turned Off

On iOS devices, Background App Refresh allows Instagram to download and cache content like music sticker songs even when the app isn’t actively open. If turned off, playback may stall.

Solution: In your iOS Settings, enable Background App Refresh for Instagram so content stays up to date.

Airplane Mode Is On

When Airplane Mode is activated on your phone, all internet connectivity gets disabled, causing anything that requires streaming to stop working.

Solution: Swipe down and toggle Airplane Mode off to restore your WiFi or mobile data signal. Music will then resume streaming.

Do Not Disturb Is Blocking the Audio

If Do Not Disturb is enabled on your iPhone, by default it blocks all media playback. The music in your Story will be muted as a result.

Solution: In Settings, choose to allow media playback when Do Not Disturb is on. Alternatively, disable Do Not Disturb entirely to hear music stickers uninterrupted.

Why Does Music Keep Getting Muted in My IG Story?

One of the most helpful Instagram Stories features for creators is the ability to add voiceovers describing what’s happening in your video or photo. But sometimes those voiceover narrations clash with any music stickers you’ve added, causing the audio to be randomly muted. There are a few reasons this mute glitch can happen:

Instagram Prioritizes Voiceovers Over Music

Instagram automatically ducks background music when a voiceover begins, so viewers can clearly hear your narration or commentary. But occasionally it mutes music entirely rather than just turning it down.

Solution: Pause your voiceover when the music part you want to emphasize begins, and let the full music volume return. Resume narrating after.

Multiple Audio Tracks Are Playing

If you added both a music sticker and a sound effect like an Instagram audio meme, the two simultaneous audio streams compete, leading to random muting of one.

Solution: Limit your Story to just one audio element at a time, whether music sticker or sound effect. Avoid overlapping multiple tracks.

A Software Bug or Glitch

On occasion, Instagram simply fails to properly balance voiceover and background music volumes due to random app bugs. Closing and reopening the app typically resolves this.

Solution: Force quit the Instagram app and restart your phone to clear any glitches. Redo your Story and the voiceover/music balance should reset.

Why Does Music Get Distorted in My Instagram Stories?

Few things are more grating than trying to vibe to music in an Instagram Story only to have the audio come out garbled and distorted. This buzz-killing sound issue has a few potential causes:

Poor Internet Connection

Choppy mobile internet or weak WiFi results in the music streaming getting interrupted, leading to artifacts, distortion, and robotic voices.

Solution: As I’ve said before, the most common fix is connecting to a faster, more reliable internet source, whether that’s WiFi or mobile data.

Issues on Instagram’s End

During site-wide technical issues or temporary outages, music stickers will be impacted and suffer degraded, distorted playback.

Solution: Check third party sites for Instagram status reports and wait for their team to resolve problems on their end before trying again.

Your Phone Speaker is Defective

If music sounds pixelated or broken up only when playing Stories from your phone’s speaker specifically, the speaker hardware itself may be damaged or collecting debris.

Solution: Try cleaning your phone’s speaker grill gently using compressed air. If the distortion persists, you may need a speaker repair or replacement.

Excessive Audio Processing

Some social media apps apply audio smoothing effects like noise suppression that can sometimes introduce audio artifacts on certain phone models.

Solution: Turn off any audio processing options in the Instagram app settings if available. Or use headphones instead of speakers.

Why is the Music Selection So Limited in Instagram Stories?

With licensing agreements required, Instagram can only offer a subset of the total songs available globally through major labels. As a result, the music sticker library often lacks more obscure or independent songs. Here are some facts and tips related to the limited music available:

  • Instagram’s music library currently sits at over 250,000 songs and is expanding regularly.

  • Major labels like Sony Music, Universal Music Group, and Warner Music Group have signed licensing deals with Instagram.

  • Independent artists and record labels are not as widely included in Instagram’s music library.

  • Music availability varies by country based on Instagram‘s licensing approvals in each region.

  • You can request songs to be added to Instagram‘s music sticker library through an online submission form. No guarantees but worth a shot!

  • As an alternative, use other apps like TikTok if you are trying to find more niche songs for Stories.

  • Screen record music from your personal files to bypass any licensing restrictions. Just avoid copyrighted material you don‘t own rights to.

What Should I Do If Specific Songs or Artists Are Missing from Instagram Music Stickers?

Can’t find that favorite track or band in your Instagram music sticker search? As I mentioned earlier, artists and labels have full discretion when it comes to blocking their music from being used in Instagram Stories. Here are your best options if faced with a mysteriously missing song:

Browse Similar Songs or Albums

Search for different popular tracks from the artist that may not be restricted. Even if one song is blocked, their entire catalog usually isn‘t.

Use Alternate Apps

Apps like TikTok, Snapchat, and Triller host wider music libraries, so search there if Instagram is lacking a certain artist or song.

Reach Out to the Artist

On the off chance an artist blocked their music by mistake, kindly requesting they “unblock” it could potentially help.

Screen Record Your Own Copy

As long as you legally purchased the full song file yourself, screen record it playing and use the video in your Story.

Post a Story with Lyrics

Adding lyrics via Instagram text tools isn’t as slick but gets the song stuck in viewers’ heads!

Unfortunately unless an artist chooses to lift restrictions, there isn‘t much you can directly do to access blocked music within Instagram Stories specifically. Taking the workaround approach is your best path forward.

Why Can I Only Use Short Music Clips in Instagram Stories?

Unlike TikTok where you can include full songs, Instagram limits tracks to just 15 seconds of playback in Stories. Why not the complete length?

There are a few reasons Instagram implemented this time restriction:

  • Prevent abuse: Longer clips make illegally sharing full stolen songs easier. Short previews decrease piracy risk.

  • Encourage creativity: 15 seconds pushes people to showcase just the highlight chorus or hook rather than lazily using whole tracks.

  • Minimize licensing costs: Most streaming services must pay for complete song plays. Instagram only pays for snippets.

  • Maintain ephemeral vibe: Whole songs don‘t really match the quick, fleeting nature of Stories. Short clips align better.

While you may wish you could add full-length songs, the 15-second cap makes sense when you consider Instagram‘s incentives. Work within the time limit to make every second of music count rather than trying to cram an entire track in!

Troubleshooting: How to Fix Instagram Music Sticker Issues

If you’ve encountered any of the music sticker problems above, here are some step-by-step troubleshooting guides to get help resolving the issues:

Fix Music Sticker Not Showing Up

  1. Update Instagram app to latest version
  2. Check DownDetector for Instagram outages
  3. Turn on VPN to access music in unsupported country
  4. Be patient as Instagram enables feature for more accounts

Fix Specific Songs Not Working

  1. Try searching similar songs by the same artist
  2. Check DownDetector for any Instagram issues
  3. Use a different social app like TikTok if song blocked on Instagram

Fix Music Pausing/Muting in Stories

  1. Move to area with stronger WiFi/mobile data
  2. Enable all requested microphone and storage access for Instagram app
  3. Update Instagram app to most recent version
  4. Turn off Do Not Disturb and Airplane modes in phone settings

Fix Choppy/Distorted Music in Stories

  1. Delete and reinstall the Instagram app
  2. Restart your phone
  3. Use headphones instead of speakers
  4. Turn off any audio processing options in the app

FAQs: Your Top Instagram Music Sticker Questions Answered

I know troubleshooting Instagram can be tricky, so here I’ve compiled answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about adding tunes to your Stories:

Q: Can I use full-length songs in Instagram Stories?

A: No, there is a 15-second clip limit for music due to Instagram‘s licensing restrictions.

Q: Does Instagram pay artists when I use a song?

A: Yes, Instagram pays music rights holders royalties when songs are used in Stories via their sticker.

Q: What countries support music stickers?

A: Over 90 countries have access currently, including the United States, most of Europe, Brazil, Japan and more.

Q: How many songs are available in the music library?

A: Instagram has over 250,000 songs licensed and approved for use in Stories. The catalog expands regularly.

Q: Can I appeal if a song I want is missing?

A: There‘s no formal appeal process. You‘ll have to reach out to the artist directly and kindly request they unblock the song from Instagram.

Q: Will using songs from Spotify or Apple Music in Stories get me in trouble?

A: Potentially yes, as those full songs aren‘t licensed for re-use in Stories like Instagram‘s sticker songs. Use music stickers only for peace of mind!

Q: What happens when I add a voiceover and music together?

A: Instagram will automatically duck the music volume when your voiceover begins so viewers can clearly hear you narrate.

I hope these tips help you troubleshoot any problems adding the perfect tunes to your Instagram Stories! Feel free to reach out if you have any other questions. Now get jamming!


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.