How to Fix Instagram Active Now Status

Why does Instagram say “Active Now” when I’m not?

Just a few days ago, I was perplexed when a close friend who’s camping in a remote site without cell service was marked “active” on Instagram. It made me wonder if there was some kind of secret signal booster in the wilderness that I wasn’t aware of.

The intrigue and curiosity sparked by such moments led me down the rabbit hole of understanding why Instagram sometimes seems to have a mind of its own when it comes to displaying users as “active.”  So why does this happen?

Instagram will stay active even if you’re not once you turn off your account’s activity status feature. This problem will persist unless you turn the feature back on and allow your account to view and share your activity status.

In this post, we’ll dive deeper into the issue, presenting six tried-and-tested solutions for fixing Instagram’s false “Active Now” status. Plus, we’ve listed the reasons behind this problem to help you learn how to deal with it on your own quickly.

Reasons the Instagram Says “Active Now” When the User Isn’t

Off the bat, below are the common reasons that cause Instagram to say “Active Now” when the user isn’t. Go through these underlying reasons before judging whether or not someone on Instagram was a snub for ignoring your direct messages.

1. Instagram needs more time to update your status

Believe it or not, Instagram may require more time before it can reflect the user’s actual activity status. Thus, the account may appear active after users close their Instagram app.

Whenever an Instagram profile says “Active Now,” but you receive no response, it’s likely because the user is inactive. Sometimes, waiting for the Instagram servers to update the account’s precise activity status is best.

2. Instagram is running in the background

Like most apps, Instagram can run on your phone’s background when a WiFi or mobile data connection is available. With this, Instagram can receive account updates while you’re away to focus on other tasks.

While it helps run the app faster when you re-open it, the false active status can mislead followers and friends. 

Before you judge someone for ignoring your messages, you must consider the possibility that their Instagram app is only running in the background.

3. The user is lying about their activity status

Believe it or not, Instagram’s active status is prone to abuse, especially when users want to lie about what they’re doing in real life. For instance, family and friends can use their Instagram to say they’re active and mislead you about their true intentions.

If you’re lucky, they might keep you in the dark for a wonderful surprise later. Otherwise, they could use the misdirection to lie about something they don’t want to share for personal reasons.

4. The user isn’t using their phone while Instagram is running

While most people glue themselves to their phones nowadays, everyone needs a break occasionally. For example, the user can leave their phones while using Instagram for a quick bathroom break.

In such cases, their Instagram account will show “Active Now,” but they’re not there to see or respond to your direct message. Therefore, you must always consider the possibility that users can leave their Instagram running while inactive.

The user isn’t using their phone while Instagram is running

It’s a common occurrence with people who use Instagram for their online businesses. They keep their Instagram accounts running so they can respond to inquiries immediately after seeing them in the direct inbox.

Doing so won’t guarantee an instant response, but it saves time since they don’t have to sign in and out of Instagram to check for messages. As a result, the account may always show as active even without someone using it.

5. Notifications are active for the Instagram app 

Aside from background data usage, receiving notifications may cause your Instagram account to show “Active Now” since it must communicate with the servers. 

This interaction makes the Instagram servers think your account is active when it’s not.

Therefore, the active status will reflect on your account without your knowledge. Fortunately, turning off your Instagram app’s background notifications is the best way to deal with this issue.

However, this problem may no longer affect you once you turn off the app’s background data usage. Still, there’s nothing wrong with being safe than sorry later on.

6. The Instagram account was hacked

A hacked Instagram account is beyond the original user’s control. As such, it may appear active without the actual account owner using it since it could be in the hands of a hacker.

It’s unfortunate, but it’s a possibility you must consider. Without control of their hacked account, the owners’ friends and followers may think they’re active on Instagram when they’re not.

7. Instagram is running on a desktop, a separate tab, or it’s glitching

Finally, the user could run their Instagram account on a desktop or separate tab so they don’t have to sign in and out whenever they want to check their messages. 

As mentioned, someone with a business can keep their account active to answer queries. So, they may sign into their Instagram account using a separate device so they can use their phone for other tasks. 

Instagram is running on a desktop, a separate tab, or it’s glitching

A desktop is the best option here since you can also run multiple tabs comfortably without overloading the device. This way, you can keep their account always signed in, making their Instagram appear active even without using it. 

Additionally, there’s a tiny possibility of the account suffering from a glitch and your Instagram account may appear active to your followers and friends even when you don’t use it. 

Unfortunately, this problem can persist until the Instagram developers release a hotfix to resolve the glitches immediately.

How To Fix the Always “Active Now” Status on Your Instagram

FIX 1. Log out before closing the Instagram app

Difficulty Easy ●●○○○
Number of Steps10
Time to Perform Fix50 seconds
Things NeededAny smartphone
A working internet connection

Before anything, we recommend logging out of your Instagram account to stop it from working on your phone. 

Surprisingly, this works well even when your Instagram app has background permission to use data or receive notifications. After all, your account can’t sync to a device once you sign it out, leaving it entirely in the dark. 

The effect of signing your account out of the device should continue until you log back in.

Additionally, you can remove your account’s login information from the device to improve this method’s potency. But with this, you must sign in and out of Instagram whenever you open and close its app. 

It’s not a convenient method, but it’s a worthwhile compromise for ensuring your Instagram account doesn’t show a false activity status.

Step 1: Go to your Instagram account’s
profile page.

Step 2: Click the burger menu to reveal
additional options.

Step 3: Go to Settings or Settings and Privacy.

Step 4: Go to Security.

Step 5: Go to Saved Login Info.

Step 6: Turn off the Saved Login Info switch.

Note: This action will remove your account’s information from
your phone, ensuring it becomes inactive after logging out.
Step 7: Click Remove to confirm.

Step 8: Return to Settings, scroll down,
and click Log Out.

Step 9: Select your account and
click Log Out.

Step 10: Click Log Out again to confirm.

If you sign into Instagram using a PC web browser, you can find the logout button by clicking your account’s profile icon. It’s more accessible than the logout options on Instagram’s app versions.

FIX 2. Stop Instagram’s background data usage

Since background data usage lets your apps work even after you close them, it’s a prime suspect whenever your Instagram says you’re active when not. It’s a no-brainer that removing this app permission is a great solution to your problem.

After all, your Instagram app can’t communicate with the servers without an internet connection. As a result, the Instagram servers can’t think your account is active.

You can stop background data permission by following the instructions below for Android and iOS devices. However, it’s important to note that Android devices differ between brands, so the steps here may not apply to your smartphone.

Turn off Instagram background data on Android

Difficulty Very Easy ●○○○○
Number of Steps5
Time to Perform Fix20 seconds
Things NeededAny Android smartphone

The steps below are from a Xiaomi device, so the menu layout may differ if you own another Android phone brand. Fortunately, Android smartphones have a search function on their settings menu, so use it to locate the background data permission.

The app permission should have a similar name regardless of the Android phone brand.

Step 1: Go to Settings.

Step 2: Go to Connection & Sharing.

Step 3: Click Data Usage.

Step 4: Scroll down and select the Instagram app.

Step 5: Scroll down and turn off the
Background Data switch.

Turn off Instagram background data on an iPhone

Difficulty Very Easy ●○○○○
Number of Steps4
Time to Perform Fix15 seconds
Things NeededAny iPhone

The instructions below should work for all the latest iOS smartphones. There may be slight differences due to the software version, but they should be negligible.

Step 1: Go to Settings.

Step 2: Go to General.

Step 3: Go to Background App Refresh.

Step 4: Turn off the Background App Refresh feature or
turn off the switch for the Instagram app.

Note: Turning off this feature will stop background data usage
of all apps when WiFi or mobile data is available.

FIX 3. Turn off Instagram’s “Active Now” status 

Difficulty Very Easy ●○○○○
Number of Steps7
Time to Perform Fix30 seconds
Things NeededA PC or smartphone
A working internet connection

If you’re looking for a straightforward solution, nothing is better than turning off your Instagram account’s activity status feature. After all, Instagram can’t say “Active Now” once you turn this feature off.

With this, it shouldn’t matter whether or not you’re using the app on your phone.

Step 1: Open Instagram.

Step 2: Go to your Instagram account profile.

Step 3: Click the hamburger menu in the Instagram
profile page’s upper-right corner.

Step 4: Click Settings and Privacy.

Step 5: Use the search bar to find the
activity status option faster.

Step 6: Type “Activity” and select the Show Activity
Status option once it appears.

Step 7: Turn off the Show Activity
Status switch.

FIX 4. Ensure that Instagram has enough time to update your status

Difficulty Very Easy ●○○○○
Number of Steps1
Time to Perform Fix3 to 5 minutes
Things NeededPatience

Sometimes, Instagram saying “Active Now” when you’re not using the app doesn’t mean there’s a problem with your phone or account. In such cases, it concerns the communication delay from the Instagram servers.

To address this, you must give your account enough time to reflect its actual status. It shouldn’t take too long unless the Instagram servers suffer from heavy traffic or technical difficulties.

FIX 5. Ask your Instagram friend for assistance

Difficulty Very Easy ●○○○○
Number of Steps1
Time to Perform Fix30 seconds
Things NeededAny smartphone
A working internet connection

While you wait, you can ask a friend to refresh their Instagram account to check whether your activity status changes. 

It’s not a particular fix, but scouting the root cause of the problem is essential when troubleshooting. Doing so should confirm whether the problem stems from your Instagram app or account.

FIX 6. Reconnect to the Internet

Difficulty Very Easy ●○○○○
Number of Steps4
Time to Perform Fix25 seconds
Things NeededAny smartphone
A working internet connection

As mentioned, waiting for the Instagram server to update your account’s activity status is a plausible solution. Fortunately, you can speed this up by reconnecting your phone or PC to the Internet.

Here’s how you can troubleshoot your device to help your account communicate with the Instagram servers faster:

Step 1: Pull your smartphone’s
notification bar.

Step 2: Hold the WiFi icon to access your
smartphone’s WiFi settings.

Step 3: Click the gear symbol next to your WiFi network
and click Forget Network to remove it from
your smartphone.

Step 4: Select your WiFi network to re-enter its
password and click the Connect button.

Reset your router

Difficulty Very Easy ●○○○○
Number of Steps4
Time to Perform Fix3 minutes
Things NeededA WiFi router
A SIM ejector pin
Any smartphone

If reconnecting to your WiFi network isn’t enough, you can factory reset your router. After all, a network connectivity issue may prevent your Instagram app from communicating with the servers properly.

Step 1: Disconnect the LAN cable behind
your WiFi router.

Note: Its power cable must remain connected.
Step 2: Insert a SIM ejector pin inside your WiFi router’s
pinhole to access its reset button.

Note: You can use other similar objects like toothpicks or paperclips.
Step 3: Hold your WiFi router’s reset button for 10 seconds
or until it shuts down and resets.

Step 4: Reconnect the LAN cable behind your WiFi router and
connect your smartphone to its network.

What does the “Active Now” status mean on Instagram?

The “Active Now” status on your Instagram account is aptly named. As the name suggests, it’s a status sign that tells your Instagram friends whether or not you’re currently online and available for interactions through direct messages, comments, etc.

Therefore, when Instagram says you’re active, it’s the best time for them to interact with you since you’re more likely to notice and respond. You can see your friends’ activity status when you open your direct inbox or enter a chat box.

What does the “Active Now” status mean on Instagram

The “Active Now” status will also come with a green dot beside your friend’s profile picture. Other activity statuses on Instagram include “Active 5m ago, Active yesterday, Typing, In the chat, In the camera, Seen, and more.

You can only see if your Instagram friends are “Active Now” when you enable your account activity status. Likewise, your friends won’t see yours unless they turn on their account’s Show Activity Status switch.

Surprisingly, you can turn off this feature to stop your Instagram friends from disturbing you so you can browse the platform peacefully. After all, your friends are less likely to interact with your account when they think it’s inactive.

Does “Active Now” on Instagram mean someone is chatting? 

As mentioned, the “Active Now” status means the account is online, but it doesn’t necessarily imply that the user is in an active chat conversation. After all, there are various possible actions someone active on Instagram might be doing.

However, you can use this active status to determine whether your Instagram friend is in the chat. If Instagram says a friend is active, an “In the chat” status will appear next to your target’s profile once you enter the chat.

Furthermore, you may see other activity statuses that tell you what your friend is up to while chatting. For example, your friend’s activity status may appear as “Typing or Seen” while writing a response or after viewing your previous message.

Does “Active Now” on Instagram mean someone is chatting

These activity statuses make Instagram interactions more fun and engaging since you have more insight into what your friends do on the other side. Thus, you can anticipate the response better since you can tell if someone sees your message or starts typing.

If Instagram runs in the background, will my profile appear as “Active Now?” 

Your Instagram account may show as “Active Now” if the app runs on your phone’s background. It can happen when your phone’s WiFi or mobile data connection is active, even after closing the Instagram app.

Thus, you must restrict your Instagram app’s background data usage or turn off your phone’s network services. Otherwise, Instagram will continue to say you’re active until you disconnect your internet connection or enough time passes for it to stop.

If Instagram runs in the background, will my profile appear as “Active Now?”

Therefore, the “Active Now” status doesn’t guarantee someone is online and using their Instagram account. In most cases, you must engage in interactions and wait for your friends to respond to confirm their account’s actual status.

Otherwise, your friend’s active status may mislead you into wasting your time waiting for a response. Worse, it may even cause unwanted misunderstandings between you.

Why does he or she always appear as “Active Now” on Instagram? 

The most reasonable answer to this question is that many users always leave their Instagram account active on a separate phone or PC. Nowadays, it’s more understandable since many people have side gigs, often through online platforms.

For instance, your friend could be running a small online business, using Instagram as a primary or secondary means of communication. 

Instagram is also a popular platform to grow and develop brands, so it isn’t surprising when a user is consistently active.

Why does he or she always appear as “Active Now” on Instagram

If you’re worried about a partner chatting with others on Instagram, asking them is the most reasonable recourse. After all, they’re the best source for information regarding their activities on the platform.

Believe it or not, you don’t want to accuse someone unless you’re sure. As mentioned, an Instagram account can say it’s active while the app runs in the background, even without the owner using it.

How long does Instagram say “Active Now?” 

Typically, Instagram will say “Active Now” as long as you remain online on your account. However, it’s usually not real-time because the Instagram servers may take some time to update your account’s status, which can take up to ten minutes.

Once the active status appears on your account, it should be easier for Instagram to maintain precise monitoring until you close the app. Again, you may have to wait a few minutes before Instagram stops showing your account as “Active Now.”

Using our previously discussed solutions is the fastest way to remove the active status on your account. This way, your friends won’t think you’re being a snub for ignoring their messages since they don’t know your account is inactive.

What happens when I turn off my Instagram activity status?

Turning off your Instagram activity status will make it harder for your friends to track your presence on the platform. It’s helpful when you don’t want your friends or followers to disturb you while browsing the platform to pass the time.

What happens when I turn off my Instagram activity status

After all, you’re less likely to receive direct messages when users think you’re inactive unless they have something urgent to say. Consequently, turning off the activity status will limit your ability to monitor your Instagram friends.

Thus, you can’t tell whether or not a friend is active unless you enable your account’s activity status again. Don’t worry; you can toggle this feature to your heart’s content, letting you decide when to stop or allow Instagram to proclaim you’re active.

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