How to Fix It When Instagram Stories Aren't Working

Try these 7 fixes to stop that endlessly spinning circle

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Sometimes Instagram stories freeze on a single frame or won’t appear at all, showing a spinning circle instead. Here's why that happens and how you can get back to watching your Stories.

Why Won't Instagram Stories Work?

When Instagram stories aren't working, it's usually not because of something you've done. You may even get notifications that people you follow are posting stories, so clearly stories are working for someone. Here are a few reasons you may not be able to watch them:

  • You have a slow network connection.
  • Instagram's servers are down.
  • The Instagram app is malfunctioning.

How to Fix IG Stories Not Working

If you keep seeing a spinning circle instead of Instagram stories, try these steps to fix it.

  1. Check your internet connection. Stories require a strong and stable internet connection.

  2. Close the app and relaunch it. This will stop any processes that are malfunctioning. For iPhone users, use the app switcher. Android users, long-press the Instagram icon and select Force Close.

    When it comes to Android, different versions might work a little differently. You might have to long-press the icon > tap App Info > Force Stop. Regardless of the version, it will start with a long-press of the icon.

  3. Check if Instagram is down. You can use a service like Downdetector to see if other people are reporting problems with Instagram.

    Server outages usually don't affect all users. Even if you can't watch Stories, other users may be able to post and view them.

  4. Update the Instagram app. Recent updates to the Instagram app may have affected Stories. Make sure you haven't disabled automatic updates. The process to changing automatic updates depends on your platform: Android [Change automatic update settings on Android] or iOS [Change automatic update settings on an iPhone].

    Updates to Instagram can sometimes cause problems instead of fixing them. If that happens, other users will report a problem as well, and Instagram will work quickly to resolve it.

  5. Clear your cache. If you have an Android phone, you need to clear the cache for apps every so often. The cache of data stored on your phone can make Instagram load faster, but it will start slowing your phone down once it becomes too big. The process to clear your cache depends on your platform: Android [Clear the cache on Android] or iOS [Clear the cache on an iPhone].

  6. Uninstall and reinstall the app. Doing this will ensure that you're using the latest version of the app with no unforeseen problems, like bad cache data or malfunctioning code.

  7. Contact Instagram. You may have encountered a bug that Instagram isn't aware of. Describe the problem in detail, including what type of phone you're using, which version of the app you are running, and any steps you took to resolve it. You probably won't get a response, but if other users are having the same problem, Instagram can fix it with an update.

  • How do I add music to an Instagram story?

    To include music with your Story, use a sticker. Select the Sticker icon in the upper-right (a square smiley face), and then select Music. You'll then be able to pick a track to play.

  • Can you see who views your Instagram story?

    Instagram does tell you how many people have viewed your story, along with their user names. Open the story, and then look in the lower-left corner of the screen. You'll see a message that says Activity. Select it to see a list of people who saw the story.

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