Instagram Story Upload Failed - How To Fix

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Lluis Enric Mayans
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Stories were a surprisingly revitalizing addition to Instagram, the world's leading photo and video sharing app. There are now 500 million Instagram users who create at least one story every day, enormously increasing the traffic volume of the site. Since their launch in August 2017, Instagram Stories have become a very popular way for brands and businesses to connect with customers, and Stories now account for over a third of Instagram sponsored content. 

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While the feature was essentially copied from Snapchat, Instagram has successfully integrated it into their platform. The way it works is simple: you take a video or image (or series of videos or images), add a caption and post it. Instagram keeps it active for 24 hours and then disappears.

 However, some users have reported problems with Stories, in particular, failing to upload the story to Instagram, with a perpetual “Posting” or “Upload Failed” message. In this article, I'll show you several methods to fix this and get your Stories to work perfectly again.


There are a number of potential reasons why your Instagram Story may not load properly on Instagram's servers. The combination of hardware software operating on a global scale that makes an app / site like Instagram function is incredibly complicated; it's amazing that the site can work, yet most of the time it crashes without the slightest difficulty. Here are some of the most likely culprits of Instagram Stories not loading.


Instagram is constantly being updated, with new patches and hotfixes being applied practically every day. Typically, such hotfixes are pretty well tested on a parallel hardware set running some kind of fake Instagram; If a software change doesn't break the dummy site, it's probably safe to apply to the main site. 

Normally, this is a safe bet, but there are times when the safe bet doesn't pay off and tested software hits production servers and the whole product comes to a halt.


What users consider "Instagram" is the app they run on their smartphone or tablet. That app, while an important part of Instagram's architecture, does only a small portion of the entire system's work. It's much smaller and simpler software than code that holds servers together and keeps apps running. 

Software that runs on your phone, called a “client”, is easier to test than complex server-side software. A small client-side glitch could be that your Stories aren't loading, particularly as a result of an unusual user action.


The network between your smartphone and the Instagram servers located somewhere in a secret Facebook data center is complicated and winding. Starting from the smartphone, the data signals are transmitted to the nearest cell tower, which is itself connected by a microwave relay or physical cable to a local hub. 

From there the signal travels the network architecture to a backbone, a huge data pipe that travels long distances between cities, before downloading again to another local hub and passing through the Facebook data center, where the server Instagram takes the signal, processes it, and turns it into a voice in your stories. 

The whole process takes only a fraction of a second, even if the data travels hundreds or thousands of miles. While this network is reliable, it is also complicated, and an outage in a hub or an anomaly in the routing software can cause sections of the network to drop from the rest of the network. Such interruptions are generally of short duration.


You have a number of solutions to help you troubleshoot, work around or manage your Stories upload errors.


If you have the luxury of time and patience, you can recognize that 99% of the time, the problem will resolve itself, and all you have to do is wait. You can leave your uploads unloaded and go read the site (if it continues to post content). You can go read a book or have a cup of coffee.

Call your grandparents and tell them you love them. There are so many kinds of short productive breaks you can take that will give Instagram engineers time to hit servers with a baseball bat or whatever to get things working again. It's not exactly a solution, but it saves you some stress trying to fix it.


Remember, sometimes when Instagram Stories fail to load it's not the app but the end of the Instagram network. Whether it is server problems, network problems, bugs, hardware failures or whatever, such problems will show up in the whole network.

Instagram itself doesn't keep a public record of its status in real time, but other people do. A good site to check out is which has pages from many popular sites, not just Instagram. You can check the status of the Instagram operation, also read the comments of other Instagrammers and feel better about yourself.


Since loading Instagram Stories is dependent on a data network, the logical first step is to switch from WiFi to 4G cellular network or vice versa. Instagram will see the change and retry the connection. If the problem is with bandwidth or network traffic, it should now be clear how to load. If you are on 4G, switch to WiFi and if you are already on WiFi, turn it off and use 4G.


This is a weird little fix that was circulating around Reddit and other places when Instagram Stories had just launched and were experiencing a high number of issues. This workaround isn't very logical or intuitive, but it has had positive results for many users who have tried it.

  1. Post your Instagram story twice in a row (don't worry, we'll only keep one).
  2. Close Instagram and turn on Airplane Mode on your phone.
  3. Open Instagram and delete the first story.
  4. Turn off Airplane mode.

Many people who have experienced this procedure of ours have told us that this method works.


Restarting apps on Android or iOS updates that app's temporary files and memory usage. This may be enough to get it to work again. Most apps self-regulate memory or cache, but sometimes they crash. 

A reboot can get them to work again. For Android, open the app menu, find the Instagram app and press the X in the top right corner to close the app. For iPhone, open recent apps in iOS and swipe up to close Instagram.


Like the most popular apps, Instagram updates quite regularly. If there is a known problem within the app itself, an update is usually on the way. Updating via the App Store or Google Play Store is a logical next step. Open your respective app store and see available updates. If Instagram is among them, update it. If it isn't, go ahead.


As always, a quick reboot can fix a multitude of problems and this could be one of them. A reboot will delete all temporary files, files stored in memory, and cached app files. 

The phone will reload everything from the archived copies and start over. Once your phone has restarted, open Instagram and try posting your story again. It might work.


If you've changed your data network, tried updating Instagram, checked to see if others have the same problem, and tried the workaround and things still don't work properly, you have two options. 

You can wait and see if this is an Instagram issue or you can reinstall the app to see if that fixes anything. If it is a corruption of the installation files, a reinstall may fix it.

Select Instagram from the app menu and press and hold the icon. On Android, drag the icon to the trash can at the top of the screen. On iOS, select the small X that appears in the top corner of the icon. Both actions will remove Instagram from your phone. 

Then go to your respective app store and download a fresh copy. You'll need to log in and recreate your Instagram Story to post it, but it might work again.

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Further Reading:

  • How to find out who follows your profile on Instagram
  • How to put multiple photos in an Instagram story
  • How to tag someone on Instagram
  • How to put a GIF in your Instagram story
  • GIPHY does not work on Instagram: what to do

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