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11 Fixes for Instagram Voice Messages Not Playing or Sending

by Pankil Shah
Top Ways to Fix Instagram Voice Messages Not Playing or Sending

Are you having trouble playing or sending voice messages on Instagram? That could happen due to several reasons, including a lack of relevant app permissions, corrupt cache data, and a buggy app build. Thankfully, there’s no need to switch to an alternative. This guide has a few tips that should get Instagram voice messages working again on your Android or iPhone.

1. Check the Volume Level and Turn Off Bluetooth

You might have already done this, but it’s worth a double-check. If your phone’s volume is low or muted, it can make it seem like Instagram voice messages are not playing.

Press the Volume Up button on the side of your phone to increase the volume level. Additionally, ensure no Bluetooth audio devices are connected to your phone.

2. Allow Instagram to Use the Microphone

Next, you need to check if Instagram has permission to use your phone’s microphone. Otherwise, the app may fail to record any of your voice messages.


1. Tap and hold the Instagram app icon and tap the info icon from the menu that pops up. Then, go to Permissions

Instagram App Permissions on Android

2. Tap on Microphone and select Allow only while using the app from the following menu.

Allow Microphone Access for Instagram on Android


1. Open the Settings app on your iPhone.

2. Scroll down to tap on Instagram and enable the Microphone toggle.

Allow Microphone Access for Instagram on iPhone

3. Check Microphone Access From Privacy Settings (Android)

With Android 12 and above, you can control microphone permissions for all apps from the Privacy menu. If you’ve accidentally disabled microphone access on your phone, apps like Instagram won’t be able to use your microphone despite having the necessary permissions. Here’s what you can do to fix it.

1. Open the Settings app on your phone and navigate to Privacy.

Privacy Settings on Android

2. Under Controls and alerts, enable the switch next to Microphone access.

Allow Microphone Access to Apps on Android

4. Enable Mobile Data for Instagram (iPhone)

On an iPhone, you can turn off mobile data access for each app individually. If you have inadvertently disabled mobile data for the Instagram app, you won’t be able to record or play voice messages.

To fix this, open the Settings app and scroll down to tap on Instagram. Then, enable the toggle next to Mobile Data.

Enable Mobile Data Access for Instagram on iPhone

5. Close and Reopen the App

At times, the Instagram app may have issues playing or recording voice messages due to temporary app glitches. In most cases, you can fix such issues by restarting the app on your phone.

To force-close Instagram on Android, long-press on its app icon and tap the info icon from the resulting menu. Tap the Force stop option at the bottom to close the Instagram app.

Force Stop Instagram on Android

To close Instagram on your iPhone, swipe upwards from the bottom of the screen (or double-tap the Home Screen button) to bring up the app switcher. Locate the Instagram app card and swipe upwards on it to close it.

Stop Instagram on iPhone

6. Sign Out and Sign In

If restarting the app proves ineffective, you can try signing out of your account and signing back in. This should reconnect your account to the server and resolve any account-specific issues.

1. Open Instagram on your phone and navigate to the profile tab. Tap the hamburger icon (three horizontal bars) and select Settings and privacy.

Instagram App Settings on Mobile

2. Scroll down to tap on Log out [account name]

Log Out of Instagram on Mobile

Reopen the Instagram app, sign into your account, and see if the voice messages are working. 

7. Disable Instagram’s Data Saver Feature

Instagram has a data saver feature that can help you reduce the amount of data the app consumes. This feature can sometimes interfere with the app’s functionality. Hence, it’s best to disable it if you’re having trouble playing or sending voice messages on Instagram.

1. Open Instagram on your phone and head over to the profile tab.

2. Tap on the menu icon in the top right corner and select Settings and privacy from the list. 

Instagram App Settings on Mobile

3. Tap on Data usage and media quality and disable the Data Saver toggle.

Disable Instagram Data Saver on Mobile

8. Clear Instagram Cache (Android)

Apps like Instagram tend to collect cache files to improve loading times and overall app performance. However, if the existing cache data has become corrupt, the app may not function properly. You can try clearing Instagram’s cache to see if that helps.

1. Long press on the Instagram app icon and tap on the info icon from the menu that pops open.

2. Go to Storage and tap the Clear cache option.

Clear Instagram Cache on Android

9. Check Instagram Server Status

Instagram, like any other service, experiences outages from time to time. If Instagram’s servers are down, you may have difficulty using some of its features.

You can visit a website like Downdetector to see if others are facing similar issues. If the servers are down, you have no option but to wait for Instagram to fix the problem.

Instagram Downdetector

10. Update the Instagram App

It’s always a good idea to keep apps on your phone updated to their most recent versions. If the Instagram voice messages aren’t playing or sending due to a bug, updating the app should help.

Head over to the Play Store or App Store and update the Instagram app. Once updated, check to see if the issue is still there.

11. Switch to Instagram Lite or Instagram Web

If you’re here, it’s safe to assume that none of the above solutions worked for you. In that case, you can try switching to Instagram Lite. It is a stripped-down version of the Instagram app with all of the essential features, including voice messages.

Instagram Lite is only available for Android. So, if you’re using an iPhone, you can switch to Instagram Web to listen to your voice messages. It’s worth noting that you can only play to your existing voice messages on Instagram Web. Sadly, it does not give you the option to record and send voice messages.


1. What is the maximum length of an Instagram voice message?

Instagram voice messages can be up to one minute long. Instagram displays a “Recording time limit reached” message once you reach the limit.

2. Do voice messages expire on Instagram?

No, voice messages on Instagram do not expire.

3. Can you save or download voice messages on Instagram?

Instagram does not provide a native option to download voice messages. However, there are a few workarounds for downloading voice messages from Instagram.

Transform Words Into Emotions

If you don’t want to spend time typing long texts, voice messages are a good alternative. However, it can be annoying when Instagram voice messages do not play or send as usual. Hopefully, the above tips have helped you fix the issue and you can now exchange voice messages on Instagram. 

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