[Fixed] “We couldn't connect to Instagram” Error
Written by: Hrishikesh Pardeshi, Founder at Flexiple, buildd & Remote Tools.
Last updated: Apr 26, 2023
Instagram is one of the world’s most popular photo and video-sharing platforms, and has grown into a social media behemoth, recently also doubling down on short-form video content with its Reels.
And, while it has amassed a reported half a billion daily active users, Instagram isn’t bereft of bugs and glitches. One of which is the error message “We couldn't connect to Instagram. Make sure you're connected to the internet and try again” that pops up when you’re trying to log into Instagram.
If you’re among the people who’ve experienced this error, don’t fret, as in this article, we’ll tell you how to troubleshoot and fix it asap.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
- Why does the “We couldn't connect to Instagram...” error occur?
- How to fix the “We couldn't connect to Instagram” error
Why does the “We couldn't connect to Instagram...” error occur?
There can be many reasons why you might be seeing this error, including:
1. Poor network connectivity
- When Instagram is telling you “Make sure you're connected to the internet and try again”, your internet connection is most likely the problem.
- Therefore, double-check your internet connection when you see this error message pop up. It may be that your wifi or mobile data plan has expired, or you’ve got your bandwidth spread too thin by having a lot of devices connected to the same network.
- Further, if you’re seeing this error on a PC, it may be that your computer’s firewall settings are getting in the way.
2. Cache problems
- Cache files are the temporary files that are stored on your device by an application to speed up the page load timings & overall performance of the app.
- If the Instagram app’s cache files on your device are full, it may lead to performance issues like loading the feed, or logging in to the app.
- When the cached data isn’t recognised, or is out-of-sync for whatever reason by the app when you open it, it can interfere with your in-app actions like connecting to servers and downloading data.
3. Instagram servers are down
- Instagram has recorded a number of times where their servers were down, causing problems for users across the world. However, the frequency of such a widely-used app being down is very low.
- Nevertheless, although unlikely, you may be seeing the “We couldn’t connect…” error due to Instagram’s servers being down.
- To identify if this is, in fact, the reason why you’re seeing the error message, go to Instagram’s social media accounts and monitor them. You can also visit the Downdetector website to stay updated about any outages.
4. VPN settings
- Sometimes, proxy servers or VPNs that you’ve installed in your computer can cause connectivity issues with common apps, including Instagram.
- Hence, if you’re seeing a connection-related message being displayed by Instagram when you’re trying to log in, make sure you disable the VPN completely and check whether the issue is fixed. Then, you can change the VPN settings and try again.
5. Instagram app is out of date/ not supported
- Using an old version of the Instagram app on your device may lead to a failure to complete even the basic functions, also this is not necessarily the case.
- Anyways, to err on the side of safety, make sure you download and install the latest version of Instagram before using it.
- You might also be seeing the “We couldn't connect to Instagram. Make sure you're connected to the internet and try again” error because Instagram isn’t supported on your device anymore.
- As newer models come out, apps lose certain features or functionality that depends on more advanced hardware. Hence, make sure the device on which you’re trying to access Instagram isn’t old and still supports the app.
6. Logged in on multiple devices
- Some users have reported being unable to access certain features of Instagram when their account is logged in on multiple devices.
- Further, if you’re trying to log in from a new device that you haven’t used before, the verification actions required for first-time logins might be experiencing some issues.
- This is because there’s dependence on certain 3rd-party actions here, apart from just the Instagram app. For instance, your phone’s SMS service, or your email service - depending upon your account’s authorization protocol.
7. Date & time settings out-of-sync
- Instagram might also display errors if your device’s date and time settings are out of sync with the real date and time.
- This is because, on Instagram’s backend, the date and time wouldn’t match with your device - thereby leading the app to encounter conflicting values when you try to refresh the feed.
How to fix the “We couldn't connect to Instagram” error
Here are some of the steps that you can take to fix the “We couldn't connect to Instagram. Make sure you're connected to the internet and try again” error.
1. Check your internet connection
- First, check if you can access other websites smoothly and fast. If you can’t, your internet speed is the likely reason why Instagram is telling you “Make sure you're connected to the internet and try again.”
- Try using the Instagram app both on Wi-Fi and on your mobile data connection. Ensure that your internet connection is working well and has adequate speed.
- Make sure you have a strong signal and that too many devices aren’t connected simultaneously, using up the bandwidth.
2. Restart your device
- Instagram itself suggests troubleshooting any problems faced on the app by first restarting your device. This is because rebooting the system, more often than not, fixes almost all common errors.
- To restart your Android device, you’ll have to hold down the power button until you see the reboot option, and select it. However, if you’re using an iOS device, you’ll have to hold down both the power and home buttons together for ~3 seconds until the screen goes black and the Apple logo appears.
3. Set your date and time to sync automatically
- As we’ve discussed, if your phone’s date and time settings are set manually and are out of sync with the actual time, it may lead to some issues with certain apps including Instagram. Hence, make sure your date and time settings are set to automatic.
- To do this, go to the Date & Time settings in your device, and select the option that lets your device sync the date and time automatically from the internet.
4. Update Instagram
- If you use an Android device, go to the Google Play Store and tap on your profile icon. Next, go to ‘Manage apps & device’ > ‘Manage’. Here, under the ‘Installed’ tab, scroll down until you find Instagram and see if it needs updating. Go to ‘Updates available’ to check if it hasn’t been updated yet, and update the app if it is out of date.
- On an iOS device, open the App Store, tap your profile icon, and scroll down to view any pending updates. Tap on the ‘Update’ button next to the Instagram app, or tap on ‘Update All’ to download and install pending updates for all the apps.
5. Log out from Instagram on all devices and try again
- If you have access to another device where you’ve logged into Instagram, go to settings, and change your password. Doing this will log you out of Instagram on all devices.
- Once you’ve done so, go back to the device where you were facing the connection issue and see if the issue still persists when you try to log in.
6. Empty Instagram cache
- In your device’s settings menu, go to ‘Apps’ > ‘Instagram’. Next, find and select the ‘Clear Cache’ option and tap it to delete all cache files saved by Instagram on your device.
7. Uninstall and re-install Instagram
- If the other methods didn’t work, you can try uninstalling and reinstalling Instagram.
- On an iOS device, go to the Home screen, and tap and hold the Instagram app icon until it starts shaking. Tap on the small cross icon to delete it. Next, go to the App Store and reinstall Instagram. Log in and see if the issue has been resolved.
- On an Android device, go to ‘Settings’ and select ‘Apps’ > ‘Instagram’. Tap on ‘Uninstall’ to delete the app from your device. Next, go to the Google Play Store, reinstall Instagram, and log in to check if this has fixed the error.
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