Instagram Stories Aren’t loading and the Circle is Spinning – What To Do [September 2020]
Instagram Stories are a real hit. They are bitesize insights into the lives of different people around the globe and are simple to access, easy to digest and there are millions of them. All of this information and when it doesn’t load it is incredibly frustrating. Stories are the best thing to happen to Instagram in a long time and you can’t access them?! Here are some things you can do if Instagram Stories aren’t loading and the circle is spinning.
The spinning circle is the loading screen. When Instagram or your phone is working properly, you should either never see that screen or see it for less than a second. Occasionally Stories may take a little while to load and in that case, you will see the circle for a longer period of time.
Of all the updates recently brought to the ever-growing world of social media, Instagram stories have become one of the most well-received. Essentially they are small chunks of social media that you can spend a couple of minutes looking at and then move on. Occasionally a Story sticks with you in an emotional sense, but after 24 hours, it’s gone and you move on to the next. It’s a microcosm of what social media is about. Snapshots of people’s lives that we dwell on for a few seconds and then forget all about.
These snippets worked amazingly well in Snapchat and are doing equally well on Instagram. If the networks can keep evolving like this, social media is going to be with us for a long while yet!
What to do if Instagram Stories aren’t loading
Usually, Instagram Stories load immediately. You select it from the bar at the top of the app and it loads. No drama and no waiting. There can occasionally be delays at peak times either at the Instagram end or your network end but thankfully this is rare. That reliability is great as it means we can access them whenever we want. It’s not so great when loading stalls. It hurts more when you’re trying to spy on your sister and there’s a delay causing you to see the spinning circle.
There are some troubleshooting steps you can take if this happens to you on a regular basis or on one occasion when nothing will load.
Check your network
When you see the spinning circle you know there is something going on. Obviously you can’t walk to the IG headquarters and troubleshoot their end of things, but you can make sure that everything on yours is solid. Check your WiFi and network. Do other apps load quickly? Does Facebook respond quickly or can you stream from YouTube? If the answer is yes, chances are it isn’t your network.
If you’re on 4G, switch to WiFi, if practical, and try to reload the Story. Is it better or is there no change? If the Story loads faster then it could be your network. If there is no change, there may be an issue with the Story or with Instagram. That latter is especially true if other apps load fine and you can stream okay from YouTube.
Restart the app
It’s always worth restarting Instagram if it causes any problems or isn’t working flawlessly. As I use Android, this is how I would restart the app:
- Open Settings and Apps on your phone.
- Select Instagram and Force Close if the option is available.
If the app crashed as well as froze when loading the Story, the Force Close option may not be available. It will be grayed out if that’s the case. Otherwise, Force Close, confirm the command and restart Instagram and try again.
On iOS, navigate to your Home screen and swipe Instagram up to close it. The app will be completely closed. Just open it again from your app drawer and retest.
Restart your phone
Instagram Stories, not loading shouldn’t be the fault of your phone but as it takes just a few seconds, it’s worth a try. Perform a full reboot of your phone and then retest the Story. If there was some random issue with your phone, it should now be fixed.
Clear the app cache
Again, clearing the Instagram app cache shouldn’t make any difference to loading Stories but is a non-destructive test so is worth trying. iPhone’s don’t have a “Clear Cache” option but it does have the ‘Offload App’ function that dumps any unnecessary data from the app. Here’s how you can do it on each model:
- Open Settings and Apps
- Select Instagram on your device.
- Select Storage.
- Select Clear Data and Clear Cache.
- Open Settings and tap on ‘General’ and ‘iPhone Storage’
- Locate and tap ‘Instagram’
- Tap ‘Offload App’
Update or reinstall Instagram
An outdated version of the app is also unlikely to cause the Stories not to load but it’s worth checking. Try updating the app in the play store or Apple store. If this doesn’t work you can always just uninstall and reinstall the app.
- Open Settings and Apps
- Select Instagram on your device.
- Select Uninstall.
- Open Google Play and install a fresh copy of Instagram.
- Open Settings and General.
- Select iPhone Storage and select Instagram.
- Select Delete App and confirm your choice.
- Load the App Store and download and install a fresh copy.
Check Your Phone’s Date & Time
This may seem a little odd, but it can actually be the reason you’re having a lot of issues. Your Date & Time should automatically update but sometimes we change it or a system glitch causes the function to display the improper time.
Whether you’re using an iPhone or Android device, check your Date & Time settings to fix the issue.
- Open Settings and tap on ‘General Management’ – These instructions may vary depending on the manufacturer so you can use the search icon and type in “Date and Time” to go directly to the setting.
- Tap on ‘Date & Time’ then reset to Automatic or update your Time Zone.
- Open Settings and tap on ‘General.’
- Tap on ‘Date & Time.’
- Set to Automatic or update a Timezone you prefer.
Those are the only viable ways I know of to troubleshoot when Instagram Stories aren’t loading and the circle is spinning. Do you know of any other methods to fix it? Tell us below if you do!