Software & AppsSocial MediaInstagram

What Does “Unknown Network Error” Mean on Instagram?

Instagram Error

Many people use the Instagram app more than the web version because of its convenience. However, it is possible that at a point while trying to use the app, you get an error message that says error due to an unknown network on the Instagram app. What does it mean to get an unknown network error message on the Instagram app? 

Quick Answer

In most cases, the unknown network error message pops up on your Instagram app when you don’t have a good internet service connection, especially when trying to log into your account. Other times, your device could have an error with the Instagram app. 

A quick restart should help fix this issue, mainly if the issue is caused by nothing too complicated. In some cases, the problem may persist even after trying to use your web browser.

Whatever the case may be, in this article, we will elaborate on some of the possible causes of this error message and what you can do in each case to correct it. 

Causes of “Unknown Network Error” on Instagram

The underlying cause of getting the unknown network error message on the Instagram app of your device revolves around a bad network or an issue on your device. Hence, we could narrow the list of possibilities to these five possible reasons below. 

APN Issues 

One of the possible reasons you might be getting this error message could be that the APN configuration on the device is wrong. When the APN configuration is incorrect on your device, you generally wouldn’t be able to browse the internet, including Instagram. So, it may appear that your internet service provider is having issues.

Still, a quick network speed test on another device or contacting your service provider might prove otherwise.

To fix this issue, head to your device’s Settings app, navigate to the APN settings, and restart it. The route might be slightly different for different devices, but the APN settings are under “Mobile Network” under the “Wireless & Network” options. 

Corrupt Files 

Another possibility for this error could be with the app itself. If all the app files for Instagram on your device are not intact, the app will not function properly. While this rarely occurs, it is not impossible. For one reason or another, the Instagram app on your device gets corrupted, and you wouldn’t be able to connect the app to the internet, thus causing this error message to pop up on your device.

To fix this issue, you may uninstall the app entirely from your device and then reinstall it from the App Store or Play Store. Fortunately, installing the Instagram app is free of charge, so it probably would cost you some data to fix this error. 

Corrupt App Preferences 

Sometimes, it might not be that the whole app is corrupted but just the app preferences. In such cases, when the app preferences are corrupted, it might force the app to connect to the internet only via Wi-Fi, for example. And when there is no internet connection for the Instagram app to function, it causes the error message to pop up on your device. 

Fixing this issue is pretty straightforward, as you would only have to reset the app preferences on your device. Doing this will practically revoke all your access to the Instagram app. So, when you try to do anything on the app, it requests permission to grant it access, as in this case, access to your internet via mobile carrier or Wi-Fi, and you can choose your preference.  

Corrupt Cache  

Like most other apps, the Instagram app uses cache files to improve your overall experience, particularly with long loading times. But when the cache data on the Instagram app is corrupted, it could be why you are experiencing such an issue on your device. 

To fix the issue, you need to clear the cache file for the Instagram app on your device. Clearing the cache file would not delete any important files related to your Instagram. So, tap on the Settings app, tap on “Application”, find the Instagram app, and tap on it. Select the “Storage” option of the Instagram app and click on the “Clear Cache” button. 

Incorrect Time and Date  

It might not seem like anything that should cause a problem, but when the time and date on your device are inaccurate, it can cause all kinds of issues. One particular issue you would likely face is that your device would not be able to access the internet, particularly using apps. The reason for this is that the time and date on your device need to be in sync with your mobile carrier and the geolocation you are at the moment. 

To fix this issue, go to the Settings app of your device and navigate to the “Data & Time” section, then choose the “Date & Time” option to be “Automatic” and save your choice. 

Quick Tip

Before uninstalling the Instagram app and reinstalling it to fix the issue of an unknown network error, check if there is an update; if there is one, update it and retry.


Using one of these few tricks in this guide, you should be able to fix the issue of an unknown network error popping up on your device, be it Android or iOS, on the Instagram app. If the issue persists after trying the following troubleshooting tips, you should contact the Instagram help desk for further assistance. 

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *