12 Reasons Instagram Won’t Let You Post (& fixes for each)

There are quite a few reasons why the Instagram app might not post your photos, posts, stories or videos.

The most frequent reasons Instagram won’t let you post are: shadow banning for breaking Terms of Service, your account is new and still has posting limits, Instagram itself has server issues, you are using a proxies and VPNs or your battery or data saver is active.

Instagram will usually tell you there’s a problem that doesn’t let you post by throwing error messages such as:

  1. Try Again Later.
  2. Action blocked.
  3. Sorry, there was a problem with your request.
  4. An unknown network error has occurred.
  5. We’re sorry but something went wrong.

These types of errors don’t really tell you what kind of problem you’re facing or how to fix it.

However, this article sets out to explain the most common causes why your Instagram account might have issues, and more importantly, how to fix an Instagram app that won’t let you post.

Why won’t Instagram let me post? 12 Reasons and their fixes

1.      You are shadow banned for a Terms of Service violation

One possible reason you might not be able to post anymore is because your account has been reported by another user (or flagged by Instagram’s own algorithms) for a Terms of Service violation.

Instagram has a whole list of legal limitations you must not cross if you want to keep using the app.

You can find the list at this link, but below are some of the most commonly cited reasons for a Terms of Service violation:

  • You must be 13 years or older to use Instagram.
  • You may not post nude, partially nude, or sexually suggestive photos.
  • You must not abuse, harass, threaten, impersonate or intimidate other Instagram users.
  • You may not use the Instagram service for any illegal or unauthorized purpose.
  • You must not create or submit unwanted email or comments to any Instagram members (“Spam”).
  • You must not, in the use of Instagram, violate any laws in your jurisdiction (including but not limited to copyright laws).

Instagram usually outright bans accounts that have a severe Terms of Service violation, or if the violation happens repeatedly. In that case, you will usually receive a notification when trying to log in to your account.

However, if the infraction was small, then it’s possible Instagram might shadow ban your account, which limits some of your accounts functionality such as:

  • How often you can post.
  • How many people can see your posts.
  • Unable to modify some of your account details such as bio link.
  • Etc.

If you can still log in to your account, but find that some of the features in your Instagram app don’t work, then it’s possible you are suffering from a temporary shadow ban.

How to fix: In most cases, shadow bans are temporary and will expire after a certain period of time. This can vary from 1-2 days, to a week or more. If you suspect your account is shadow banned, simply wait a few days for the ban to expire, also consider removing the link in your account bio.

2.      Your account is too new and you’re posting too much

Instagram, like most other social networks, suffers from a bot problem.

This is caused by malicious marketers who create fake Instagram users as a way to increase likes, follower count and engagement for their clients.

Instagram has a number of measures in place to prevent this, including limiting how many likes, follows, comments and posts a brand new account can make.

If you’ve just started your Instagram account and found you can’t post stuff anymore, it’s possible you’ve hit the limits of your brand new account.

How to fix: Wait and do nothing. Instagram’s limits for new accounts usually last a few days to a week. The also get reset every day, so wait and try again tomorrow to see if you can post comments, photos or videos.

3.      Your post contains a banned word or type of image

Instagram and other social media networks are under a lot of pressure from lawmakers and consumers to censor certain types of content, for various reasons.

Some examples include copyrighted content, sexual images, controversial political opinions etc.

For this to work, Instagram has to implement complex filters and artificial intelligence systems that can recognize and block unwanted content.

It is possible the image, video or comment you wanted to post might have been flagged as unwanted by Instagram’s algorithms, which then blocked you from posting it.

How to fix: If you suspect this might be case, try posting a completely different photo, comment or video. Something super harmless. If you’re successful and can publish the post, then it means there might have been something wrong with the initial post that was blocked.

If this doesn’t work either, then it’s possible your account might have been shadow banned as spammy or problematic. The solution in this case is to do nothing and wait a few days for the shadow ban expires.

4.      Instagram app is suffering caching issues

Whenever you post something on Instagram the app will save the photo in a temporary storage space called a “cache”.

Normally you don’t have to worry about Instagram’s cache, since it’s automatically cleaned and deleted periodically.  

If your device doesn’t have any memory left however, Instagram might not have enough space to post photos and videos and save them to cache.

How to fix: If your device has no memory left, consider deleting a few files or apps you don’t need to free up some space on your device.

5.      Log out and log in again

Perhaps the simplest fix if Instagram doesn’t want to post your content is to simply log out and log in again.

This fixes a few issues when your account somehow gets desynced from the Instagram servers and prevents you from using a few of the app’s features such as posting content.

6.      Your Instagram installation is bugged

Instagram is software, and sometimes software can get bugged. As such, it’s possible that your Instagram update might have become bugged (for instance, the updating process was interrupted).

A bugged Instagram installation can affect many of the apps features: features for posting content, viewing photos, changing profile information etc.

How to fix: A simple solution to this is to just uninstall and then reinstall the Instagram app. This is something super simple to do and you won’t lose any photos if you do so, since the photos you posted are saved on Instagram’s servers instead of your phone.

7.      The file you’re trying to post is too big

Instagram does have some file size limits in place as a way of preserving its own bandwith and storage space.

These limitations mostly affect videos since photos generally have a pretty small size. If you’re unable to post videos, but can post photos and comments just fine, then the most likely cause is that your video file is too big.

Here are the overall Instagram file size limits:

  • The maximum Instagram file size is 4GB.
  • The maximum frame rate is 30fps.
  • The minimum Instagram vertical video dimensions are 600 x 750.
  • The minimum Instagram landscape (horizontal) video dimensions are 600 x 315.
  • The minimum Instagram square and carousel video dimensions are 600 x 600.
  • The maximum Instagram video length is 60 seconds. However, you could post up to 10, 60-second clips to create a video up to 10-minutes long.

How to fix: Resize the file size, frame rate and resolution of your video.

8.      Your Instagram app is out of date

Instagram updates it’s app on a regular basis, and sometimes these updates change the software and back-end systems that control how the Instagram app posts photos, videos comments etc.

If your Instagram app is out of date, then this is the most likely cause why you cannot post anything anymore.

How to fix: Just update your Instagram app.

9.      Your phone has data saver activated

One reason you might not be able to post is because you have a data saver mode activated on your phone or tablet.

Data saving modes can be very aggressive and will often actively stop your phone from doing certain activities as a way to prevent excessive data consumption. This means restricting you from posting photos and videos on Instagram since uploading them can require quite a bit of data.

A lot of the times these data saving modes don’t communicate very well that they are stopping your phone from doing stuff. This leaves you wondering why you can no longer do things on your phone.

How to fix: Deactivate data saving mode or connect to Wi-Fi.

10.      Your device has a battery saving mode activated

Similar to the data saving problem, in this situation your device is using an aggressive battery optimizing functionality that limits a lot of device functionality, including uploading photos and videos to Instagram.

Just as an example, some phones have battery saving features so aggressive, they even prevent screens from showing colors and limit the display to just black and white.

How to fix: Deactivate your battery saving mode.

11.      You’re using third party apps to post on Instagram

If you’re not aware, Instagram allows users to use different websites and apps to connect to their accounts and then post to Instagram through those websites and apps.

A good example of this is Buffer or Hootsuite.

However, Instagram has very strict policies in place for these kind of tools, since it doesn’t want them to be misused as tools for malicious marketers to mass post junk and spam.

If you have been using such tools, it’s possible Instagram has imposed limitations on your account to prevent spam.

There are a lot of apps that want to connect to your Instagram account, so even if you haven’t used those exact apps mentioned, you might have approved a different kind of app some time ago and forgot about it.

How to fix: Disconnect 3rd party apps from your Instagram account.

12.  You might be using a proxy or VPN

Proxies and VPN’s hide your Internet traffic, location and any other identifiers that can connect your outgoing Internet traffic to your actual device and identity.

However, some VPN’s are better than others and Instagram does have it’s own ways to block incoming VPN traffic, or restrict what users with VPN’s can do on Instagram.

How to fix: If you’re using a VPN and find you can’t post on Instagram, simply deactivate your VPN or proxy service and see if it works with them deactivated.

13.  Instagram is down

From time to time, Instagram does suffer some outages where either the entire social network goes down, or some of its features get deactivated.

This doesn’t happen very often, and if it does it usually takes down the entire Instagram site, but it’s not unheard of.

How to fix: To see if Instagram is down, visit sites such as downdetector.com and see if Instagram is currently having problems. If it does, then there’s not much you can do except wait for the service to fix its problems and come back to normal.

Paul Bonea
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