Is Instagram Down... Or Is It Just Me?

Instagram may be down, but check your computer first

Here's how to you tell the difference between whether it’s Instagram that’s not loading, or your internet is on the fritz.

Check Your Internet Connection

Sometimes, your internet will go down and it’ll take you a while to notice. That’s because your browser and your apps “cache” the sites you visit regularly and will load older versions of the site even if the internet is down. It's not until you go beyond the cache that you notice the problem, especially if you only allow apps to use Wi-Fi instead of your data connection.

If you’re on your phone or tablet, you can check simply by looking at the top of your screen. If you’re on Wi-Fi, look at the Wi-Fi icon; if you have no Wi-Fi, you won’t see the icon on most Android phones and tablets, while Apple’s will have a “greyed-out” icon. If your Wi-Fi signal is weak, you won’t see a complete symbol.

Check Instagram On A Different Platform

If your internet is up and running, try and log into Instagram from a different platform. For example, use the web browser on your phone to check Instagram.com, or check a friend's phone to see if their feed is loading.

Check Instagram’s Common Errors And Known Issues

Next, look at Instagram’s errors and known issues. This is a constantly updated list of common problems that users run into, and the site usually offers a solution under this known issue. Most of the known issues concern the iOS and Android apps, so if Instagram’s app isn’t working, but the web version is, check these issues first. If it’s not the app, or the problem isn’t appearing on the known issues page.

Check For Error Messages

Like any piece of software, Instagram will have a set of error messages. Unlike some websites, Instagram’s errors tend to be written in plain English. For example, you’re not allowed to follow more than 7,500 people on Instagram, and if you try to do that, you’ll get an error message that says “Error: You can’t follow any more people.” Unfortunately, sometimes these messages are vague, such as “Sorry, something went wrong.”

Check If Instagram Is Down Globally

The next step is to use a third-party status checker. If you have an Instagram error code, run it through Google to see if that offers an answer. There are several of these, such as Down Detector, Outage.Report, and Is It Down?, and all work essentially the same way; enter the URL into the site, and it’ll tell you if it’s down. If Instagram is down across the board, then all you can do is wait as Instagram fixes the site. If not, then your computer needs a checkup.

What If It's Just One Part Of The Site?

It's relatively common for Instagram to have issues such as hashtags not loading, images with specific hashtags not appearing under those hashtags, or images loading properly when posted to one account and not the other.

There are a number of reasons for this. In some cases, a hashtag has been banned by Instagram. In other cases, hashtag sections won't load due to a behind-the-scenes issue of some sort, which Instagram is unfortunately not very forthcoming about. In still other cases, overusing a hashtag might cause people to "limit" your posts from that hashtag; if you collect enough of these, your overall account may be constrained without your knowledge.

The best solution is to use hashtags sparingly, vary the hashtags you use, keep the hashtags directly relevant to your image, and in the case of some tags not loading, be patient. Sometimes, it's just Instagram, and waiting is the only solution.