12 Ways to Fix Instagram Not Loading Pictures

12 Ways to Fix Instagram Not Loading Pictures

12 Ways to Fix Instagram Not Loading Pictures

Indeed, Instagram pictures not showing can be a bummer for anyone wanting an instant update from the platform. Lucky for you, there are several easy fixes to this common Instagram issue that you can do in a couple of minutes!

If you’re getting Instagram’s “Couldn’t load image. Tap to retry” error, you can start by clearing the cache and reloading the app. To do this, long press the Instagram app, tap ‘App info’ then ‘Storage & cache,’ and select ‘Clear cache.’

But if that doesn’t work wonders, our step-by-step guide below should get Instagram back in form — and shining in all its glory. 

Why won’t my Instagram pictures load?

Instagram pictures won’t load if the app cache is full or corrupted. However, clearing the cache allows the application to start like new, so photos and videos should load seamlessly — like before. 

But there are more reasons for this Instagram error! The following are the most common causes of why your Instagram is not loading pictures on your device:

  • You have a poor internet connection, so Instagram won’t be able to load images or play videos. 
  • There might be a server outage, which is done to improve services. But while at it, the Instagram app won’t be able to transmit the data you want.
  • Your Data Saving mode might be on. While it  is handy in limiting data usage, it can also restrict your pictures and videos from loading. 
  • The Instagram app cache is full, and this could lead to loading errors.
  • An outdated Instagram app translates to bug fixes not being delivered and glitches needing to be addressed, affecting your overall experience. 
  • An incorrect date and time can prevent the Instagram app from communicating with the server properly, resulting in a failure to load pictures.

How to Fix Instagram Not Loading Pictures

To save you time and effort in dealing with this Instagram issue, it’s best you proceed in an orderly fashion. Follow the steps below one by one to bring vivid colors and videos back to your fave social media app. 

1. Clear Instagram’s cache.

Data build-up in the cache is prominent in Android devices, and it is advisable to clear them up regularly. The temporary data stored here will continuously grow and consume large amounts of memory if left untouched.

Too much junk and unnecessary files will clutter your storage leading to poor device performance and app malfunctions — including pictures not loading. Regularly clearing the cache on Instagram will help put this issue to rest. 

To clear your Instagram cache, take the following steps: 

  • Tap Settings.
  • Scroll down and select Apps.
  • Select Instagram
  • Tap Storage
  • Tap Clear Cache and confirm when prompted.

Note: If you don’t see a Clear Cache option, it might be behind the Clear Data

Option. Click that to reveal a drop-down list and select Clear Cache.

How to Fix Instagram Not Loading Pictures
How to Fix Instagram Not Loading Pictures

2. Check your internet connection.

Since Instagram requires a working internet connection, you should check to see if your internet is fast and reliable. You should rely on a strong and stable connection to get the job done. 

  • Mobile Data

If you’re using a mobile data connection, be sure you have a good signal reception. For example, if you are only getting 1 or 2 bars of signal, switch to a Wi-Fi connection instead.

Depending on your location, opt to access via a 4G or 5G data connection. A 3G or below may not be stable or fast enough to load pictures on Instagram.

  • Wi-Fi Access Point

Double-check if your modem and router are plugged in if connected to a Wi-Fi access point at home or in the office.

Sometimes it’s simple things like this that are easy to overlook.  You can also try unplugging and plugging back your modem to test if your internet works.

If you still don’t have a working internet connection, try asking your Internet Service Provider (ISP) for assistance.

A little experiment on your smart device can bid you well. Switch between available internet connections to see which provides you with the fastest and most reliable internet access.

Another trick here is to reset your router. Sometimes, the router goes into standby mode, and resetting automatically pushes it back to action. 

3. Force stop and relaunch Instagram.

Another simple trick to resolve Instagram’s picture-loading issue is by fully closing the app and relaunching it. Force-stopping an app can be a go-to remedy if it malfunctions, as this process can resolve performance issues. 

Force-stopping releases the memory being used by the app. Usually, this returns an errant app to normalcy, but there’s a catch. 

Most people think pressing the home button on their phone is enough to shut down an application. Unfortunately, this simply isn’t the case.

When you go to the home screen while using Instagram, it does not automatically close the app. Instead, you are letting the app run in the background.

To force stop on your Android smartphone, follow the steps below. 

  • Go to Settings
  • Tap on Apps and Notifications
  • Tap on App Info.
  • Select the Instagram app. 
  • Tap Force Stop.
Force stop and relaunch Instagram.
Force stop and relaunch Instagram.

You can force-stop any third-party app on your mobile phone. However, system apps will just operate right back if you force-stop them. 

Force-stopping Instagram on an iOS device is pretty simple: go to the iOS App Switcher and swipe up the social media platform. 

After you force-stop the app, the app is still fully functional on your smart device. So, you can run it back quickly by pressing the app icon.  

4. Restart your device.

Sometimes, the problem lies with your phone instead. If it’s showing signs of slowing down or being unresponsive, it can affect how apps function on your device.

The most basic way to resolve this is to restart your phone and let the system reboot. 

On Android phones, do this by simply holding the power button and clicking Restart or Reboot when the icon appears on your screen. 

On all iPhone models, follow the steps below to shut your device: 

  • Go to Settings. 
  • Tap on General. 
  • Tap Shut Down. 
  • Drag the slider that appears.
Restart your device
Restart your device
Restart your device

5. Check if Instagram’s server is down.

If your phone and internet are working fine, but Instagram still won’t load your pictures, that could mean their server is down. Unfortunately, there’s not much you can do to control when the server runs again.

What you can do is confirm whether there is a server outage or not. If you visit the Downdetector website and search for Instagram, you will see many user reports if there’s an outage or if they’re happening in your area.

Your best bet is directly contacting Instagram’s Help Center. They are the most equipped to help you with the specific information you need to know about their platform.

6. Disable ‘Use less mobile data’ in settings.

Instagram has a built-in data saver option that makes you use less mobile data while the app is in session. Once enabled, it will affect your experience using the app. 

Pictures and videos will take a long time to load unless you manually disable “Use less mobile data” from the app menu. To do this, follow the steps below: 

  • Open the Instagram app.
  • Tap the profile icon (bottom-right corner)


  • Tap the sandwich menu icon (three horizontal lines in the top-right corner).
  • Tap Settings. 
  • Choose Account.
  • Tap Data Usage.
  • Toggle the Use less mobile data option to off. 
Disable ‘Use less mobile data’ in settings
Disable ‘Use less mobile data’ in settings
Disable ‘Use less mobile data’ in settings
Disable ‘Use less mobile data’ in settings
Disable ‘Use less mobile data’ in settings
Disable ‘Use less mobile data’ in settings
Disable ‘Use less mobile data’ in settings

This process allows you to use Instagram without any limitation. Furthermore, disabling this option lets you load pictures and videos organically using your internet’s speed.

7. Disable Data Saver mode.

Mobile phones have a Data Saver option that helps users control their data usage. This works similarly to Instagram’s “Use less mobile data” option; it could cause the no-picture-loading Instagram issue.

Disabling Data Saver is simple, however, both for Android and IOS. 

Follow the steps below to disable the feature on Android smart devices: 

  • Tap Settings.
  • Tap Connections
  • Click on Data Usage (Data Plan, or Data Limit).
  • Toggle Data Saver to off. 

Note: The location and name settings vary depending on your Android device. You can use the search bar in the Settings menu if you are having trouble finding Data Saver on your phone.

Disable Data Saver mode
Disable Data Saver mode
Disable Data Saver mode
Disable Data Saver mode
Disable Data Saver mode

As for iOS devices, the process is pretty straightforward. Follow the steps below to get it done: 

  • Tap Settings.
  • Select Cellular Data options.
  • Toggle Low Data Mode to off. 
Disable Data Saver mode
Disable Data Saver mode
Disable Data Saver mode

8. Log out and login again.

Problems with authentication can occur in your session using Instagram. Logging out and logging back in is an excellent way of troubleshooting this issue, which could trigger the picture-not-loading issue on Instagram. 

Get this done by using the steps below: 

  • Open the Instagram app.
  • Tap the profile icon
  • Tap the menu (three horizontal lines at the top-right corner).
  • Click on Settings.
  • Tap the log-out option.
Log out and login again
Log out and login again
Log out and login again
Log out and login again

9. Update the Instagram app.

Instagram constantly updates its app to add quality-of-life changes to improve the user experience. Other times, it’s to fix problems from the previous versions.

Hands down, using an older version is another reason pictures can’t load on Instagram. To fix this issue, simply update Instagram on your device.

Here’s how you can update Instagram on Android:

  • Tap the Google Play Store.
  • Tap your Google account profile (top-right corner).
  • Select Manage apps & device.
  • Tap Updates available.
  • Tap Instagram.
  • Tap Update.

Follow the steps below to update the app on iOS:

  • Open the App Store.
  • Search for Instagram
  • Tap Update (if the button is there). 
Update the Instagram app
Update the Instagram app
Update the Instagram app

Make sure you have the latest version of iOS to get this going. Otherwise, you won’t see any updates even when these are introduced to the market. 

10: Adjust your device’s date and time.

Your device’s date and time settings are just as critical in your Instagram app’s communication with the server. For some reason, the difference in date and time will cause pictures to not load in your Instagram feed.

Here’s an easy way to fix this: 

  • Tap Settings.
  • Click Date & Time.
  • Fill in the correct date and time. 
  • If unsure, you can set it to Auto.
  • Select the appropriate time zone.

11. Clear some storage space.

The storage problem is an extension of the cache problem. It’s important to have adequate memory left on your device for social media apps to continue receiving the necessary data from the internet.

Also, overloading your device with too many files and applications can cause performance issues. 

In fact, mobile devices are programmed to warn users if they are about to reach their storage limit. This helps to ensure your device will continue to work properly.

You can free up your phone’s storage by uninstalling apps. Here’s how to get it done: 

  • Go to Settings.
  • Tap Apps.
  • Uninstall unused apps. 

Additionally, you can delete files or transfer them to an external cloud to free your device storage.

To do this, open your file management application and delete all unwanted files. Important files can be sent to an external storage device or uploaded to the internet for safekeeping in your cloud of choice. 

12.  Reduce your Instagram activities.

Instagram has taken drastic measures to stop bots from spamming on its platform. However, this also means that users are facing restrictions, like daily and hourly limits.

Performing too many actions on Instagram in a short period can also result in being flagged as a bot. This means that you have you be mindful of your activities.

Sometimes, it’s important to take things slowly to appreciate them better. Only fools rush in, after all.

If you are not careful, Instagram’s system may enforce restrictions on your account. Restrictions include being unable to send messages, comment, or even load your feed.

And to make matters worse, the restriction can last up to 48 hours. So, in this case, you can only wait patiently for your actions to be unrestricted.

However, if you think you didn’t violate your hourly and daily limits or haven’t performed any suspicious activities, you can tell Instagram that your restrictions aren’t justified.

You can click the Tell Us or Let Us Know button to raise your concern with Instagram. If unavailable, you can try requesting help directly from Instagram’s Help Center.

FAQs about Pictures Not Loading on Instagram

How can I report a technical issue on Instagram?

Go to your Instagram profile to report a technical issue. Tap onsettings and choose the help option provided. Proceed to report the problem and be ready to provide details.

Why is my list of followers missing?

If your list of followers are missing, you may have been marked as a bot by the app, pushing Instagram to disable your follower list. 
Actions such as following/unfollowing people more numerous than usual can trigger this; to resolve this, contact Instagram support. 

How to Instagram Live?

Go live on Instagram via the ‘Live’ option in the Stories Camera section. Start by swiping right from your feed to open your Stories Camera. Tap ‘Live’ then tap ‘Start Live Video,’ and you can go live for one hour. 

Can I cast Instagram on a smart TV?

You can cast Instagram on your smart TV using Chromecast and FireStick online streaming devices. Alternatively, you can install the ‘Cast Button for Instagram’ app on your mobile to make it happen. 

In a Wrap

An Instagram issue of pictures not loading should not be a great concern for you. With the steps above, you should be on your way before you know it — and see your most sought-after pictures pop up like there’s no tomorrow. 

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