Instagram DMs are stuck on the loading screen

Tim Vickers

Are you having an issue where your Instagram DMs are stuck on the loading screen? What could be the problem, and how can you fix it?

Instagram DMs (direct messages) are one of the top features on the social media platform, whether you are communicating with friends, followers, or business contacts.

However, the feature suffers from a few issues, one of the top ones being a stuck loading screen. One of the major reasons for this is internet connectivity issues.

Other causes of stuck DMs include Instagram app glitches, corrupted cache files, Instagram server issues, app server issues, and more.

Below is a detailed guide to the error, what causes it, and how you can fix the issue to start sending Instagram messages again.

Why are Instagram DMs are stuck on the loading screen?

  • You have no internet connectivity
  • There are glitches in your Instagram app
  • Your cache files are corrupted
  • There are issues with Instagram servers
  • You have reached the Instagram DM limits

How to fix Instagram DMs that are not loading?

If you are having an issue where your Instagram DMs keep loading, the following fixes can help you:

1. Make sure you have a stable internet connection

internet connection speed

Lack of internet (or unstable connection) is one of the major causes of the Instagram DM glitch. Poor internet will also affect other Instagram features, such as posts, stories, and reels.

Therefore, before trying other fixes, you should first make sure you have a stable internet connection.

You can run a speed test to check how stable your connection is. If you are having trouble reaching good speeds, you can try switching to a mobile data connection (if you are using Wi-Fi) or a Wi-Fi network (if using mobile data).

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If you are using Wi-Fi, you can try additional troubleshooting, such as moving your device closer to the router or restarting your router.

2. Clear your app or browser cache

Clear cache on an Android Smartphone
Clear cache on an Android Smartphone. Image: AppDrum

Cache issues are another reason your Instagram DMs might not go through. Like all other websites/apps, Instagram stores cache files such as cookies, JavaScript files, HTML files, images, and other features, which help to offer a smooth user experience.

Unfortunately, these files can be corrupted from time to time, causing glitches when using the platform. Clearing your cache can thus help resolve the stuck DMs error.

To access Instagram on your computer:

  • Launch your browser.
  • Click the three vertical dots at the far right.
  • Click on Settings.
  • Select Privacy & Security.
  • Select Clear browsing data. Check cache and cookies.
Clear Cache Chrome
Clear the cache on Chrome. Image: AppDrum

If using an Instagram app on your iPhone:

  • Open Settings.
  • Go to General.
  • Select Storage & iCloud Usage.
  • Go to Manage Storage.
  • Select Instagram.
  • Tap on the Clear Cache tab to delete the cache files.

If using an Android smartphone:

  • Launch the Settings app
  • Go to Apps/Application Manager.
  • Search for the Instagram app.
  • Select the storage option and tap Clear Cache to delete the cache files.

3. Restart your phone if using the Instagram app

Besides cache files, your Instagram app or your phone can experience software glitches or bugs, leading to several issues, including stuck DMs or a black screen when using the app.

Fortunately, these glitches and bugs are usually temporary, and you can easily fix them by rebooting your phone. You can even combine clearing cache files with restarting your phone for the best possible outcome.

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An iPhone restarting
Restarting an iPhone

Suppose you are experiencing the stuck DMs issue when using Instagram on your PC. In that case, you can try clearing the browser cache and cookies and then closing and re-launching the browser before trying to access Instagram again.

While at it, you can even sign out of your account and then log in after you have re-launched your browser.

4. Update your Instagram app to the latest version

Are you still having trouble sending DMs on Instagram? You may be dealing with an update problem. Older versions of the Instagram app are prone to issues with bugs.

Your older app might also be lacking newer features found in updates (or have some features that have already been removed), which could be causing the issue. Therefore, updating the Instagram app to the latest version can help fix the issue.

If updating your Instagram app does not work, you might want to consider uninstalling the app and re-installing the latest version. Doing this will remove all the app files and settings, which is what could be causing the issue.

Updates are just as important if using a PC, especially for your browser. An out-of-date browser can have issues loading some of the Instagram features, so you cannot send direct messages.

Therefore, update your browser, and if possible, ensure your OS is up to date, then try sending the DMs again.

5. Wait out the issue for a few minutes

While rare, Instagram can be affected by server issues, leading to outages. When this happens, you won’t be able to send any DMs or use other Instagram features.

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Unfortunately, the only solution is to wait out the problem while it is fixed on Instagram’s end, which usually takes a few minutes. Still, depending on the server errors, it can also take a little bit longer.

Something else you should note when trying to send Instagram DMs is that there is a limit to the messages you can send daily.

While Instagram has not revealed the actual number, you can only send about 20-50 messages for new accounts and about 100 to 150 for older accounts daily.

Therefore, you might have exhausted your allowed quota if you have trouble sending more DMs. As such, the only thing you can do is wait for the limit to reset again.

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