There are few things more frustrating than tapping an Instagram image only to see a “Couldn’t Load Image. Tap to Retry” error. There are many reasons this error occurs, most of which are related to the Instagram app or your network connection.

Fortunately, you have various ways to resolve this error in your Instagram account. You can check if Instagram’s servers are experiencing an outage, test your internet connection, and clear the app’s cache files to fix the issue.

Table of Contents

    Check if Instagram Is Down

    It isn’t always the Instagram app on your phone that causes issues. Sometimes, Instagram’s own servers stop working. Your “Couldn’t Load Image. Tap to Retry” error may be the result of a server problem.

    In this case, check if Instagram is indeed experiencing downtime. You can do this by using an online site status checker like DownDetector. The site will tell you the current status of Instagram’s servers.

    If you find that the servers are causing the problem, wait until the company brings those servers back up. There isn’t anything you can do on your end.

    Restart Your iPhone or Android Phone

    If Instagram’s servers are up and running, your iPhone or Android phone may have a minor glitch, causing the Instagram app not to load your content. In this case, reboot your device and see if your problem gets resolved.

    Rebooting your phone fixes many minor problems, including the ones related to the Instagram app.

    You can restart a modern iPhone this way:

    1. Press and hold down either Volume button and the Side button until you see a slider on your iPhone’s screen.
    2. Drag the slider to power off your device.
    1. Turn your device back on by pressing and holding down the Side button.

    You’ll restart most Android phones this way:

    1. Press and hold down the Power button on your phone.
    2. Choose Restart in the menu that opens.

    Open Instagram when the phone reboots, and the app should work as expected.

    Switch Between Wi-Fi and Mobile Data on Your Phone

    Instagram relies heavily on your phone’s internet connection to function, so you should ensure your connection is working. You can toggle between Wi-Fi and mobile data to see if your “Couldn’t Load Image. Tap to Retry” issue is resolved.

    Switch Between Wi-Fi and Mobile Data on an iPhone

    1. Open Settings on your iPhone.
    2. Select Wi-Fi and connect to your preferred network if you’re on mobile data.
    1. Tap Wi-Fi and turn off the Wi-Fi option if you’re on a wireless network. Your phone will use your cellular data.

    Switch Between Wi-Fi and Mobile Data on Android

    1. Pull down from the top of your phone’s screen.
    2. Tap the Wi-Fi icon to turn off the feature and switch to mobile data if you’re currently using Wi-Fi.
    1. Navigate to Settings > Wi-Fi & Network > Wi-Fi on your phone and connect to your wireless network if you’re currently on mobile data.

    Turn Off Your VPN Service

    A VPN app routes your phone’s internet traffic through third-party servers, which can sometimes cause issues with various apps. This may affect Instagram’s ability to load and display content.

    Therefore, you should temporarily disable your phone’s VPN service and see if Instagram works. If the app works, you’ll have to keep your VPN disabled while using Instagram.

    If you continue to get the “Couldn’t Load Image. Tap to Retry” error message, read on to discover more fixes.

    Log Out and Back Into Your Account in Instagram

    When you experience issues with loading content or other account problems, it’s worth logging out and back into the Instagram app on your phone. This lets the app re-establish a connection with your account on Instagram’s servers, fixing minor sync problems.

    Keep your Instagram login details handy, as you’ll need those to log back into your account.

    1. Open Instagram on your phone.
    2. Select the profile icon at the lower-right corner.
    3. Choose the three horizontal lines at the top-right corner.
    4. Select Settings in the menu.
    1. Scroll the Settings page to the bottom and tap Log out.
    1. Log back into the app with your account.

    Clear Instagram’s Cache on Your Phone

    Instagram stores temporary files (also known as cache) on your phone to speed up and enhance your app experience. These files sometimes become problematic and cause the app to malfunction.

    Your cache files can go corrupt, become infected with a virus or malware, or have other problems. Luckily, you can clear all these files without affecting your personal data. Your app will then work as desired.

    You can only clear Instagram’s cache files on an Android phone, as the iPhone doesn’t allow you to do that.

    1. Open Settings on your Android phone.
    2. Navigate to Apps & notifications > Instagram in Settings.
    3. Select Storage & cache on the app page.
    1. Choose Clear cache to clear Instagram’s cache files.
    1. Launch the Instagram app.

    Update Instagram on Your iPhone or Android Phone

    Like with your computer, it’s important to keep your phone’s apps up to date. This allows you to fix various bugs in the older app and access the latest app features.

    You can update Instagram on both your iPhone and Android phone for free. You’ll use the respective app store to download and install the app updates.

    Update Instagram on an iPhone

    1. Open the App Store on your iPhone.
    2. Select Updates at the bottom.
    3. Choose Update next to Instagram.
    1. Launch Instagram when you’ve installed the updates.

    Update Instagram on Android

    1. Open the Google Play Store on your phone.
    2. Search for and select Instagram.
    3. Tap Update to update the app. You don’t see the Update button in the below screenshot because our app is already up to date.
    1. Access the newly updated app.

    Reinstall Instagram on Your iPhone or Android Phone

    If you continue to experience Instagram’s “Couldn’t Load Image. Tap to Retry” error, your app’s core files might have become corrupt. This happens for various reasons, including your phone being infected with a virus.

    One quick way to fix your app’s system files is to uninstall and reinstall the app on your phone. Doing so clears the app’s existing files and brings in new files from the app store.

    After you’ve reinstalled the app, you can log in to your account and access your content.

    Reinstall Instagram on an iPhone

    1. Tap and hold on the Instagram app on your iPhone’s home screen.
    2. Select X in Instagram’s top-left corner.
    1. Choose Delete in the prompt to remove the app.
    1. Open the App Store, search for Instagram, and tap the download icon.
    2. Launch the downloaded app.

    Reinstall Instagram on Android

    1. Tap and hold on the Instagram app in your phone’s app drawer.
    2. Choose Uninstall in the menu.
    1. Select OK in the prompt to delete the app.
    1. Open the Google Play Store, search for and select Instagram, and tap Install.
    2. Access the newly installed app.

    Clean Install the Firmware on Your Phone

    If you still can’t get Instagram to load photos and videos, your phone’s firmware may have a problem. Issues like this can be fixed by reinstalling the firmware on the device.

    You can clean install iOS on your iPhone to potentially fix the issue. On Android, flash the original firmware on your phone to resolve Instagram’s problem. Remember that you’ll lose all your phone data when you clean install the firmware.

    Google should help you find the guide that explains how you can install a clean version of the operating system on your specific Android model. The procedure varies by device model.

    Use Instagram on the Web

    When everything else doesn’t work, your last resort to still access and view your Instagram feed is to use the service on the web. Instagram has a web version that you can access from a web browser.

    This version gives you access to nearly all the features you have in Instagram’s app. You can send and receive messages, view photos and videos, and change various account settings using Instagram’s browser version.

    You can access Instagram for the web using the following link:

    Get Instagram to Load the Actual Content and Not an Error Message

    When Instagram can’t access your selected content, the app displays a “Couldn’t Load Image. Tap to Retry” error. This usually happens due to a network problem, but your phone’s system can also be the culprit.

    You should be able to fix your Instagram issue using the methods described above. Then, you’ll have access to all your own as well as others’ photos and videos.