Unable to access camera on Instagram? Try these fixes

We talked about the video playback issue, on both iOS and Android, and today we’ll try and address another preposterous problem that has evoked lately. Namely, some users reported that they can’t access the Instagram camera. That’s quite a problem since it renders the app, more or less, unusable. You can’t use any of the filters or tools within the app without a camera integration. And that’s somewhat, and you’ll agree, the main purpose of the app.

Why can’t I access my camera on Instagram?

Table of contents:

  1. Check the permissions
  2. Clear app’s cache and data
  3. Update the Instagram app
  4. Reinstall the Instagram app
  5. Install an older version of Instagram
  6. Reset device to factory settings

1. Check the permissions

The first step you should take is to check for permission changes. As you’re probably aware, every app needs certain permissions to access your camera, storage, contacts, etc. Most of the time, these permissions are auto-enabled once you download and install the app from the Play Store. However, some Android skins come with tools that tend to block apps, especially from accessing the camera and microphone.

For that reason, it’s worth to check active permissions in the Instagram app:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Tap Apps & notifications.
  3. Tap All apps.
  4. Navigate to Instagram.
  5. Open Permissions.
  6. Make sure that the Camera is toggled on.

If you’re still unable to open the camera within the app, check the steps below.

2. Clear app’s cache and data

With frequent Instagram updates that are emerging nowadays, regarding Story improvements and those silly face filters, there’s a chance that something may go wrong. Namely, this app tends to accumulate temporary files and, since it’s storing them on a daily basis, those can affect the overall performance or some features, like a camera.

So, make sure to clean apps cache or data and look for changes:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Select Apps.
  3. Open Instagram from the list of apps.
  4. Select Storage.
  5. Clear Cache.
  6. Now, Clear Data and reboot your device.

If the problem persists and a mini nervous breakdown is ascending, there are some other steps worth checking.

3. Update the Instagram app

We already mentioned frequent updates. The app is nowadays so feature-rich that it’s almost chaotic. But, while it’s cool to have all of those features, it’s still more important to have the elementary functions working. What to do with the Instagram Boomerang or face filters or other effects if you’re unable to access a camera in the first place.

What we can hope for is that one of those updates may address this issue. That’s good enough reason to fly over to the Play Store and check for updates immediately.

  1. Open the Play Store app.
  2. From the hamburger menu, choose My Apps & Games.
  3. Download and install updates, if available.
  4. Restart your handset and look for changes.

Hopefully, this should be enough to resolve your problem. However, if it’s still there, take these additional steps into account.

4. Reinstall the Instagram app

Reinstallation is somewhat obsolete, but it can help you sometimes. Android is the OS just like so many others, and where is software there’s room for issues. This is especially the case with the firmware updates, like Android 10 or, more recently, Android 11 that introduced significant permission changes. So, make sure to, after the firmware update, clean reinstall troublesome apps.

Follow these steps to reinstall the Instagram app:

  1. Tap and hold the Instagram app under the App list.
  2. Draw it to the top and Uninstall it.
  3. Restart your device.
  4. Open Play Store.
  5. Search for Instagram.
  6. Install app.
  7. Try accessing the camera.

That should be enough to resolve most of the app-related issues. But, what if the Instagram app isn’t the problem in the first place?

5. Install an older version of Instagram

Even though you can’t roll back Android apps (Play Store offers only the Beta and stable releases for most apps), you can use an APK to downgrade the app and fix it that way. We wrote extensively about this, here, and it’s a must-read as this troubleshooting step is more than valuable.

You can either choose to downgrade the app or jump to the latest Beta or Alpha releases where, hopefully, the camera is accessible.

6. Reset device to factory settings

If everything that we presented until now fell short, there’s a chance that the factory reset is the only solution. The reason? There’s probably something wrong with your stock CameraAPI and third-party apps can’t access it. We advise you, as always, to backup your data. To learn more about this whole procedure, check this dedicated article. In addition, prepare for a long time of customizing your settings and preferences. You can do it by following these steps:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Choose System.
  3. Select Reset options.
  4. Tap Erase all (factory reset).
  5. Tap Erase all.

After that, your Instagram app should be, finally, able to access the camera so you can snap those selfies just like before.

That’s it. Thank you for reading and make sure to check our Facebook and Twitter pages for more informative and educational content on Android and iOS.

Editor’s note: This article was originally published in June 2017. We made sure to revamp it for freshness and accuracy.

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AKASH SHARMA
AKASH SHARMA
September 7, 2019 2:47 pm

I DO ALL THE THINGS HOW MANY U TELL IN THIS PARAGRAPH BUT STILL THE PROBLEM HAPPENING
WHENEVER I START A VIDEO CALL MY CAMERA DOESNT OPEN
THERE IS ONLY ONE MSG APPER ON TOP
; A HANDS FREE CALL IN PROGRESS’

Ekta
Ekta
December 31, 2019 2:52 pm
Reply to  AKASH SHARMA

Same prblm i do face plz help

Shruti Jajoo
Shruti Jajoo
January 19, 2020 4:33 pm
Reply to  AKASH SHARMA

yeah exactly.
Camera isn’t working during the video call otherwise it’s fine.

Yogi
Yogi
February 16, 2020 5:39 pm
Reply to  AKASH SHARMA

Sam problm.. Wht IS the solution

tristian johnson
tristian johnson
March 20, 2020 3:27 am
Reply to  AKASH SHARMA

i have the same problem

Ash
Ash
May 19, 2020 7:07 pm
Reply to  AKASH SHARMA

Same problem reported twice to Instagram

Rebecca Cooper
Rebecca Cooper
March 23, 2021 7:11 pm
Reply to  AKASH SHARMA

Hello my name is Rebecca, my friend is unable to get his camera to work on Instagram he has the permission allowed for the app but it still doesn’t work was wondering if there’s a solution for tht

M.akhtar
M.akhtar
April 8, 2021 8:40 pm
Reply to  Rebecca Cooper

simply uninstall the letest version then install older version.

Ed L
Ed L
September 3, 2021 11:26 pm
Reply to  Rebecca Cooper

I have the same problem, but I think I found a “solution.” When you click on the “+” button to create a new post, I bet it shows all of the pictures in your “Gallery,” with no little camera icon. If you click on the drop-down arrow and select one of the names of the camera apps you have installed (I picked “Camera”), I bet you’ll see the little camera icon appear under the gallery photo. That should activate your camera.

Nikita
Nikita
June 8, 2020 1:19 pm

My phone is Redmi note 8 and I have done all the Process correctly but still I’m unable to video call

Arindam Samanta
Arindam Samanta
June 28, 2020 1:12 pm
Reply to  Nikita

Same here…, I recently flashed pixel experience rom on my device. Its some what stable. The problem is not with my custom rom, coz i installed Instagram threads and there the video calling feature is working perfectly fine. But in Instagram’s native app during video call, it refuses to enable camera. I tried and i am still Tring to install some previous APKs, ?. Don’t know where the problem is.

God Yato
God Yato
September 6, 2021 8:13 am

Make sure, you are using the Latest Version of this App. Because the camera problem arrives once in my app too, I simply installed the latest version. Btw have you ever tried using iOS Instagram?? It’s much better.

https://kinemastermods.com/

Ema Wilson
Ema Wilson
August 30, 2021 2:52 pm

Hello, I Faced this Issue but after the Reinstalltion Process of APK it was fixed

Gauri
Gauri
March 17, 2020 6:12 am

Same problem

gary
gary
December 20, 2020 8:00 am

Something is similar happen to my whatsapp to fix this issue I have downloaded this Whatsapp Plus and my issue is solved if Instagram is doesn’t fix it yet you can download an alternative to this app such as Instagram Plus.