Instagram is the most popular social media application available in the market of both Android and iOS devices. It has a unique social media workflow where you can either post an image or a video with captions. It has attracted millions of users within a very short period of time.
We came across a common issue where users were not able to play videos on Instagram on their news feed or in their accounts. Instagram follows an automatic approach where you don’t have to click a video to be played; instead, whenever you see a video, it starts buffering and plays soon after.
What causes Instagram Videos not to Play?
After analyzing several use cases and scenarios, we came to the conclusion that there were several reasons as to why the videos in Instagram don’t work as expected and either stay stuck in buffering or display a replay sign. Here are some of the reasons:
- Power saving modes: We saw the power saving module conflicting with Instagram’s video mechanism. It seems that Instagram requires additional power as compared to other conventional applications and the OS stops the video from playing if it is in power saving mode.
- Application in an Error state: There are several bugs in Instagram where either the video doesn’t play or its voice keeps playing even after you have scrolled away from it. Restarting the application solves the problem here.
- Network connection: This is the most common scenario. If you don’t have a decent internet connection, the videos will never come out of the buffering state.
- Corrupt cache: The cache in Instagram might be corrupt. Refreshing it refreshes all the application data and restarts each module.
- Data saving: Some data saving modules or applications block Instagram to load videos. Disabling them solves the issue instantly.
- Display Aspect Correction Ratio: Android devices have an option to correct the aspect ratio when viewing videos or pictures. Disabling the correction solves the issue.
Make sure that you have your credentials at hand as we will be relogging into the platform.
Note: Before you jump into the solutions, make sure that all Instagram services are working properly. If there are some issues on the server side, you will be troubleshooting for nothing. You can check relevant forums to get an idea.
Solution 1: Checking Internet Access
First things first, you should check whether you have a proper internet connection. Instagram relies heavily on a good internet connection to load the videos and play them on your smartphone. If your network isn’t good or is very slow, the videos might halt loading at all.
You should check your internet connection using other devices as well. Try restarting your router or try limiting the number of users who are using the same network. Only after you’re certain that the internet is working perfectly, should you proceed with the other solutions.
Solution 2: Disabling Power Saving Mode
Every Android device has a power saving mode which allows the user to save battery and minimize the power consumption of the applications. Whenever the power saving mode is enabled, the Android OS limits some functions or modules of applications. This seems to be the exact case of Instagram videos.
We saw whenever user’s battery went below 20%, their videos stopped playing because the power saving mode gets toggled on. In this solution, we will navigate to the solutions and disable the power saving and see if this does the trick for us.
- Open your phone’s settings by sliding the notification bar down and clicking on the gears icon present at the top-right side of the screen.
- Once in the settings, click on Device maintenance.
- Now select Battery and then select OFF under the category of power saving.
- After saving the settings, exit. Now launch Instagram again and check if the issue is resolved.
Note: If Instagram is listed under App power monitor, make sure that you uncheck it from there.
Solution 3: Disabling Data Saving
Data saving works in a similar way to power saving. When it is enabled, the Android OS tries to save data or load partial data to help reduce data usage. In this solution, we will navigate to your settings and make sure that data saving is disabled.
Note: Don’t follow this solution if you have a very limited data plan as other applications might also start consuming more data. In this case, it is recommended that you switch to a wireless network.
- Open your Settings and click on the Connections menu and then select Data usage.
- Now in the next screen, click on Data saver. Make sure that it is turned off.
- After making the changes, exit and restart Instagram. Now check if the issue is resolved.
Solution 4: Clearing Application Data
If you have come this far with the application still causing issues in loading videos, you should try clearing the application data and cache of Instagram. These are temporary files stored in your smartphone which contain all the preferences of your application and your login details as well. In addition, they also contain temporary data needed to run the platform. There are cases where either of these gets corrupt and causes issues; hence we will try refreshing them both.
Note: You would have to re-enter your credentials in order to log into the application again.
- Open the Settings application and click on Apps.
- Locate Instagram from the list. Now click on Storage.
- Now you will be given two options i.e. Clear Data and Clear Cache. Click both of the options.
- Now launch the Instagram application again and check if the issue is resolved.
Solution 5: Reinstalling/Updating Instagram to the Latest Version
Instagram has several bugs induced every now and then. Whenever a new Android OS version is released, applications like IG conflict with it or don’t work properly. So within a few days, an update is released by the developers to target these issues. So if you haven’t updated Instagram to the latest build, you should do so right away.
- Open the Play Store on your Android Device. Now slide the screen towards the right from the left side and a new taskbar will show up. Click My apps and games.
- Now navigate to the tab of Updates. Now search for Instagram and in front of it, click the Update
After updating Instagram, launch it again and check if the issue is resolved and you are able to see all the videos without any issues. If you already have the latest version and it is still not loading videos, you can try uninstalling it and after restarting your phone, installing the latest version.
Note: If you experience the error message even after performing all the above-mentioned solutions, it means that there is some problem with your smartphone settings. Look out for data saving or optimizing applications as they reduce the functionality of some applications. Furthermore, you should also look around your Phone settings where power and data is saved. These settings might vary phone to phone so make sure you are thorough.