Instagram Filters Not Working [A Few Easy Fixes]

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Matthew Wilhelm Kapell
@matthewwilhelmkapell
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Like all good things in life, Instagram is awesomeā€¦until it's not. I had a weird problem with my Instagram the other day, and I almost threw my whole phone away. You see, I was trying to create a story and the face filters weren't showing up. There also seemed to be fewer camera options. Naturally, I started to panic a bit, but it turns out there is a solution.

Since its introduction in 2010, Instagram has enjoyed a reputation as a very reliable app. Of all the social networks, Instagram just seems to work and not crash, lets you browse your friends' photos without having to deal with bugs, and lets you send DMs reliably. Until that point when you really try to come up with cool photos for your followers, and the stuff just won't work.



If you're trying to create an Instagram story and you don't see all the filters or options that should be there, you're not alone. Better yet, the situation is not hopeless. There are several ways to fix it, including the one that worked for me. I'll show you what I did first, then I'll show you other fixes in case the first method doesn't work for you.

What should happen is that a bunch of filters should appear when you tap your own icon to create a story. They will all be lined up at the bottom of the screen and each will do something slightly different on the screen. There should be a number of filters to choose from, but sometimes some of them will disappear. That's what we're trying to fix here.



Fix Instagram filters

The first method is something we should all do from time to time: clean out the trash cans. What fixed missing Instagram filters for me was clearing my phone. Between apps, photos, files, and shares, I had pretty much filled up all the available memory. Like many devices, my phone decided it was time to lock me down for unnecessary data and files.

I cleared all apps I no longer needed, force quit all apps that were running in the background, and tried Instagram again. Guess what? The correct number of filters are all loaded and stay loaded even when I restarted my phone and restarted Instagram to test.

When it was part of designing the program on my phone or Instagram, freeing up space on my phone and closing running apps helped. Whether it's a RAM or storage issue, either way, Instagram filters have come back and stayed.

Other Ways to Fix Instagram Filters

Once you've taken out the trash and done some tidying up of your phone's files, you'll probably feel a little better. However, this might not fix Instagram's problem. If you have enough available memory, your download folder is blank, and you have no idea what is causing these filters to disappear, try some of these generic app fixes. They might just work.

Restart the app

Restarting the app always wins. If you are on iPhone, just close it. Android users will need to go to Settings, Apps, and Force Stop in Instagram to get the full effect. This will completely restart the app and may fix all sorts of errors that you might not even have noticed.



Restart your phone

There really is something about the concept of "turning it off and on again". If restarting the app doesn't work, try restarting your phone. It can free up RAM, force clear some of the cache, and cause your phone's OS to reload the app again. It fixes the majority of phone problems and might fix them as well.


Clear the application cache

App cache in Android is also a common cause of app faults. This is most often the case when a single app is malfunctioning and a reboot or restart won't work.

  1. Select Settings, then Applications.
  2. Select Instagram, then Storage.
  3. Select Clear cache.

Once done, the counters should return to zero, and you can try Instagram again to see if those filters have reappeared.

Update Instagram

It's always worth checking for updates if something isn't working properly. Sometimes feature changes are on a server but not on the app causing issues like these. It's rare but worth checking out, since updating your apps is an essential housekeeping task anyway.

Go to Google Play Store or App Store, select Instagram and Update if available. Or use Update All if available.


Reinstall Instagram

If nothing else works, a reinstallation of Instagram may be required. This is usually a last resort, but it may be necessary if those filters are still missing after all of this. I absolutely don't blame you if you want to wait a minute to see if things work on their own, because a bad network connection or Wi-Fi outage can cause phones to do all sorts of unpredictable things.

If you want to proceed with reinstalling Instagram, be sure to back up all the images, stories, and anything else you have in the app and uninstall it.

Restart your phone to clear it from memory, then visit Google Play Store or App Store, select Instagram and install. Put it back in and hope the filters come back.

Have you encountered this problem with Instagram, filters disappear? Fixed it some other way? Tell us about it below and help others!

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