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Instagram Voice Message Not Playing? (Here’s Why & How to Fix It!)

Instagram constantly adds new features that add value to the app and make it easier to communicate with friends. The voice message feature is fun and typically consistent, but it doesn’t always work well. So, why is my Instagram voice message not playing?

Delete and reinstall the Instagram app to clear the cache if your voice message is not playing. Voice messages won’t play if you aren’t connected to Wi-Fi or have a weak cellular service connection on your phone. You won’t be able to hear Instagram voice messages if the server is down or if your phone is outdated and needs to be updated.

Make sure to enable microphone access on your phone so you can send and receive voice messages on Instagram. Follow along as we explore why your Instagram voice message is not playing and see what you can do to fix it.

Why Can’t I Hear Instagram Voice Messages?

Data Saver is Enabled

Data saver is a feature on Instagram that helps users save cellular data when they aren’t connected to Wi-Fi. This feature is quite useful if you don’t have an unlimited cellular data plan. However, it can also limit the features you can use on Instagram, such as stories, notes, reels, and voice messages.

You can turn off the data saver feature from the settings menu on the Instagram app. Click on your profile icon, select “Settings and Privacy”, and tap “Account”. Scroll down to “Cellular Data Use” and tap the icon beside “Data Saver” to turn this feature off.

Repeat this process to turn the feature back on any time that you want to turn it back on.

The App Needs an Update

You will encounter performance errors when the Instagram app is outdated. Updates typically install automatically for iPhone users, but you can also install them manually if you have an older iPhone generation. Android users can install updates manually as well from the app store.

However, you can also easily update the Instagram app if you uninstall and reinstall it. This will trigger the app to update shortly after you reinstall. Make sure to delete photos and apps you don’t use to clear space to install the update.

Phone Volume is Down

As obvious as it sounds, you simply need to turn the volume up sometimes if it seems that an Instagram voice message is not playing. It’s easy to accidentally turn the volume down when your phone is in your pocket if you put pressure on the volume buttons. Turn the volume up and see if the voice message plays now.

You Aren’t Connected to Wi-Fi

If you’re not connected to Wi-Fi, you won’t be able to take advantage of all of the features on Instagram. Stories and reels won’t load in many cases and you may not even be able to play voice messages. Wait to listen to the voice message until you connect to Wi-Fi or simply use cellular data until you are on a Wi-Fi network.

Background Refresh is Disabled

Background refresh is a feature on Instagram that can help boost an app’s performance when you leave it running for a while. When it’s disabled, an app won’t work well when you’ve left it running for a long time until you close and reopen it again. Open your phone’s settings, select “General”, and “Background App Refresh”.

A list of apps will appear. Select Instagram to enable background refresh for the app so it works at full capacity even when you leave it running in the background.

Instagram Cache is Corrupted

If you’ve had the Instagram app on the same phone for years, there’s a good chance the cache is corrupted. In that case, you must clear the cache before it will work properly, especially if voice messages are not playing. The best way to do this is to delete your app and reinstall it.

You Haven’t Restarted Your Phone in a While

Phones experience performance issues if they haven’t been restarted in a while. If voice messages and stories won’t load on Instagram, you should restart your phone. Turn your phone off and turn it back on after 2-3 minutes to restart it. Try to restart your phone weekly or at least 2-4 times per month for the best performance.

The User Unsent the Message

Did an Instagram voice message appear and play but now it’s suddenly gone? In that case, that means that the sender “unsent” the message. There is no way to recover an Instagram message that the sender deleted, so there is nothing you can do.

Microphone Access is Disabled

You must enable microphone access to create and listen to voice messages on Instagram. Instagram typically sends you a notification asking you permission to access your microphone. This message often appears when you set up the app, but you can manually enable the feature later on.

Open the settings menu on your phone, select “apps”, and find Instagram on the list. Select “permissions” scroll down, and tap “microphone access”. You can repeat this process to enable or disable microphone access at any time.

You Need to Reauthenticate Your Account

When you sign into Instagram, this authenticates your account. You typically only need to authenticate your account once. However, if you haven’t signed in or out of your account for a while, you may need to authenticate it again.

Log out of Instagram and sign back in. You will likely receive a two-factor authentication email or text message. Quickly respond to the message or enter the code they provide to authenticate your account so voice messages will play. This will let you use all of the features that are available on the app.

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Instagram’s Servers are Down

When Instagram’s servers go down, you can experience a variety of performance problems on the app. This can include everything from voice messages not playing to Instagram stories not loading. Unfortunately, there is nothing you can do about this, and you must simply wait for Instagram to solve the server outage.

Your Phone is Outdated

If your phone is outdated or needs to be updated, Instagram won’t perform to its full potential. Check your phone to see if a general update is available. If the phone is up to date but experiences regular performance issues, it may simply be time to get a new one.

Typically, you should replace your smartphone every 4-7 years. They can last longer than that, but apps like Instagram that are regularly updated won’t work to their full potential if your phone is too old.

Is There a Time Limit on Instagram Voice Messages?

The maximum length for an Instagram voice message is one minute. If you need to send a message that is longer than that, you must break it up into several voice messages.

Do Instagram Voice Messages Expire?

Instagram voice messages do not expire. However, voice messages will disappear after 24 hours if they are sent through vanish mode. Otherwise, voice messages appear in your Instagram conversation thread indefinitely.

So, Why Don’t Voice Messages Work on Instagram?

If an Instagram voice message is not playing, you must update the app or clear the cache. Uninstall and reinstall the app to clear the cache and connect to Wi-Fi to make sure voice messages play on Instagram. You may also need to update your smartphone and restart it if voice messages and other features on Instagram don’t work properly.