How to Troubleshoot Instagram When It Can’t Refresh the Feed

Key Takeaways:

  • Check your internet connection and try restarting your device as first troubleshooting steps
  • Clear Instagram’s cache and data, and ensure you have the latest app version installed
  • If issues persist, report the problem to Instagram’s support team for further assistance

As a social media expert who has been using and analyzing Instagram for over a decade, I’ve encountered the frustrating “Couldn’t refresh feed” error message on numerous occasions. This common issue prevents the app from loading new content, stories, and posts in your feed. Fortunately, there are several troubleshooting steps you can take to resolve the problem and get back to scrolling through your favorite Instagram content.

Check Your Internet Connection

One of the most common reasons for Instagram’s feed failing to refresh is a poor or unstable internet connection[1]. Before attempting any other fixes, ensure that your device is connected to a strong Wi-Fi signal or cellular data network.

Here’s how you can check your connection:

  • Open a web browser on your phone and try loading a webpage. If it doesn’t load or takes an unusually long time, your internet connection may be the culprit.
  • If you’re on Wi-Fi, try moving closer to your router or connecting to a different network.
  • If you’re using cellular data, check that you have sufficient data allowance and that your signal strength is adequate.

Restart Your Device

If your internet connection seems fine, the next simplest troubleshooting step is to restart your smartphone or tablet[2]. Restarting can often resolve minor software glitches and free up memory that may be impacting Instagram’s performance.

To restart your device:

  • On an iPhone, hold down the power button until the “slide to power off” option appears. Slide it to shut down your phone, then press the power button again to turn it back on.
  • On an Android device, hold down the power button and tap “Restart” from the menu that appears.

Clear Instagram’s Cache and Data

Over time, Instagram’s cache and data can become bloated, leading to performance issues and errors like the “Couldn’t refresh feed” message[3]. Clearing this temporary data can often resolve such problems.

Here’s how to clear Instagram’s cache and data on Android:

  1. Go to your device’s Settings app
  2. Tap “Apps & notifications”
  3. Find and tap “Instagram” in the app list
  4. Tap “Storage & cache”
  5. Tap “Clear cache” and then “Clear data”

On an iPhone, you’ll need to uninstall and reinstall the Instagram app to clear its cache and data:

  1. Find the Instagram app on your home screen
  2. Tap and hold the app icon until a menu appears
  3. Tap “Remove App” and then “Delete App”
  4. Go to the App Store, search for Instagram, and reinstall it

Update the Instagram App

If you’re running an outdated version of the Instagram app, you may encounter issues like the feed not refreshing[4]. Keeping the app updated ensures you have access to the latest features, bug fixes, and performance improvements.

To update Instagram:

  • On an iPhone, open the App Store, tap your profile icon, and scroll down to see pending updates. If Instagram is listed, tap “Update”.
  • On an Android device, open the Google Play Store, tap the hamburger menu, and go to “My apps & games”. If an update for Instagram is available, tap “Update”.

Check for Instagram Server Issues

In rare cases, the “Couldn’t refresh feed” error may be caused by an issue with Instagram’s servers[5]. You can check if there’s a known outage or problem by visiting third-party status websites like DownDetector or searching for “Instagram down” on social media platforms like Twitter.

If there is indeed a widespread issue with Instagram, you’ll unfortunately need to wait until the company resolves the problem on their end.

Report the Problem to Instagram

If none of the above troubleshooting steps work, your final recourse is to report the issue directly to Instagram’s support team[6]. Here’s how:

  1. Open the Instagram app and go to your profile page
  2. Tap the hamburger menu and then “Settings”
  3. Tap “Help” and then “Report a Problem”
  4. Select “Something Isn’t Working”
  5. Describe the “Couldn’t refresh feed” issue you’re experiencing and tap “Submit”

The Instagram team will review your report and hopefully provide guidance on resolving the problem, or escalate it to their technical staff if needed.


The “Couldn’t refresh feed” error on Instagram can be incredibly frustrating, but in most cases, it’s a temporary glitch that can be resolved through basic troubleshooting steps. By checking your internet connection, restarting your device, clearing the app’s cache, and ensuring you’re running the latest version, you can often get your feed refreshing again in no time.

If the issue persists, don’t hesitate to report it to Instagram’s support team for further assistance. With some patience and persistence, you’ll be back to enjoying your favorite Instagram content before you know it.