Instagram Filters Are Not Working [A Few Easy Fixes]

Like all good things in life, Instagram is great… until it isn’t.  I had a curious issue with my Instagram the other day, and I almost threw away my whole phone.  See, I was trying to create a Story, and the face filters weren’t appearing. There seemed to be fewer camera options too. Naturally, I started to get a little panicky, but it turns out, there is a fix.

Since its introduction in 2010, Instagram has enjoyed a reputation as a very reliable app. Of all the social networks, Instagram just seems to work and not crash, let you cruise through your friends photos without having to deal with bugs, and lets you reliably send DMs. Until that moment when you’re really trying to push some cool photos out to your followers, and the darn thing just won’t work.

If you try creating an Instagram Story and don’t see all the filters or options that should be there, you’re not alone.  Even better, the situation is not hopeless. There are some ways to fix it, including the one that worked for me. I’ll show you what I did first, and then I’ll outline some other fixes in case the first method doesn’t work for you.

What should happen is a bunch of filters should appear when tap your own icon to create a Story. They’ll all be lined up along the bottom of the screen, and each will do something slightly different on screen. There should be a number of filters to choose from but occasionally, some of them will disappear. That’s what we are trying to fix here.

Fixing Instagram Filters

The first method is something we all ought to do once in awhile:  clean out the trash.  What fixed the missing Instagram filters for me was clearing out my phone. Between apps, photos, files, and shares, I had pretty much filled all available memory. Like many devices, my phone decided it was time to put me on lockdown for unnecessary data and files.

I cleared out all the apps I no longer needed, force closed all the apps that were running in the background, and retried Instagram. Guess what? The correct number of filters all loaded and remained loaded even when I rebooted my phone and restarted Instagram to test.

Where this was part of the program design in my phone or Instagram, freeing up space on my phone and shutting down running apps helped. Whether it was a RAM issue or storage, either way, Instagram filters returned and stayed returned.

Other Ways to Fix Instagram Filters

Once you’ve taken out the trash and done a little tidying up in the files on your phone, you’ll probably feel a little better.  This might not fix the Instagram issue, though. If your available memory is adequate, your downloads folder pristine, and you otherwise have no idea what’s causing those filters to go missing, try some of these generic app fixes. They might just work.

Restart the App

Restarting the app is always a winner. If you’re on iPhone, just closing it is enough. Android users will need to go to Settings, Apps, and Force Close within Instagram to get the full effect. This will fully restart the app and can fix all kinds of errors that you might not have even noticed.

Reboot Your Phone

There really is something to the concept of “turning it off and on again.” If restarting the app doesn’t work, try rebooting your phone. It can free up RAM, force clear some of the cache, and cause your phone OS to reload the app afresh. It cures the majority of phone issues and could fix this too.

Clear the App Cache

The app cache in Android is also a common cause of app faults. This is most often the case when a single app isn’t working properly and a reboot or restart won’t work.

  1. Select Settings, then Apps.
  2. Select Instagram and then Storage.
  3. Select Clear Cache.

Once done the counters should return to zero and you can retry Instagram again to see if those filters have reappeared.

Update Instagram

It’s always worth checking for updates if something isn’t working correctly. Sometimes feature changes are on a server but not on the app which causes issues like these. It’s rare but worth checking, as keeping your apps updated is an essential housekeeping task anyway.

Go to Google Play Store or the App Store, select Instagram and Update if available. Or use Update All if it’s available.

Reinstall Instagram

If nothing else works, a reinstall of Instagram may be in order. This is generally a last resort, but may be necessary if those filters are still missing after all of this.  I totally don’t blame you if you want to wait a minute to see if things work out on their own, since a bad network connection or the Wi-Fi being down can cause phones to do all sorts of unpredictable things.

If you do wish to go forward with reinstalling Instagram, make sure to back up any images, Stories and anything else you have within the app and uninstall it.

Reboot your phone to clear it from memory and then visit the Google Play Store or the App Store, select Instagram and Install. Set it up again and hope that the filters return.

Have you experienced this issue with Instagram, filters disappearing? Fixed it some other way? Tell us about it below and help others!

10 thoughts on “Instagram Filters Are Not Working [A Few Easy Fixes]”

Avatar Sarah says:
Similar issue but different. I can use the filters but they make my face go blurry as if they cannot apply the filter correctly. I have cleared cache, rebooted, re installed…help!
Avatar Maf says:
Yes same issue here did you get a solution
Avatar Tasha says:
Clearing the Instagram app cache worked for me and got the filters working again! Thanks so much!
Avatar Anthony says:
Please help! I reinstalled my instagram app, check to make sure my app was up to date. and I still cannot access the new “browse effect” option. So frustrating. PLEASE HELP!
Avatar Tropicanine says:
i reinstalled IG several times for different issues i do have all the filters for making videos or taking photos with Ig BUT not when i use an existing photo, i am stuck witth a small number of ugly basics and others not, seeing they repost pics and use all those filters/effects i dont have in the list for existing shots.
Avatar Jon says:
I cannot get filters in video chat on IG. I have access to them everywhere else (stories, taking a picture) but dont have the effects button when in a call. Has anyone experienced this and had a solution? :(
Avatar Raj Gowtham says:
Yes same issue for me
Avatar elena says:
this is also happening to me i cant get the filters on the video chat, trying to find a solution…
Avatar Sman says:
Please let me know if you get a solution
Avatar jalal rehman says:
same issue with my iPhone 7. i can see filters but not on video call or live. any solution other than re installation/cache clear/ space?
Avatar Jordon izzo says:
I’m having the same issue of “browse effects” option gone in the filters I’ve looked all over for solutions to this, no luck! Has anyone else had any luck?!
Avatar Sman says:
Please let me know if you get a solution
Avatar Rafaela D says:
My filters appear on the camera but they dont work and a loading symbol is there forever..
Avatar Kb says:
Having the same issue! Irritating.
Avatar KA PO says:
It seems like I m the only one who cannot use the new browse effect function. Like I have tried log in to other accounts on instagram and they all can use this function. But only the account that I use most often are unable to use this function. May I know how to solve this ?
Avatar Tatum says:
I seem to be having this exact same issue. Looking for a solution please.
Avatar Ev says:
Not working for me as well. When in login to my other Instagram account i do see the browse effects… don ‘t understand it?!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Disclaimer: Some pages on this site may include an affiliate link. This does not effect our editorial in any way.