Instagram Reels are a fun way to interact and share content with your friends on Instagram. They also make for an excellent opportunity to grow your following.
When my Reels wouldn’t work, I had already made a habit of watching them frequently, and it was upsetting when I couldn’t. I was determined to find a fix for the problem, and I did.
If your Instagram Reels are not working, ensure you have a strong internet connection and that your Instagram app and the software on your device are both up to date. You should log out and back in if these things are not the problem. Additionally, deleting and reinstalling the app will often fix the issue.
If you can’t fix the issue, you’ll have to contact Instagram and wait for a response. However, the steps I’ll provide below will likely save you the wait.
- 1 What are Instagram Reels?
- 2 How to Access and Check for Instagram Reels
- 3 Fix Instagram Reels not Working
- 3.1 1. Check Your Internet Connection
- 3.2 2. Instagram App Needs to be Updated
- 3.3 3. Updating System Firmware
- 3.4 4. Look for Reels in Different Sections of Instagram
- 3.5 5. Logout and Re-Login
- 3.6 6. Clear App Cache
- 3.7 7. Reinstall Instagram App
- 3.8 8. Wait for Instagram Reels to become available in Your Country
- 3.9 9. Sign up for Instagram Beta
- 3.10 10. Report the Problem
- 4 Frequently Asked Questions
- 5 Conclusion
What are Instagram Reels?
Instagram Reels are short, entertaining videos made by Instagram users. They can be informative, funny, or promotional for businesses.
If you’re familiar with TikTok, think of it as TikTok videos, but you watch and upload them on Instagram. Like TikTok, Instagram reels have fun filters, music, and sounds that users can use to make entertaining videos to share with their followers.
The videos can be up to 90 seconds long and depending on where they’re posted, you can discover new accounts and be discovered by new accounts by using reels.
If you want to boost your followers, reels are a great way to achieve it.
How to Access and Check for Instagram Reels
On your mobile app, the quickest way to find Reels is by tapping the Reels icon at the bottom of the screen. The icon will be the video/action style icon.
When you scroll through the reels tab, you will be able to see Reels from the people you follow, along with other popular videos the algorithm thinks you might enjoy. This is a great way to find new accounts to follow.
You can also download the PC app from the App Store or Microsoft store to easily watch Reels from your PC.
If you cannot download the app, there are still a few ways to watch reels using your browser; they just won’t be as simple.
The first way is to go to the discover tab and look for posts with the Reels icons in the top right corner. Additionally, you can go to other people’s profiles and watch their Reels from there.
Fix Instagram Reels not Working
If your Instagram Reel isn’t working, there are many things that could easily fix the problem. The most likely reason for your Reels not working is that you have a poor internet connection or your app needs to be updated.
However, other common fixes may help as well. If the issue can be fixed, the steps below will fix it.
1. Check Your Internet Connection
If your internet connection isn’t working properly, it’s most likely the issue. To fix it, you will need to reset your network settings, reboot your router, or both.
Rebooting your router is easy. Simply unplug it from its power source for 30 seconds, then plug it back in. Allow it to reconnect to the network before you reconnect your device.
To reset your Network Settings on an iOS device, go to your Settings > General > Transfer or Reset iPhone > Reset > Reset Network Settings > Enter Passcode.
To reset your network setting on an Android device, tap Settings > System > Reset > Reset Network Settings.
2. Instagram App Needs to be Updated
Updating to the newest version of Instagram is the best place to start if your Instagram Reels aren’t working. If your Instagram app hasn’t been updated, it likely has a bug causing your Instagram Reels feature to glitch.
Luckily, the updated version will come without the bugs of older versions.
To update your Instagram app:
- Open Google Play (Android users) or the App Store (iOS users).
- Type Instagram in the search bar.
- Tap Instagram
- Tap Update.
Your app is already updated if you don’t see the option to update it.
3. Updating System Firmware
If the firmware on your device is not updated, it can cause complications, much like an outdated app. So, if your firmware is not up to date, you’ll need to check for an update manually.
To update your iOS device:
- Go to your Settings.
- Tap General.
- Tap Software Update.
- Allow your device to search for available updates.
- If an update shows up, install the update.
To update your Android device:
- Go to Settings.
- Tap System.
- Tap System Update.
- If there’s an update available, install it.
If no updates appear, your software is up to date.
4. Look for Reels in Different Sections of Instagram
If Reels are working in one place, it’s possible they could work in other sections. You can find Reels in several different places on the app:
- The Reels Tab: You can find the Reels tab at the bottom of your home screen. This section is the best place to discover new content and creators.
- New Post Window: When you click the plus sign at the bottom of the screen to create a new Reel, look in the bottom right corner and tap Reels.
- Other Users’ Profiles: Go to the profile of your friends or favorite creators and tap the Reels icon to see all of their Reels.
5. Logout and Re-Login
Another thing to try is logging out of your account and back in. This will refresh everything and clear most minor glitches that could be occurring.
To do this:
- Open your Instagram app.
- Tap your profile picture.
- Depending on your device, tap the gear icon or the three vertical dots icon.
- Scroll to the bottom and tap Log Out.
- Close the app, then open it back up.
- Enter your login details and tap Login.
Once you’ve logged in, check to see if your reels are working. If they still aren’t working, you could be looking for them in the wrong place.
6. Clear App Cache
Sometimes the app’s cache can have incorrect data stored or have so much data stored that it prevents your app from working as it should.
To clear the cache on an iOS device:
- Open settings.
- Tap General
- Tap iPhone Storage
- Scroll down and Tap Instagram
- Tap Offload App
- Tap Reinstall App
To clear the cache on an Android device:
- Open settings.
- Tap Apps.
- Tap Instagram
- Tap Storage
- Tap Clear Cache.
Once you’ve cleared the app’s cache, restart your device. When the reboot is complete, see the reels feature is working. The feature may not be available to you yet if it isn’t.
7. Reinstall Instagram App
To fix problems with an app like Instagram Reels not working, you sometimes need to reinstall the app. To do this, completely uninstall the app, then reinstall it.
To remove the app from an iOS device, hold your finger on top of the app until it starts shaking, then tap Remove App.
For an Android device, go to App Store > Profile Picture > Manage Apps and Devices > Manage > Instagram > Uninstall.
8. Wait for Instagram Reels to become available in Your Country
When new features first become available on apps, they usually distribute the feature in waves. Furthermore, the waves typically go by region.
So, if you don’t have the feature yet, you may have to wait for Instagram to extend the feature to users in your region.
9. Sign up for Instagram Beta
If you sign up for the Instagram Beta Program, you will be among the first users to try out Instagram’s new features. However, this program is currently only available on Android devices.
However, before you decide, there are a few things you should consider. Most importantly, this is a “testing” version of the app. So while you may be the first to get all the cool new features, you’ll also have to deal with the glitches that don’t make it to the regular version.
If you decide you want to join the Instagram Beta Program, you can sign up by:
- Go to the Invitation Website.
- Click Become a tester.
- Go to the Google Play Store and search for Instagram.
- Select the regular Instagram app from the results.
- Scroll down to where it says, “Join the Beta.”
- Tap Join.
Once you’ve joined, it will automatically uninstall the regular version and install the beta version.
If you decide that you want to leave the beta program, you can leave by following the same steps you used to join. You’ll just tap “Leave” rather than “Join.”
10. Report the Problem
If none of the steps above has fixed the issue, you should use the Report a Problem feature on Instagram to contact their support team.
To Report a Problem to Instagram:
- Tap your profile picture at the top of your screen.
- Tap Settings
- Tap Help
- Tap Report a Problem
- In the text box, explain that your Reels feature is not working, giving specific details. You should also include your username for your Instagram account and an email address so they can follow up.
- Tap Add Files to add screenshots if you have them.
- Submit the report.
Keep in mind that it may take a few business days to get a response.
Frequently Asked Questions
What do I do if Instagram is having problems?
If Instagram is having problems, the first thing you should do is check your internet connection. If you don’t find a problem with your connection, you can try restarting your device and ensuring that your app and software are up to date.
If the problem doesn’t resolve, you can check the servers using a website like DownDetector, which gives real-time information regarding the server status of many popular platforms, including Instagram.
In addition, if you have followed many new accounts or posted anything that may violate Instagram’s community guidelines, your account could be temporarily restricted, which can sometimes seem like an issue with the platform.
Why can’t I add a poll to my Reel?
You can’t add a poll to your Reel because the feature is not yet available for Reels. So if you want to receive poll answers on Instagram, you’ll have to post the question and poll in your story.
However, you could always use an alternative to adding a poll. For example, you could ask them to comment on their answers in the comment section on the Reel. This would not only serve as a poll but an algorithm boost as well.
If you wanted to make it more structured, you could use a specific word or emoji for them to comment on for a particular answer.
What to Do If Instagram Reels Sound Isn’t Working
If the sound isn’t working when you watch Reels on Instagram, ensure that your volume is turned up, that there are no Bluetooth headphones or speakers connected to your device, and that the video itself isn’t muted.
Sometimes, when watching Reels on Instagram, you will see a small icon with a speaker and an x that indicates the video is muted. You can turn the sound on by tapping this icon.
If the problem is not as simple, you may need to restart your device, update your Instagram app, or update the software on your device.
Instagram Reels can be a great way to pass the time or find a laugh when you need to lift your mood. However, it can be quite upsetting when they stop working, especially if you’ve made a habit of scrolling through them in your spare time.
With any luck, you’re back to scrolling through Reels on your Instagram. If not, be sure you’ve gone through all the steps before contacting support to save yourself an unnecessary wait.
If you had to contact Instagram, keep in mind that it can take 2 to 3 business days before you get a reply.