Many Instagram users encounter frustrating errors when trying to log in, such as “Unable to log in. An unexpected error occurred. Please try logging in again.”
This error can prevent you from accessing your account and using Instagram. Thankfully, there are several troubleshooting steps you can take to resolve this issue.
In this post, I’ll provide a detailed guide on how to fix the Instagram login error and get back into your account.
Why You’re Getting the “Unable to Log In” Error
Before diving into the solutions, let’s first understand why this error occurs in the first place. Here are some of the common reasons:
Instagram servers occasionally go down for maintenance or experience outages. This can temporarily prevent logins. Checking Instagram’s server status can confirm if it’s a widespread outage.
Outdated App Version
If you haven’t updated the Instagram app in a while, you could be running an outdated version that has bugs or connectivity issues. Instagram regularly releases app updates to fix bugs and improve performance.
Problems with your internet connection can prevent Instagram from logging you in. Issues like weak WiFi signal, cellular data problems, or using a VPN/proxy can disrupt the login process.
Simply entering an incorrect password or username will result in the unable to log in error. You may have forgotten your login credentials or typed them inaccurately.
In some cases, Instagram may have blocked your account due to suspicious activity or violations of their terms. You’ll need to submit an appeal to regain access.
The Instagram app may not be fully compatible with your device or operating system version. For example, trying to run an outdated version of Instagram on a brand new phone model.
Corrupt App Data
Corrupted app data such as cookies, cached files or storage issues can prevent proper loading and function of the Instagram app.
How to Fix the Instagram “Unable to log in. An unexpected error occurred” Error
Now that you know what’s causing the unable to log in error, here are detailed troubleshooting steps to get back into your Instagram account:
1. Check Your Internet Connection
Login failures can occur due to WiFi, cellular data or VPN connectivity issues.
First, switch your WiFi off and on again to refresh the connection. If you’re on WiFi, try moving closer to the router for a stronger signal.
For cellular data, toggle Airplane mode on and off to force a new mobile connection. Move to an area with stronger signal coverage.
If you’re connected to a VPN or proxy service, try disabling it temporarily and logging into Instagram directly through your internet provider. Restrictive VPNs can block access.
Finally, run an internet speed test using a tool like fast.com to confirm your bandwidth is strong enough for Instagram’s usage. Slow speeds undermine connectivity.
2. Check Instagram’s Server Status
Here is a rewritten version of the “Check Instagram’s Server Status” step using Downdetector:
1. Check Instagram’s Status on Downdetector
First, check if Instagram is experiencing widespread outages using a third-party website like Downdetector. Downdetector tracks social media outages in realtime by compiling user reports and service status data.
Visit the Instagram page on Downdetector.
The page also shows a timeline of user reports indicating when an outage started, peaked, and is recovering. You can also view outage maps to see if issues are local or regional.
If Downdetector shows an ongoing major Instagram outage, you’ll have to wait it out until services return back to normal operations. Constantly retrying to log in while Instagram is down will likely not help.
Check Downdetector’s Instagram page regularly to monitor when user reports start dropping and service status improves. Once the outage map clears up and status indicator returns to green, Instagram login should start working again as the outage ends.
Using a status tracking site like Downdetector provides more granular details compared to Instagram’s own basic system status page. The crowdsourced nature offers a fuller picture of real-world availability.
3. Update the Instagram App
One of the simplest fixes is to update the Instagram app to the latest version available. Bug fixes, optimizations and improvements that enhance login stability are included in app updates.
- On iOS (iPhone/iPad) – Go to the App Store > Tap your profile icon > Select Update next to the Instagram app.
- On Android – Open Play Store > Tap Menu > Select My Apps & Games > Tap Update next to Instagram.
If updates are pending, install them and then try logging in again. Updating also ensures compatibility with Instagram’s servers if they recently made changes on their end.
4. Reinstall the Instagram App
If updating the app didn’t work, the next step is to uninstall and reinstall the Instagram app:
- On iOS: Tap and hold the Instagram icon until it starts wiggling > Tap the X icon to delete it > Go to the App Store and reinstall Instagram > Try logging in again.
- On Android: Open Settings > Apps > Select Instagram > Tap Uninstall > Open Play Store and reinstall Instagram > Attempt to log in again.
Reinstalling the app resets all cached data and refresh the login files. This can resolve any corrupt files or data that may be preventing login.
5. Clear Cookies and Cached Data
Outdated cookies and temporary app files can accumulate over time and cause hiccups in the login process. Clearing this data forces a fresh start:
- Settings > Safari > Clear History and Website Data
- Settings > General > iPhone Storage > Instagram > Offload App
- Chrome > Settings > Privacy > Clear Browsing Data
- Settings > Apps > Instagram > Storage > Clear Cache and Clear Data
After cleansing the cookies and caches, attempt logging into Instagram again.
6. Check Your Login Details
Something as simple as a wrong password or username will trigger the login error.
Carefully re-enter your username – it’s case-sensitive. Then use the Forget Password option to reset your password if needed. Instagram will send you an email or text to create a new password.
If you believe the account was hacked, follow Instagram’s compromised account process to regain access.
7. Use a Different Device
Determine if the issue is device-specific by attempting to log in to Instagram from a different device like a mobile phone, tablet or computer:
- Borrow a friend’s device and try accessing your Instagram account.
- If it works fine on the other device, the issue lies with your original device.
- If it still fails on other devices, then your account is likely the problem.
This quick device test can reveal whether the root cause is device-related or account-related for better troubleshooting.
8. Log In With Facebook
If accessing Instagram on another device doesn’t work, try logging into your Instagram account through Facebook:
- On your computer, go to the Facebook website and log into your Facebook account.
- In Facebook settings, find the “Apps and Websites” section.
- Under “Logged in with Facebook,” click “Add Account”
- Choose “Instagram” from the options.
- Enter your Instagram username and password when prompted.
- This links your Instagram account to your Facebook account.
- Now try logging into Instagram on your mobile device again. Having it linked through Facebook may resolve the login issue.
9. Try Logging In Through a Web Browser
As another troubleshooting variation, attempt to log into your Instagram account through a web browser on your computer or tablet (not your mobile device):
- On your computer, open a web browser like Chrome, Firefox or Safari.
- Go to Instagram.com
- Try to log into your Instagram account through the website.
If the Instagram website lets you log in successfully, the issue is isolated to the app on your mobile device. You can use the web version until the app is fixed.
However, if the login error occurs on the Instagram website too, then the problem is tied to your account rather than a particular device. This provides more helpful diagnostics to Instagram support.
10. Check for Account Blocking
In some cases, Instagram may have blocked your account due to suspicious activity, policy violations or security precautions. The inability to log in is a common sign of blocking.
Check your email inbox for any notifications from Instagram regarding your account status. If your account has been disabled or suspended, you’ll need to submit an appeal to potentially reverse the ban.
Start by heading to Instagram’s Help Center and searching for hacked or disabled account. Follow the on-screen instructions to request a review. Keep in mind account reinstatement is not guaranteed. Continue following their guidelines and provide any details requested.
11. Contact Instagram Support
If you’ve tried all troubleshooting steps and the login error persists, it’s time to contact Instagram support for further help.
Describe the exact unable to login error along with what steps you’ve taken so far. Provide any details around when the issue started and how often it occurs.
To contact Instagram support:
- In the Instagram app: Tap the profile tab > Settings > Help > Contact > Report a Problem
- On Instagram’s website: Click your profile picture > Help > Report a Problem
- Request Support on Twitter: Tweet the @InstagramComms account describing your login issue and asking for assistance.
Instagram can investigate on their end and provide personalized troubleshooting advice to regain access to your account.
Preventing Instagram Login Errors in the Future
Once you’ve regained access to your Instagram account, here are some tips to avoid running into login problems again down the road:
- Enable two-factor authentication for added account security and prevent compromises.
- Change your password every few months to newer stronger passwords that are unique to Instagram.
- Keep the Instagram app updated on your devices to maintain compatibility.
- Clear cached data and cookies periodically to prevent problematic files.
- Check Instagram’s server status during outages to avoid wasted login attempts.
- Ensure your internet connection and mobile data signal are strong where you use Instagram.
- Avoid using restrictive VPNs and proxies that may block access.
Proactively taking these measures enhances reliability and prevents you from getting locked out of your Instagram account.
Dealing with Instagram login errors like “Unable to log in. An unexpected error occurred” can be immensely frustrating. But taking a methodical troubleshooting approach can help identify solutions.
Update the app, check your connection, clear cached data, use another device, and contact Instagram support if needed. Furthermore, enabling two-factor authentication and changing passwords routinely are proactive ways to avoid login problems in the first place.
With the steps provided in this guide, you should be equipped to quickly troubleshoot and fix the Instagram unable to login error when it pops up. Just stay persistent in working through each solution, and your account access will be restored in no time.