Instagram is approaching the end of its first decade of existence, and in that time the app has grown tremendously. From humble beginnings as a simple way to share pictures among friends to now being a marketing and influencing powerhouse, the platform currently has more than a billion users (as of October 2019) and supports a huge variety of media types, from photos to audio and video content. You can even launch YouTube-style channels and profiles and broadcast videos of up to ten minutes in length using Instagram TV (IGTV).
For the most part, IGTV, which launched in 2018, works very well, but what should you do if you encounter a problem with your sound not working? How will you know how to create art from that soda bottle? No need to worry – there are a number of simple fixes and tweaks that are almost certain to resolve the problem. In this article, I will show you how to diagnose and repair these basic problems.
How Do I Turn the Sound on for Instagram?
By default, the sound doesn’t play automatically on Instagram. This is indicated by a small speaker icon in the lower right corner. If the sound is off, the speaker will have an “X” by it, indicating no sound. Tap the speaker icon, and sound should return to the environment. Alternatively, you can turn the sound back on by tapping on the video itself or by pressing the “volume up” button.
To unmute the sound, just tap on the video or press the volume up rocker. Mind you, certain videos or stories don’t feature any sound. In this case, you’ll see “Video Has No Sound” marker at the bottom left.
How Do I Turn the Microphone On for Instagram
It’s easy to have the sound levels for speakers and microphones go out of whack on your phone. People commonly have to recalibrate the volume almost between every different sound playing from their Instagram videos. If you’ve forgotten to turn on the volume on your smartphone there won’t be any sound when you tap on the video. Hit the volume up rocker and increase the sound to your comfort level. There is a volume level indicator within the Instagram app and it appears as soon as you press the rocker. When the line turns all black, the volume is increased to the max.
If you need to adjust the microphone source or volume, then you are probably working from a PC because on a smartphone, microphones are generally implemented in software; your smartphone has a physical microphone but your phone by and large handles that transparently. If you have a PC, however, a sound card gone awry can cause problems. Even just having multiple sound sources (such as a web camera, a mic port on your sound card, and an external physical mic) could require some configuration and adjustment.
If you’re trying to record and/or speak into the microphones and your web browser or Instagram app isn’t responsive, then you may have to launch the Sound control panel and adjust where your sound is being directed. Once that’s done, you can test the microphone to verify that it’s working, or use the Troubleshoot command to run you through the whole installing and configuring process.
Instagram sound might be relayed to your Bluetooth headphones or earbuds even if you are not wearing them. For example, if you use Apple AirPods and turn off “Automatic Ear Detection,” the sound will go to the earbuds, as long as they are paired with your iPhone.
A similar problem might appear with wireless speakers. The speaker volume is turned down, you forget to unpair it from your smartphone, and the sound ends up in the wrong place.
To fix this, go to the Bluetooth menu of your smartphone, check for paired speakers/headphones, and tap on a device to disconnect it.
Good Old Restart
If the previous methods failed to yield results, you might think that there’s something seriously wrong with your device. But all is not lost – your smartphone probably picked up some software glitches and accumulated too much data stacked up in its application cache. To determine if this is the case, restart your smartphone to get rid of the bugs and junk files that might prevent sound from playing. The old adage “Have you tried turning it off and on again” works for phones as well as computers, so always try that as a basic fix!
For iPhone X and later, hold one of the volume rockers and the Side button simultaneously until you see the Power slider. Move the slider to power off the phone, then press and hold the Side button and release it when the Apple logo appears.
On older iPhones (iPhone 8 and earlier), hold the Side/Top button to bring up the Power slider. After you turn off the smartphone, press the Side/Top button again to power it back on.
Although the actual verbiage might differ from one Android smartphone to another, the restart method is pretty much the same. Press and hold the power button for a few seconds until the power options appear and tap on reboot or restart.
Instagram frequently releases updates and bug fixes that address various in-app problems. Recently, a lot of users reported issues with playing music on stories or playing sound altogether. This is why you need to check if there’s an update.
Launch App or Play Store, navigate to Updates or My Apps & Games, and swipe the list to find Instagram. Hit the Update button next to the app and the latest version will be installed.
To be honest, iOS/Android software updates are often ignored, but ignore them long enough and your smartphone is bound to start acting out. As a result, Instagram could fail to play a sound or even a crash. Here is a quick guide for software updates on iOS/Android.
Launch Settings, tap on General and select Software Update. Tap on “Download and install” and wait for a few minutes for iPhone to work its magic. You might be prompted to confirm that you want to install the software. In this case, tap on Install or OK in the pop-up window.
Again, the menus might look a bit different on your Android smartphone, but the principle is the same. Hit the gear icon to access Settings, go into the System menu, and select “About phone.”
If you use Samsung Galaxy, you should look for “Software update” instead of System. On Pixel smartphones, you need to tap “Advances” instead of “About phone.” Either way, you should find your way to the “Download and install” option easily.
Has your smartphone recently been submerged? Did you drop it? If the answer is yes, there might be a hardware issue that prevents your phone from playing sound.
To test things out, try playing sound with other apps, such as YouTube, SoundCloud, or Spotify and make sure the volume is up to the max. Hopefully, you’ll be able to hear the sound from the built-in speakers. If not, it’s time to pay a visit to a repair shop.
Pump up the Volume
If you are serious about using Instagram sounds, then you should check out our guide to adding musical scores to your Instagram posts. Most of the time, people forget to disconnect the Bluetooth headphones and that’s why there’s no sound on Instagram. Missed software/app updates are another major reason. Which of the methods helped you get to the bottom of the issue? Tell us all about it in the comments section below.
If you’re going to do a lot with Instagram and sound, you’re going to need more than the built-in tools in an app. You need SoundForge for that.