Instagram videos not playing on iPhone? Here’s why

Instagram is an incredibly popular app for sharing visual media. This includes images, videos, memes, and gifs.

Due to the fact that the platform is centred around this sort of content, it can be frustrating when certain videos don’t play while flicking through the app on your iPhone. If the app can’t deal with visual media then you may as well just be on Twitter or Facebook,

There are a number of different reasons why videos stop playing on Instagram, and today we are going to look at the most common of these reasons. Additionally, we will provide you with step-by-step instructions on how to resolve the issue.

Instagram videos not playing iPhone – The most common reasons

There are a few reasons why Instagram videos may not play on your device. It could be down to a poor internet connection, corrupted Instagram data

Check your internet connection

The most common explanation for videos not playing on Instagram is all to do with connectivity. If you aren’t connected to the internet, or if you have a weak connection, then images won’t load on the app and videos most definitely won’t play.

To check to see if you are connected to the internet on an iPhone, please follow these steps:

  1. Head to the settings app on your iPhone and select ‘Wi-Fi’.
  2. Ensure that the toggle next to Wi-Fi is switched on.
  3. If it is switched on, then ensure that there is a tick next to one of your available networks. If you there isn’t one then it means you aren’t connected to the internet via Wi-Fi.
  4. To connect to one, click on the name of a Wi-Fi network on your list of available networks and enter in the password to connect. If you don’t know the login details for any of the available network then you will have to move on to mobile data.
  5. To check to see if you are connected to the internet via mobile data, navigate back to the settings app and select ‘mobile data’.
  6. Ensure that the toggle next to ‘mobile data’ is switched on. If it is then look to your phone’s header bar to see if you can see a 3G, 4G or 5G symbol to indicate a live mobile data connection.
  7. If the toggle is off and/or if you can’t see any of these symbols on your phone’s header bar then it means your phone hasn’t managed to find your a mobile data connection.

If after going through these steps you come to the conclusion that you are connected to the internet then you are going to want to check the strength of this connection.

To do this, use this speed test app for iOS devices. You can also reset network settings on your iPhone if you want to ensure that this isn’t causing any issues.

It may well turn out that your internet connection is absolutely fine, in which case you will need to consider the following potential reasons for videos not playing on Instagram.

The Instagram app needs an update

If you are trying to use Instagram on an old or expired version then expect content, especially videos, to load particularly slowly. With that in mind, you need to ensure that you are always running the app on its most recent version.

To check to see if Instagram is in need of an update, please follow these steps:

  1. Head to the App Store on your iOS device.
  2. Select your account icon on the top right-hand side of the screen.
  3. Scroll down your account profile until you see a list of apps that require an update.
  4. If you see Instagram here, then hit the ‘update’ button which should sat to the right of its name.
  5. If you don’t see Instagram here then it means you are running the app on its most recent platform and can therefore rule this out as the reason for videos not playing.

Simply making sure your app is updated can fix Instagram videos not playing on your device – but there’s a few more things we can do.

The Instagram app needs to be rebooted

From time to time, all apps can do with a quick reboot to get things operating as normal again. There are two ways to reboot an app, with one being more time-consuming than the other.

To perform a soft reboot, please follow these steps:

  1. Navigate to your iPhone’s home page.
  2. Swipe up from the bottom of the screen to bring up a list of all active applications.
  3. Flick through until you find Instagram and swipe up to close it down.
  4. Navigate back to the phone’s home page and reload Instagram.
  5. If videos are now playing as normal then the soft reboot has done the trick, if they aren’t then you should consider a hard reboot.

To perform a hard reboot of the Instagram app on an iOS device, please follow these steps:

  1. Navigate to your iPhone’s home page.
  2. Flick through your list of applications until you find Instagram.
  3. Hold down on the Instagram icon and then select ‘delete app’.
  4. Once it’s deleted, head to the App Store and re-download it from scratch.
  5. Load the app up, log in as normal and check to see if videos are now playing or not.

Rebooting your app will not only clear Instagram cache data, but it’ll also make sure that any corrupted data is wiped too.


To conclude, there are various reasons why videos might not be playing on your Instagram app – you may even get locked out and see the challenge required error, which some users face.

We would recommend that you go through the troubleshooting tips in this article in the order that we gave them to get to the bottom of the issue and if you are still facing problems afterwards, then get in touch with Instagram Support.

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Andy is a Professional Content Editor with expertise in a whole host of areas (or so he tells us anyway). His main interests are sports, tv/film and social media. He has reviewed over 100 apps so far for Apps UK.

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