We can only imagine your plight when Instagram Reels stops working while you’re leisurely scrolling it. If that is a temporary snag, you’d okay with it. However, if Instagram Reels keeps freezing or not working randomly on your phone, that can be frustrating. We also encounter this problem and have figured out some solutions that help when Instagram Reels are not working on Android or iPhone.
Table of Contents
1. Basic Troubleshooting
Before we try the advanced solutions, engage in simpler troubleshooting first. Some of them might help fix the problem instead of trying out complicated ones:
- Check Your Internet Connection: If mobile internet connection keeps dropping, your Instagram Reels may stop loading. This interruption might create the misconception that Instagram Reels are not functioning properly. There are also instances where your iPhone or Android phone is connected to Wi-Fi but there’s no internet. Run internet speed tests to ensure you have a stable mobile data or Wi-Fi connection.
- Check Instagram Server: What if the issue is not with your internet connection, but with the Instagram server itself? The Downdetector’s page for Instagram will show you the Instagram server status. If numerous users face the issue, you can try playing Reels an hour or so later.
- Update the Instagram App: The problem may arise if you’re using an older build of the Instagram app. To avoid such niggles, you can check for updates on the Play Store or App Store.
- Restart the Phone: If, even after ensuring a stable internet connection and updating the app, your Reels still randomly stop working, a phone restart can help resolve the issue.
2. Clear App Cache and Data
On Android, you can easily clear an app’s cache and data without the need to reinstall it. This eliminates any corrupted cache and fix misconfigurations with your Instagram account. Here’s how to clear an app’s data and cache:
1. Navigate to Settings app, choose Apps, and scroll down to tap on Instagram.
2. Go to the Storage section.
3. Tap the Clear data button and select the Delete option to confirm your decision.
On the other hand, iPhone users can reinstall the Instagram app to set up their account afresh. This will clear out previously stored cache files.
Also Read: Amp up your Reels game with the Instagram Reel templates.
3. Leave Instagram Beta (Android)
Have you joined Instagram Beta from your Android phone? If so, consider leaving it and installing the regular version. While beta versions often come with exciting new features, they may also provide a buggy and unstable user experience. This could be the reason why you sometimes encounter issues, such as Instagram Reels not working properly. Here’s a guide on how to exit the Instagram Beta program on Android:
1. Search for the Instagram in the Google Play Store.
2. Tap on it and scroll down until you come across the heading You’re a beta tester.
Note: If the Instagram title lacks a Beta label, it indicates that you are not using the beta version.
3. Tap on the Leave link and confirm your decision by tapping the Leave option again.
4. Stop Using VPN
If you use a reliable VPN service, you can achieve a stable internet connection. However, many users often opt for free VPN services, which are generally not secure and pose a higher risk to your personal information. Moreover, free VPNs often come with the drawback of having an unstable internet connection.
This instability can lead to frequent interruptions and cause Instagram Reels to not work. Therefore, we recommend you switch off the VPN temporarily to check if it gets Instagram Reels to work.
5. Enable Cellular Data Usage on iPhone
On the iPhone, there is a data usage setting that can restrict any apps from accessing your cellular data. If you have accidentally enabled this feature, you may not only have trouble playing Reels, but also won’t be able to browse through photos, videos, and other content on Instagram.
To verify if the setting is not enabled on your iPhone, open the Settings app, choose Mobile/Cellular Service, and ensure that the Instagram app toggle is enabled.
Note: Data usage restriction can only be applied to the app when using the cellular network and not when connected to Wi-Fi.
6. Give All the Necessary Permissions
Not granting permissions may not significantly affect watching Reels, but attempting to upload a video to the Reel requires the necessary permissions, such as camera, mic, or storage. To resolve this, you may need to grant the required permissions for the proper functioning of the Reels. Here’s how to do it:
1. Navigate to Settings apps, choose Apps, and select Instagram.
2. Head over to the Permissions to view app’s required permissions.
3. Select each option one by one and grant them access to the required permissions. For example, you can select the Allow only while using the app permission for the Camera.
7. Update or Factory Reset Your Phone
The iOS on iPhone or software version on Android phone may have some glitches or bugs that may impact Instagram app’s functionality. You can check for a software update on your phone.
Alternatively, if you’re willing to take an extreme step to watch Reels on your phone, your last option is to factory reset your device. Check our guide on resetting an iPhone. For Android phones, the steps may vary based on the brand. However, you’ll find the Factory Reset option nestled deep into the Settings app.
What If Instagram Reels Still Isn’t Working
If none of the above methods helped you fix the Reels issue, you can try out the following alternatives:
1. Use Instagram on a Browser
One of the easiest ways to view Reels on a phone is by using Instagram in a web browser. Open the Instagram website in a mobile browser, sign in with your Instagram account, and continue enjoying Reels. Additionally, you can enable Instagram notifications in the web browser if you don’t want to miss out on important updates.
2. Install the Instagram Lite App
Another option is to try out the Instagram Lite app on your Android phone. It’s not available on iPhone. This alternative allows you to enjoy your favorite Reels and reduces the strain on your phone’s storage and data usage.
1. How can I report a problem with Instagram Reels?
To report a problem on Instagram, tap your profile icon in the bottom-right corner to open your Profile page. Tap on the Hamburger menu (3-bar) in the top-right corner, select Settings and privacy, and scroll down to find the Help option at the bottom. Tap on it, choose Report a problem, and follow the on-screen instructions to report the issue.
2. Why am I unable to record or upload a Reel?
As mentioned earlier, you may not have granted the required permissions to Instagram for it to function properly. Therefore, make sure to revisit the Instagram app info page and provide all the necessary permissions – Check #6 solution above.
3. Why can’t I see other people’s Reels?
You may not see other people’s Reels on Instagram because their account is private, they have blocked you, location-restricted content, there’s a network problem or a technical glitch.
Plan to Revive Your Instagram Reels!
We hope one of the above troubleshooting methods will help you resolve the IG Reels not working issue. However, it’s worth considering that it might be a blessing in disguise that your Instagram Reel is not working, as social media platforms like Instagram can silently affect your mental health without your awareness.