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What to Do if Instagram Gives You an ‘Unknown Error’

Posted by Arch on September 23, 2019
What to Do if Instagram Says Unknown Error

When you have a network with a billion users every month and a half of them use it every single day, it’s hard to keep everything running smoothly. While it provides users with a wealth of options for showcasing their life online, Instagram isn’t immune to bugs.

You might’ve stumbled upon the following pop-up message:

It shows up completely randomly and prevents you from logging into your account. In addition, you might see it while trying to refresh your feed.

Let’s dive deeper into this problem and see what you can do to fix it.

Why Does the Error Appear?

As the message states, this error appears because Instagram’s servers can’t communicate with your device. Logically, the first thing that you’ll want to do is check if you have a stable connection to the Internet.

See whether your device is connected to Wi-Fi or mobile data. If it’s on Wi-Fi, check to see if you’re close enough to the router. In some cases, Instagram won’t respond because your connection is too weak.  If this isn’t the issue, try restarting your router. The good-old “plug it out and back in” method should do the trick.

If you’re on your mobile data, the easiest way to fix any network issue, including this one, is to turn Airplane Mode on and off. On most Android phones, you’ll be able to do this by pulling the notification bar down and tapping the Airplane icon. You can find the same icon on iPhone by pulling up Control Center from the bottom of your screen.

Airplane Mode

The above methods should do the trick in the majority of cases. But if they don’t, there’s no reason to worry, as there are a few other options at your disposal.

Clear Instagram’s Cache and Data

As you use Instagram, it stores temporary files and data to make everything run more smoothly. The issue arises when the data gets corrupted, which can result in different bugs. Plus, it takes up your storage space and can grow much bigger than the app itself.

If you’re an Android user, you can clear cache and data by following these steps:

  1. Go to Settings >
  2. Tap All Apps, then find Instagram.
  3. Tap the Clear Cache and Clear Data
  4. Force Stop
    Clear Cache

If you have an iPhone, things look a little bit different. There’s no option to clear cache and data, so you’ll have to delete Instagram altogether.

Here’s how:

  1. Go to Setting > General.
  2. Tap iPhone Storage and scroll down until you see Instagram.
  3. Tap the Delete App button at the bottom and confirm.
    Delete Instagram

When you download Instagram again, you’ll have a fresh app with no leftover cash or data. This should fix any internal bugs and let you log back in.

Update Instagram

If you’re using an out-of-date version of Instagram, you can expect all sorts of bugs to show up. Like every other app, it gets regular updates that feature bug fixes, security patches, and many other features that the app needs to work normally.

Moreover, both iOS and Android receive frequent updates. If your Instagram version isn’t the latest one, it might be the reason why you’re receiving the “unknown network error” message.

Luckily, this is a quick fix. All you have to do is launch the App Store or Google’s Play Store, go to the update section, and check for the available updates for Instagram. You’ll receive the latest available version and the bug should be resolved.

Change Your Date and Time

Strangely enough, some users have found that changing the date on your phone seems to fix the Instagram network error. While the connection here isn’t exactly clear, it’s worth giving it a shot in case nothing else works.

Here’s what you have to do:

  1. Go to Settings > Date & Time, and set it to Automatic if it’s not already.
  2. Go back and try logging into Instagram.
  3. If it doesn’t work, return to the Date & Time menu and set it to Manual.
  4. Change the date to four years in the future then try running Instagram again.

Whether it works or not, remember to go back and set your date and time back to default.

Unknown Error

A Quick Fix

As you can see, there are a few ways to fix the “unknown error” bug, and they’re all fairly simple. You should be able to log back into your account in no time. However, the bug is likely to return after a while. Some users have complained about getting it fairly regularly, so it pays to memorize these tips. Until Instagram fixes this problem for good, they’re your safest bet.

Have you encountered this issue before? If you have any other tips for solving it, go ahead and drop them in the comments below.

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