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How to fix “Couldn’t refresh feed” on Instagram

Published January 16, 2023

The fastest way to refresh your Instagram feed is by pulling down on the screen with one finger. If you see an error message that says, “Couldn’t refresh feed,” then you’re in the right place. 

It’s frustrating, especially when you’re in the middle of using the app. 

But don’t worry, you’re not alone, and there are some easy fixes. 

This blog post will walk you through a few ways to fix the issue. We’ve got you covered whether you’re using an iPhone or Android device. 

So, read on and get back to enjoying your Instagram feed!

Here’s how to quickly fix “Couldn’t refresh feed” on Instagram

This article provides detailed instructions on how to fix the “Couldn’t refresh feed” error message. These include: 

  • Force quit Instagram and reopen it
  • Reset your wifi 
  • Restart your phone
  • Try loading the app on a different device
  • Log out and back in 
  • Check your date and time 
  • Delete Instagram and reinstall it 
  • Send in a report 

1. Force quit Instagram and reopen it

When you close out an app, it can keep running in the background. It’s a lot like minimizing a window instead of exiting it. So, when you want to make your app reset, you have to force quit it. A force quit ends all background processes related to that particular app.

When you force quit Instagram, it should make the app reload — and refresh your feed. 

For iPhone users, you can force quit apps from both the Home Screen and while inside an app. Just swipe up from the screen’s bottom and hold. You will see all of your open apps lined up. Swipe horizontally to Instagram and swipe up the app card to force quit it.

For Android users, again, this process differs depending on your phone’s manufacturer. Often, there will be either three vertical lines at the bottom of your phone or a square button. Once you hit that button, all of your app cards should pop up. From here, swipe Instagram up to force it to quit. 

If you can’t locate your buttons, don’t worry. You can always head to your settings; try finding Apps in Settings, then select Instagram and hit either “Force Quit” or “Force Stop.” 

Now, reopen your app and try to refresh your Instagram feed! 

2. Reset your wifi 

As any IT expert will tell you, the easiest fix is turning your Wi-Fi on and off again. 

If you’re on an iPhone, head to your settings and then to wifi. Here, you should be able to toggle your wifi on and off. Regardless of the type of iPhone you have, this should work! 

With Android users, the user experience of each different model and brand differs. You can, however, always find your wifi in your settings. Most phones have search capabilities these days, so we recommend searching for “wifi” in your settings if you’re unsure where that is. 

Android users can also easily toggle their wifi on and off in their dropdown, sometimes called pull-down, menu. You can usually pull down (or up, depending on your perspective) this menu by dragging your finger from the top or bottom of your phone’s screen. Once you’re there, hit the wifi button on and off again. 

Here’s what it looks like on a Samsung. 

You can also turn your Airplane mode on and off with either phone. Typically, you can access this by heading to your phone’s dropdown menu. Then, just hit or toggle that airplane widget on and off again. 

If this hasn’t worked, it could still be the WiFi, just not your phone’s connection to it. 

If you’re home (or somewhere you have access to the router), unplug your modem and router and let it sit for 30 seconds. Plug them back in, wait for your unit to boot back up, and try to refresh your feed again. 

3. Restart your phone 

Sometimes, Instagram may stop working because of slow phone performance. Clearing your phone’s memory may be a solution. 

Restarting your phone can help with anything from battery drain to slowness and other conflicts by closing all unnecessary apps that are running. A cleared RAM (Random Access Memory) makes for faster operation and could potentially help Instagram perform. 

4. Try Instagram on a PC or other devices

Instagram’s gone down globally before. If you can’t refresh your feed after trying all of the above, it could be a more significant problem. 

Try to log on to your Instagram on a different device. Open your desktop, PC, or Macbook and log on to your internet browser. Type in Instagram.com or hit that link. You’ll be prompted to log in on a page like this. 

Once you’ve logged in, you’ll be prompted to save your information. Then, you’ll land on your Instagram feed. You should see new items on your feed if it’s working. If not, try to refresh your browser. 

If you can’t access your feed on the web browser, it’s likely Instagram crashed for everyone. In this situation, there’s nothing you can do. You can double-check whether this is the case with Down Detector or by searching the hashtag #Instagramdown to see if it’s trending.

5. Log out of your account and log back in 

Sometimes, Instagram can get a little buggy. If you change your password or settings, it could affect how the app works. Try logging out and back in again — it’s easy if you remember your password. If you don’t, here’s how to reset your password

Pull up the app and head to your profile. Tap the hamburger icon in the top right corner to pull up a dropdown menu. 

Find Settings and hit the wheel. 

Scroll all the way down to Log out, click that, and you’ll be prompted to log out. 

Then, you can log back in and refresh! 

6. Check your phone’s date and time settings

If your device’s date and time are wrong, it can make Instagram’s backend glitch. This will happen if the app experiences conflicting values and the settings on your device don’t match up with what’s real or vice versa. Make sure they all agree!

Your phone is likely already set up to adjust your date and time automatically; however, you can do this yourself too. First, open up the Clock app on your phone. This app often comes installed on your phone, but you can also find it by searching your settings. 

Once you’re in the Clock app, hit “More” then “Settings.” Here, you can get your phone to automatically update your timezone by tapping “Change date & time” and then “Set time zone automatically.” 

7. Delete Instagram and reinstall it or update your app 

If force quit and logging out and in don’t work, you may have to delete and reinstall Instagram. Doing this will clear most of the app’s cached data off your phone and has the added benefit of updating your app to the latest software. Simply updating your app will have a similar effect. 

Head to your home screen, find the Instagram app, then tap and hold the app icon. If you have an iPhone, it’ll start shaking; then, you can tap on it to delete it. If you’re an Android user, press and hold the app, and you will be prompted with a menu. Here, choose “Uninstall” instead of delete or remove to completely delete the app. 

Don’t worry; Instagram will save your photos, messages, and profile information. 

Go to the App Store, Google Play Store, or the alternative App Store of your choice and reinstall Instagram. You’ll be prompted to log in with your username and password. 

If you want to update your app, you can do so in the App Store or in your settings. 

  1. Go to your App Store; this is one of the apps pre-installed on your phone and may be hidden in a folder, so you may have to do some digging. 
  2. Search for Instagram in the search bar.
  3. Hit “Update.” You will only see an “Open” option if no current update is available.

From your settings, find the Instagram app again (see above for instructions). You’ll be able to update or uninstall Instagram here, depending on your preference. 

8. Send in a report 

If it’s not a global Instagram blackout, you can report the issue directly to Instagram. 

Go back to Settings on your account (see above for directions) and scroll down to help. 

FAQs: Refreshing your Instagram feed

For the extra-curious, we’ve included some common questions about refreshing your Instagram feed. 

Why is it important to refresh your Instagram feed?

You can probably scroll through ages of older posts and videos, but the Instagram algorithm constantly updates your feed to show you posts you’ll most want to see. So, you’ll want to refresh your feed often for fresh photos and videos, up-to-date news, and the latest from your followers. 

Here’s more on how to make Instagram’s algorithm work for you

Why can’t I see my own posts when I refresh my feed? 

Instagram doesn’t show you your own posts on your feed. This is, in part, to how the algorithm works. Instagram wants to show you new posts that you’ll engage with. 

Does “Couldn’t refresh feed” mean I’m banned on Instagram?

If you have been banned on Instagram, you will get a notification, and you won’t be able to post, like, or comment on anything. “Couldn’t refresh feed” is a separate issue. 

What happens if I clear my Instagram cache? 

Clearing your Instagram cache happens automatically when you delete the app. This will clear Instagram’s data off your phone, including photos saved by the app. It will not, however, delete any information on the app. Your photos, videos, and messages will still remain when you log in. 

TL;DR: How to fix “Couldn’t refresh feed” on Instagram

In short, you can attempt a few things to fix the “Couldn’t refresh feed” on Instagram. They are: 

  • Force quit Instagram and reopen it
  • Reset your WiFi 
  • Restart your phone
  • Load the app on a desktop or laptop
  • Log out and back in 
  • Reset your date and time 
  • Delete Instagram and reinstall it 
  • Send in a report to Instagram detailing the issue

Once you can refresh your feed without a problem, it might be time to revisit your Instagram analytics. Find out how to dive into your Instagram analytics here.

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Written By:
Jessica is a writer who specializes in social media, marketing, and digital strategy. She is a graduate of Antioch College and earned her MBA at Boston College’s Carroll Graduate School of Management, specializing in STEM Management. Her work has been published in numerous academic journals and mainstream publications. She lives in New England with her husband, two children, and three dogs.
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