Instagram Reels Not Working: How To Fix “Reel” Tricky Issues

Profile photo of Karen Lin, author

Karen Lin

Instagram 101 | May 16, 2024

Want More Real Instagram Followers?

Many people have formed a habit of hypnotically scrolling through Instagram Reels day in and day out. These bite-sized video clips are entertaining, useful, and, for the most part, addicting to watch. So, it can get super annoying when you catch Instagram Reels not working.

It’s sad but true—plenty of Instagram users face technical issues where Reels don’t work. Sometimes, the solution is well within your control. But other times, the problem is on Instagram’s end, and you can’t do anything about it, so you just wait it out. Either way, it’s important to know the reasons why Reels might not be working, as well as possible solutions.

Do you want to binge on Reels non-stop? Avoid problems as much as you can by being aware of tricky issues you might face while watching them. Read this guide to know the common issues with Instagram Reels.

A woman looking at her phone with a frustrated facial expression.

Why Can’t I See Reels on Instagram Anymore? 5 Common Reasons Why

Maybe you’re trying to refresh your Reels tab only for the spinning wheel of doom to take over. Or perhaps you simply can’t finish watching a video clip because it stops at a certain point. Either way, Reels not working on Instagram out of nowhere sucks.

Are you asking yourself, “Why can’t I see Reels on Instagram anymore?” Here are five of the most common reasons why and solutions for some of them.

1. You Need a System or Instagram Software Update

If you’re using an older version of the Instagram app, you might be more vulnerable to technical issues and glitches. Always check the App Store or Google Play Store to see if there are software updates available for Instagram.

You might also want to check if your device needs a system update. Make sure that your device is always up-to-date, as Instagram sometimes has compatibility issues with older systems.

An iPhone charging on top of a Macbook while going through a system update.

2. You’re Having Connectivity Issues With Your Internet

If the Reels tab isn’t loading on your app, double-check the strength of your internet connection. Maybe you have a faulty router, or perhaps you’re connected to Wi-Fi or data with super slow internet. If you have connectivity issues, they could lead to problems like Reels failing to load or getting stuck buffering.

Try switching to another internet source with faster, more stable connectivity. Then, check if Instagram Reels are working for you.

A Wi-Fi router with plenty of cables plugged into it.

3. There Are Technical Issues on Instagram’s End

Of course, it’s not always your device’s or internet’s fault when Reels aren’t working. Sometimes, the issue is on Instagram’s end. When the platform goes on maintenance or has server problems, plenty of technical issues can occur. This can potentially include problems with Instagram Reels.

Go on social media to see Instagram’s other official channels for announcements on maintenance issues. You can also look at what people are saying on Twitter to confirm whether the platform is down for everyone.

If this is the reason why Reels aren’t working, you can’t really do much other than wait it out. The good news is that it’s always just temporary. Just be patient—Instagram Support and the platform’s technical team are probably doing their best to fix it ASAP!

A broken smartphone with the words “ERROR 404” displayed on the screen.

4. Your App Cache Is Full and Messing With Instagram’s Functionality

When your Instagram app cache is full, some of the platform’s features might not work properly. There might be some minor, temporary glitches and loading issues, which can affect Instagram Reels as a whole. Go to your device settings and offload the app’s storage or cache. Then, open the app again to see if the Reels tab is finally working again.

Do you hate clearing your app cache and storage? Consider downloading Instagram Lite—a version of Instagram that doesn’t go as hard on storage. This app uses up about 2-3 MB of space on your phone only. Plus, it allows you to consume typically heavy content like Reels without taking up too much space on your device.

5. You’re Trying To Access a Deleted Reel

Can’t see one specific Reel even if you could’ve sworn you viewed it before? Maybe you’re trying to open a Reel you sent to someone via DM. Or maybe you’re clicking a link that should be leading you to a specific Reel, but to no avail. If you can’t play that Reel anymore, it might be because it has been permanently deleted.

This can be because the original poster deleted the video already. It might also be because Instagram took it down due to copyright infringement. Either way, you won’t be able to play the video anymore.

A close-up shot of the delete key on a black and silver Macbook keyboard.

Instagram Reels Audio Not Working: How To Fix This Seemingly Tricky Situation

It can be annoying stumbling upon a Reel that looks interesting, but only to realize it only plays without sound. Instagram Reels audio not working for you? This could be because of any of the issues we listed above. But usually, there’s a more logical explanation for it.

Try checking your device settings to see if your volume is turned up all the way. Some people turn their phone’s volume down to the minimum and simply forget about it. If you can’t hear the audio when watching Reels, turn up the volume and see if it works properly then.

Another reason why you might not hear a Reel’s sound is because Instagram took down the audio clip. This typically happens when people add music to their Reel that is then flagged for copyright violations. When this happens, Instagram allows the Reel to stay on the app but plays it on mute instead.

A red prohibited sign on top of a pile of gold musical notes.

What To Do When Instagram Reels Keep Restarting

Have you ever noticed that when you come back to the Reels you were previously watching, they start from the top? When Instagram Reels keep restarting, you might think it’s a glitch or technical issue. But in reality, this is simply how the Reels algorithm works and isn’t a sign that something is wrong.

Reels will usually start from the beginning when you watch them again. This is the opposite of YouTube videos, which typically pick up where you left off. That’s because Reels are super quick and short, so they might not be as impactful if viewed halfway through. So, Instagram just sets it back to the start each time you open the same Reel.

But some people think this feature is a bit disruptive, especially for longer Reels. The fix for this is super easy, though. You can simply skip through the video and choose the part you left off originally. Just press the bar at the bottom of the screen that shows how long you have left on the video. Then, drag along the bar until you find where you stopped watching the video the last time you saw it. Release and the Reel will play from there.

A teenage girl rolling her eyes while watching on her phone.

Instagram Reels Bonus Not Working: Why Aren’t You Getting Your Payout?

The Instagram Reels bonus is an invite-only program where influencers can earn money from their most successful video content. It’s available only for business and creator accounts, and if you’ve been invited, the app will notify you. The money you receive depends on many factors, from the number of Reels you post to their performance rates.

Is the Instagram Reels bonus not working for you even if you’ve been consistently getting payouts in the past? There are many reasons why this might be the case. For one, Instagram says that starting in 2023, it will not offer any new Reels bonus deals in the US and India.

Other reasons why you’re not getting paid for your Reels include the following:

  • Someone else has claimed the rights to your Reel.
  • You’ve had three or more violations on your Reels.
  • Your Reels don a watermark from another platform.
  • The engagement on your content looks unauthentic as if you’ve been buying views.

Someone holding an empty wallet.

Do Instagram Reels Disappear?

Some people might assume that they’re facing tech issues with Reels because they’ve expired. But do Instagram Reels disappear, just like Stories do?

A quick clarification—Reels do not, in fact, expire. Instagram Stories remain live on your profile for only 24 hours and then disappear. But this isn’t the case with Reels. These video clips are housed on your profile forever. That means people can go back to it and view it again and again.

Because Reels are not as temporary as Stories, creators must design them with longevity in mind. Your video clips need to be as entertaining and evergreen as possible. That way, they can gain more and more engagement over time.

A girl smiling while watching videos on her phone.

Instagram Reels Not Working? There’s Usually a Logical Explanation for It

Knowing what to do when Instagram Reels aren’t working can make your experience on the app much better. Whether it’s checking your internet connection or clearing your app cache, there are ways to fix issues with Reels. Dissect the issue to figure out what’s wrong, then jump into action to find a solution. That way, you can go back to watching more of your fave Reels!

Now, you know how to fix the issue of Instagram Reels not working. But you can’t just focus on other people’s Reels. You also have to work on your video content to earn views and gain more popularity. Path Social can help with that.

With our proprietary targeting algorithm, we help you gain more views and engagement on your content and boost your following. We identify the strongest niche audience that interacts with your content the most. Then, we promote your page so more people like them can see it. The result? Higher engagement rates and more 100% real followers. Grow your page with Path Social today!